Whether you are brand new to the piano, or you have been playing a while but need some lessons, at some time or another a teacher is going to come in handy. Teachers can really help you get the most out of your practice – they can show you the right way of doing things so that you don’t develop bad habits and they will inspire you and motivate you when you are feeling like giving up. However, many people have found that having a bad teacher is extremely counterproductive and it actually turns learning the piano into a bad experience. For this reason it is really important that when you set out to find a teacher, you find one that suits you, otherwise you will risk giving up altogether. Here is our guide to finding the perfect teacher for you:
Decide What It Is You Need
Different people want to learn the piano for different reasons – some want to work through their classical grades while others prefer to learn just for fun. It will be really helpful if you decide what sort of teacher you need before you start looking – it will help you narrow down your choices.
Teachers don’t just advertise in one place, so you’ll have to look in a variety of places in order to get the best selection. Look at online directories, check your local phone book, look at your local shop windows and schools and any other community advertising places that you can think of. Ask friends and family whether they can recommend anyone too. Once you have found your shortlist, work your way through, phoning each one for a chat. Ask where they teach from, how much they charge and what their teaching philosophy is. How do you feel on the phone to them? If the conversation flows on the phone, there is a good chance that you’ll get on face to face.
Have a Sample Lesson
Many teachers offer one free consultation lesson, during which time you can both get a sense of whether the relationship is going to work. This is always a good idea as it offers you a get out clause if you feel that the chemistry is wrong. Don’t book a block of lessons until you know that it’s going to work out (but booking lessons in blocks can save you money in the long run as you may get a discount). During the sample lesson, think about whether you feel relaxed, whether your teacher inspires you and whether they have a good sense of what level you are at and what it is you want to learn. If you can communicate well verbally then you’re off to a good start.
A good teacher can make you a competent piano player and help push you up to the next level. People that learn with a teacher always see better results as their learning is more structured. Having a lesson in the diary is always a good motivator when it comes down to getting your practice done!