student recital

An Effective Teacher / Student Relationship

An Effective Teacher/Student Relationship

An Effective Teacher/Student Relationship

In this day and age, parent/students have many options to fulfill their piano study goals. Yes, cost is a factor, but remember that you can always find a more/less expensive teacher, but the impact of that experience may last forever.

Everyone's musical needs are unique, however, an experienced teacher is a match for almost anyone! What is the right choice for you?

No teaching environment alone informs the quality or experience of any piano instructor. In this day and time, an attempt to label any choice as less professional is a mistake, and for fellow musicians, unprofessional.


In this day and age, parents and students have many options to fulfill their piano study goals. Yes, cost is a factor, but remember: You can always find a more/less expensive teacher, but the impact of that experience may last forever.

Everyone's musical needs are unique, however, an experienced teacher is a match for almost anyone!  So, what is the right choice for you?

No teaching environment alone informs the quality or experience of any piano instructor. In this day and time, an attempt to label any choice as less professional is a mistake, and for fellow musicians, unprofessional.


None of these teaching environments alone informs the quality or experience of any piano instructor. In this day and time, an attempt to label any choice as less professional is unprofessional and unrealistic.


 On-Site Lessons At A Piano Studio

Many recall the special relationship that they enjoyed with their local childhood piano teacher. A private instructor offers a personal relationship in a comfortable setting. That teacher's private studio environment has a few advantages:

  • Personal, mutual accountability directly with the parent/student on all issues (with no 3rd party involved). Communication is enhanced.
  • Flexibility in tailoring a teaching approach to the student: Perhaps combine a standard curriculum with customized supplemental resources for the student (such as, Broadway tunes or iPad music theory games).

Please note that costs vary according to each teacher's experience and the lesson length. Other related expenses can include:


  • Travel expenses, both cost and time.
  • Book fees, which the student buys.
  • Website promotional time/fees, a reality in the 21st century.

Piano instruction at a private piano studio location or at your own home, have some similarities, such as flexibility in teaching approach and personal, mutual accountability with each other. Check their websites for credible sounding testimonials or ask for personal references.


 At-Home Lessons With Piano Teacher

Similar to studying at a private piano studio, but with home piano lessons, you may enjoy a bit more personal connection with your teaching professional. Rather than taking lessons in some room at a music store or dealing with an ‘established’ music school (if a non-credited teaching institution), the student is already in a quiet, comfortable environment. Many families value home piano study for several reasons.

Convenience

No wasting time in traffic or waiting for your student, along with other families, for an overly scheduled teacher and busy organization. For a multi-child household, parents tend to prefer not to drag all the kids from place to place, from one activity to another. Everyone is in one location.

Continue to the next column. ...

Home StudyAm I Prepared?

Efficiency

Seeing the student's practice environment saves time for everyone, especially the teacher and the student. Lastly, siblings can observe the lesson (from afar) and appreciate what lessons are before it’s their turn to start. Piano study may seem more like a valuable milestone in their growth, rather than just something they have to do.

Simplicity

To study on-site with an established piano teacher, necessitates a slightly higher tuition. The teacher incurs expenses for their time and costs to travel to a home. Many parents appreciate that it is not their time traveling to a lesson and/or buying the right books. So tuition for home study may also include the books and other learning resources in the price. Many parents find this quite helpful (a time-saver).

Things To Ask?

Ensure that any private teacher who comes to your home has a strict weekly lesson schedule that they follow. "Consistency in lessons is critical, especially in the beginning, because the teacher helps enforce good technique and practice habits to help the student become a more solid and independent musician later on."

*As mentioned on the International School of Music website.


 Local Music School / Business

To sustain any business organization, the hourly pay for an employee (for a local teaching organization or national chain) is likely lower than that of someone in private practice. A teacher who works for a national chain or a local private ‘school’ (if non-accredited) accepts this reality. Businesses may be an attractive way for a teacher to gain experience, but that doesn't necessarily pertain to that teacher's piano-specific teacher training.

Where private teachers are accountable to you, an employee at any organization is ultimately responsible to their employer. A teacher may not have control over which piano method book to use or the freedom to add their own supplementary materials (see earlier sections On-Site Lessons At A Piano Studio or At-Home Lessons With Piano Teacher).

Also, communication with a teacher may be less frequent given parking issues during busy student pickup times and/or tight teaching schedules. The experience can feel more like a piano factory assembly line, with all the frustration that follows.

If you want to save money, you will always find less expensive options. The above issues may affect which instructors are available to you or their effectiveness. The overall experience is a part of this choice.


 Remote Home Study Via Skype

What could be more convenient than an online lesson? With a simple phone call, Skype can be a useful tool with which the teacher and student can connect.

  •  Try a lesson: learn a little about a teacher’s approach and intended course of study.
  •  Save a video recording of each lesson for reference during the week.
  •  Get digital copies of music (not intended for reproduction or sale!).

Get to Know Your Teacher

Private home piano instructors may use Skype (or FaceTime) as a way to get to know prospective home study students.


Is My Home Suitable For Lessons?

What can make private home piano lessons most effective? Set up an environment to allow the teacher/student relationship to thrive:

  • Clearly communicate to the student the authority of the teacher during the piano lesson time. The student is at home, but the time is not their own (i.e., a home instructor is not a nanny).

  • A somewhat private area in your home or a set time when this can happen. A music lesson needs to be free from other typical distractions, such as loud music, vacuuming or young children wandering in and out of the room.

  • A parent (or adult guardian) must be present at the home. Consider this for the safety and security of your home (and the student). BTW, this can also  increase student focus.

Is My Home Suitable For Lessons?

What can make private home piano lessons most effective? Set up an environment to allow the teacher/student relationship to thrive:

  • Clearly communicate to the student the authority of the teacher during the piano lesson time. The student is at home, but the time is not their own (i.e., a home instructor is not a nanny).

  • A somewhat private area in your home or a set time when this can happen. A music lesson needs to be free from other typical distractions, such as loud music, vacuuming or young children wandering in and out of the room.

  • A parent (or adult guardian) must be present at the home. Consider this for the safety and security of your home (and the student). BTW, this can also  increase student focus.

Is My Home Suitable For Lessons?

What can make private home piano lessons most effective? Set up an environment to allow the teacher/student relationship to thrive:

  • Clearly communicate to the student the authority of the teacher during the piano lesson time. The student is at home, but the time is not their own (i.e., a home instructor is not a nanny).

  • A somewhat private area in your home or a set time when this can happen. A music lesson needs to be free from other typical distractions, such as loud music, vacuuming or young children wandering in and out of the room.

  • A parent (or adult guardian) must be present at the home. Consider this for the safety and security of your home (and the student). BTW, this can also  increase student focus.