“Music can make men free.” - Bob Marley
Many Australians are interested in learning to play the piano. Many starry-eyed students start, only to drop out after a few lessons. This is usually due to dull teachers or inappropriate curriculum - learning to play the piano should be fun and inspiring so you can stay motivated.
Whatever instrument you have at home - whether it's an upright piano, a digital piano or every a baby grand - you'll get the most enjoyment out of playing if you find the right piano tutor for you.
So where should you look for a piano teacher?
In the following article, we'll look at the different kinds of piano tuition out there and give you some tips on how to get started on the right foot by seeking out a great piano tutor.
Finding A Piano Tutor Through Your Networks
Whether you're an advanced musician, or a beginner learning the guitar, piano, synth, saxophone or violin, finding the best music teacher for you has never been easier. Thanks to the magic of the internet, a great tutor is only a few clicks away!
A great piano tutor with years of experience could be closer to home than you think. Let your family and friends know that you're interested in learning the piano. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find someone to teach piano or keyboard lessons.
Once you start looking, you'll be surprised how many friends of friends play the piano or are even professional teachers. You may find someone who already teaches at a school during the day, but is looking to pick up new private pupils in the evening. Or your friends and family may know a music student studying at a conservatorium who wants to take on a few students.
Word-of-mouth is a great way to find a trustworthy teacher - you'll already have a personal connection who can vouch for their ability and you don't have to rely solely on online reviews.
This is a fantastic way to find a great tutor who can tailor their approach to you.
The student-teacher relationship is key to your success at the piano. We recommend you book in for a phone consultation or trial lesson so your potential new teacher can assess your level of experience and you can get to know them before committing to more lessons. And if the tutor is right for you, be sure to thank your family or friends for the great recommendation!
Finding A Piano Teacher Online
Finding a piano teacher online has never been easier - just type "piano tutorials" or "private piano tutor" into your search engine of choice and millions of results will appear instantly!
You can click through lots of different personal websites of tutors offering a variety of different classes. Some may offer week-long intensive, whilst others offer weekly classes or group classes.
However, it can be difficult to trust a tutor's reviews as generally, they'll only advertise with their most favourable feedback!
The choice of tutors out there can also be overwhelming - how do you choose the right tutor for you among so many different options?
This is where tutoring websites like Superprof come in. You'll be able to search for the best tutors according to their location and the kind of music they teach. You'll also be able to read a review of each tutor written by verified students.
Platforms like Superprof are a much more effective way to narrow down your search for the perfect tutor in your area.
You'll also be able to compare different tutors based on their hourly fees, so you can hire someone who suits your budget.
On Superprof, tutors also write small bios about themselves and list their qualifications, so you can see who has similar musical interests to you, and where they learned to play. Many teachers even offer their lessons online, meaning you can learn to play from the comfort of your own home.
Finding A Piano Teacher Through Social Media
Finding a tutor through social networks is slowly replacing the old word-of-mouth method. You will still be able to find someone within your extended network of friends and family - just more quickly and efficiently!
Along with keeping up the news, ignoring your relatives and stalking your ex, you can also (you guessed it!) find a private piano tutor.
Facebook is the world's largest social network. Whilst Snapchat and Instagram are more popular among a younger demographic, you'll find a wider variety of people on Facebook. There are many Facebook groups out there where music teachers congregate to share tips.
You can also seek out tutors directly through Facebook's search bar. Try typing in some variation of "private piano teacher" and you'll find thousands of tutors pop up.
Instagram doesn't host groups or classified ads like Facebook does, but many musicians will use Instagram to promote their performances or teaching studios. Often they will have a large network of followers, many of whom are potential students.
One of the benefits of Instagram is that you'll almost inevitably find short videos of piano tutors playing pieces they love, so you can check out their performance and see what and how they play before you hire them.
Searching for hashtags related to piano teaching, such as #pianoteacher, may yield results.
One downside to Instagram is that you can't localise to your area and find piano tutors near you.
If you're active on Twitter, you may like to ask your followers there for piano teacher recommendations in your city. You'll also be able to search hashtags by language and region.
Scanning The Classifieds For A Piano Teacher
If you're not a natural netizen, not to worry! May private tutors are still posting ads on local notice boards. Classifieds also have one big advantage over the internet; anyone posting an ad in a local business near you will also conveniently live nearby.
Local notice boards can be found in local shopping centres, supermarkets, newsagents, or perhaps at your local bakery or cafe. You'll find many piano tutors among the people selling things, lost pet posters and babysitting notices.
Many music shops also have noticeboards dedicated to music teachers - you'll find a huge variety of teachers there!
As we've said, the best thing about noticeboards is that they can connect you to tutors who live locally. One big disadvantage is that anyone can put up an ad on a noticeboard, and it's hard to verify qualifications or reviews from past students. Prioritize teachers who have a website listed on their notice, and do some background research before you hire them to teach your children, for example.
Like with any tutor you hire, be sure to ask thorough questions at your first consultation or trial lesson. Do they teach beginner, intermediate and/or advanced students? Are they willing to travel? What is their timetable like? What about rates per hour, qualifications and general teaching approach?
Posting A Personal Ad For A Piano Teacher
Another option might be to post your own classified ad putting the call out for a private piano tutor. This isn't a common approach, but it can attract some great teachers.
You could do this at your local noticeboard, or for a more tailored approach, simply put up a Facebook post in your town or suburb's local Facebook group.
So what should the ad say?
Get straight to the point - you're looking for a piano tutor - and be specific about what kinds of music you're passionate about. You could also mention your general location, budget, and how regularly you want to take lessons.
Learn and Practice Piano With A Friend
Whilst you could find a friend-of-a-friend through your networks, you may even know a piano teacher personally! Asking a friend to teach you is a great way to spend more quality time together and share your passion for music. Plus, you're supporting your friend's small business and you already know you like each other!
If your friend is a musician, but new to teaching, you could even help them find a new career by convincing them to become a piano tutor full-time!
If your friend isn't classically trained, you may like to simply spend a couple of hours getting them to show you the piano basics, and move on to a more experienced or qualified tutor once you know the ropes. You could also supplement their informal teaching with more structured music theory classes.
This can be a great, low-cost solution for beginners, but an advanced or intermediate pianist will need a more qualified teacher to really get the most out of music lessons.
There are lots of ways to find a great piano tutor - you really have no excuse! Learning through YouTube is a great start, but nothing beats the individualised attention of a piano tutor who can customise a piano course just for you.
So, now you know how to seek out a teacher, what are you waiting for? Whether you're hoping to focus on sight-reading, ear training, classical or jazz piano, reading sheet music, music history or preparing for a university audition, there's a tutor out there for you!