Finding a good piano teacher can set you or your child’s music path for life. However, if you find the wrong ones, then you will need to keep changing teachers until you hopefully find the right one. Here are some ways to ensure that you have found the right piano teacher for you or your child.
First of all, you should figure whether your or your child’s goal is to pass the ABRSM graded examinations with flying colours or whether you want to play pop songs well. Teaching styles and methodologies can be vastly different depending on what your end goal is. ABRSM graded examinations’ classes are usually much more structured and very strict. However, playing pop songs is about expressing your freedom in playing the song (albeit you still need to hit the right piano keys!). There are teachers who specialize in piano lessons for students who want to pass the ABRSM graded exams while there are others who specialize only in students who want to master playing pop songs. There are obviously teachers who can teach both, but I highly recommend that you find a music teacher who specializes in one of them.
Second of all, if you are serious about wanting to learn the piano, I highly recommend that you purchase a piano for yourself or your child. It doesn’t have to be a grand piano, considering how small Singapore apartments are (unless you live in a bungalow, which is great!). A normal low-mid tier piano will be sufficient to last you for very long. It’s important to have your own piano (not keyboard), as practice is really key to musical success. No amount of talent will work if you are not a diligent and hardworking student of music. Some students may opt to learn from a teacher’s studio, and that is ok, but you should still get your own piano. Personally, I learnt the piano by having a private home music teacher come to my house to teach me on my own piano. In my opinion, having a 1-1 private home piano teacher beats anything else, including studio classes, as it saves me time and I’m taught on the same piano I’m going to practise on! Therefore, a private piano teacher is best.
Third of all, if you thought that learning math was hard, try learning the piano. This is why it is so important to find a patient and responsible piano teacher. Maths is all about the theory. Piano is about theory and practical. If you don’t get a patient and responsible teacher, you will soon find a teacher yelling at you or your child… not very nice.
Here is also a good read from a piano forum from posters discussing about how to find a good music teacher.