Originally Posted by cara4
I was wondering, what do people look for in a piano teacher?
I realize that this thread is older. But, I thought I would give my 2 cents as a piano teacher in the area for those who may view this thread in the future. There are several factors that parents should take into consideration when searching for a quality piano teacher:
A good background in musical education - Teachers who have undergone training in advanced classical literature tend to be more proficient in musical education. Because of their interest level in music, they will also have a drive to pursue excellence in lessons (rather than a just pursuing a little side money).
A good technique - For parents who really want their children to love and appreciate music, it is really important to find a teacher that views a healthful technique as extremely important. If a child is not taught proper technique, a whole host of physical problems can arise. With piano, I have heard cases of carpel tunnel, back pain, wrist pain... etc. These problems can result in long-lasting injuries and inability to progress to the advanced levels. When interviewing teachers, parents must ask about their view on pain-free and tension-free technique. If the teacher is sincerely adamant about it, you've found the right one. If the teacher is nonchalant, you may want to move on to the next teacher.
Excellence in the studio - One thing that will be interesting for you to observe are teacher's recitals. Do they promote excellence or are the students pieces half prepared? An excellent recital will be one where all of the student have 2 or 3 pieces memorized and ready to go with minimal mistakes and memory slips. Also, how do the students approach the piano? Is it orderly and calculated... or are they slouching and barely sitting on the bench? A good teacher will put time and effort into teaching performance etiquette.
A knack for teaching - Some teachers are amazing concert pianists, but have no ability to communicate their abilities to their students. This can result in a costly music education that goes nowhere.
These are just some basics. There are other things to pay attention to (like organization). But, this is good enough to get a parent started on the right track with a student.
Hope this helps,