How to Find a Good Music Teacher

piano teacher teaching the child

Are you or your child looking for a music teacher but don’t know where to start? We’ve laid out some suggestions so you can find the best music teacher possible.

Table Of Contents

Why It’s Critical to Find a Good Music Teacher

It’s important to find a teacher who can help you accomplish your musical goals. Having a bad teacher could be the difference between:

  • Loving or dreading lessons
  • Finding a new creative outlet
  • Getting a scholarship for college
  • Gaining skills for future opportunities
  • Fostering a lifelong love of music

…and so much more.

What Makes A Good Music Teacher?

A good teacher can be easy to find – if you know where to look. Of course you want to find a teacher who knows their stuff and is a talented musician in their own right, but there is much more to look for in a good teacher than just that. Below, we’ll walk you through exactly what to look for in a good music teacher, and how to find the right teacher for you.

children playing instruments in front of the blackboard

Qualities to Look For

Tailoring lessons to the student’s level

A great teacher will be able to recognize the experience level of a student and create a unique lesson plan that meets the student where they are. If you aren’t ready for advanced techniques, your teacher should be able to see that and find the level that is right for you.

Explaining complex concepts in an approachable way

If you aren’t getting a concept, your teacher should be able to find a way to explain it to you that makes sense. Good teachers have lots of experience with this and know many different ways to help students improve their understanding. The best teachers can find new and innovative ways to get through to their students in a personal way.

Spotting issues in technique and working to find solutions

Good teachers don’t ignore issues, but work with you to correct them. An experienced teacher will help you understand why a technique is important so you have more motivation to correct it. Your teacher should be able to develop a plan that works cumulatively to help you learn and master new techniques.

Making lessons fun and enjoyable

Nobody wants a teacher who makes you dread going to lessons, or who makes music boring. A good teacher should be able to tell what excites you, and use that to take your music to the next level.

Maintaining a positive attitude and a growth mindset

This might be the most important quality to look for in a teacher. You want a teacher who values your growth and can use your accomplishments to lift you up and keep you motivated.

Staying organized in a way that helps the student progress

You can tell when a teacher is prepared and cares about your progress. A good teacher tracks milestones that can mark accomplishments and pushes your boundaries to help you grow.

Helping you grow as an artist 

A good teacher should be able to push your boundaries to help you grow as an artist and musician. They will encourage your musical development and help you avoid plateaus in your progress.

guitar teacher helping the student

How to Find a Good Music Teacher

Now you know what qualities to look for in a good teacher. Here are some tips on finding a school that will connect you with a teacher who is the right fit.

students playing music in the class

Find a Music School

Music schools are great because they usually have many teachers. This gives you a wider variety of options to choose from, so you can find someone who is right for you.

Check a school’s website.

A music school should have a website with staff bios. You can read through these bios to see if a teacher sparks your interest.

Find a school that asks questions.

A good music school will help find the right teacher for you. They should ask you questions that will help them match you with a teacher. They will look for a teacher that can help you accomplish your musical goals.

Your suggestions are important.

If a school wants you to succeed, they will take your suggestions into consideration. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be direct about your goals.

student learning to play the guitar with a teacher

Try It Out

Some schools offer trial lessons. These are great to see if a teacher is a good fit for you. If a school doesn’t offer trial lessons, they will still want you to have the best experience possible, so if you need to switch to a different teacher, they should work with you to make that happen.

The teacher-student relationship is important. Some teachers work well with certain types of students but struggle with others. This is normal and doesn’t mean they are a bad teacher, but they may not be the right teacher for you or your child. Everyone is different, which is what makes teaching such a dynamic profession.

Other Things to Consider

 teaching a child student guitar

Kids Vs. Adults

Some teachers do better with kids and some do better with adults. If you choose to take lessons through a music school, you won’t have to worry so much about this since the school will match you with a teacher who is a good fit for students your age.

student learning violin online

In-Person Vs. Virtual

Since 2020, the world of music lessons has changed. While some students struggle with virtual lessons, some students actually thrive. Make sure you ask about virtual and in-person lesson options when you inquire at a music school so you can make sure you’re getting the type of lesson you want. A perk of schools that offer both is the ability to have your lesson online if circumstances like weather prevent travel.

teacher and the student playing music together

Instrument Differences

Each teacher is different. Some teachers can teach many instruments while others specialize in just one or two. Make sure you consider your teacher’s background when choosing. A teacher who teaches many instruments could transition you into a different instrument down the road if you are interested, while a teacher who specializes may be better if you also want to specialize.

If you aren’t sure which instrument you want to learn, check out read what our teachers say about which instrument is easiest to learn first.

We hope we can help you find a great music teacher to assist you on your musical journey!

Author: WIllow Cowherd

Willow has been working with Ensemble Schools since June 2020 and works as the General Manager at the Rochester Academy of Music in Rochester, MN.

Willow earned her B.S. in Theatre and Sociology from South Dakota State University in 2019. She has performed for Prairie Repertory Theatre and worked on performances with the Broadway Tour of ‘Chicago.’ Her main training is in Stage Management, but she has an abundance of creativity which she pours into music school management, writing, graphic design, and acting. She currently works as a medical actor for the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center.

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