Choosing a Private Teacher

So your child wants to play an instrument. Now what? How do you find a teacher, and how do you know if the teacher is any good? What kind of commitment are you getting yourself into? It can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but learning an instrument is a great investment in your child’s future. Finding the right teacher for your child will make a huge difference in how much they progress.

Where do I find private teachers in my area?

Start by asking friends, neighbors, and your local music teachers for recommendations. If other families in your area are taking music lessons, who teaches them? The music teachers at the junior high and high schools probably have a list of private teachers they would recommend as well. Recommendations are a great way to find high-quality teachers in your area.

Another option is to contact Dixon Brothers Music and use the “Dixon Brothers Private Teacher Finder” After you enter in your address in the search bar, you will then find qualified private teachers in your area where you live.

What should I look for in a private teacher?

If you’ve done your research, you should have a list of at least 3-5 possible teachers. Now you need to start narrowing down the list to find the teacher who will be best for you and your child. Start by looking at their credentials. You want a teacher who knows what they’re doing, preferably someone with a degree in music. While having a music degree doesn’t necessarily mean the teacher is good, it does mean they have a lot of experience and knowledge. 

If they don’t have a music degree, ask about their experience and if they have certifications in music teaching. Some private teachers go through extensive training and get certified to teach certain methods, even if they don’t have a degree. You may also ask to attend a recital to see how well their students perform.

Of course, cost and location is also something to take into account. Good teachers with a lot of experience can be pricey, so make sure you ask how much they charge per lesson. Some teachers charge by month or quarter instead of weekly, so make sure you ask about that, too. If you find a teacher you love but charges more than you can afford, talk to them about it. Most teachers will work with you to find an arrangement that works for both of you. Remember, this is hopefully going to be a long-term commitment, so you want to find a teacher who is affordable and convenient.

You should also ask about what expectations the teachers have for their students. How much practicing do they expect from their students every week? Do they do group classes or recitals frequently? Do they encourage their students to participate in festivals or competitions? Good teachers usually offer those extra opportunities. You’ll need to consider how much time your family can invest. 

Once you have settled on one or two teachers who seem like a good fit, ask them if you can have a sample lesson. Many teachers will offer one lesson free or discounted so you can see if it will work out. Every teacher has a different teaching style. You want to find a teacher who will work well with your child’s personality.

While this process will take time, finding the right music teacher for your situation is worth the effort. The right teacher will ensure your child gets the most out of his or her music study - and will make it more enjoyable, too.

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