Last updated on September 22nd, 2023
Are you ready to make the leap and give music lessons a try but aren’t sure how to go about finding and choosing the right teacher for you? Maybe you tried learning guitar on your own, but now you want further guidance from an expert.
Now and days, there are so many resources that it can become difficult to know where to start your search or what to look for in a teacher. Whether you’ve already tried taking lessons or it’s your first time searching, I will cover five factors to consider when finding a music teacher that is right for you.
Let’s get right into it!
1. Online music lessons vs in person lessons
The first thing you want to figure out is whether you would prefer taking online or in person lessons. By choosing to take in person lessons, you are narrowing down your search of teachers in your local area.
Many times music stores will provide lessons but they come at a higher cost compared to going with an independent teacher. The same music stores often have bulletin boards for independent teachers to promote their private lessons.
By going the online route, you’re able to receive music lessons from any teacher around the world. This way you’re often able to see teachers’ reviews to see how other people have benefitted and enjoyed the lessons or not. There are many sites available where independent teachers can post their services on sites like Thumbtack or Takelessons.
If you found some teachers you may be interested in working with, the next important thing to consider is teacher reviews.
2. Checking a teacher’s reviews
It’s always a good thing to know when students are happy working with a certain teacher. You can feel much more at ease taking lessons with them when you know that they have provided great results for other students and receive positive feedback.
If a teacher’s reviews show that their lessons have worked for others, then it can most likely be the same for you. Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t always have the privilege of knowing a teacher’s reviews, particularly when you find a teacher promoting their services through physical ads.
If you can check a teacher’s reviews, I recommend seeing how current the reviews are, what age groups they have worked with, and the reoccurring things that people mention throughout different reviews.
If a teacher is just starting to give lessons, it’s normal to not have many reviews and may have quite different price points compared to other teachers who have been doing it for a while. This is another important thing you have to take into account when finding the right teacher for you. Let’s discuss the next point which is the pricing of lessons.
3. Comparing music lessons cost
The right pricing for music lessons is very subjective as to what is reasonable. What may seem expensive for one person may be completely reasonable for someone else. You may want to check to see what music lessons in your local area typically cost and compare that to what teachers are charging online.
If you’re still having a hard time committing to taking lessons because of the money, consider other alternatives such as taking 30 or 45 minute lessons instead of 1 hour or doing a lesson every other week as opposed to once a week. Although it can take you longer to make progress this way, you’ll still be able to get started with lessons and can make good progress by making the most of the lesson time available.
Think about taking lessons as an investment to your growth and how much you are willing and capable of paying someone to help you reach your musical goals.
4. Questions to ask a music teacher
When you’re finally ready to reach out to a teacher that you want to work with, it’s best to mention some information about yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything personal but simply stating where you are currently at in terms of skill level, musical goals, the kind of music you are interested in learning, etc…
Even if you don’t have specific goals or know what you want out of the lessons, you can also mention this so the teacher can help you explore different options to try out. The more details you provide, it helps the teacher have a better idea of how they can serve you best moving forward.
Ask as many questions as you need before starting your first lesson. Some questions you can ask are:
- Do you provide materials for lessons, like pdfs and videos?
- What genre/s do you specialize in?
- How do you have a teaching method for the lessons?
- How do payments work?
- Do you have experience working with (insert your situation)?
- What age group do you teach?
And the list goes on but the idea is that you ask as many questions as you need so that you can feel confident moving forward with lessons. Otherwise, you don’t want to be wasting your time realizing that the lessons aren’t going to work for you.
5. Give yourself some time to evaluate after choosing a teacher
After you have finally started to take your first lesson, don’t expect to see a drastic improvement right away. Give yourself at least a month (around 3-4 lessons) to settle in with the lessons and determine your progress then.
When you set out to learn and progress on your instrument, you have to realize that it takes time. Even with the best teachers, it takes time, patience, and also your effort to follow through with the material they provide for you to work on.
Within that month’s commitment, you can see if and how that teacher has delivered great material for you to make progress. A great teacher will be able to consistently give you the right material based on your skill level.
The time frame I mentioned gives you a better sense of the teacher’s style and how much or little improvement you have seen in your playing. At that point, you’ll be able to determine if you want to continue with the lessons or perhaps start to look for another teacher that is more suitable for your needs.
There are exceptions to this of course, and you just might get the wrong teacher right off the bat, where you can tell that person is not giving you substantial information, is unprofessional, or simply unqualified.
We covered five factors to consider when finding a music teacher. With so many options available to you, make sure you take the time to determine whether you want to take online or in person lessons, check a teacher’s reviews, compare pricing, ask them questions before starting, and also giving yourself some time to evaluate your progress after you have chosen a teacher to work with.
The fact that you took the time to read this already means you’re being intentional to find the right music teacher for you. Although it may take you some time and research, I hope these things I’ve mentioned will bring clarity to help you make the best decision.
All the best on your musical journey ahead!
JG Music Lessons
Original photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash