Whether you want to be the next Billboard chart-topper, or just earn first chair in your orchestra, excelling in music takes hard work, dedication and a commitment to practicing to get there. And if you’ve been trying to learn on your own, there is a chance you’ve adopted some less-than-perfect habits, such as poor posture or incorrect fingerings. To truly correct those habits and get to the next level, private lessons are your next step. While YouTube videos may be good for learning a couple of guitar chords, they don’t provide the one-on-one feedback that a private teacher will.
So first, think about why you are learning to play your instrument. Are you trying to get a scholarship for college? Are you a stressed-out business executive unwinding after work? Are you an aspiring artist or rockstar? Do you just want to have fun and check this off of your bucket list? Once you have that figured out, you’ll have a better idea of what you need in a teacher. Of course, use your intuition to feel everything out.
First off, safety and comfort are important factors to consider in order for a student to grow to their full potential – especially young children, who are often nervous about working with someone unfamiliar. You might want to check if the teacher has completed a criminal background check, for example, which can help you feel much safer in your decision. Another way to check this is by taking a look at feedback or reviews from previous students.
Second, you’ll want to find out about quality. This is something that causes many people to be misled. If you lower your standards too much, you will end up taking lessons for double the amount of time, causing you to pay far more in the long run and feel frustrated with the lack of progress.
Of course, different students will have different priorities when it comes to finding the right teacher. To help you along, we’ve put together a list of 11 things to consider when you’re searching for a teacher. Take a look, determine what’s important to you, and keep these in mind when you book your lessons:
- Has this teacher had a criminal background check done?
- Have you seen any letters of recommendation or feedback from previous students?
- Are the lessons taught out of a safe and comfortable home or studio location?
- Does the teacher have credentials to teach?
- Are there any videos of the teacher performing or teaching that you can watch to get an idea of their style in teaching or performing?
- What level does this teacher teach up to? (Beginning – Advanced)
- Does this teacher work best with adults or children?
- Is this teacher connected to a reputable affiliation?
- How many years of experience does he/she have playing? Teaching?
- Does the teacher have group lessons and individual lessons available?
- Is there any type of Money Back Guarantee if it isn’t a perfect fit?
Music lessons are a very personal experience, and finding the best teacher for you is often half the battle. Once you have that perfect teacher at your side, you may be surprised at how quickly you excel!