So, why having to chose the right teacher matters when we practice? It matters, because the teacher is the person that is going to show us how to practice at home. Therefore, they better have beneficial things to say when they are teaching us, since we do not want to misuse our time when practicing.  

Teachers will spend an hour or so every week with us, but then it’s only us that will have to go home and do all the hard work. That means, hopefully, they will have the essential skill and flair to identify what’s wrong with our playing, before we go home and improve it. And, let me assure you, there will always going to be something wrong with our playing when we are in the presence of a teacher, otherwise we wouldn’t need them. To put it differently and perhaps more gently, the teacher will strangle to refine a raw version of your ability. He will try to bring out your unique interpretation of a piece, and lining it up with a universally acceptable version. All that, provided that you have followed his or her instructions at home. So choosing the right teacher for you is paramount.

So, what are the qualities a right teacher must have then? Do they have to have three PhD’s in musicology, two post-docs, one master in solo piano performance, a degree in psychology, wear classic suits, and smoke the pipe? I don’t know. Perhaps all of them, perhaps none of them. Again, who really knows? An answer could be that the piano teacher may have as much knowledge as possible about the piano technique. Or that, he or she, would have good experience in dealing with your age range. It could also be that some of their students had success in international competitions; indeed, this is a really good sign that the prospective teacher knows his job well. Maybe the right teacher has extensive experience on stage, and knows the pragmatic dimension of performance. Although not a particularly necessary quality, this can be helpful, because they can express to you how to act while on stage or perhaps how to project your sound suitably. However, it is quite common that top teachers are not active performers themselves.

A problem that can occur while searching for the right teacher is that the “chemistry” between them and the prospective student might not turn out to be good. Quite often teachers have “better” “chemistry” with some students and not as good with other. We might realize that even thought this prospective teacher has a great reputation and excellent teaching skills, they might have difficult temperament or being patronizing towards us. It could also be, that are not assertive enough. Some students are more tolerant than others when it comes to their teacher’s persona. Always bear in mind that a teacher is not there for life. A teacher, in reality, is a “disposable” tool for you, in your quest for mastering the piano. I know this sounds harsh but I’m afraid that this has to be your lead. (See article: changing piano teacher). Hopefully you are going to have many teachers, and with a bit of luck, you are going to love them all.

In order to find a good teachers there are often listings in your local area.Try some consultation lessons with them and see if you approve them. Quite often consultation lessons are free of charge.

As I said above reputation is not the ultimate reassurance to choose a teacher, but it can say a lot.

However, bear in mind that, especially, when you start piano lesson lessons for the very first time, you might not have the proper quality of judgment to decide if a teacher is good for you. Particularly when it comes to his or her musical knowledge.   Always get as much advice as you can.

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