What to Look for In a Music Teacher:
A private music teacher’s job is not just to impart knowledge, but to impart knowledge in a way the student can understand and apply. What good is it to teach if the lesson is not in a language the student can understand? A good music teacher will be able to teach in a way that accommodates the specific needs of each student.
Many years ago the following Teacher Statement was developed to reinforce the teaching philosophy in our music studios. This helped our staff teachers understand the importance of their role. With this perspective in teaching everyone benefits and there are no “student casualties” from bad experiences in music education.
We share this statement with you in hope that it will give you an idea of what to look for in a private music teacher for your child or yourself.
- As professionals who have years of experience in learning, performing, and teaching, we hold an important leadership role in the lives of our students. It is our responsibility to guide them not only by our words, but by our actions and our lifestyles. Any expectations we have must be towards ourselves and not our students. We are here to serve them, listen to them, and meet their needs, not vice versa.
- We serve our students best by knowing them individually. This means knowing their abilities, their desires, their potential, and how much they can and cannot absorb in each lesson. We will help them with their goals and plans, and if they have none we will assist them in developing them. If we discover learning blocks we will try to help them work through them or have resources available for support.
- Each student needs to be accepted for who he or she is,what stage of life he or she has reached, and what his or her special abilities are. We can learn to know this by providing a fun, safe, and exciting atmosphere in which to learn. We will facilitate their growth by surrounding them with an accepting environment. By teaching our students how to learn, they will discover the pleasure and excitement of learning.
- Although we place no unreasonable expectations on our students, we realize the importance of teaching them basic responsibilities. Therefore, we will not enable poor or lacking behaviors. Each student will be taught the importance of paying for lessons on time, bringing their appropriate lessons materials, etc. This will be done in a kind and patient manner.
- As we teach our students musical principles and disciplines, we will transfer these to life principles so they can take learning to the next step. And that step, whatever it may be, will prepare them to be a vital part of the community at large.