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#1753863 - 09/16/11 11:23 PM How do you find a good piano teacher? What do you look for?
jack bauer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 40
How do you find a good piano teacher? What do you look for?


What are the most important things to look for in a piano teacher? Degree? Experience?

I'm not interested in learning how to play classical music, but I'd like to learn how to read sheet music, play by ear, and compose.


Is 24 too young to teach, even with a degree in piano and theory, as well as a couple years of experience teaching piano? That's almost the profile of one of the teachers that I'm looking at, but I'm concerned by the age.

Thanks
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#1754016 - 09/17/11 10:02 AM Re: How do you find a good piano teacher? What do you look for? [Re: jack bauer]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I believe the beauties of a teacher are numerous. They can be inspiring and encouraging. They challenge.

A teacher teaches how to learn. I think a good teacher can look at your natural abilities and help develop other skills that may be more difficult for the student to understand and/or apply to their playing.

I think the most important thing is to find a teacher that loves to play and has the patience and understanding to help another learn.

rada

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#1755061 - 09/19/11 12:06 AM Re: How do you find a good piano teacher? What do you look for? [Re: jack bauer]
brucepiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 28

Quote:
What are the most important things to look for in a piano teacher? Degree? Experience?
1) Decent jazz and classical piano teachers should be able to teach you how to read music. But the jazz teacher is most likely the one that would be able to teach you how to improvise. That's because they understand (or should) their chords, scales, and other music theory concepts and have practiced improvising themselves. They're not just reading off the notated music. Classical training doesn't teach this.
2) And then the other thing to look for is do you have a good rapport with them - that's important esp. if you plan to continue your studies for a while I think.

Quote:
Is 24 too young to teach, even with a degree in piano and theory, as well as a couple years of experience teaching piano?
- I've thought about this before...but really, doesn't everyone start young and inexperienced? If not, then piano schools must graduate old white haired ladies ready to teach is the conclusion I came to. smile (humor meant here).

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#1755879 - 09/20/11 09:18 AM Re: How do you find a good piano teacher? What do you look for? [Re: jack bauer]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
It sounds to me that you aren't really too sure if you found the right teacher. I understand, I've been in the same boat before. When I tried looking for a new teacher it was frustrating, but it is truly satisfying when you have found 'the one.'

I'm 19, starting to teach and I don't mean to blow my trumpet but I think I am doing a good job of it. I plan lessons, keep notes afterwards and talk to my piano teacher if I have any business or pedagogical problems. I am an undergraduate, doing my second year of music at a good institution so that helps too. People need to start somewhere, mind you I don't think poor quality teaching needs to start somewhere. Sure, people learn with experience, but I have somebody experienced to guide me. Besides this, I have also seen bad teaching and seen good teaching, so I try to follow the great teachers as much as possible.


Some things you might want to ask yourself:

Do I enjoy lessons?
Do I look forward to lessons?
Do I understand this teacher's explanations?
Does the teacher remember me and remember the repertoire I worked through?
Am I making progress? (though this is a bit hard to calculate if you haven't been with the teacher for long)


Some other things you should discuss with your teacher:
- Your goals - wanting to improve sightreading, playing by ear, composing
- Your teacher's expectations
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