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8 Tips for Getting Off to a Good Start with Your New Music Teacher
by Lara Levitan
First and foremost, what an exciting time! First lessons mark the beginning of a new era in your kid’s life, whether they’re completely new to music lessons, or resuming their study with a new teacher.
Talking with your teacher or lesson provider before the first lesson is a great way to be prepared (and to establish great communication), but following these suggestions will ensure your student is ready to shine on first-lesson day!
1. Make sure the instrument fits.
For young piano students, this means having a small foot stool or ottoman to place their feet on for balance and posture. If they’re using a keyboard, make sure it is adjusted for height.
Similarly, guitars and drum sets should be the appropriate size and fit for the student.
2. Have practice area set up and well-equipped.
Have all supplies at the ready, such as (if applicable and available):
–Blank notebook (for notes and assignments)
–At least one pencil with a good eraser
–A recording device so you can review lessons later
–A chair for your teacher, who will certainly appreciate it!
3. Have books from previous teacher(s) readily available.
For students with previous experience, it may be helpful to the teacher for the student to perform at the first lesson what they learned most recently, whether it be a few measures or an entire song.
4. Remove pets from the practice area.
If your furry friend really needs to scope out the new person in the house, it’s best to sequester them to a different spot once the lesson starts; focus is important for having the best lesson possible. (On that note, it’s also important for pet owners to know their teacher’s allergy status!)
5. Be present in the practice area when the teacher arrives.
Don’t waste valuable lesson time searching for your student!
6. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and minimal accessories on the arms or hands for instrumentalists.
In addition, all instrumentalists– namely pianists and guitarists– are encouraged to cut their nails regularly, especially before a lesson.
7. Prepare to talk about yourself!
A good teacher will want to know more about their student– their musical likes and dislikes, and their hobbies and interests in general. Especially for young students, it may be helpful to talk this out in advance so they’re ready to communicate with their teacher.
8. Be patient and have fun!
Nothing quells nerves and anxiety like preparation. Following these recommendations will help you or your student relax, leaving more time for the joy of learning music!