Many of you will recall being at the receiving end of music lessons at one point in your lives. Whether your parents encouraged you to attend piano lessons in primary school, or whether you attempted to fit in some guitar lessons into your busy schedule, between the nine-to-five grind and taking kids to soccer practice in the evening.
What makes a good teacher for your music lessons?
Music lessons have become a somewhat ubiquitous part of childhood and adolescence today, and are quite often a part of growing up in the same way as football or dance practice. With such a large variety of music teachers available, and so many differences in their level of experience, teaching style and musical ability, finding the right music teacher can be a challenge at the best of times, and it is difficult to know exactly what criteria to evaluate the teacher against.
What makes a good music teacher? Is the word of your child good enough, when he or she expresses frustration at the monotony of practicing scales for a straight half hour lesson? How about exam results, and the ability of the music school or teaching studio to ensure consistently high results for their students?
The right answer may surprise you. I had a friend recently comment to me that he, as an electrician, will never be without work, as the electrical industry is ‘recession proof’.
Why? Because no amount of technological innovation or digital disruption can replace the knowledge that comes from many years of trade study and practice. An electrician with good customer service abilities and years of experience is irreplaceable, because everybody needs electricity, and technological innovation is not a replacement for hard-earned technical abilities.
A good music teacher is similar in this regard. Even with the advent of YouTube and other online teaching services, a plethora of mobile apps and downloadable sheet music, a good music teacher is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but takes the time to invest in his or her students, and tailor a learning program that is befitting of their needs, while encouraging them to turn music into a passion, not simply another addition to their after-school activities.
A good teacher helps you enjoy learning music
In the same way that children are encouraged to pursue hobbies that interest them, music teachers should strive to balance technical proficiency and the inevitability of scales and structured practice, with developing the students’ ‘inner musician’.
A good teacher should ask their students what style of music they enjoy (even if the answer is Taylor Swift) and if the answer is ‘none in particular’ (quite a common response!) then the teacher should encourage the student to develop a preference, simply by listening to as much music as possible and embarking on a journey of personal discovery, exploring as many different styles as possible, and encouraging them to think about why they might like those styles.
I have a classical student who complements learning Bach with listening to B.B King, another who balances learning Mozart with Motown, and another who finds the time to enjoy Ella Fitzgerald while preparing for a difficult classical exam. Developing a personal music preference gives students a goal to work towards, and allows them to view all their learning activities as contextual, building a foundation for them to play music that they truly enjoy.
The best music lessons for you
At Lakes Music Tuition, we strive to deliver music lessons with a personal touch, balancing the need to be disciplined a focused with the absolute necessity of enjoying music as a craft, and developing a unique style based on the needs of the student. Whether it’s piano lessons or guitar lessons that you are after, whether you are a seasoned musician or an absolute beginner, and whether you are in primary school, university or 40 years young, you will be well catered for.
We hope to hear from you soon and are happy to assist with discussing some suitable teacher options for your music lessons.