Beginning your Music Tuition Journey

Reasons for seeking private tuition are as unique as the individual seeking it. Yet, one of the biggest differences for music is that, unlike academic subjects, school support for music teaching can be woefully lacking, meaning that private tuition is sometimes the only way some people can learn.

"For me, the only way I could learn my instrument of choice was through private tuition: I never had much exposure to music at school, so when I finally discovered my passion I needed guidance every step of the way." - Case, 19, near Bristol

Because of this, music tuition tends to be more 'involved' than regular tuition: it often lasts longer, more is learnt (tutees often start as total beginners), and it represents a significant investment for those undertaking it. This can mean some people find starting music tuition a daunting prospect.

But it doesn't have to be. The key to getting thing started smoothly is to know exactly what you want to achieve. What instrument, what you want to be able to 'get out' of it, how long you wish to receive tuition, when/where you'd be happy to have lessons etc. If you know all this yourself (and make sure any prospective tutor knows it too), you'll have a much easier time: nebulous plans and lacking communication rarely lead to desirable outcomes. Equally, don't be afraid to talk to your tutor to hone your ambitions: not only will this help you "thrash out" and solidify your goals, it will make your tutor aware of your aims, thought processes etc.

On the subject of which, finding a tutor is easier than you'll expect. Of course you're reading this on, so you know that running a search for tutors in your area is easy! Once you've got a short-list, here are some things to consider when choosing your first music teacher:

  • Make sure they're available for the long haul (year+), if that's what you require
  • As qualified as they may be, it may be helpful to confirm their ability to teach absolute beginners
  • The logistics of travel and lesson venues are different compared to other types of tuition: instruments might have to be transported, neighbours might complain about noise. Make sure they can accommodate you, or that they are happy to travel to yours