A blog on piano teaching, practicing, performance and competition

What are the Criteria that One should look for in a piano teacher, especially for beginners? August 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Melody Ouyang @ 3:53 am

1.  This teacher should be university or conservatory trained.  One has to know how to play the instrument well in order to know how to teach it.

2. You want to start with the most qualified teacher, especially for beginners. It is very important for beginners to establish a solid foundation in terms of technique and musicianship. We have many students that transfer to us because they were frustrated with playing more difficult pieces.  The consequences of their poor technique (incorrect hand position, for example) did not show up until they’ve advanced to the more difficult music.  But by then, it becomes very difficult to change these bad habits.

3. The teacher ideally should have both performance and pedagogical (teaching) background.  Only the teacher with performance background would understand what it takes to play the instrument well; and only the teacher with pedagogical training would know how to teach beginners, especially young children.

4.  The environment of the studio also plays a key role in music education.  Since young children have shorter attention span, the lessons should be taught in an environment that is free from distractions and noises.

5. The teacher should be flexible and understands the needs and goals of each student. The teaching method and attitude is very different between a student whose goal is to become a concert performer and a student who wants to play an instrument for fun and recreation.

6. Your teacher should offer performance opportunities, such as recitals, festivals and competitions.  Being able to play in front of an audience is an integral part of music studies for every instrument.

7. Your teacher should teach all aspect of music, including theory and musicianship.  Music is not just playing the notes correctly from the sheet music; it is a form of art.  It takes a person with artistry to understand and to teach the total musicianship.

8. As a rule of thumb, price should not be the most important factor in choosing a piano teacher.  A teacher with the above qualification probably would not be the least expensive in the area.


One Response to “What are the Criteria that One should look for in a piano teacher, especially for beginners?”

  1. David Says:

    A fine list, to which I would add:

    A sense of humour and fine empathetic people skills



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