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Selecting a first instrument

Fundraising Ideas
How to choose a music teacher
Musician's Friend Review
Types of bands and required instruments

How To Choose a Music Teacher/Studio

Asking the right questions will give you the ability to properly evaluate a music studio  or a music teacher.  It is important that you ask each individual the same questions so that you can do an accurate comparison of each program.  Some areas of concern should be the structure of the program, safety issues, quality of instructors, developmental/skill factors and cost.  The questions you ask will vary depending on whether you are interviewing a private teacher or the owner of a music studio.  Key questions that a parent should ask are as follows:

Studio/Management Questions....

  • Is the program run by volunteers or is the owner on the premises?
  • Will your child always have the same teacher?
  • Who is the contact person for the studio if you have a problem or question?
  • What is the philosophy of the studio and its owners or the teacher? Do they think learning should be fun?
  • Is the number one goal to teach people to play an instrument?
  • What is the atmosphere/environment of the studio?
  • What instruments do they give lessons for?
  • How many students do they have?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they conduct parent conferences?
  • Are background checks done on instructors? 
  • What level of training/accomplishments do the instructors have?
  • What are the policies regarding cancellations and make-up lessons?
  • Do you teach music theory? Music history?
  • What type of music is taught (classical, jazz etc)? Is this flexible if a child wants to learn a particular song?
  • How long does a student typically study with you?
  • Can you recommend a place to get the instrument and materials?  Do they offer a discount?
  • Have you taught children the age of my child?
  • Are parents allowed to observe a lesson?

Competition/Recital Questions...

  • Do their students regularly attend competitions?
  • How successful have they been at competitions?
  • Do they do recitals? How often? 

Payment Questions...

  • What are the fees for service?
  • Do stated fees cover all costs or will there be hidden charges?
  • What is the payment policy?
  • How long is the instructional session and when does it begin?
  • How do you register?
  • What is the time commitment at home for practice?

Fundraiser Questions...

  • Will you be responsible for promoting a fundraiser?
  • If there are fundraisers does the studio/teacher get the money or will it defer the child's cost?

It is not necessary to ask all of these questions it is simply a guideline to help you. You may have others that you feel need to   be addressed.  What's important is that you feel extremely comfortable with the studio or teacher that you select.  Always remember that it should be a positive, fun experience for your  child!