How Do I Find the Right Teacher?
You’ll want a teacher who will inspire and nurture a student’s musical growth and instill a lifelong love of music. When seeking a music teacher:
- Consult with friends, family and others who are acquainted with teachers in your community.
- Ask for recommendations from local music organizations, music stores, schools or churches.
- Arrange to interview prospective teachers, in person if possible, before making a commitment.
- Ask permission to attend a recital of the prospective teacher’s students.
How do I Interview Prospective Teachers?
Teachers are willing and eager to explain their techniques and objectives. The following are types of questions to ask during the interview:
- What is your professional and educational experience in music?
- What is your teaching experience? What age groups do you teach?
- How do you participate in ongoing professional development?
- Are you nationally certified by MTNA?
- Do you have a written studio policy? Will you review it with me?
- Do you regularly evaluate student progress?
- What instructional materials do you use?
- What kinds of music do you teach?
- What other elements are part of your teaching curriculum?
- Do you offer group lessons?
- Do you require students to perform in studio recitals during the year?
- Do you offer other performance opportunities for students, such as festivals and competitions?
- Do you use technology in your studio, such as computers, music software, digital keyboards?
- How much practice time do you require each day?
- What do you expect of your students? Their parents?
What is the Parent’s Role?
Parental support in the learning process is vital. Whether or not you know anything about music, take time to listen to your child play, provide exclusive practice time on a quality instrument, and celebrate his or her continued accomplishments.
How is Music Beneficial for All Learners?
Today there are unprecedented reasons for making music a part of everyone’s life. Students taking music lessons now will determine the place of music in America and the value society places on music tomorrow. Regardless of what these students ultimately choose as a profession, music making will remain a part of their lives, whether it’s listening to music, attending concerts or serving as leaders in arts associations, and community and church music programs.
Benefits of Music Study
- Hearing music stimulates the mind.
- Music instruction enhances abstract reasoning skills.
- Grade school students who took music lessons scored higher on cognitive development tests.
- In older people, music helps lower depression and decreases loneliness.
- Playing an instrument strengthens eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
- Music lessons teach discipline, dedication and enable students to achieve goals.
How Important is MTNA Certification?
MTNA’s Professional Certification Program exists to improve the level of professionalism within the field of music teaching and helps the public readily identify competent music teachers in their communities. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) has demonstrated competence in professional preparation, teaching practices, ethical business management and lifelong learning. An MTNA certified teacher is your best source to facilitate musical learning in an environment that encourages student confidence, independence, teamwork and high achievement. To date, more than 3,500 teachers across the United States have earned the NCTM designation.
Updated July 2, 2016.