How to choose a piano teacher?

About the Author: Celine Gaurier-Joubert

Céline Gaurier-Joubert is a concert pianist and the founder of Paris Music Institute. Thanks to her unparalleled knowledge and experience, she has become a reference in the field of music education for adults.

Studying with an excellent piano teacher is crucial to your piano education, so make sure you choose the right person. There are thousands of pianists available to teach, which makes it difficult to choose. As a pianist who has founded three piano schools in Paris, London and Dubai, I believe I have the experience to help you choose the right piano teacher for you!

There are several important factors to consider if you want your piano lessons to be both educational and enjoyable:

graduation day

1. Your piano teacher must be a graduate of a reputable music conservatory

Many people claim to be pianists, but only a few can be called that. It is more important than you can imagine to study with a piano teacher who has studied with a renowned pianist. Would you make an appointment with an unqualified or underqualified doctor or dentist? No, I don't think so... Even if you don't have a serious medical problem, I'm sure you want to be in good hands by going to a medical office with a good reputation. When it comes to choosing a piano teacher, you need to take the same approach. You need to make sure that he or she has the skills to provide excellent instruction.

If you take piano lessons from an inexperienced teacher, you will develop bad habits, learn incorrect techniques, and not enjoy playing the piano as much. Even if you only play the piano for fun, make sure you choose a top-notch piano teacher.

man writing music

2. It is best if your piano teacher is dedicated to teaching (and not doing it as a side-line hobby)

Throughout my studies, I had the opportunity to study with a variety of piano teachers. They were all excellent teachers, but they also had demanding performing careers. They certainly gave excellent advice, but I felt that teaching was secondary to some and that they had little interest in their students.

It's wonderful to study with a pianist who has extensive teaching and performing experience, but you need to make sure that you are not the last priority for them. If you don't want to end up having one lesson a month and making too little progress to enjoy your piano studies, they need to be truly dedicated to both activities.

Think about how disappointed you would be if you regularly received this type of text message: "I'm terribly sorry, but I have to cancel our lesson next week because of a concert.

Because you don't want to find yourself in this frustrating situation, I would recommend you find out about his or her performance schedule prior to starting your lessons!

paris city

3. Your piano teacher should be conveniently located!

I always value quality over convenience, but you still need to make sure your piano teacher is not too far from your home or office. I have often met piano students who have taken a few lessons with me and quickly realized that distance was an issue. To avoid having to start your search all over again after only a few lessons, make sure you can easily access your piano teacher's studio or the piano school where they work.

As consistency is essential, choosing a piano teacher who will accompany you throughout your training is far better than having to change teachers frequently.

adult piano lesson

4. Your piano teacher must have previous experience teaching adults

I've often heard from adults that their piano teacher uses a children's piano book during their lessons, believe it or not. You've probably seen them before. They're adorable for little ones, but I doubt you'll be happy if your sheet music is covered in little pink elephants or blue crocodiles!

It is essential to study with a piano teacher who has extensive experience with adults and knows how to teach you appropriately. Choosing the right music is important, but so is using the right method.

Teaching children or adults requires completely different skills. Make sure your piano teacher has taught other adults and understands how to approach you.

hands playing the piano

5. You must be motivated, inspired, and feel a connection

This is, in my opinion, the most important criteria of all. You must feel a connection with your piano teacher if you are to succeed and enjoy your studies. You must look forward to your weekly piano lessons and leave each session with a smile on your face. Your piano teacher must inspire and motivate you, or you may find yourself struggling when setbacks occur. You should be able to express yourself freely and ask any questions that come to mind, even if you think they are silly!

You need to feel like you are in an environment where mistakes are tolerated and judgments or negative criticism are not. The right to free expression is essential, and not being able to speak openly with your piano teacher can only be detrimental.

Try to find a piano teacher who can serve as both a mentor and a piano friend!

Now you have the right recipe, but how can you be sure that the piano teacher you choose meets the criteria? I recommend scheduling a trial lesson with a few piano teachers before you start your lessons.
C’est l’occasion idéale de tout passer en revue et de décider si vous serez heureux de commencer votre voyage pianistique avec ce professeur.

As I said before, consistency is essential in your piano education, so it is better to take your time before starting your lessons to select the right teacher, rather than starting with the wrong person and having to change within a few weeks.

There can be a huge difference between teacher A and B so be careful!

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