Do You Need a Private Teacher?

By Sean Stone-Ashe

Students who have access to private music lessons have a significant advantage on their music-learning journey. Below are some of the key reasons why private instruction is so effective and valuable for aspiring musicians.

1. It’s All About You

The most pedagogically valuable element of taking private music lessons is that all of the content is based around your needs, and all of the feedback is directly for you. If you learn music in a classroom, the feedback you receive is directed more towards the class as a whole, and you will rarely receive feedback directly on your playing.

This classroom experience is magnified if you try to learn in a self-taught manner from YouTube videos or other sources. Here, you receive no feedback of any kind.

Instead, when you attend private lessons, you receive a customized experience that is fitted to your wants and needs by an expert in the field. Almost all people learn faster and better in this setting, and a strong teacher is your most valuable resource for musical success.

2. Increased Engagement

Have you ever been sitting in a classroom or auditorium, listening to a lecture or presentation that felt barely relevant to you and your interests? For most of us, the answer to this question is a resounding “yes!”

Whenever we find ourselves being spoken to as part of a group, it is easy to feel invisible and disengage. The larger the group, the more likely this is to happen. However, when you are speaking to someone in a one-on-one capacity, and they ask you a question, you know they want to hear your answer. 

This one-one-one experience is far more engaging, and is one of the hallmarks of private instruction. The flow of a private lesson is more organic than a classroom experience, and can often feel just like having a conversation or even playtime. The only difference is this time is focused around making music.

3. Valuable Mentorship

Another incidental benefit of having a private teacher is that you are gaining someone who can serve as a personal mentor to yourself or your child. To be honest, this could be the most valuable aspect of having a private instructor. 

The majority of students who receive private music lessons as a child do not grow up to pursue music in a serious or professional capacity. But, when those students attend lessons, they not only form a lifelong love of art, but they also forge a strong connection to their teacher, who has given them advice and encouragement that stretches far beyond music theory and scales.

In a world where bad influence and negativity can dominate our personal psyche, it is invaluable to have a relationship with an adult who inspires, builds confidence, and empowers a student with knowledge and confidence to make strong life choices.