Think of your favorite teacher. What made them great? My favorite teacher connected with me. He knew what my struggles were and tailored his lessons to my needs. He cared about me, and he inspired me to become the best version of myself I could. While the perfect teacher is impossible to find, a good teacher can be found. A good teacher is one that connects with the student and inspires them to be better.
Finding a teacher like this may seem like an impossible task. It’s not. Before you start searching, take a moment to think about what you want in a teacher. Take out a sheet of paper right now and answer these questions.
- Do you want to be a concert pianist, play casually, or something in between?
- Are you okay with travelling to find a better fit?
- What styles of music do you want to play?
- Do you want to take group lessons, private, or both?
Recommendations: Start the search for the right teacher by asking around. People are honest about who the best teachers are, and they don’t have the bias any self-promoter does. Make sure you don’t just ask if they are a good teacher. Ask how they teach and what kind of a personality they have. Are they funny or serious? Either could be good, depending on what you are looking for.
Start with music stores, churches, schools, and neighbors. You’ll most likely receive many names of people to research. Before making a decision, make sure to meet with them.
Interview: Now that you have a list of names, set up an interview with each of the teachers you are most interested in. Any teacher will love to show you around their studio or meet in person to talk about potential opportunities. An interview tells you a lot more about a teacher than whether it will fit you wants. You’ll be able to tell who they are as a person and whether their personality will be a good fit.
Music Teachers National Association: At the MTNA website, you can search the area for teachers in the association. This won’t list all of the piano teachers available, only those who are members of the MTNA. This is still a great resource, especially if you want to go a more professional route.
Google: As a last resort, google it. Most larger studios have websites, and many other teachers do as well. I recommend asking around the area before turning to the internet, but google can be insightful.
Annah grew up in Minnesota, but now lives in Rexburg. She is a visual communication major at Brigham Young University - Idaho, and also works at Love Family Piano. She grew up helping her family with her piano playing skills by editing songs her mother had written and writing duets for her clarinet-playing brother so they could play together. While serving in the Utah Salt Lake City West LDS mission, she accompanied a mission choir under the direction of Marshall McDonald, along with accompanying solos and group numbers. Annah has also served as pianist and organist in her local congregation. She loves being able to mix her love for communication and piano. Visit her personal blog and see what else she is up to.