Choosing an instructor to teach you a musical instrument seems pretty straight forward. Well, maybe not. I have students right now who’s first encounter was with someone who had limited instruction themselves but thought they knew how to teach, or the guy down the street who is in a band and never took a lesson. Ask yourself, would you want to go to any school and find out the people teaching you had little knowledge of the subject matter? Of course not. Treat learning music the same way. Ask the important questions such as:
1- What is the potential instructors credentials and experience?
2- What is their program like and what does the program include? Example; Do they use a lesson course, extra material, etc.?
3- Will they demonstrate their ability to play the instrument they are teaching? Ask them to play you a tune. There should be no objection.
4- Do you feel comfortable with the instructor and confidant that he or she can help you learn correctly?
Remember this is going to be a longtime relationship so comfort is important whether it be you or your child. Also, the child should be with you if the lessons are for them. I personally like to meet and speak with the child to determine what kind of personality they have, and it is important for them to feel safe with this stranger they just met.
Find someone with not just teaching experience but practical performance experience as well. It is of tremendous advantage in aiding the teacher to get the message across to the student and this person can assist in preparation for public performance. When you find someone you are comfortable with, then ask them for advice on what you should purchase in an instrument or materials.