Selecting a Music Teacher, Piano Teacher or Flute Teacher in Ashburn (20147, 20148), Sterling (20166), Potomac Falls (20165) and Great Falls (22066), VA
1. Make a decision about the type of piano teacher or flute teacher you would like for yourself or your children. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is cost the motivating factor in locating the right piano teacher in Ashburn, Sterling, Potomac Falls or Great Falls, VA or flute teacher in Ashburn, Sterling, Potomac Falls or Great Falls, VA? The majority of professional piano teachers in Northern Virginia request payment in advance on a monthly or semester basis. Piano classes should be thought of and treated as if you were enrolling in college level courses. Tuition is expected even if you know there are classes that you will miss. Professional piano teachers expect payment in advance because piano teaching is their profession, not a side job or hobby. Teachers who have very laid back policies are probably not teaching as a profession and do not rely heavily on the income generated from teaching piano lessons.
- Are you searching for a professional piano teacher or Northern Virginia flute teacher with degrees from an accredited university who provides a classical curriculum?
- Do you want a piano teacher who places special emphasis on technique (hand and wrist position), note-reading, sight-reading, music theory and/or ear training as well as focus on age appropriate classical literature for the developing pianist?
- Do you desire a flute teacher who focuses on embouchure, places utmost importance on sound, tone exercises, breathing exercises, technique (scales (major, minor and modal)), dominant and diminished arpeggios, sight-reading and classical flute repertoire?
Are you are searching for a neighborhood teacher or local music
store who offers low rates, a "pay per lesson" policy, only teaches
from method books and offers no recitals, competitions
or local performance opportunities? A neighborhood music store
will only take your child so far. Typically, their instructors tend to be less qualified because they are either students or teachers who are in the process of acquiring their music degree. "University
trained" is not the same as "degreed instructors." Ask whether the "university trained" instructor has taken courses in piano pedagogy. Teachers who have a pedagogy certificate or degree in piano pedagogy or flute pedagogy have an extensive knowledge of piano and/or flute teaching methods, and an in-depth knowledge of repertoire for varying levels. They can choose repertoire suitable for beginners through advanced levels. Their selection of repertoire spans far beyond the typical method books.
- Are you willing to invest in a quality instrument? It is important that a beginning piano student train the fingers properly by pushing down weighted keys. There needs to be some type of resistance and this can not be accomplished by simply purchasing a $100 keyboard that is not touch-sensitive, has less than 88 keys and offers no resistance when pushing down keys. Many 61-key keyboards have an offset middle "C," which often confuses the younger beginner.
- Do you have a specifc goal in mind? Are you looking to improve technique and overall facility of the keyboard? Do you want to improve your sight-reading? Have you often wished that you could just sit down at the piano and play a piece from start to finish without struggling? Are you looking to be challenged? Are you interested in participating in recitals and/or festivals? If your answer is yes, you are in the right place. Love's Music Lessons, LLC can help you achieve your goal.
- Are you looking for a qualified, professional piano and/or flute teacher who travels to your home and has received extensive educational training from an accredited university?
- Are you searching for a professional piano teacher and flute teacher who is in close proximity to your home. Ms. Love is located five minutes from Ashburn Village, Ashburn Farm, Farmwell Hunt, Carisbrooke, Belmont Country Club, Belmont Ridge, Belmont Green, Belmont Meadows, Belmont Chase, Belmont Hunt, Moreland Estates, Moorefield Station, Broadlands, Brambleton, Loudoun Valley, Loudoun Valley Overlook and Loudoun Valley Estates
- Are you interested in a teacher who focuses on the Russian school of piano playing? (I use music books by many Russian masters.)
- Are you interested in learning scales and arpeggios, proper technique, a wide range of classical repertoire, music theory and aural training?
2. Find out if the music teacher has a degree in music and a degree in the specific instrument they are teaching from an accredited music school, conservatory or college/university.
A BA or BM in music signifies that an individual has passed a number of competencies in music. A BA degree does not mean that a person has taken fewer courses in music and is therefore less qualified than someone who has a BM degree. A BA degree is a liberal arts degree which means that you must take additional coursework outside your major discipline area. I graduated with a BA in Flute Performance from UCLA and the music courses were particularly stringent. Music majors were required to score read Beethoven, Barber and Strauss symphonic works on the piano and pass two years of music history and music theory. I also had to pass two performance juries in front of the woodwind faculty and present two 50-minute recitals.
Someone with a Master's degree in music has attained an even higher level of competency. A Master's student must have even stronger skills in all the areas listed above and give a one hour solo recital in front of a panel of faculty in their specific instrument area. A Master's thesis or a lecture-recital in your specific insturment is also required which typically highlights the pedagogical aspects of a specific composer's music. A university's music department or conservatory requires that a music student be proficient in music theory, have strong aural skills (can recognize intervals and sing a simple melody on sight), understand the relationship between key signatures and chords and can perform a harmonic analysis on any given piece of music. Music majors who are not piano majors are also required to have a minimum level of proficiency on the piano. Music majors are also required to be professionally competent on their main instrument. At least two graded solo recitals must be given through the course of their undergraduate career. Piano majors are required to give two recitals of memorized solo music through the course of their undergraduate career. Music majors must also be competent in music history which means that they can provide an interpretive analysis on the historical perspectives of music. These competencies can not merely be obtained from just taking private lessons.
3. Find out when the teacher is giving a studio recital and attend.
Listening to the teacher's students will give you a good indication of the level and quality of teaching.
4. Find out if the teacher will offer a trial lesson. Love's Music Lessons, LLC offers a no obligation trial lesson.
Typically, there will be a charge for the trial lesson because the teacher is offering his or her time and teaching expertise. This allows you the opportunity to see if the teacher will be a good fit for yourself and/or your children. Many teachers offer a free consultation/interview. This is not the same as a trial lesson. A trial lesson gives you or your child the opportunity to experience the teacher's coaching style first-hand. The teacher-student relationship is very important as it will dictate how quickly a beginner, intermediate or advanced level piano and or flute student will progress.
5. Ask the teacher if he or she offers studio recitals and performance opportunities at music festivals in Northern Virginia.
A studio recital gives the piano or flute student an incentive to practice. A recital also allows a music student to present his or her talent and hard work in front of a welcoming audience of family and friends. It gives the student an opportunity to work towards a final goal. The student learns and memorizes a number of performance pieces and then presents the final product in a recital. Recitals are a wonderful motivational tool to keep the piano and/or flute student excited about practicing and learning a musical instrument.
6. Ask the teacher if he or she is a member of a professional music organization.
Most professional independent piano teachers and flute teachers are members of professional music organizations. These organizations present monthly workshops and master classes to help strengthen their teaching abilities. Additionally, these organizations provide scholarships, competitions and a host of other recitals and festivals for music students. Music teachers are required to pay membership dues which cover the cost of workshops, recitals, competitions and scholarships. A teacher who is offering piano lessons for $20-$40 an hour probably doesn't offer recitals or incentive programs. Membership fees for professional music organizations can be quite costly. Most likely, this type of teacher is teaching as a hobby or for side income and is not going to provide you or your child with quality piano lessons. Investigate and interview several prospective piano teachers and/or flute teachers in the Ashburn, Sterling, Potomac Falls and Great Falls, VA area and select the one that best fits you or your child's learning style and musical needs.