A viola teacher is the ideal person to help you establish good playing habits and to enable you achieve your full potential as a musician. Even adults with busy schedules find it helpful to take lessons once or twice a month to receive assistance with viola technique.
When selecting a viola teacher for you or your child, remember that teaching styles and personalities differ. Some teachers may work well with some individuals and not others. An ideal teacher is one who will not only provide you with a solid foundation of viola technique, but also one who will teach you in a manner that motivates and inspires you as a musician.
Suggestions to find and select a viola teacher:
- Seek viola teacher recommendations from friends, other viola students, music stores, and local schools (school music teachers are a good source of referrals).
- Attend school and community concerts and local recitals. Watch for good players and ask the students whom they study with.
- If you have a university or college nearby, contact the music department. Many music professors run private studios or can give you a recommendation for good teachers in your area. If the professors don't have room for new students, ask if any of their advanced pupils give lessons (this approach may work for any good teacher with a full studio).
- Local chapters of professional musician unions often maintain a list of musicians you could contact for referrals. If your community has a professional symphony or chamber group, attend their concerts and ask the performers if they or their students have a teaching studio with room for new students.
- Contact local music teacher organizations for referrals (e.g. in the United States, members of the Music Teachers National Association or the American String Teachers Association; in Canada, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations; and in Europe, the European String Teachers Association).
- Numerous online music teacher directories are available on the Internet. For example, if you’re interested in a particular teaching approach such as the Suzuki method, use search terms such as Suzuki Association of the Americas or International Suzuki Association in your Internet search for teachers.
- Ask prospective viola teachers for references, and evaluate their credentials. Who did they study with? Do they ever perform on the viola? How long have they been teaching? What level or age of students do they generally teach? What approach to the study of the viola do they take? (e.g. is there a particular viola methodology they favor?) What are their expectations of students?
Once lessons begin, it's important to ask yourself: are you or your child motivated by this viola teacher? Are viola lessons a positive experience, or are they discouraging? Effective teaching is a very personal experience, so if you or your child feel uncomfortable with the personality and teaching style of the teacher, find another viola teacher!
© Copyright 2013 RK Deverich. All rights reserved.