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How to choose the right teacher for any subject!

Updated: Feb 6

As a music teacher at my private studio as well at several schools including the Musicians Institute Contemporary College of Music- I've intuitively learned a lot about teaching techniques over the years. Recently, I took 2 classes & I had an experience with two different types of teachers that made it difficult for me to learn due to my own shortcomings as a student. if you've ever been in this situation it can be disheartening , perhaps even embarrassing if you're in a group class. I' never thought much about vetting a teacher, but with current costs of education so steep-I highly recommend asking yourself some questions about yourself and the instructor before committing. Here's a few to take into consideration and you may even put these to the test if you take lessons with me at Venice School of Music!

Lauren teaching
A picture of me teaching piano in Cheng Du (China).

  1. HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE? How long has the teacher been teaching? SERIOUSLY, I mean this from the bottom of my heart. Knowledge can be memorized & shared by anyone. Sometimes younger teachers have even more of this detailed knowledge but how this knowledge is SHARED is crucial. If you're a learner who needs lots of attention, likely to have lots of questions and needs to understand things with detailed understanding, I'd recommend finding a teacher with years of teaching experience. If you're tactile, good at digesting language quickly- this may not matter at all. As a matter of fact, you might find yourself bored going through details if a teacher is too thorough. .

  2. GROUP vs PRIVATE: I've noticed over the years how some students THRIVE in a group setting. They learn from one another, they inspire, they develop further confidence and a sort of charisma that comes from being in a crowd. Other students- not so much. They prefer a private space to build upon their knowledge and want to ask questions without comparing their handling of material to the others. In music, for example, they may not want to practice singing high notes in front of strangers they just met. :-)

  3. PERSONALITY OF THE TEACHER: much like different parenting styles, we all can learn from different teaching styles. Do you like a nurturer? Do you like someone who talks slowly? Would you prefer someone direct with high energy & rapid pace? My advice is to see if you can find video of your teacher imparting information. In my opinion, it's not appropriate to ask for trial lessons in this day and age- but it's also highly expected that a teacher have some footage available to represent their work in action.

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