How to Find an
Exceptional Piano Teacher
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Piano Instructor
When you look for a piano teacher either online or in-person, sometimes it’s just quite hard to tell whether the instructor is professional, friendly and suited for you.
Which piano instructor should you ultimately choose? How can you tell if instructor A is better at teaching piano than instructor B?
You should actively shop around and choose an exceptional piano teacher for you because they may have a huge impact on your learning journey. Students learn a lot from watching and imitating the way teachers play piano, think about music, level of technique, expression and musical nature.
Table of Contents
Get an Expert Piano Instructor From the Start
- tailor your learning curriculum
- inspire a love of music
- motivate you to challenge and grow
- give constant, detailed feedback
Many piano learners make mistakes by trying to start with an ordinary teacher who also charges less, and then switching to a better instructor. One thing to note in this shifting process is that you will likely experience confusion in learning, which can take up to years for you to get rid of any bad habits including posture, fingering, hand and wrist control.
Every teacher is unique and puts a different amount of emphasis in terms of lesson curriculum. Some piano teachers focus more on the technical side of piano whereas as some teachers might tell you to focus on playing more musically.
Meet your piano teacher, discuss goals and begin 1-on-1 instruction.
No contract or credit card necessary.
Check the Teacher's Educational Background
Degrees in Piano Performance or Pedagogy
- Are you majored in piano performance or non-piano fields?
- Do you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in piano?
- Did you take any courses in piano pedagogy, music education, music theory or music history?
For Parents: If you’re looking for a piano teacher for your child, you can also look for someone who majored in music education with a focus in piano performance. These instructors can teach basic skills like reading music, theory and general foundation of piano playing. When your child is ready to advance, possibly within a year or so, you should start thinking about switching to a piano teacher with advanced degrees in piano.
Competitions and Performance Experience
When finding a piano teacher, it’s best to see if the teacher has listed any performance related accomplishments. This includes winning prizes from piano competitions, making a debut, collaborating with other musicians and giving solo or concerto performances.
The first thing you should do is to go to the piano teacher’s professional website and read their bio. If there are any live performance recordings listed, take time to watch the recordings.
Your potential piano teacher should at least put several descriptions of winning or participating in domestic or international piano competitions. Their resume should also include summary of their performance experiences such as recitals, tours, summer festivals, masterclasses and concerto performances.
Teaching Experience in Piano
In addition to checking the teacher’s degree online, it’s also important to look for a piano instructor with at least 3 years of teaching experience. The best piano teachers will almost certainly learn piano pedagogy class during college which demonstrates a high foundational level of teaching.
That being said, you should also look for someone who is comfortable teaching piano with method books. Method books are considered to be a great learning resource for beginners and children, so make sure to ask your teacher about using piano method books.
Not every piano teacher lists this online, but you should check if the teacher has done and passed a comprehensive background check, especially if the lesson is for your child. Some live online piano lesson websites, such as Lesson With You, offer free trial lessons with professional piano instructors who are fully background checked.
Explore Our Piano Teachers
All piano instructors hold advanced degrees in piano from Top schools with 5+ years of teaching experience.
Start your FREE trial today!
All piano instructors hold advanced degrees in piano with 5+ years of teaching. Start your FREE trial today!
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Piano Teacher
Once you’re done with narrowing down a number of potential piano teachers, the next step is to talk with the instructors. Here are some recommendations for questions to ask:
- How many piano students do you teach? What ages and levels?
- How do you build a lesson plan? Is the curriculum personalized?
- Do you expect students to participate in recital, jury or competition?
- What are your practice expectations for beginners and advanced students?
- Which piano method books do you use?
- How to do motivate students to practice piano and improve?
Take a Trial Lesson First
When contacting potential piano teachers, make sure to ask if they offer trial lessons. Taking a trial lesson will give you fresh insights on a couple of things:
- Does the teacher speak clearly and ask appropriate questions to the student? How does the teacher respond to the answers the student provided and vice versa?
- How does the teacher initiate and lead the piano lesson? Is the lesson engaging? How frequent does the teacher play piano and show the technique to the student?
- What’s the teacher like? Happy, quiet or rather moody? Is the teacher likeable?
- How often does the teacher give feedback? Are they direct or indirect? Does the teacher pay enough attention to detail and correct the student? It’s also important to see how the student responds to the compliment and criticism.
- How does the instructor end the lesson? When the instructor gives assignments or homework, does the student leave the lesson clear on what to work on next?
Choosing the Right Piano Instructor After a Trial
According to our recent piano lesson cost guide, the average cost is $40 for a half hour piano lesson. Live online lessons using video chats typically charge between $20-40 for a half hour lesson. Local private piano lessons averages $40 per half hour lesson, while in-person group lessons can cost $20 for the same amount of time.
Your ideal piano instructor should offer a flexible scheduling and rescheduling option. Of course, it’s not a good sign when a teacher (or a student) cancels or reschedules lessons too often, but knowing the teacher offers a rescheduling option can be a plus.
When finding a piano teacher online or in-person, you should always check and read the lesson reviews. If you’re particularly looking for a live online piano lesson, you will notice the reviews left in the teacher profile. If 8 or 9 out of 10 reviews are positive, that means the teacher is great and able to teach a high-quality piano lesson.
If you want to get in-person piano lesson recommendations, you can ask friends, neighbors or even find a piano teacher online and ask if they offer lessons in person.
Not many piano lesson providers require long term commitment or contracts these days, but you’d still want to make sure if there’s a contract required or not before setting up the first lesson. It’s also recommended for students to check the type of payment the teacher prefers and when to send the payment.
Need help with Finding a Potential Piano Instructor?
Lesson With You offers live online 1-on-1 piano lessons with the top piano instructors who earned at least Bachelor’s degrees from top music schools including Eastman school of Music, Indiana University, Rice University, Guildhall Music School and Mannes School of Music.
The first trial lesson is FREE! No Contracts Ever.
Piano Guides for All Levels
Explore our music lessons
Interested in a certain style?
Musical Theatre Singing Lessons | Classical singing Lessons | Rock singing Lessons | Country singing Lessons | Pop Singing Lessons
Classical Guitar Lessons | Acoustic Guitar Lessons | Jazz Guitar Lessons | Rock Guitar Lessons | Electric Guitar Lessons | R&B Guitar Lessons