Choosing a music instructor

Tune your musical goals with your instructor.
Whatever your aspirations for playing musical instruments, you'll want to choose a music instructor who is a good match with your goals. If learning to read music or understand music theory isn’t for you, your instrument will wind up collecting dust if your instructor specializes in the old-fashioned rudiments.

Choose your music school based on its reputation and the talent of its instructors.

Before you begin looking, you should know how much total time, hours per week and the amount of money you want to spend on your music lessons. Do you want a once-a-week lesson or are you looking for more intensive training?

To find music instructors who offer lessons in everything from classical voice to country, check our listings on When you're looking, keep the following tips in mind:

What to ask

Once you choose an instructor, be sure to ask about:

  • Experience, credentials and musical training.

  • Lesson rates and whether the instructor charges on a sliding scale based on income (music lessons should rarely exceed $70 per hour, unless the instructor is particularly qualified).

  • Payment method and whether the music instructor offers discounts if you pay for a whole month or week up front.

  • Lesson schedule — does it fit with yours?

  • Style of music the instructor likes and excels at the most.

  • References — ask whether you may contact any former students.

  • Class materials — purchase the text your instructor uses to see if you understand it. Many manuals and instructors have different teaching methods. If you don't like the teacher or the text, you can change one or both.

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