Choosing a right teacher could be very tricky. I am sure that before arriving for your first lesson, there are a few questions running thought your mind.
Is the teacher old or young? Is my son/daughter going to enjoy it? Are they going to connect?
Well, I believe there are few important factors I consider helpful in choosing the right teacher.
I believe that, in the 21st century, students require different approaches to keep them interested in the piano and generally speaking in any hobbies they start doing.
Many teachers struggle to teach creatively, and that is one reason why students eventually will end up giving up the piano. Students are becoming continuously more distracted, and as a result, it is very hard to keep your student interested, especially in the smart phone and computers era. One thing I find very useful, is to first of all build a strong relationship between the student and the teacher. The pupil-teacher relationship should not only be one based on trust and respect, but also one that can be fun and creative, thus allowing the pupil to flourish in all aspects of their personality.
Make sure the teacher is really interested in you ( questions like ‘why you want to learn the piano” or “what is your goal” or “what kind of music you like” and so on ). Teachers - it is not about the money, it is about changing lives and inspiring a new generation of young musicians. Observe the interaction between your child and the teacher. Both sides should be interested, not only your new teacher but your child as well.
Another good thing is to ask how the lessons will progress. For example, If the teacher will go with the flow or if they will follows a book from a previous teacher. I personally believe in structured lessons and lesson planning. Teachers should discuss the target with students and then they can both begin the journey towards achieving it. Whether it is playing for fun, preparing for an exam or competitions or simply just play. Asking your new teacher “can you describe the progress of your lessons” is a leading question to choose the right teacher for you. Using musical games and activities in the lesson are sometimes far more interesting and beneficial for a child then pressing the keys on the piano. So hearing from your new teacher that they use them, is always a good sign that your child will keep their interest.
As I have already mentioned, building a relationship between the student and the teacher is very important! However, building a relationship between a parent and a teacher is as important in my opinion. Making parents part of the whole experience is imperative as you engage their interest. Just imagine signing up your little one who is only six years old for a piano lesson. You will get them a book you were asked to buy, drop them at the door and then off you go. No updates from a teacher, no note book to read what is going on, just seeing them for their annual recital. Your child’s potential and success, is closely linked to the rapport that the parent/teacher has, and achieving a successful partnership between the three parties, ensures an fulfilling and enjoyable musical education for the student.
Building a clear way of communication between the parent and the teacher is again incredibly important. Each week, the teacher will provide useful information on how to play, what to do and how to practice. It is very important that the parents also become active participants in each lesson by listening and communicating their thoughts to the teacher. Remaining in the lesson from time to time, engaging with what is being taught and listening to the pupils progress and teacher’s comments, really makes for a much more beneficial and prosperous educative experience.
Part of building the all important teacher/pupil rapport, is to ask your new teacher of their backgrounds and education. Of course, there might be a very young new teacher who has a teaching talent and magic skills which are not yet discovered. But knowing teachers achievements with his students or having a good reputation is also very important.
As I always say, “ first impressions never lie”. Having a nice cozy comfortable environment to go to for your piano lesson encourages your child to enjoy going to their music lessons. I know it might sound very artificial but who doesn’t like a nice, clean and organised music studio with a relaxed atmosphere? Feeling comfortable with the space and your teacher is essential.
If you feel that there is something wrong, then there definitely is. Just move on and keep searching for a different instructor. Otherwise, you will be throwing away your money and time.
Why PAI? Because at PAI, we aim to deliver on all points that have been talked about in this blog. We are highly trained and experienced musicians, with 100% pass rate in all student examinations. We go above and beyond, not just delivering engaging piano lessons, but organising performance opportunities for all our students, offering extra theory and musicianship classes, as well as masterclasses with other professional musicians and teachers from around the world. We believe that each piano lesson will leave your child feeling inspired and excited to continue learning. Simply put, we “do what we say”. We are passionate about what we do and aim to inspire the new generation of young musicians.
Chose PAI today to begin your musical journey with our inspirational teachers.
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In my next BLOG, I will be talking about which kind of questions to ask your future teacher and questions you should ask yourself before you go for your first trial lesson. Follow me for my next article.