music lessons in studio

what makes a great music teacher?

The ability to communicate and connect with the student.

A great music instructor must be able to connect with the student. They must bring their knowledge base and their love of music to the lesson, and these attributes must be passed on to the student. If the teacher is bored or doesn't want to be there, this will be reflected in the lesson itself. There must be passion, not only for music itself, but for the process that is teaching. If the student is coming out the lesson with excitement and a feeling of accomplishment, that is a great sign you have a wonderful teacher. There is another side to this equation however, if the student does not like the instrument they are playing or music in general, and are being forced to take lessons, in these scenarios even the best of teachers may not have the power to get the student to have passion and excitement for music. Often the ability to connect with students comes from experience. A great questions to ask your music instructor is how long have they been teaching.

Focus on music technique and fundamentals

A great music teacher will make sure there is a focus on how the student is playing their instrument. They need to focus on correcting bad technique so the student does not continue with the bad habits they may have developed over time. Fundamentals and basic techniques like hand and finger placement, rhythm, and posture must be focused on in order for the student to progress to higher levels and to achieve their musical goals. It's not always a party in the lesson, but that is OK, as to ignore bad habits and not focus on fundamentals is not doing the student any favors in the long run. Finding the mix of hard work and fun is the trick to getting a student to progress their ability. A great question to ask your music instructor is "what is your music education background". A degree in music is a great sign your instructor has a great understanding on the fundamentals they need to pass onto their students.

Have a goal in mind for the student and focus toward that goal

It is important for your music instructor to be organized and goal oriented. These goals short be focused, and achievable in a reasonable amount of time. A goal could be for a guitar player to play a major scale with excellent finger and hand placement, or to play a song using their developed internal metronome. Whatever the goal is, a great teacher should set it, work toward achieving it, and then celebrate the success of achieving the goal with the student.

They must be able to adjust their teaching methods to the student.

Everyone learns differently. A great music teacher must be able to adjust their teaching style to how the student learns. Often, this approach involves a "show me" approach. This "show me" approach requires that the teacher play along with or for the student that they are teaching. A great teacher will often have their instrument ready at hand for when the need arises to show the student what they are teaching. Often a student may require some music homework to progress towards their goals. On top of adjusting the methodology they use to teach in class, they need to be able to adjust the homework so it is curtailed toward the student and their learning style.

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