Do You Have a Great Teacher?
- Are you currently taking music lessons, but you’re not sure if your teacher is the right fit for you?
- Are you considering lessons but you’re not sure how to find the right teacher?
If you’re starting out as a beginner, or you’re a parent who’s not familiar with music education, how can you know if you have the best teacher?
If you’re about to start lessons, which teacher should you go with? Many times we just go off the referral system with private lessons, but it’s always good to know what your teacher should be providing. In this post series, we’ll go over 8 steps that will help you know if you have a top notch teacher.
The Right Teacher For You
If your idea of taking lessons is to hang out with your teacher, play some duets, and talk about music, then you don’t need to be as picky with finding a teacher. However, if you’re looking to improve as quickly as possible, while having fun, then the rest of this post will help with that.
A Structured Daily Plan (Step 1)
Your teacher should provide a plan so every time you sit down to practice, you know exactly what to do. You should know what scales to practice, have some exercises to work on, and a fun song to play. That’s just the beginning though.
Your teacher shouldn’t just tell you to practice certain things, but should provide a technique on how to practice each part of the assignment. This way you can get the most out of your practice sessions and progress faster.
Productive Lessons (Step 2)
Once you get to know your teacher, it’s natural to feel more comfortable and want to have a “hang out” type feel to your lesson. That’s fine, as long as the teacher keeps things moving, and you’re seeing results. Most of the lesson should be focused on helping you improve upon last week’s assignment. You should never feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth out of a lesson. In fact, after some lessons you’ll feel exhausted because of the constant focus that was required.
Feedback (Step 3)
During your lessons, your feedback should be much more than, “you played a wrong note here, and a wrong rhythm there. Play that better next week.” A teacher should help you understand how to get better, not just to do it again. You should always have a clear understanding on how to improve your playing in 7 days.
Time and Money
Lessons can take a lot of time and money, not to mention that you’ll spend a lot of time practicing on your own. That’s a lot of investment, so why not get the most out of your practice time, lesson time, and the money you spend on lessons.
Your time and money spent shows you’re committed, so why not get better results? If you’re doing your part, better results can occur simply by having a great instructor. We know this to be true in sports, and it is also true in the arts. Next week we’ll cover the last steps of finding a great saxophone teacher.
What are some characteristics that you like (or don’t like) that you’ve found in teachers? I would love to hear what you think in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you!