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what to look for in a teacher

Before you start calling teachers, think about what you’d like to know, and make a list of questions to ask.

Don’t choose a teacher because he or she is your friend, or lives next door, or doesn’t cost very much. Make this a thoughtful decision. Don’t think of music lessons as an experiment. “We just want to see if we like it.” Think of music lessons as an investment. Think of it as a long term commitment, because it is.

The first question parents often ask about music lessons is “How much do you charge?” Of course cost is a consideration, but there are other good questions to ask.

You will want to know about their program. How is it set up? How long are the lesson s? How often? Do they have parent training? Do they offer group lessons? Do they have recitals? When do they introduce note reading? What importance do they place on listening?

You may want to ask potential teachers about their experience. How long have they been teaching? What ages have they taught? What is their experience in working with parents? What is their experience in working with challenging students? This is particularly important if you have a child with a learning challenge.

What about children? Does the teacher you’re interviewing get along well with children? At what age do they like to start students? Do they work with teenagers? Can they get along with adults? Do they have students that are the age of your child?

You might want to ask about the teacher’s training, and how they became a Suzuki Piano Teacher. What do they love about Suzuki Method? Why did they choose it?

If both of you are comfortable with the conversation, you may want to observe the teacher at a lesson of a child who is near the same age as your child. Since your child is a beginner, you will want to observe a child who is near the beginning.

For some teachers, observing a lesson is a requirement before beginning lessons. This is a good way to be sure that the parent is comfortable with the teaching style and that the teacher is a good match for your child. A teacher may also want to see if the parent is committed enough to come and observe.

Some teachers may offer or require parent training before beginning lessons with your child. This is a valuable thing, so be sure to take advantage of any training offered.

If you take your time finding the right teacher for your child, you will be off to a good start.

from the Suzuki Association of Utah's official website.

"When love is deep, much can be accomplished." - Shinichi Suzuki

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