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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

What to Look for in a Private Music Teacher

private-music-lessonsIf you have decided to provide private music lessons for your child CONGRATULATIONS! This is the first step to individual progress and success for your young musician.

As you look for a private music teacher, there are a few things you need to know before spending money on such an important aspect of musical training.  Some teachers will give lessons.  Others will give a child the proper foundation that is vital to becoming a strong musician.  Look for, and do not accept any less than, the following:

  1. Long tones; tone production - Does the teacher spend time building lip muscles and breath control?
  2. Technique - Does the teacher spend time building up finger dexterity to enable the student to play faster passages with ease?  Does the teacher show the student “how” to practice correctly to accomplish specific tasks?
  3. Proper repertoire – Does the teacher provide a variety of music, including classics, etudes, and method books, to develop a student’s love of music?  The use of rock, jazz, and Broadway repertoire is fine for supplemental study, but under NO circumstances should be used for the entire lesson!
  4. Modeling - Does the teacher actually play the instrument along with the student, at least for part of the lesson?  Students will learn so much more by watching someone else demonstrate proper posture, lip control, and good tone.  It is best to find a teacher whose primary instrument is the one your child plays!
  5. Rudiments - For percussion instruments, rudiments are the key to everything!  Be certain that a percussion instructor places importance on these, as well as provides a variety of instruments for use during the lesson.  Percussionists should be well-rounded players who are able to read music, play the timpani, xylophone, and anything else that he/she may encounter in band music.

Keep in mind that above all, your child needs to be inspired by this person, and become self-motivated to practice without reminders.  Teachers should also make the learning process fun for the child.  If you are lucky enough to find all of this, you have found an ideal private teacher!

Should you have any questions regarding your own lesson experiences, feel free to contact me!

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