Find The Perfect Teacher

Search confidently for a qualified teacher in your area.

What questions should I ask when looking for a private teacher?

Finding the right private teacher for your child is essential to your child’s success in learning their instrument. Not all teachers are perfect for all students. There is not a one teacher fits all in the music education world. Just like each child has his or her own personality, it’s the same with music teachers. It is important to make sure that the teacher you choose for your child will blend with your child’s learning style and personality type. We have outlined a list of questions you should ask when interviewing potential teachers for your child. (Ask them on the phone or in person. We don’t recommend communicating over email or text when interviewing potential teachers) If you want to ask more questions to perspective teachers, please do. It is important that you feel comfortable with the teacher before you hire them to teach your child music.

You want to make sure the teacher is proficient in the instrument they teach. We recommend hiring a teacher who teaches their primary instrument. For example, don’t take cello lessons from a violinist. They are completely different instruments. Hiring a violinist to teach your child the cello is like hiring a Spanish teacher to teach your kid Chinese. They know a foreign language, but it is not the one you want to learn.

Have they been teaching a long time or have they just started?

  1. If they just started, what did they do before? Do they have experience with young children and teenagers? Do they have patience to teach your child?
  2. If they have been taching for a while, what have their other students accomplished with their music? Did they play with local youth orchestras, did they participate in local music competitions? How many of their students receive music scholarships to college?
This is an important question. A defining characteristic of a quality teacher is someone who continues to learn. How do they expect your child to learn if they are doing it themselves?
Always make sure you have a written studio policy. It sets the tone for the music lessons. With a written policy both the parent and the teacher have the mutual expectations set in writing so there are no bumps later on down the road.
How do they give constructive criticism? Do their student’s get discouraged and lose interest when they are corrected time after time, or are they motivated and excited to improve?
You want to make sure that the teacher you choose to hire will teach your child basic music theory, correct rhythm patterns, correct posture and the basic fundamentals of music. A popular teaching method is the Suzuki Method. If they teach Suzuki, ask them if they are certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Performing in recitals and concerts are crucial to learning music. Students need to demonstrate what they learn in private music lessons though regularly scheduled concerts and recitals.
Any teacher worth hiring must require practice time. You have to practice what you learn. The more advanced a student becomes, the longer they should practice every day. If your child does not practice, your teacher may drop your child from their studio.
  1. This is not a crazy thing to ask. You would never purchase a car without test driving it first, so why would you hire a teacher without seeing them teach first?
  2. When you attend the lessons of a prospective teacher, observe the relationships between teacher and child, and teacher and parent. Is the atmosphere pleasant and relaxed? Does the teacher expect and receive respectful attention? Is there a good balance between concentrated work and good humor? Are the teacher’s comments supportive and encouraging even when necessary corrections are made? Does the teacher show a grasp of the basic technical problems and demonstrate how they can be solved? Does the teacher make sure the parent understands the goals for home practice? To questions like these, add prerequisites important to you.
  3. Look for loving care of the child coupled with high standards for every level of performance. Each child should be consistently challenged to produce the best of which s/he is capable. It is possible for this to be done in an atmosphere of love and encouragement,

Legal / Licensing Questions

1.  Does the private teacher have a valid business license?

If the private music teacher is self-employed, meaning they do not teach through a music school or a 3rd party company, they are considered a small business. They should be licensed to teach in the city where the lessons are taught. Please note that Dixon Brothers Music does not hire any private music teacher as contractors, agents, or employees of Dixon Brothers Music.  If they any private music teacher on this list claims or insinuates they work for Dixon Brothers Music in any way in regard to teaching private music lessons, please notify us at admin@dixonbrosmusic immediately.

2.  Can the teacher provide proof of a passing background check?

You are having your child meet with someone on a weekly basis anywhere from 30- 60 minutes each time. Make sure they are legally able to be around children.  You can call your city business licensing department and see what type of background check/ licensing is required to work with children on a one on one setting. Most cities require certain licenses in order to work with children. Do your due diligence to find out what licenses are required before you sign up for private music lessons for your child.