How to choose a music teacher

How to choose a music teacher

When you search to find a music teacher, you might find yourself a bit daunted by the sheer volume of teachers we have for you to choose from. Although you can refine your search using keywords for town, area, and style of music, it can still be hard to know which is the most relevant to your needs.
For this reason, we've taken a minute to highlight some relevant information which can all be found in the search results which will make it easier for you to choose between teachers.

1. Is the teacher a verified member of the Musician's Union?

The Musician's Union is a highly recommended Union for all musicians but is especially useful for those who teach. The MU provides an excellent array of services to teachers such as access to CRB checks, lesson planning, public liability insurance, and other highly useful resources pertinent to teachers. Membership of the MU is a good indicator that the teacher in question takes what they do very seriously.

2. Has the teacher taken the online course by the NSPCC; 'Child Protection Awareness in Music'?

The NSPCC has created an online course specifically for music teachers, and we clearly indicate whether a teacher has completed it or not in the search results. Any professional who has regular contact with children should be trained in child welfare and safety, and this is an issue which many parents factor very highly when choosing a teacher for their children. Indeed, many music teachers who hold some kind of teaching qualification will have covered this issue in due course; however this is not always the case. The course, which was developed by the NSPCC in partnership with the Musician's Union and other associations, allows music teachers to gain a good understanding of good and bad practice and how to behave to avoid accusations of misconduct.

3. Are they qualified?

A lot of the teachers in our database will advertise some kind of qualification that they have gained. However, to most people the qualifications will just seem like a string of letters that don't mean very much, such as DipABRSM for example. To help you understand what exactly these acronyms represent, we have compiled a list of the most common qualifications along with a brief outline of who they are awarded by. It is viewable here in PDF format.

4. Have we verified their qualifications?

If a teacher has a verified qualification, it means that they have received a signed reference from a referee in support of the cited qualification. The referee must be a serving member of the institute which awarded the qualification. To ensure the validity of this system, we carry out random spot checks by contacting the referee of a qualification.

5. Are they a member of any other important bodies?

Membership of an officially recognised institution, such as the European Piano Teachers Association, is another way of ensuring that the music teacher in question is committed to their work. has professional partnerships with The European Piano Teachers' Association, The European String Teachers' Association (UK Branch), The European Recorder Teachers' Association and The Association of Teachers of Singing, with more partnerships in negotiation. Members of these bodies often gain advantageous resources and updates in their field. For example, advanced or even exclusive access to events or entry of themselves and their pupils into competitions, access to bursaries and other funds, and highly relevant, up to date advice from experts in their field.

These are the most important things to consider after location and instruments. If you're still unsure, get in touch with the teacher you're considering and find out what you need to know; they are usually happy to answer your questions. You can even enquire about 'taster-sessions' just to make sure you've found the right teacher.