If your child is like I was, maybe they casually tinker at the piano, carelessly pluck the guitar strings, or sing along to the radio (nowadays Spotify or Apple Music), hitting the right pitches about as often as they clean their room without being asked. Enter music lessons!
If all goes as planned, now we play the piano with purpose, we pluck the guitar strings with conviction, and we sing in tune without breaking wine glasses. So how do we know we hired the right person to get our child from novice to know-how, from casual to concert, from careless to conviction, and from dissonance to consonance? Read on…
In my case when I was about a decade old, my parents had to pry me away from the piano. I would spend my nights running from the radio to the piano trying to figure out what I just heard. So they thought, this is a perfect opportunity to have someone show him how to really play. And so my music education commenced.
As quickly as it had started …
Then, it came to a grinding halt. After two months I hated it! I didn’t want to play anymore. It felt like a chore, I never remembered when my lesson was, and I didn’t really care for my teacher, making the experience rather unsavory. No more listening and learning. But, at least my parents no longer had to pry me away from the piano, right?!? Not exactly, they would’ve rather I played and played and played! Eventually I found music again a few years later, but sadly not before it was painfully obvious we needed a different teacher.
So how do you know it’s a good fit, the right fit, or if it’s time to cut bait? It’s not always easy to tell, so here are a few signs to look for when considering the next move with your kid’s music teacher.
Four signs you should find a different music teacher
They dread their lesson time.
This one is tough to decipher because most kids would probably rather be out having fun with their friends. But, kids who are well engaged warm up during the lesson and that’s great. On the other hand, if you find they’re always asking their teacher, “how much time do we have left?”, then you know it’s time to rethink the teacher, lesson content, or lesson length.
They lose interest in music.
If the spark is gone, it could be a result of lack of motivation. Sure, some of that motivation comes from the child, but a great teacher will show him or her a world of music they should be able to embrace with excitement. We all will have our ups and downs and undoubtedly work on pieces that excite us less. But if you’re having to force your child under threat of sanctions, best you reconsider who is bringing the inspiration to each lesson.
They don’t remember their teacher’s name.
Laugh at this all you want. But, before you snicker at the possibility of forgetting his or her name, consider what it means if your child doesn’t remember the name of the person coming into your home and sitting down with them every week. It happens. If their current teacher doesn’t make enough of an impact to even have their name remembered, best to find someone with an easier name to remember or someone from whom they’ll love to learn. For the record, we recommend the latter. Teachers are our guide to the musical galaxy and should make an impact strong enough to be remembered.
They can’t tell you what they did in their lesson.
No one expects your child to remember everything. Most conversations after school go something like this:
Parent: How was school today?
Parents: What did you do today?
Okay, to be fair, school isn’t always the most exciting thing and we occasionally have to pull teeth. Monotony can set in, sure. You’ll get similar responses when talking about any learning situation, but music is deeply personal. Whether a scale, a song, a sound, a solo, or technique, there is always something there to remember. If there isn’t anything worth remembering, what are you paying for? And who are you paying for it?
Time to call Forbes Music Company.