How do I select the right teacher?

We learn better from people we like. When searching for a teacher, you must balance the teacher’s skill set with chemistry. A teacher with less experience or knowledge, but has great chemistry with the student will teach the child more effectively than a more experienced teacher where there exists a distance. Experience and knowledge are important, but they are not everything.

Chemistry is usually formed from expectations. For example, a teacher who expects students to practice and compete will not do well with a student who wants to take music lessons purely for entertainment. Before searching for a teacher, sit down and discuss what you expect as a student out of music lessons, and what goals you would like to reach. Then search for a teacher who has similar expectations.

For students with low self-esteem or learning disabilities, chemistry becomes the hinge pin to the learning experience. Rote drilling of concepts and a constant push to reach certain goals may prove frustrating for these students. For example, a teacher with little flexibility in his or her approach to teaching may push concepts the student cannot grasp in that way. This may lead the student to believe he or she is incapable of playing an instrument and want to quit, when what the student really needs is a change in the presentation of the information.

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