How to Choose the Right Music Teacher for You
Things That We Should Take Into Consideration
Jun Jie Foong - 7 July 2020
I’ve come across this question numerous times in my 6 to 7 years of teaching, both privately and also in organisations/schools. As parents, we want to give the best to our kids and unleash their innate musical talents. If you are a student, I’m sure you share the same sentiments. But more importantly, you want to feel that music lessons are fun and not a chore. Trust me, when I say that most teachers strive to achieve that. All we want to do is for our students to succeed too! Because if gives us immense pride and joy to see our (both the student and the teacher) hard work pay off. So if this is the case, how should we choose the right teacher?
Now when we say a Positive Attitude, I don’t mean a teacher who never scolds. Neither do I mean a teacher who tells you the impossible is possible even though it clearly isn’t. A positive teacher is one that sets realistic and attainable goals that are also in line with your own ambitions. Someone who is encouraging along the way and sees progress, no matter how small, as stepping stones towards your goal. There are many instances, where teachers just constantly scold their students and this does not only happen in music lessons, it happens in primary or secondary schools too. One wonders why students become rebellious and disinterested. I believe that we as teachers need to provide tools and examples to our students for them to progress and succeed. Yes, sometimes some students needs a reality check and we have to deliver remarks sternly, however in no situations should teachers use derogatory comments to disheartened the spirit of a student
Flexibility & Adaptability
Obviously, no two person is built the same. Hence, it’s safe to say that all students have their unique way of absorbing information and learning too. Here’s where we can differentiate a good teacher from a great one. A good teacher would use a tried and tested method that has been successful for a majority of people. ‘Even if it isn’t effective now, as long as we stick to it, we’ll get there one day.’ Now, there’s nothing wrong with that and eventually, the student will reach the end goal. But how long will that take? What about the time wasted when there’s a more efficient way to go about it for this particular student? It takes a great teacher to acknowledge that a certain method isn’t working and, be flexible and adaptable in situations. There will be times where even the greatest teachers fail to get through to their students on the first attempt, but being flexible and tailoring their teachings to the needs of the student is the key to seeing whether this teacher is right for you.
Have you ever been to a talk where the speaker is so dull that you can’t keep your eyes open? A teacher like that is definitely not the best way to keep yourself interested in lessons. Look for a someone that engages you and keeps you thinking whilst in the lesson, or even after the lesson. But more importantly, someone that understands what you ambitions are and give you a step by step guide to follow. Teachers are there to solve problems for you and in order to do that, you must firstly be present and attentive in the lesson. In order for that to happen, the teacher has to listen to your wants and needs, as well as be engaging and ideally, charismatic. This is to keep you interested to further your musical journey.
Musical freedom might be something for students to consider once they have learnt the basics of their instrument. But it is important to cultivate it from a young age. Look for a teacher that allows to to express yourself while guiding you with some of their own musical ideas. In the end, it is you that is making the music and you want whatever that is coming out from your music to be authentically you!
Last but not least, inspiration! Look for a teacher that inspires you. Not only are they able to teach you with the characteristics mentioned above, they are also role models that you aspire to be like. Someone that inspires you to improve and strive to NOT become like them, but become a BETTER YOU!
If the teacher you’re considering meets 4 of the 5 characteristics mentioned above, I would say you’re in pretty good hands. However, when we hire teachers here, we make sure that they check all the boxes. Every single one of them. We are big believers in trusting the process and holding your hand to guide you every step of the way. Educating the right way to us, is the only way! If you still have doubts, fret not. You can sign up for a FREE trial lesson with us, no terms and conditions at all.