If you’re planning to buy a piano for your kid or already have one in your home, it’s advisable to choose the most suitable piano instructor for your child. Whether you want to introduce your kid to music early in life or instill new skills that will impact your child’s development, it’s important to provide the right guidance along the way. What better way to help your young one learn how to play the piano than getting a qualified instructor for practical lessons.
Finding the right piano instructor is not as easy as it sounds. There are lots of considerations to make so as to find the best fit for your child. Here’s a complete guide to choosing the best one:
Know What You’re Looking For
Before you even start looking for a piano instructor for your child, it’s good to define what you’re looking for in an instructor and why you need to hire one. For instance, if your kid is starting first-time lessons, your preferred qualifications would be much different than you’re getting an instructor for a kid who’s doing music in school. You have to commit and balance the goals you hope to accomplish by asking yourself a few questions:
- What do you hope your child to accomplish by taking piano lessons?
- What qualifications should the instructor have to reach for you and your child’s goal?
- What’s your budget?
- What are you looking for in terms of scheduling or time commitment?
- What type of piano will you be using? If not sure, a Music Authority digital piano buying guide offers some insights.
Get a Qualified Instructor
Start by researching music schools, fine arts academies or other musical institutions that might enroll your kid for piano lessons near your area. If a particular music school catches your attention, call them to get more information about their services. Most of these schools will have instructors who can personally offer piano lessons to your kids or enroll your kid for lessons.
A qualified instructor will teach your kid the foundations of classical music education, from identifying various keynotes to reading notations. You can also do some research online to find a well-established instructor who offers private lessons on the side. It’s advisable to find one who lives or teaches near your neighborhood, child’s school or church.
Why should you consider an instructor from a music school?
- Considering they have already gone through the process of getting hired at the school, they already possess the necessary credentials needed to offer professional piano lessons.
- Music teachers are already used to working with kids, which means they know what’s best for different kids and know what instruction techniques are the most effective.
Unless someone personally recommends an instructor, avoid anyone who claims to be a part timer or one with dubious qualifications. In most cases, such people are out to make a quick buck, and may not be fully committed to help your child succeed. A credible instructor should be able to list their credentials. You should learn a few insights into the best characteristics of piano instructors. Those should guide you when identifying the best instructor for your child.
Interview Potential Instructors
Once you’ve identified potential piano instructors, it’s time to pick serious candidates. Start off by reviewing their professional credentials, including their musical background, where and how long they attended music school, prior teaching experience and any distinctions that are worth mentioning. The best piano instructor for your child should have some formal education and have experience training kids.
Some of the credentials to look out for include:
- Professional certifications from reputable music schools. That’s an indicator that an instructor knows their craft.
- Ask what their accomplishments have been in the past. This could be winning a piano competition or participating in a prestigious performance.
You should also conduct an interview in person to discuss your goals for your child. This is the best opportunity to assess their interpersonal skills and character. Conducting the interview in a place where the lessons will be conducted is a great way to be familiar with the environment your child will be learning. If the lessons will be conducted in your home, you can gauge their typical teaching styles and how they interact with kids.
It’s a wise thing to bring along your kid or have your kid around during the one-on-one interview as you discuss the lesson curriculum, structure and other important elements. Observe interactions between your child and the instructor and see how they get along. The most important thing is ensuring that your child is comfortable around the instructor. Before the interview ends, make sure to get a short demonstration to ascertain their piano skills.
Make Sure the Instructor is a Good Fit
While piano instructors have different teaching styles, it’s important to pick one that suits your child’s individual learning style. Some piano instructors will be more inclined to a hands-on approach while others will stress kids practicing scales and reading notations. No matter the instructor you pick, it’s essential that they’re able to openly communicate and interact with your child and make them feel supported. Kids learn best in a relaxed environment where they can learn at their own pace.
You should also take location into consideration. This is important as you narrow down your options. Your best best is the closest instructor you can find who meets your standards. A piano instructor may seem perfect, but if they live an hour away from the city, they may not be a practical choice. Depending on whether you want in-home training or outside training, you need to consider factors like how long the lessons will be taking and the availability of the instructor.
Additionally, get to know the rates charged by the instructor. Rates are different, but the fact is, a reputable and skilled instructor won’t come cheap. To get an idea of what prices to expect, ask the rates charged by different piano instructors who seem to be a good fit and compare their rates. In most cases, they charge an hourly rate of between $50 and $70, or even as high as $100 an hour. Extra costs may include buying practice keyboards, books and other resources.
Make a Wise Choice
When it comes to making your final decision on who to pick, use your own best judgement. If your intuition tells you that a piano instructor isn’t the best fit, they most likely aren’t. What matters most is finding someone who shows genuine care about your child’s needs and is fully dedicated to helping them realize their full potential.