Are you interested in learning how to play the piano? Is a loved one? Picking a great piano teacher is probably the most important step you can take on your way to successfully learning how to play the piano. A good teacher will have the power to motivate you and to inspire you while a bad teacher will have the power to almost single-handedly destroy any desire you may have ever had to play the piano. Scary? Yes indeed.
Probably the most important part of picking a great piano teacher thats right for you is understanding your own personal goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to be a concert pianist? Are you interested in performing for others? Do you just want to play for yourself? All of these questions are important, and will give you a lot of insight as to the kind of piano teacher youll want for yourself.
Once youve established your goals, analyze them and decide what you might want in a teacher. If youve decided youd like to play and perform for others, a teacher that provides ample performance opportunities and pressures their students to use them is probably just the right teacher for you. On the other hand, if you, like many people want to learn for your own personal enrichment, that kind of pressure probably isnt right for you. If thats you, then start with a teacher who wont make too many demands of you and who wont pressure you to perform too much more than youre comfortable doing. Picking a great piano teacher is often a lot about trying to align your goals with a prospective teachers goals for their students.
Now that you have an idea of the kind of teacher you might want, now youll have to find some teachers to try out! I suggest you contact the president of your local MTNA Chapter and ask for a list of member piano teachers in your area. Also, you can call the head of your local universitys piano department and ask him/her.
Alright, so youve got a list of teachers, pick a few and take some trial lessons. Typically these will be free, and probably will never run you more than $10 for an hour. This is an important step in picking a great piano teacher. Try a few, and decide what you like and what you dont like.
At this point, Ill assume that youve narrowed your list of candidates down to 2 or 3. Ask them if you can visit a student recital soon. This will allow you to evaluate how the other students play and if thats where youd like to be headed.