What types of customers have you worked with?
I provide lessons either through my home studio, or through private instruction in your home (whatever is more convenient). In addition to guitar instruction, I have been performing in the Baltimore-Washington area for over 15 years.
I also provide opportunities for students to perform or record their music. I can also teach home recording to students who express interest.
I focus on teaching students with busy lifestyles. I encourage students to use "deliberate practice" - which is a method of practicing that focuses on efficiency and effort (so you don't spend a whole lot of time, practicing things that don't really matter).
Overall - I want my students to have fun - and stick with the guitar.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
What to look for in a music instructor:
1. Teaching/Coaching Ability.
A lot of music teachers will talk about their musical talent or skill level. Theyll talk about how many orchestras theyve played with, or how many bands theyve been with. This isnt bad I mean you want a teacher who actually knows how to play the instrument they teach. But really, as a student (or parent of a student) you should be primarily concerned if the instructor can actually teach.
Do they have any experience coaching or teaching (or working with students of your skill level)? All of the musical talent and skill in the universe does absolutely no good if you have a bad teacher.
In my opinion, the ability to effectively teach is the most important factor when selecting a music teacher.
2. Lesson Format and Duration.
Ok. Lets say youve found an awesome teacher. Next question: What are the lessons actually like? You should ask a potential teacher questions like: How long is each lesson? What do you usually cover in a lesson? What can I expect to learn or How long will it take to learn (insert your favorite song here)?.
Ill probably catch some flak for this, but I strongly believe that lessons should last from 45 minutes to an hour. Any more time and your attention span is shot. Any less time and I dont think you can really learn anything.
EVEN FOR KIDS. Yes, kids need time to learn and grasp the information. Thirty minutes is not enough time. Trust me.
A lot of lessons run 30 minutes or shorter. If you feel youre getting what you need, and learning at a good rate awesome. But chances are, those lessons are probably rushed and missing a few things (for more about what lessons should entail, you can check this out).
3. Student Load.
You may want to inquire about the number of students an instructor currently serves. Too many students and you risk a lesson without a lot of focus or personal attention. The last thing you want, is to feel like youre not valued. I think about 20-25 students is a good maximum. Any more than this, and I feel stretched pretty thin.
Keep in mind though this shouldnt be a deal breaker. Just something to consider.
4. Musical Ability.
Okay, okay, okay. I know I downplayed this in the first point but it is important. You want a teacher who knows what theyre talking about specifically as it aligns with your goals. For example, if you want to learn how to play blues guitar, and your teacher is a classical guitar expert
this may not be the best match.
If youre interested in beginner lessons, it may be best to find a teacher who is great with novice students (it can be really overwhelming to have an advanced guitarist try to teach a beginner).
*Remember its totally fine to change teachers mid-stream. I specialize in beginners if I find that a long-standing student is moving past what I can teach, I have no problem referring them to a more advanced instructor (this is a great way for me to network in my community).
Music lessons can range from $20 per half hour to over $100 per hour. Cost doesnt always dictate quality. In a lot of cases, the instructor doesnt even set the cost (some music stores or academies function this way). Obviously, you should feel comfortable with the cost you should also know how your instructors billing works (per lesson, per month, etc). Again, this may not be a deal breaker but you should definitely ask about this up front.