How to identify a good teacher

Good teachers can often be identified at local Music Festivals and other public events, or at pupils' concerts (see the EPTA UK magazine for piano teachers Piano Professional for details).

What to look for:

Qualifications:

A recognised diploma (performers' or teachers') or a degree in which piano playing, or piano pedagogy features as a major component.

Experience and professional outlook:

There should be evidence of performing as well as teaching experience, and of the teacher wishing to continue his/her own musical education, eg: attending master-classes and/or courses.

Teachers should be able to:

* convey their enthusiasm for music
* impart artistic sensibilities
* instil sound technical habits
* develop reading and listening skills
* develop memory and improvising skills
* build up good practice habits
* introduce a variety of musical styles
* include duet and other ensemble playing
* hold concerts, periodically, for pupils to play in
* report regularly to parents on pupils' progress
* assist, where appropriate, with the preparation of candidates for school and other public examinations
* offer advice for pupils wishing to take up a musical career.

They should prepare a written contract specifying:

* the number of lessons per term and their length
* fees and how they should be paid
* period of notice required for termination of contract
* procedure in the event of absence or illness of either party
* any special terms and conditions they may wish to apply - eg: special practice requirements, and arrangements for the purchase of music and any other equipment needed.

NB. It is important to establish that an adequate instrument will be available for practice.