1. What Is the Teacher’s Level of Experience?
Many music students offer their services at a reasonable price, but they may still have a lot to learn themselves. A college musician can be a great option when learning the basics. They identify with you, and can give you the expertise and advice that their professors are giving them.
When seeking a professional, ask your prospective teacher about their past students’ success rates, and the most common weaknesses they’ve observed in them. Make sure they can tackle any weaknesses you may have as a learner, and try to witness their skills as a pianist first-hand by asking them to show off their skills.
Tip: Check out their level of experience in their ad, or contact them by phone or email.
2. Do They Host Recitals?
If you would like to perform at a public venue, find out if they can provide you with the option of doing so.
Think about your goals as a musician. Would you like to one day be under a spotlight? Or do you find more fulfillment in playing peacefully in your home? If your goal is to be a public entertainer, you should start performing publicly as soon as possible, and many piano teachers have access to where and when you can showcase your talents in front of an audience.
Tip: It’s always good to have the option of a recital. Chances are, people in your life are going to want to hear you play, and the more you face nervousness, the less it can negatively impact your performance.
3. Where Is the Lesson Held?
If your teacher makes house calls, yet your practicing piano is at another location, this might prove to be a bit difficult!
Some teachers give lessons out of their homes or music studios, and some will come to your house. Either option is a great choice, and having a visiting instructor can allow those without transportation to discover the beauties of proper piano playing.
Having your lesson elsewhere can be beneficial. It will help you get accustomed to other pianos, which can feel and play differently. Learning to adapt to a strange instrument will be helpful, since you never know where you will be playing.
Tip: Many music stores also provide in-store lessons, so find out if their piano instructors have any openings.
4. How Long Will Lessons Be?
The standard time spent on a lesson is around 30 minutes to an hour. This is a good starting point since learning too much in one sitting can be distracting when you’re a beginner.
If you want a more in-depth lesson, see if your teacher’s schedule will allow for such flexibilities. Figure out your needs, and find a teacher who is capable of adjusting their time to meet them.
Tip: Always ask about any extra fees that may accumulate if your lesson goes over your allotted time slot. Which brings us to our next question:
5. Are There Any Extra Costs?
Pricing for lessons can vary anywhere from $10/hour or half-hour, to over $100. But what will those fees include?
Some instructors charge you for supplies such as music books, and some do not. You might also have to pay a fee to be fit into a recital. Find out ahead of time if you will need to be shelling out a little extra cash, so you don’t end up with any surprises.
6. Where Do I Find Him/Her?
Now that you are armed with the information you’ll need to narrow your search, it’s time to start searching. Here is where you can find them:
- Phone book
- Newspaper ads
- Music store newsletters/In-store lessons
- Public bulletin boards where the public can post flyers
- Get a referral from a friend or teacher
- Take a music course at a local college or university
- Online resources such as Betterfly and PrivateLessons.com
For more in-depth advice and tips, read about the four traits your teacher must possess. Happy Hunting!