Finding the right instrumental tutor for you can be a tricky task. To start with think about your goals when beginning to learn your instrument. Are you interested in a specific genre or style of music? Would you like to learn to play by ear, read music, compose? If so, finding the right tutor to specialise in these areas is key to start with. However, most of us need guidance in finding out what we enjoy most and styles we may favour and therefore it is best to find a teacher who can work with a broad outlook, introducing a little of everything.
Our reason for founding Jambo was our belief that music does need to be taught with a more creative and adaptable approach. Often learning can be mostly or even soley focused on sight reading classical music from a score overlooking many of the other equally important aspects of musicianship in favour of learning pieces to perfection for exam purposes. Whilst there is indeed value in this, it must not be be the only focus. Many teachers will naturally have their own leaning to certain styles but finding a teacher who is willing to incorporate a broad range of styles which also includes improvising, composing and integrating theory into pieces and someone that encourages you to play with others may give you a much wider perspective and allow you to discover your own tastes, especially for beginners. So, chat when inquiring about lessons and see what their take is…
Not all musicians that are experienced performers and have a music degree are good teachers but are more likely to be, owing to their own range of experiences and collaborative work with other musicians.
That being said, trust your gut. Many teachers with similar performance and teaching experience, will approach lessons in very different ways.
Once you’ve tried a few lessons have a think about how you feel you’re getting on:
· Does this teacher seem passionate and enthusiastic about what they are teaching?
· Does this person move at a pace that works with my personal rhythm?
· Can I talk easily with this teacher and voice my opinions freely?
· Does the teacher respond to me in a way that resonates?
· Does this teacher understand and accommodate how I learn?
And finally, don’t be afraid to say it’s not working! There are many teachers out there and finding the right one for you is key to your enjoyment and improvement in your instrument. It can be healthy to experience a range of teachers even if you get on really well as each will have their own angle and strengths in teaching different areas.