by Orville Heyn
(How to use this article)
Q: How do I find the telephone numbers of potential teachers?
OUR TEN MINUTES BEGINS: Questions to ask potential teachers
Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. You don't want to waste someone's time on the phone only to find out at the end of the conversation that you can't afford the rate or that the location doesn't suit you.
Q: Where are you located?
Q: Just so that I don't use up too much of your time unnecessarily, I would like to make sure that I can afford your rate. How much do you charge?
Q: Can you tell me how you work?
Q: How long are your lessons?
Q: Are lessons held one on one?
Q: Will the first lesson also be one on one?
Q: How do you structure payments? (Do I pay by the lesson or in blocks? How many per block?)
Q: How long have you been teaching?
Q: On average, how long does a student stay with you?
Q: How many students do you currently teach on any given day?
If you think that you might want to try a lesson with this teacher but aren't positive that you can afford to keep paying the hourly rate, ask:
Q: Do you offer a shorter lesson?
Now that we've covered some of the more obvious questions, how about we throw a few more detailed questions the teacher's way? This way we can evaluate his or her level of knowledge and ability to communicate.
Q: What technique do you teach?
If the teacher claims to teach their own technique, be sure to ask:
Q: Which technique or techniques would you say gave birth to your unique approach? (if applicable)
Q: Where do you stand on teaching breathing?
Q: What styles are you currently working with your various students?
Q: What, in your opinion is the difference between technique and style?
Q: How do you break up the lesson?
Q: Do you play piano, and can you accompany me on various styles of music?
Q: What other disciplines do you bring to your personal teaching style?
QUESTIONS THAT WON'T HELP YOU!
Q: What guarantees can you give me?
Q: Can you name some notable or famous individuals that you have taught?
Q: How many lessons will it take me to become good?
FINAL IMPORTANT NOTATIONS
Evaluate the teaching environment
Ask yourself does the teacher's personality make you feel comfortable?
Ask yourself if the teacher is capable of being honest while using positive re-enforcement?
NOTE ON LESSONS FOR CHILDREN (How long are your lessons?)
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