Guest post by Shelley Steele-Gittel.
As a school music teacher, I am often asked by families, “What do I ask a music teacher who I am considering hiring for my children’s lessons?” Below are the five most important questions that have helped many families successfully find their best music lessons match!
“What is your music background?”
In other words, does the teacher have formal music school or post-secondary training? Some teachers may say that they have a diploma in music from a recognized college or degree from a university. These can all great indicators of a strong musician and teacher.
“Can we check two references and see a background check?”
Quality studios or teachers will quickly provide these to you upon request. Be sure to find out how long students have been with their teacher and if they are happy with their lessons. Ask them if they have any concerns with their teacher and what they are. You then have a better way to see if this is the right teacher for your family. Background checks are very important as teachers are directly working with children. A background check is very low cost and should not take any longer than a week or two to get.
“Do you have recitals for your students throughout the year?”
It is important for students to have the opportunity to showcase their skills. If a student is not comfortable or too shy to perform, the opportunity to sit through a recital of other students can be very motivating. Most music teachers or schools have at least two performance opportunities throughout the year.
“Can we hear a recital?”
Teachers usually encourage potential students and their families to sit through a recital or meet face to face prior to beginning formal lessons. If you are able to sit through a performance by the teacher or a recital of their students, you could then ask other parents about the teacher, policies and anything else you feel is important.
“May I watch the lessons?”
Parents should always be granted access to sit in on any or all of the lessons whether they are in your home or in a studio. Sitting through lessons is not only for safety and peace of mind for all parties involved it also allows parents to learn along with the child and support their practice efforts.
In an effort to help families find a good private music teacher, Shelley Steele-Gittel, along with her friend Laurie Campbell, founded MusicLessonMatch.com Inc., a free online resource that combines the professional private music teacher’s experience and the perspective of a mom. Shelley is a highly respected and sought after private and school music teacher and enjoys teaching her own little treble maker Violet.
MusiclessonMatch.com Inc is giving a special offer to VancouverMom.ca readers.