Choosing A Piano Teacher
When it comes to choosing a piano teacher, whether this be for yourself or a child, asking a few questions can be very helpful when speaking to a prospective instructor. Very often, an individual will look at local listings, make a call or two, and make a decision based on proximity and price.
Although these may be considerations that are relevant, there are other factors that can be more crucial when it comes to gaining the maximum benefit from a long-term venture. All too often, a person will endure a relationship with a piano teacher that is not beneficial and base his or her future perceptions and efforts on the effects of that experience. Never base a decision to not continue lessons on an experience that did not work out with a previous teacher.
You have your options. Remember that.
When it comes to forming a positive relationship with a teacher, above all else is the issue of rapport. If you have an instructor with whom there is mutual respect, that sets the tone for everything else. After all, a teacher can have all the information in the world to offer you but if you have a resistance to that person due to personality issues or other, what kind of enthusiasm would you have for being receptive to his or her communication? On the other hand, when the rapport is positive, that eliminates an important barrier that can otherwise be in the way of a rewarding experience.
If the prospective lessons are for you as an adult, it's likely you will quickly be able to tell if the rapport with a particular teacher will be a positive one. If you are seeking a piano teacher for a youngster, it will be helpful to take the initiative to place some focus on what kind of a rapport is likely to manifest. In either case asking some questions of this teacher you are considering can at least give you an idea how he or she will conduct himself or herself during the learning process. Here are a few:
1) "Do you have a strict approach to teaching that each of your students are expected to conform to? Or do you base your teaching approach on an individual's needs, wants, and learning style?"
This is a powerful set of questions. Once you ask, pay close attention to the response you get. It may offer some valuable clues that can help lead you to a wise decision.
2) "As a piano teacher, what do you consider to be your strong points?"
Upon hearing the response to this question, relate it to the particular needs and/or concerns of the prospective student, whether that be you or your child. For example, do the strong points mentioned exclusively include a self-centered "resume" of the teacher's past accomplishments and/or personal playing abilities? Or, rather, does the response reflect a sensitivity to your needs, wants, and concerns?
3) "Have you performed professionally?"
This is not necessarily the most relevant question but it can provide some insight. Many people will agree that some performers do not necessarily make the best teachers. However, when you can get both (performer and teacher) in one person, it really can create some credibility in knowing that your teacher has actually experienced what it's like "on the field" and we all know the benefits that go hand in hand with having a good role model. Furthermore, if performing to any degree is a consideration on behalf of the student, an instructor who has "been there, done that" certainly has an advantage when it comes relating to various aspects of what it takes to perform in public.
Asking such questions of a prospective piano teacher is likely to open the doors to a conversation that can lead to your asking additional questions of your own and ultimately gaining more of an understanding of what's ahead.
Once you decide to adopt the services of a teacher, give it some time for the student/teacher relationship to nurture itself. If the lessons are your child's, ask to accompany him or her at the lessons and be observant of the rapport between the two. Communication with your youngster in between lessons while expressing an interest in his or her learning adventure is certainly conducive to a more positive and rewarding experience.
Sure, there are other factors that can come into play and they will depend on the personality of the student and that of the piano teacher you are considering. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to visit this page and use the form toward the bottom to share you questions and concerns. You can count on them being acknowledged with empathy and enthusiasm. You may also wish to schedule a trial lesson to discuss this matter in more detail. You will very likely gain some insights that will be conducive to greater rewards over the long term.
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