It goes without saying that a student’s growth is deeply influenced
by his or her teacher. The Bible (yes, the Bible) has a good point related
to this in Matthew 10:24, 25a. It says "A student is not above his teacher,
nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like
his teacher.” To us, the point here is all students need a great
teacher because students can only grow to the capacity of their teacher.
Every student needs a teacher that believes in that student's ability to
learn and become a good player or singer, famous or not. The teacher should
be looking for ways to create measurable progress in lessons, and have
the student work on performing enjoyable and challenging music as they
develop new and better abilities. Lessons should also encourage you without
being just touchy-feely.
Some studios are focused on being "big-time,” a "we'll make you a
STAR!" attitude, when almost any professional musician / vocalist will tell you
no one can guarantee financial success and stardom in music-there are just too
many people out there pursuing fame with only a few positions available.
If there really was a studio that could make you famous, there'd be only
one-everyone would go there, including most of the other music teachers
in the world.
Many private teachers and studios are organized around a talent search
mentality in which lessons are more of a culling process, weeding out
the "losers" to find the "gifted." Another kind of private teacher asks
every lesson "what do you want to do today?" and never challenges students
or pulls them beyond themselves, making you wonder if the teacher has
any larger vision for the student other than next month's tuition. Some
studios and teachers are so warm and fuzzy that while you're feeling great
about yourself, you don't notice you haven't actually learned anything
in six months. And we could go on and on.
Some studios are focused on teaching without application, so they have
a dry, formal approach that limits real-world progress. A private teacher
might be focused on playing music you don't necessarily like, so everyone
in his or her studio must learn jazz or rock or classical. People need
room to grow musically, as well as play music they like. That’s
why we believe Promethean instructors are the best teachers in the business-they
strike the balance between being encouraging and challenging, between
teaching fundamental music theory and getting you to start playing your
instrument as soon as possible.