There are many aspects to consider even before choosing a piano teacher. In the end you will probably make a decision based on your gut feeling as well as factual informations. Trust is essential to ensure good teaching and is the basis for a nurturing relationship between student and teacher. Asking yourself these questions should help you narrow down your choices:
1. What is your time commitment?
- how many extra curricular activities can my child handle?
- how much time can be set aside for regular practice?
- will I be available to help my child practice?
- how far am I willing to drive every week?
2. What kind of teaching are you looking for?
- a private setting or a music program offered by an institution?
- a specific approach like Suzuki, Taubman, or group lessons?
- a specific musical style such as classical, pop or jazz?
- a teacher who has experience with a particular age group or with children with learning disabilities?
3. How to research?
- ask around for suggestions or input;
- attend student recitals if you can;
- look up the programs offered in some of Ann Arbor institutions such as the Piano Pedagogy Laboratory Program at UofM, the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts, or the Faber Piano Institute. Many of our teachers have an affiliation with these institutions.
- look up our list of members, which you sort by location, availability, type of teaching.
4. What should you feel free to ask a teacher?
- a short bio attesting credentials and training
- fee structure
- if it is possible to have a sample lesson before committing to lessons.
5. What to expect from most teachers?
- a studio policy that could include language about fee structure, cancellation, conditions for make up, communication with parents, attendance to recitals, group lessons, or other musical events;
- a detailed weekly assignment;
- regular feedback and assessment.
6. What does a teacher expect?
- a positive attitude, regardless of the amount of preparation;
- timeliness both for drop off and pick up;
- a true effort at regular practice;
- good mutual communication with the parents (such as responding to email or phone calls).
7. Are you prepared to invest in a decent instrument?
- the bottom line is 88 weighted keys but visiting a piano store to see what kinds of instruments are available is a must. Ask about acoustic versus electronic instruments, second hand instruments and special deals.
- Please refer to our link on how to find a piano.
For more information, you can consult our FAQs section. We hope this was useful and feel free to comment on our blog.
Best of luck in your search!