Let’s face it. Music teachers are a dime a dozen. Anybody can hang out a shingle and offer lessons, whether they’ve been playing their instrument for 5 years or 30. And choosing someone with a music degree doesn’t always guarantee a good fit either. Being a great musician doesn’t always make you a great teacher.

So how do you know which teacher is right for your child? Should you choose the neighbor who teaches out of her home or go with an established studio?

Let’s take a look at some key indicators that you’re getting a quality teacher:

  1. Music education—While it’s true that not everyone with a music degree makes a good teacher, it’s still a reliable indicator of a person’s knowledge and experience. If you have the skill and determination to complete a music degree, that means you’ve been exposed to many different kinds of music styles, teachers, teaching methods, group involvement, and performance opportunities. And you had the gumption to log the 10,15, or 20+ hours of practice a week that it takes to get that degree.
  2. Teaching style—Does the teacher’s style help you meet your goals for your child? Are you looking for a laid back teacher that makes lessons fun or a driven teacher that’s devoted to getting your child into Juliard? Make sure you and your teacher have the same expectations.
  3. Music style—If you want your child to learn a specific musical style—say, classical guitar—make sure the teacher you choose is skilled in that style. Most quality teachers can teach in a variety of styles, but it’s still a good idea to ask what experience they have in the specific music genre you’re interested in.
  4. Personality—Schedule an interview with the teacher before you sign on to make sure he or she will be a good fit for your child. Will the teacher understand and accommodate your child’s learning style? Does he or she have the qualities that are important to you (i.e., empathy, energy, positive teaching methods, strict expectations, etc.)?
  5. Rates—When it comes to music lessons, the cheapest rate is rarely the best value. Super cheap teachers may be less experienced or have fewer credentials, or they may not know what a fair market rate is (which probably means they haven’t been teaching long). That’s not to say you should choose the most expensive teacher either, however. Look for someone who charges a fair price as compared with other teachers in your area and who also has the other qualifications you’re looking for.
  6. Recommendations—A good teacher will have happy students. If possible, talk to other people who take lessons from this person and find out what they like or don’t like about their experience.

We often choose music teachers for our kids based on gut instinct—and that’s not always a bad thing. But it’s also important to know what specific qualities you want in a teacher so you can find someone who fits your family’s lifestyle and expectations.

At Tampa Bay Music Academy, we collaborate with highly qualified teachers who have considerable experience in their field, and we work very hard to make sure each of our students and their families love their musical experience. At the very center of our school’s philosophy is our goal to employ only the best music educators in the Tampa community for our students.  If you have questions about finding the right teacher or how to get started with your child’s music education, give us a call!

This is a TBMA original article written for our Tampa Bay Music Academy readership by Susan McClure.  If you find it to be helpful, we would love for you to re-post it on your blog.  Please contact us first for permission.  Visit our website home for information on finding a music teacher in Tampa, Odessa, Land O’ Lakes, Citrus Park, Westchase, New Port Richey, Lutz, Trinity, Keystone, or Tarpon Springs Florida who offers private piano lessonsguitar lessonssaxophone lessonsvoice lessonsdrum lessonsviolin lessonscello lessonsflute lessons, or music lessons in any other instrument proficiency category.  TBMA teachers (piano, guitar, voice, flute, cello, violin, woodwinds, brass, strings, drums, percussion) pride themselves in a reputation for an uncompromising commitment to excellence and special care taken for every student. We remain absolutely committed to providing an outstanding enrollment experience beyond any other in the region.  Call us today.  We look forward to hearing from you!