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How to find a music teacher for your child

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Taking instruction to the next level

It turns out the trumpet was the right choice for your daughter. She loves it and wants more than the weekly 20-minute lesson at school. How do you go about finding a music teacher for your child so she can really take off? If you’re not particularly musical, you may not know where to begin.

Taking instruction to the next level

Finding a private lesson teacher for your child is the next logical step after a successful introduction to an instrument. While the music teacher at school can teach basic notes and sequences, there are nuances to playing music that just don't translate as well when one teacher has 10 students! Try these tips for finding a private music instructor for you child.

1Ask the music department at school

Many school music departments have lists of private teachers available for the asking. These may include your child's teacher or other teachers at school, or other professionals in your community. Information about cost may or may not be included with this list. Some districts set a rate for instruction as part of an instructor being included on the list.

2Contact the local music school

There's probably a music school in your community and you didn't even realize it. You may need to join in some way (it's likely a non-profit), but once "in," you'll have access to great local musicians and great local music. You'll be expanding your musical world while your child advances hers.

3Ask friends

Do you have friends with musical children? Ask them about their private instructors and how they found them. They may know of some resources you hadn't thought of before -- or, you may even be able to swing some carpooling or a deal on small group instruction.

4Look to teenage musicians

Teenage musicians in your community are a terrific resource for lessons. Not only do the teenagers earn some much desired money, but your child gets to see that it is indeed "cool" to keep up with music. Kids relate to kids differently than adults do, so your child may even be more receptive to instruction from a cool teenager than from Mrs. Smith down at the conservatory.

5Think about timing and location

Along with finding a "who" to teach your child, you also need to consider "when" and "where." Instructors associated with music schools likely have set lesson times at a set location. Hopefully these work with your schedule! Other instructors in the community, including teenagers, may be more flexible in time and place. Some may be willing to come to you on Saturday morning, or you can drop by their house on Wednesday after dinner. No matter where the lesson is, have a good book for some quiet activity while you wait.

Finding a private music teacher for your budding musician may seem daunting at first, but with a little creativity and asking around, you're likely to have a range of choices for your child's instructor. And if one doesn't work out, whether due to timing or personality, there are others out there willing and ready to help expand your child's musical world.

More on kids and music

Musical genius: How music makes your child smarter
Music lessons: Is your child ready?
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