Google “music teachers in Tampa” and you’ll get over 2 million results. It’s not hard to find a teacher. But it can be more challenging to find a great teacher. What separates the competent from the exceptional? Let’s take a look.


We’ll start with the obvious. A great music teacher needs to play well so that he or she can both recognize and demonstrate correct and incorrect technique as the student learns. But being able to tear up the piano clearly isn’t enough to make one a great teacher. Training, ability, performance track records, and a list of talented students all look impressive, but really great teachers bring other qualities into the lesson, qualities that aren’t learned in a classroom or practice studio.

Loves Teaching Music

Teachers should not only love music, but also love teaching music. How will you know? Just watch them during a lesson. Do they become frustrated when the student doesn’t get it the first time? Do they use a one-size-fits-all approach, or do they try to find ways to make learning accessible to students on many different ability levels? Are lessons fun or are they boring? Even worse, does your child come out of the lesson discouraged or frustrated? Teachers who love what they do will find ways to make music fun for every student, regardless of ability.

Contagiously Motivates

When I was in high school, I had a piano teacher who should have earned a Teacher of the Century award.  I suppose you could say he pushed me—he was always entering me in contests, assigning me pieces I didn’t think I could do, and meticulously requiring near-perfection on every line. But I never felt pushed. I felt empowered. At the end of each lesson, I felt like I really could be the next Rubenstein or Van Cliburn. And I wanted to be. That’s no tribute to me—I was a typical high school student. That’s a tribute to the fantastic motivational powers of a great teacher.

Produces Students Who Love Music

Some teachers produce great performers who hate what they do. Others produce mediocre performers who love to play. The best teachers know how to inspire students to do reach their full potential while at the same time instilling in them a love for music that will last their whole lives. Not every student will be a great musician. But every student can come away from his music education experience with a desire to make music a part of his life.

So how do you find a great teacher for your child? Check his credentials. Watch his other students. Talk to their parents if you can. And once your child begins taking lessons, watch their reactions. Do they come away from a lesson excited and inspired? Do they enjoy what they’re doing? Or has it become drudgery? It’s true that learning to play an instrument requires some tedious practice sessions. But at the end of the day, if your child hates his lessons, perhaps it’s time to look for a new teacher. Because truly great teachers are inspirational.

This is a TBMA original article written for our Tampa Bay Music Academy readership.  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 lessons, guitar lessons, saxophone lessons, voice lessons, or music lessons in any other instrument proficiency category.  TBMA teachers (piano, guitar, voice, woodwinds, brass, strings, 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!