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Finding the Best Music Teacher for You

By Jonathan Vipond

One of the key elements to learning a musical instrument is having a great teacher. In my article 'Why Do I Need a Teacher', which can be found at my website, I highlighted the positive effect that a teacher can have on a beginner musicians ability and future as a musician. Whilst this is an important step, finding someone of quality is equally important. A poor teacher is almost as bad as not having one, probably worse as you will waste time and money learning and developing your skills ineffectively. So, here are some tips for finding the person best suited for you.

  • Decide what you want out of lessons - What exactly do you want to learn?
  • Shop around for teachers - Don't just settle for the first teacher you come across. Find the best for you.
  • Cheaper is not better - Value matters but so does quality. Consider teachers who charge more.
  • Don't fall for the hard sale - Who's best interests does the teacher really care about?
  • What helpful facilities do they have available to them when they teach? Credentials, reputation and experience.

Finally, and perhaps the most important aspect, do you get on with them? There is no point in taking lessons from someone if you cannot hold a conversation with them. The art of becoming a musician is about communication between the student and teacher. You need to find someone who will inspire you and talk your learning and development to new places, whilst of course having a lot of fun in the process!

Here are some quotes to think about;

You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help them find it within themselves. - Galileo
People don't need education, they need inspiration. - Bob Marley

We can all remember the best teachers at school. Those were the people who did not teach as much as give you the reason you needed to find out for yourself what you needed to know and were so passionate about their subject that we clung to every word they said. One of my favourite teachers was my history teacher who painted such epic pictures about the Second World War and colonial and native America it was a pleasure to be in his lessons. Likewise we can all remember the poor teachers, those who taught with no soul or imagination. How much did you learn in their lessons? Perhaps you are being taught by these people now. If you are out of school perhaps you were at a conference, presentation, meeting or seminar where you were struck by a particular moving (or indeed unmoving) speech. How did this make you feel?

Real learning and development happens when you are on fire with enthusiasm. Find someone who brings this out in you and watch your ability thrive!

Everyone starts playing with the best of intentions, but how many will turn those intentions into reality without the help of a teacher?

Jonathan Vipond

Copyright - Jonathan Vipond

Jonathan Vipond is a professional guitar instructor in West Yorkshire where he runs the Jonathan Vipond School of Guitar. With over 15 years of practical experience he has written and recorded albums and EPs, toured with several bands and has notched up hundreds of live shows to his name. Jonathan is currently studying with master musician, composer and teacher Tom Hess (

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