The benefits of a child learning to play music are indisputable. From improved speech development and a greater ability to learn to read, to improved concentration and coordination, learning to play music will set your child on an exponential path to growth.
One of the most important aspects in creating an exciting, valuable music education experience for your child is being able to choose the right piano teacher. In this endeavour there are many considerations to be taken into account including: learning methods, teaching styles and qualifications among many others factors.
Here at The Pianoforte we’re a family run business that has been in the industry for more than 35 years. We’re passionate about music and inspiring the next generation in their creative endeavours.
We’ve composed this handy blog to help our customers select a teacher that’s the right fit for them and their child. This blog will help you create a key listing of items to look out for and how to find a teacher that will meet your child’s particular needs.
Know What You’re Looking For
Before you start your search for a teacher, it’s best to outline exactly what you’re looking for in an instructor. This will involve assessing the particular needs of your child (i.e. will this be their first lessons?), and the type of music style and content you want your child to learn (i.e. would you like a particular emphasis on learning to read sheet music). As part of this process you should also assess any financial, time commitment and distance requirements that are likely to factor in your decision making process.
We suggest making a list of items such as:
- What do I hope my child can accomplish by taking lessons?
- What teacher qualifications are needed?
- What’s my budget?
- How much time am I willing to invest?
- How far can I travel?
This will give you a great starting point, and you will have a much better understanding of the factors to look out for when selecting an appropriate teacher for your child.
Ask Friends And Family For Recommendations
A search on the internet will give you a listing of any local piano teachers, along with any music schools and groups in your area. This is a good initial starting point, but we’ve found even in these modern times that the best way to find a piano teacher is by asking family and friends for recommendations.
You can start by asking your circle of friends and acquaintances if any of them are particularly happy with their child’s teacher. You’ll find that a personable quality teacher would have built a steady base of satisfied students and have gained a great reputation in the community.
Interview Prospective Teachers before Deciding
Interviewing any potential piano teachers is essential in deciding whether they will be a good fit for your child. It’s highly recommended to schedule a time to sit down with the teacher and have a detailed discussion about your goals for your child. This will give you a good gauge of their demeanour and temperament.
It’ll be ideal to set up the interview in the place where the lessons will be given, as this will give you a preview of the learning environment (alternatively with the current climate this could be done through Skype).
When interviewing, you can ask a range of questions related to their qualifications and experience, as well as anything regarding any special learning needs of your child.
Ask About Their Teaching Techniques, Experience and Credentials
As part of the interview process make sure that you ask well rounded questions to gain further insights about a prospective teacher’s teaching techniques, experience and credentials.
You should pay particular attention to the learning techniques they use and their learning style.
Kids have all sorts of attention spans ranging from a restless child suited to 20 minutes burst sessions, to a more focused child that can handle a longer 60 minutes training session. Whatever the case, you need a teacher who has a versatile engaging teaching style.
To make lessons fun for kids, you should look for an instructor who will not only teach chords and notes, but is also open to incorporating games and fun activities to make lessons more engaging.
Make Sure They’re Qualified
An ideal teacher should have good performance and theory qualifications, but also some educational qualifications, specifically in teaching music to individuals.
Relevant qualifications include a degree from an accredited university or college in music education. Any qualification at this level indicates a dedicated approach with a significant amount of time and resources spent on developing their skills.
Since you are looking for a teacher for your child, it’s also recommended, like any other educational activity involving children, that any teacher should have a current Working With Children Check.
Can They Meet Any Special Needs
It’s important to find a teacher that suits your child’s learning style, this is particularly relevant if your child has special needs.
If this is something you need, there are teachers that specialise in teaching students with disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These teachers are specifically trained to cope with any additional requirements and are able to design lessons that are both stimulating and appropriate.
Finding the right teacher for your child is not a process to be taken lightly, but with the right amount of research and preparation, you’ll be able to find a teacher who will inspire and nurture a life-long love of music in your child.
We recommend first composing an initial listing of exactly what you’re looking for in a teacher. This will give you an initial starting point and guide you throughout the decision making process. Even in these modern times, we’ve found that the best recommendations come from family and friends. Once you have a shortlist of prospective teachers, make sure you interview them and ask them about their teaching techniques, experience and credentials, and whether they have experience working with children with special learning needs.
We hope this blog has been informative and helpful. With some preparation and sticking to a plan, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a teacher who can foster your child’s love of music and encourage them to be their creative best.
Here at The Pianoforte we’re a family run business who’s passionate about music and inspiring a lifetime love of piano music in children. We have a range of quality pianos available to suit all age and experience levels, and are happy to have a personalised chat with you to help you find the best fit for your particular needs.
For any of your piano needs, why not contact us today.