“3 Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing A Music Instructor”
Inviting someone to help guide the course of your life or your children's lives in any way is not a trivial little thing. That is exactly what you are doing when you choose a music teacher to learn from. You are literally trusting him or her to lead you in something that has the potential to be a great blessing in your life.
Since choosing the right teacher can be such a confusing and important decision to make, we put together this simple and clear guide for anyone that it may help. These are the top 3 mistakes that can be made while choosing a music teacher:
Hiring a teacher who doesn't take students' interests into account...
Time and time again music students begin lessons with excitement and enthusiasm, and end up walking away after a few weeks totally burned out. Why on earth does this happen? Most of the cause of this problem can be traced back to lame teachers who don't pay any attention to their students. The teacher either doesn't understand, or doesn't care that he has an AMAZING opportunity to completely ignite his new student's excitement for music into a blazing fire. Here's what usually happens...
The lame teacher completely buries his student in boring drills and uninspiring music pieces that don't connect at all with her. Then he makes her wish that she had never been born by making her sit in a room all alone for hours every week trudging through his seemingly meaningless drills. If that's not enough for her, as soon as she masters the first set of drills, she is rewarded by her teacher with an “exciting new set” of drills to keep her company all week. I wonder why all of this guy's students keep deciding to run away from home and join the circus?!
Sadly this scenario plays out all of the time in music lessons circles. Maybe not the circus part, but that's probably because the students just haven't thought of that yet. All of this heartache can easily be avoided by teachers finding out one KEY thing about their students...
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO THEY LIKE?
Why does this student even want to play music? What about music gets them excited deep down? If the teacher doesn't care enough to find out this simple information, then he or she is not worth wasting valuable time and money on. Find someone else who cares about their students and genuinely loves inspiring new musicians.
We're not saying that all drills are useless or that students can't benefit from music that they have never been exposed to, but everything that is taught to each student should be taught through the lens of their passions and the things that excite them. Otherwise the student will walk away from music thinking that they are “not cut out to play an instrument,” or that they “don't have any musical abilities.”
Hiring a teacher that is hard to get along with...
What kind of people do you like to hang around? Do you enjoy spending your time with grouchy, demanding, ego-maniacs? Do you like to spend time with people who go out of their way to make you feel like you can't get anything right or like you're an inconvenience if you ask them a question? If you do, then you won't have any trouble finding a musician to teach you. Unfortunately many people get into teaching music—it seems—to make them feel better about themselves. The only way they can spend time with people that don't play better than them is to start teaching music lessons to beginners.
There are other teachers out there that are monster musicians, but they don't have the patience to nurture a brand new musician. They spend the whole lesson time playing their stuff instead of listening to their student. It's great that they love their music and everything, but it seems like they think you're paying for a live concert every week or something.
The kind of teacher that you want to learn from is someone that you could get along with in any social situation. You don't have to settle for a jerk as a teacher just because he's the first guy you run into with an instrument in his hand.
If they don't offer a 100% money back guarantee on the first lesson so you can try them out without any risk, then ask if you can sit in on another lesson that they teach so you can get a feel for their teaching style and how they interact with their student. Ask these questions to yourself while you observe:
Do they pay attention to questions that their student asks?
Are they patient with the student?
Are they upbeat and enthusiastic about music with the student?
You'll figure out pretty quickly whether or not you want this person as your teacher.
Hiring a teacher who isn't completely passionate and enthusiastic about music...
Do you know who the best artists are? How about the best real estate salespeople? The best professionals on the planet are the ones that completely passionate and enthusiastic about whatever their profession is. The same applies to teachers.
Have you ever had a teacher that you could tell really didn't give a rip about whatever subject they were teaching? A lot of times the football coach that got dragged into teaching history falls into this category. Sure the guy is passionate about something, but it sure isn't anything that has to do with you. Do you remember how boring that class was?
Fast forward a couple of years and maybe you had another teacher for history that was totally into it. This teacher always had entertaining stories to tell and she just lit up when she recounted the war of 1812. Do you remember how much more FUN that class was? You may not have cared a thing about history either way, but at least this teacher didn't let it be boring for everyone. In fact she actually made it pretty interesting...That's because there are a few human emotions that are completely contagious and enthusiasm is one of them. A passionate and enthusiastic person really can get you pumped up about whatever they are excited about! That's exactly the kind of teacher you want to learn from! If you want to be in love with music, you need to find a music teacher that is completely in love with it!
Thanks for reading this guide! Hopefully you have a better understanding of what to look for in a music teacher after reading this. If you avoid making these common mistakes you should be well on your way to finding a teacher that will help you fall head-over-heels in love with music and help you become a monster musician in the process!
Music Geniuses Inc.