Although a lot of the appeal of music is based around it being such an art of experimentation and expression, it is still a discipline where a great teacher can help you to unlock the greatest extent of your potential.
Whether you are a guitarist, a drummer, a violinist, or play any other instrument, finding a teacher to guide and inspire you could be the difference between you just being someone who plays an instrument for something to do, and becoming someone who does it for a living.
How should you go about finding a great music teacher?
Image credit Billy Alexander via Sxc.hu
Give this question careful thought: are you looking for a teacher, or someone who is more of a mentor?
To come to the correct conclusion, you will need to consider your current level of competence at playing your instrument. If you are a total beginner, for example, then hiring a teacher is going to be your best option. They can introduce you to an instrument, and help you to learn the basics before beginning to enhance your learning.
If you are already an intermediate or an advanced player, but are looking for some inspiration – maybe you have plateaued or have started to get bored – then a mentor will probably be better. They can act as someone you can talk to, who will give you new ideas and perhaps even let you borrow some of their own, and help you to get out of the musical rut you have found yourself in.
Once you have ascertained the guidance you need, you can start looking.
Finding everything is easy online, and looking for a music teacher is no different. The great thing today is that many will have videos of themselves or their students playing their instrument, meaning you can get a look at what the ‘final result’ will be, or the sort of guidance you can expect to find.
If you want, you will even be able to find a number of online courses, so you won’t actually have a physical teacher but just learn from online tutorials or videos that take you through each lesson one step at a time.
If you are looking for a mentor then the chances are that you aren’t going to strike up that sort of relationship by finding someone on the internet. Instead, go to as many gigs as you can in your local area, and try to get talking to the musicians after they have finished their set.
Granted, you aren’t going to get Keith Richards showing you his best moves, but often you will find some great knowledge, which in turn can lead to opportunities to support a musician or guest play in one of their sets, for example.
On the flip side of this coin, if you are already playing gigs yourself, send out emails and invite other local musicians or those you know are involved with the industry to come along and see you – you never know who you might impress.
Having a great music teacher or mentor can help to develop your skill or take it to the next level, find the right one for you so you can maximise your potential.