A great teacher disproportionately impacts a child’s life. Positive educational experiences benefit a child long after they have stopped seeing the teacher. Similarly, music education has ample benefits; a quick google search will give countless reasons why. So, you have all the reasons you need to get your kid started learning music. What next? This step by step guide will equip you with the necessary framework to find the best music teacher for your child.
Here are the steps for finding the right music teacher for your child – we’ll dig deeper below:
- Determine the why
- Choose the instrument
- Find instruments
- Ask questions
- Trial lesson(s)
- Consult your child
Determine why you want to find a music teacher
Knowing why you want to put your child in music lessons will help you navigate all the options available to you.
Did your child ask to learn music? Or a specific instrument?
Then you want to feed and encourage that desire. Incorporate their vision for their education into your search. Do they want 1-1 lessons? Or do they seem themselves learning with peers, in a group session. Is there a type of music they want to learn?
Has your child demonstrated musical talent?
A proclivity for music can show up any number of ways. If your child is exceptional at music then seek out an instructor with a history of developing talent.
Social? Does your child have friends doing music? Or do you want to give them an environment to develop relationships with peers?
If that is the case your child may thrive better in a group learning setting. Group lessons can be cheaper which is a benefit. A potential downside is the rate of learning, your child will get less 1-1 time. But if your primary goal is to have your child with friends then it is a worthwhile trade off 😀.
Are you only looking for your child to have an extracurricular activity? Or, to enhance learning?
In which case you’ll be fine as long as you find something that is engaging for your child. If they want to be there, then they will learn and get the auxiliary benefits along the journey.
Choose an instrument
Let’s clear the air, you and your child don’t have to have a perfect idea about what they want to play at this point. But, it does help you to narrow down options. Without going into too much detail, this decision can go one of two ways.
You and your child know the instrument they want to play (or they are already playing one)
Then you’re good! Go forth and find the right teacher for the job. Keep reading and we’ll get you there.
You and your child have not decided on an instrument
1. Word of mouth
If this is your situation then you want to look for a teacher who knows several instruments. Try to narrow your search a specific family of instruments (e.g. string, wind, percussion, etc). Doing so will refine your choice of teachers nearly as well as knowing the exact instrument.
Where to look for the best music teachers
As with most recommendations, those that come from people around you mean the most. If you know of other parents that have children in lessons, start there.
2. Child’s school
The local music teacher can be a great entry point into the local music scene.
3. Music stores
Stores may have local teachers they can refer you to, some may even use the store for lessons!
4. Facebook groups
Seek out like minded parents in Facebook groups. Online groups in general may not have as many local references. But, they make up for it with better online learning recommendations .
5. Local universities
If you live near a university or college, and they have a music program, then you may be able to snag a student who is looking to give lessons. Much like your child’s music teacher, the local university can serve as an entry point to the wider community.
Libraries are often the center of community arts programs. Checkout your nearest branch to see what kind of music events they hold, and if they have any references for lessons.
Of course you can always search Google for what you want. You can also checkout these group music websites that help locate local teachers:
Questions to ask a potential music teacher
Knowing the right questions to ask a potential music teacher is the name of the game. You want to verify the tutor’s qualifications. Are they equipped with the experience and tools to give your child what they need? You want to make sure they are a good fit for your child. Credentials aside, would your child like being around them and vice versa?
Use this list of questions to get started. We recommend you make up a worksheet with your must-ask questions and bring a copy with you to each tutor you meet.
We also recommend you have your child present when meeting a tutor. You could learn a lot about the fit between teacher and child by seeing how they interact.
What should you ask before starting music lessons?
- Are they accepting new students?
- Save yourself time and ask this one first 😁
- Where do they teach?
- Do they have an office? Or do they expect to come to your home?
- Are you okay with making the drive week after week?
- Student niche
- Teachers will usually have an age group they prefer and specialize in.
- What’s the teacher’s background as a musician and as an instructor?
- What ages do they have experience with?
- What instruments do they teach?
- Do they incorporate singing along side instruments?
- What kind of performance opportunities do they offer?
- Performance opportunities are important, what better chance for you child to prove what they have learned?
- If they do not offer performances, then ask them why. It could be a red flag and you will want to know the reasons.
- Do they have recordings of previous recitals?
- What kind of music do they teach?
- Classical is a good foundation but may not be for everybody
- What are the expectations for students and for their parents?
- Do you need to provide the instrument?
- References from other parents or past students
So you’ve talked to lord knows how many potential teachers. And managed to narrow them down to a handful of the best options. At this point, you should pursue trial lessons. You should attend if you can to see the nuance of interactions between teacher and pupil.
Ask your child
Last but not least, consult your child. Sounds simple, but can go overlooked. They are after all the ones who will be going to the lessons week after week 😉.
There you have it! How to find a music teacher for your child. We hope this step by step guide has given you all the right tools for finding the perfect music teacher.
If you have any feedback then please don’t hesitate to send an email to [email protected]. Or, leave a comment.