Music has a lot of benefits to children and adults alike. It is particularly more beneficial if children are exposed to music as early as possible.
So, if your child shows interest in music, you should get them a tutor as soon as you can.
How then do you know who to commit them to? There are many music schools and tutors out there with different teaching methods.
You must know what to look out for before you choose a tutor for your child. This ensures you do not waste money, time, or kill your kid’s musical talent before they even start using it.
Seeing you might have various options for a music tutor, you must not rush into choosing one. Tutors are not perfect, but you can get the absolute best for your kids.
This article is an ultimate checklist for parents before selecting a music tutor for their kids. It will show you the things to look out for before going tutor-hunting and guide you to choosing the best tutor possible in Singapore.
Have specific expectations
How would you know if your tutor is good enough if you do not know what to expect?
The first item on our checklists is your expectation. This depends on how much you want your kid to learn and what music instrument is their interest.
Also, consider if your child has some background music knowledge or starting from scratch. You have to understand your kids, know how interested they are in learning, and how fast they learn.
It is crucial to match your budget with the quality of teaching and teaching hours you expect. This makes sure your budget is realistic and result-oriented. Your expectations should include:
- If the child is learning just music theory or one or more musical instruments.
- How much you want your child to learn. LVL Music Academy does a wonderful job of assessment to know where your child needs to start from.
- The tutor’s qualification(s)
- How much you have to pay
- Time commitment and how convenient the schedule is for your kid.
- If the teaching will happen at home, at the tutor’s place, or somewhere neutral
Your kids might have friends who have excellent tutors. That might be an excellent place to start your search.
You can speak with the parents of your kids’ friends to know about their tutors. Or you should also talk to other people you think can help – neighbours, colleagues, etc.
Next, you can check at community centres and music schools. Some may be able to point you to some tutors in the neighbourhood. You can then screen out based on the factors you noted under your expectations.
We, however, do not think you should rely solely on recommendations. Take out time to do some research after you have a shortlist of prospective tutors.
You can find a way to see them in action – attend a student’s recital or visit your friend’s home during a teaching session. Pay attention to how they interact with and encourage the children.
Your research also entails checking your tutor’s social media accounts, especially on professional platforms like Facebook.
This is not just to stalk them but to see what they have been up to, music training-wise. If the music tutor or school has a website or portfolio, check out their testimonials and reviews.
Speak with potential music tutors.
When you know how the various teachers interact with their students, you can approach the tutors you like best.
Speaking with the tutors helps you understand their teaching style better. You get to know what to expect during the teaching sessions.
Find out about their qualifications, if they belong to any professional organisations and their experience with children.
Importantly, ensure they can teach your child’s musical instrument of choice with demonstrable expertise. If your child wants to learn multiple musical instruments, ask if they can teach those too.
Next, see if their schedule fits you and your kid – if the teaching schedule is flexible enough.
Decide whether the sessions will be after school hours, during weekends, or on holidays.
You should also talk this through with your child to understand which they would like best. Take into consideration how it is going to affect your child’s school performance.
You should also know what material will be used for teaching and assessments. Ask about recitals and if there is a training curriculum.
The tutor’s responses to these give you an understanding of the training structure and how organised the tutor is. If you have good music knowledge or know someone who does, they can tell you if the curriculum is standard enough.
If there are any peculiarities with your child, you should bring them up. If you have a child with special needs who is interested in music, not every music teacher would do a good job.
You should be extra-cautious when choosing a music tutor. Preferably, choose one that has had some experience teaching such kids.
Settle on the logistics
As soon as you have a music tutor that suits your expectations and the interest of your child, you can go on to settling the logistics.
Consider the distance before you choose the tutor. It is best to select a tutor as close as possible to make the meeting easier.
But this should not compromise on the quality of lessons your child is getting. If you have to go a little far to get a good tutor, it is absolutely worth it.
Here, you also talk about the fees and any additional expenses like materials, instruments, etc. Confirm what the payment system looks like.
Do you have to make a downpayment, pay monthly, or per session? Suppose you are using a third-party online platform to select your tutor. In that case, you should also note the payment provisions available.
You might have a lot of options for a music tutor for your kids. This article has explored how you pick the best tutor possible. Here is the summary of our checklist.
- Do not be in a hurry to find a tutor. Take time to explore your options
- Have expectations. Know what you are looking for.
- Recommendations, testimonials, and reviews are good, but they cannot be as reliable as your own findings.
- Set up an interview with potential tutors to know if they can meet your expectation
- If you have a special needs kid, you have to be more critical
- Consider distance and agree on payment terms
- Check out the instructional material and curriculum.
With these steps, you are sure to get an excellent tutor for your kid.
For related articles, please consider the following:
Guide to Music & Art Elective Programmes in Secondary Schools