So, you’ve decided to enroll your child in music lessons. Congratulations! You’ve just taken the first of many steps to broadening your child’s cultural horizons and providing an outlet for their creativity. Now, you need to find a teacher. How do you know what qualities to look for in your child’s music teacher? Here are some helpful tips:
- Determine how your child processes information. Is he/she a visual learner? Does he/she need to write down important information? Does he/she need small breaks? Does he/she ask a lot of questions? Communication can make or break a child’s relationship with music, and lack of understanding can lead to a loss of interest and motivation.
- Talk to your child about his/her musical goals. Is your child serious and dedicated to practice or is this more of a recreational hobby? What kind of music does he/she want to play? Answering these questions can help you decide what teaching style would work best for your budding musician.
- Does the teacher’s instructional approach match your child’s learning style and musical goals? Sit in on a lesson and watch how the teacher interacts with your child. Your gut can sometimes guide you towards the answer you’re looking for!
- Experience and reputation isn’t everything! Select the teacher based on his/her ability to inspire, diagnose musical and technical problems, and guide your child towards a solution. Although a more seasoned, experienced teacher has had the time to develop his/her philosophies and practices, a newer teacher can provide a fresh approach and might be more relatable.
- Set up an introductory lesson. Don’t just try one teacher; the first person you meet with might not be the best match! Take a lesson with a few teachers whose schedules align with yours to really determine who works best with your student.
- Attend performances! Watching your new teacher perform, or attending a recital of the teacher’s students is a great way to see how his/her students progress and where your child could be heading musically. It’s also a pretty good indicator of the age group he/she typically works with and maybe (if you’re attuned to it) their strengths and weaknesses.
- Stay aware of your child’s progress. Just because the teacher you’ve selected works for your student now, doesn’t mean it’ll be a perfect match down the line. A great teacher will know when your child has outgrown them and will be able to recommend the next steps.
- Ask questions! When meeting a teacher, get to know them! Here are some great questions you can ask your new teacher:
- What is your teaching experience?
- What instructional materials do you use?
- How would you describe your teaching curriculum?
- What are your practice expectations?
At the International School of Music, we provide an encouraging and fun environment where students can accomplish their musical goals, regardless of age or experience. Since not all students work at the same speed or have the same needs, we pride ourselves in finding the best student/teacher fit. Ultimately, your child will enjoy lessons and will be motivated to practice and perform if he/she likes the teacher, so it’s incredibly important to take the time to reflect on whether the teacher you’ve selected is truly the best match. By understanding your child’s needs, communicating with the teacher, and taking a vested interest in their progress, you ensure that your child is set up for success.
If you are interested in scheduling a trial lesson or getting more information on our program, please contact us today at 301-365-5888!