One of the trickiest things about music education is putting the right students together with the right teachers. Look at the pages of music journals and you would be surprised how little you find on the subject.
For students and parents, the problem is how to find the right teacher. What criteria does one use? Price? Education? Distance?
For teachers, the problem is how to find the right high-quality students. How to advertise? With flyers? In the paper? On the internet?
Katherine Goins in the July Piano Pedagogy Forum attempts to find the answers to these questions. In The Music Teacher Selection Process: Establishing a Reputation for Teaching Excellence, she discusses the results of a survey she circulated among parents and students asking questions about how they identify factors in the music teacher selection process.
Her results showed that 82% of respondents cited word of mouth as the most important factor. Of the nearly 50% of parents who thought a difference existed between music lessons and other activities, Katherine writes:
For this group of parents, program reputation, philosophy, and teacher quality played an important role in the decision process, outweighing factors such as location, cost, and other opportunities.
Her most important conclusion was that reputation does matter, as does networking and joining professional organizations for teachers. Perhaps the most successful trajectory for a teacher is a long tail phenomenon where up-front advertising is less important than having a dedicated core of students and parents who will over time spread the word about their positive musical experiences and put their friends in touch with the teacher that inspired them.
|A Parent's Guide To Piano Lessons By Jane Smisor Bastien. Bastien Piano. Special Bastien Books. Music Book. Published by Neil A. Kjos Music Company. (WP29)|
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