Choosing a Good Keyboard Teacher

After you have explored the different ways of learning to play the keyboard, you may have arrived at the decision to find an experienced teacher for private lessons. No matter how dedicated you are, or how easily you may learn from books, your progress will be exponentially better with the one-on-one attention that only a piano teacher can supply. How do you find the right one for you?

First of all, don’t settle for the first keyboard teacher you run into. Many do advertise via signs or postings on Craigslist or other avenues, and they may be perfectly good teachers, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Much like you shopped for your instrument and tried several out until you found the one you wanted, you may have to shop for a keyboard teacher.

Begin by being honest with the level at which you play. Each instructor has strengths in different areas. Also look for one that specializes in your skill level and perhaps even the type of keyboard you will be playing (organ vs. electric upright vs. baby grand, to name a few). Ask other players and/or your local music store for referrals. Check out those ads and fliers, and look at online forums that cater to learning the piano.

Once you have at least three or four prospects, do your due diligence by researching them. If they are not online, look for testimonials from current or former students. Make a decision, and then set up an introductory lesson.

The introductory lesson is a way for you and the instructor to meet, get to know each other, and feel out whether you will want to work together. If you don’t click with this person, do not set up further lessons! You won’t be able to effectively learn from someone you don’t like or who doesn’t communicate in a way that you can understand.

Keyboard teacher

Keyboard teacher

What to expect from your first lesson

Most lessons last about a half hour. You may go to a studio, a music store, the instructor’s home, or the instructor may come to you. These are details you will work out before the first lesson.

Your keyboard teacher will introduce him/herself and give you a little more background about his/her expertise. You may ask each other some questions in effort to gain an understanding of your skill level and goals.

The instructor will then show you the keyboard, teach you the position of the keys, and show you how to play some notes and then some note patterns. Most likely, you will start by learning where middle C is and build a scale from there.

If you are picking things up well, your instructor may then lead you towards some sheet music and begin familiarizing you with basic music theory, if needed. You will start with the treble clef and learn how to play a scale – or even a tune – with your right hand.

The instructor will end the session with assigning you homework exercises, letting you know what you will work on next, and setting up the next lesson(s).

If your head is swirling after the first lesson, don’t worry, that’s normal. Your instructor should be able to adapt to your learning style and speed, and you will find yourself playing actual songs sooner than you’d ever believe.