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Finding a Good Piano Teacher

Last Updated: December 26, 2010 / by Michael Kinney

Are you looking for a good piano teacher for yourself or for your child? Finding a good piano teacher can be difficult but the extra effort to find the perfect match will be worth it in the end. As with anything you learn, being able to connect with the person who is teaching you is one of the most important elements of any good learning experience. When you are learning piano, you should seek out a teacher who has experience with students of your level. You don't want to be stuck with someone who cannot teach beginners. On the flip side, you also don't want to be a more advanced student stuck studying with a teacher who is below your own level. Find someone who can really understand your current playing level and who has good ideas and methods for helping you complete your musical goals.

The next thing to look out for is the style of music your piano teacher specializes in. If you want to learn jazz piano and your teacher is strictly classical, this probably isn?t going to be a good match. Try to find a teacher who is proficient in styles of music you enjoy as well as in other styles that you might be interested in learning. The last thing you want to be doing is showing your teacher how to play the music you'd like to learn. Ideally, a teacher who is proficient in many styles will give you the most rounded education. A teacher who can expose you to things you hadn?t heard of before will help open your eyes and widen your musical knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask the teacher what music they listen to and enjoy. See if you have similar tastes and if you do you'll likely work well together.

Your Piano Teacher's Education

Many people ask whether the teacher they are considering working with should have some sort of music degree or not. It is untrue that a teacher without a degree in music will not be a good teacher. Some students even prefer to have a teacher who has real world playing experience instead of only a music degree.

Again, if you want to learn rock and jazz piano for example, it could be wise to pick someone who has experience performing professionally in rock bands. The best way to find this kind of teacher is to ask them if they teach if you see them playing at a club and enjoy their playing. In general, teachers who do have some sort of higher education in music will possess a well rounded grasp of music theory, harmony and rhythm. Piano teachers with a MTNA Certification will also possess strong teaching skills and qualifications. Bottom line, a degree is not essential but can be a useful qualification.

What Makes a Unique Piano Teacher?

Many teachers go to great lengths to create a unique learning experience for their students. When considering your piano teacher, ask them how they plan to teach you. Will it just be you, the teacher and a piano? Does the teacher use electric keyboards and drum machines to play along with? Do they have two pianos in the studio so that you can play together? Do they offer piano recitals? Can the piano teacher refer you to bands that you could play in? Try to find someone who is going to offer you the most well learning rounded experience. Depending on the style of music you are interested in learning, you may want someone who can offer all the bells and whistles when it comes to getting you used to playing with other people and listening to other instruments.

Help Finding a Piano Teacher

Now that you have some pointers of what to look for, it's time to start your search. To help you out, we offer a free directory of piano teachers that you can browse and contact to see if they are a right fit for you. To get started, visit our directory of piano teachers.

About the Author: Michael Kinney

I have played piano since I was 5 years old. I started in classical and then quickly moved to blues and jazz. I studied at the collegiate level and have played professionally since I was 16. My favorite piano players (if I had to pick 3) include Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock). I own several keyboards but always prefer to play on a Steinway if one is available! I live to perform as much as I like to teach.

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