What Qualifications Should a Piano Teacher Have?

Last week we talked about how to find a piano teacher.  Another part of finding the right teacher is making sure they have good qualifications.  So what qualifications should you look for in a piano teacher.


1.  Does the teacher have a degree in piano or music?  This could be a Bachelors, Masters or  DMA of Music in Performance, Pedagogy or Education.  While a degree in music doesn’t always make a good teacher, it does ensure that the teacher has gone through a rigorous course of study in their field.


2.  Does the teacher belong to professional organizations?  This could be NCMTA/NMTA , NFMC, or the National Piano Guild.  For more local examples, the teacher might belong to their area piano teachers forum or guild.  Most of these organizations have membership requirements and teachers must meet them to have different levels of membership. 


3.  Can the teacher supply you with examples of musical achievement for themselves or their students?  Have the students placed well at local festivals and competitions?  If it is a younger teacher, did the teacher place well in the same competitions? 


4.  Can the teacher supply references?


5.  Is the teacher active in the local music community?  Teachers need good contacts.  If they are participating in the musical community, then they are more likely to hear of opportunities for their students.  


So for an example, let’s look at my qualifications:


Heather N Brunner

Charlotte, NC- Piano Teacher

Educational Background:  BM and MM in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Number of Years Teaching:  10

Professional Memberships: 

1.  NMTA, NCMTA and Charlotte, NC chapter of NCMTA.

2.  NFMC

Student Participation:

NCMTA Charlotte Area Festival-

NCMTA Western State Festival

NFMC Festival

NFMC Scholarship Festival

Current Community Participation:

NCMTA  Festival Charlotte Area Chair 2012

NFMC Scholarship Festival Charlotte  Chair 2012

Accompanist for local high school choirs

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