Picking the Right Music Teacher for Your Child
Once your child has honed in on the instrument they wish to pursue, it may be time to start looking for a music instructor.
Plan ahead- If you know your child is going to be ready for instruction in the fall, when school starts, maybe start looking for an instructor in the summer. A simple google search will generate a plethora of options and it can be a little overwhelming even figuring out where to start.
Here are some questions to ask when searching for an instructor for your child:
How old is your child?
Age makes a big difference in determining which instructor is going to be the best for your family. Many young kids who are just starting out as beginners prefer instructors in their 20’s or 30’s because they tend to feel more comfortable and engaged around people their parents age or younger. Also, younger instructors are typically more energetic and comfortable around kids when they’re getting distracted or rowdy. College students working toward their degree in Music or Music Education will often work as beginner-level instructors as a way of getting some experience under their belt, while teaching a level of play they feel comfortable with.
Another factor to take into account is what type of music is going to be most engaging for your child. If you want them to have a more structured lesson, centered around classical training and techniques, an older instructor who is more familiar with these methods might actually be a better choice for you. If your child seems to lean more towards modern music and the things they’re hearing on the radio, than a younger instructor may be a better choice.
Which location is going to be the most convenient for you?
If you’re already spending a pretty penny on the lessons themselves- you don’t want to end up pouring more money into your gas tank to get there. Some people feel that they live too far away from the nearest city to get lessons for their kids. One solution is to look for somebody local; maybe the pianist at your church, or a friend of a friend can teach your child for a fair price.
If you live in the city, there will probably be a slew of options for you to choose from. Usually people elect for the instructor or school that is closest to their home, and in a good location that’s already on their daily route.
Often times, people teach lessons out of their residences or “Home Studios”. Believe it or not, these lessons are typically of higher quality since your child will be in a more comfortable environment and get more customized attention from the instructor, rather than if they were at a big, noisy music store.
Another option is having an “In-Home” instructor, or in other words, somebody that can come come teach your child at your home. This is a great alternative if you need to get things done around the house, but also want to be able to keep an eye on your kiddo. Many people believe that this is also a way of establishing a more personal relationship with your instructor. Now remember, In-Home music instructors aren’t nannies, but inviting them into your home will allow a stronger bond to be formed between the teacher and the family.
What’s the best way to sift through all of my options?
Some people opt for craigslist, which, let’s be honest, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Not to say that there aren’t some fantastic instructors out there that advertise themselves on craigslist, but how do you know they’re going to be dependable, punctual, and most importantly, able to form a connection with your child?
One website that provides a huge network of instructors from all sorts of different backgrounds and for various instruments and levels of play, is Taylor Robinson Music. You can search through hundreds of local instructors on the site, read student reviews and biographies, and view instructors’ schedules and locations. There are instructors on the site for both in-home lessons and in-studio lessons. There is also a webcam classroom, so that your child can take their lessons with them, even if you’re travelling. All of the instructors on taylorrobinsonmusic.com are required to pass local, state, and federal background checks in order to be certified on the website.