Advice for customers looking to hire a private lesson teacher
Shop around for a price you are comfortable paying.
Understand your musical goals. An aspiring professional musician will require a different level of instructor than someone who is looking to audition for all state or someone who is studying music purely for pleasure.
Lessons are most beneficial when attended consistently (once per week for most, although some prefer a bi-monthly schedule).
Try out a few lessons with a teacher. Some people work well together, and some don’t. If after two or three lessons you feel good about the instruction you are receiving then you’ve found what you’re looking for. If not, keep looking. There are many instructors out there.
After a few lessons consider the level of Guidance, organization, and instruction, that you have received. Has your teacher clearly expressed lesson expectations? Do you know what to do when you first pick up your instrument each day (how to warm up)? Are you being challenged in a positive way? Communicate your needs to your teacher. A good teacher will be flexible to your individual needs.
Prices for lessons are extremely variable from teacher to teacher and do not always reflect quality of instruction.
As an example, music schools typically charge much more for private lessons than an independent musician might. This is not necessarily because they provide better instruction, but because you are paying for their building’s rent, electricity, music and equipment in your fee in addition to the instructor’s services.
Questions to ask a potential private lesson teacher
Where do you teach?
When do you teach? (make sure you find a time/place that works with your schedule)
Can you describe your facilities? (make sure they are adequate)
Do you have a degree in music performance? What performance/teaching experience do you have?
What is your policy on payment? Will I need to pay for lessons individually, or a month at a time? Will I need to pay in advance, at each lesson, or at the end of the month?
What is your policy on rescheduling/making up lessons?
What is your policy on missed lessons?
Are there additional costs that I can expect to incur (music/method books, tuners, metronomes, mutes, etc.)?