You might be thinking it’s time to have your child start taking piano lessons. Learning piano is a right of passage for many children. But how do you even begin to find an instructor? More importantly, how do you find the right instructor for your child? Here are some tips that should come in handy.
- Find someone your child connects with. Early music lessons can shape how a child looks at learning an instrument. A negative experience can create resentment and give a child a negative attitude toward music in general. Your student should look forward to seeing his or her teacher every week. For some kids, this can take a little time, but for young beginners, it is important or they won’t want to keep having lessons.
- Make sure the teacher balances technical skills AND fun. So your child likes her teacher. That’s great! Now a caveat: not every single part of learning music is always fun. There is a need for discipline and a tolerance for frustration, so balance is key. Make sure the instructor is not only making the lessons fun, but also is teaching your child technical skills and theory. Sometimes the latter can be a little dry, but the right instructor can make it interesting or even teach these aspects in fun ways.
- Check to see if the teacher offers performance opportunities. Not every student wants to play in a recital, and that’s okay. But it should be an option. Students see so much growth through performing. It’s about overcoming nerves, working toward a goal, and having the discipline to perfect a piece. It’s also about getting to hear other kids play (or sing – our shows expose students to other instruments too). Students are inspired by their peers’ performances at every recital. I always have students ask to learn new songs or inquire about a new instrument after the recitals. These shows really are invaluable experiences for students that lead to growth not only as musicians, but also as human beings.
- Don’t audition teacher after teacher to find the perfect match. This only confuses your child. Putting your student through numerous first lessons with different instructors can be a big waste of time and may sour a student’s overall interest in learning music. Instead, pick an instructor who you believe would be a good fit and have a lesson. If you don’t feel like your student connects with a teacher, then move on. If you like a teacher, have a few lessons to see how things go. But DON’T try teacher after teacher because of a sense that there might always be someone better just around the corner. If your child enjoys the lesson, you felt comfortable with the instructor, and the teacher connected with your student, go ahead and book them weekly. Many instructors (and we here at Take Note) do not require semester commitments, but be sure to check first. With some time, effort, and practice, your student will be playing Mozart in no time.
If you live in NYC and are looking for a great piano instructor, contact us at email@example.com. We would love to help find a great match for your family!