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Find a Teacher

Below are few guidelines to help you find an appropriate music teacher. Music lessons often continue for some time and establishing a good pupil/teacher relationship is vital. A teacher may be good, but they may not be the right teacher for you or your child, you have to suit each other.

Approach finding a teacher with at least the same care you would with any new professional relationship Always pursue references. Good teachers will be happy to let you speak to other pupils and parents. Do not be frightened to ask questions like:

  • What teacher training have you had?
  • How long have you been teaching?
  • How many pupils do you have?
  • What qualifications do you have?
  • Are you a member of any organisations like the Federation of Music Services, the Incorporated Society of Musicians or the Musicians' Union?
  • Do you offer group or individual lessons?
  • Where do you hold the lessons?
  • If you teach my child, can I attend the lessons?
  • Do you offer a trial lesson?
  • Have you been police checked and what’s the date of your last CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) document? (Particularly relevant if they will be teaching your child.)
  • What are your rates (they will be per hour) and your cancellation policy?

Once you get to a discussion about the style of lessons themselves you could ask the teacher:

  • What is your general approach and philosophy of teaching?
  • What do you hope your pupils get out of their lessons?
  • What is your approach to practise and is there a role for parents?
  • Do you prepare your pupils for any exams?
  • Do you teach general musicianship and theory, and how is it incorporated into your lessons?
  • How do you review your pupil’s progress?
  • Are you a performing musician?
  • Do you offer your pupil opportunities to perform in public or with groups of other musicians?

You will need to tell the teacher:

  • The age of the pupil.
  • The experience/qualifications already achieved by the pupil.
  • Whether they already have their own instrument.
  • What aspirations they/you have for the future.
  • When the pupil is available.

Do not make a decision to follow a course of lessons without first meeting your teacher, particularly if you are looking for lessons for a child. Don’t feel obliged to make a snap decision, consider your options and all the things the teacher(s) has told you.

If you can, speak to a number of teachers, this is a new long-term relationship and the human dynamics are very important.

Once the lessons have started, ask your teacher how things are going on a regular basis and make sure you are both keeping to your agreed terms.

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