My top 10 tips to finding the right teacher for the creative skill you want to develop
A question I’m often asked is how to find the right teacher for training and expanding the creative skill of your choice. The relationship between a student and teacher is a sensitive one and you should spend a little time on finding the right teacher for you. I‘ve put together a list of my top 10 tips to finding the right teacher, so lets dive right into it:
1. Recommendation: the „easiest way“ to get a name. Ask those who recommend the teacher why they love working with that teacher.
2. What kind of education does the teacher have? Do they have any formal training as a teacher? Could they have developed their teaching skills over time as a result of their experience as an artist? Do they keep learning and expanding their skill set?
3. What kind of experience does the teacher have in the art form you want to learn and of course in teaching it? Of course the more years they have been working in either area the more they have seen and learned and this should feed into their teaching. This is no guarantee, but experience helps. However, young and ambitious teachers who are very keen to be the best teacher they can be at the time can also be really good teachers! They can really be worth giving them a chance! And what I‘ve learned: someone who is a brilliant artist doesn‘t necessarily have to be a great teacher. They can be, but that is not a given one. That‘s why there are all the other factors that you have to look into when looking for the right teacher for you.
4. Are they specifically trained and/or experienced in the area you want learn from them? E.g. If you want to learn classical singing it won‘t make too much sense if you go to a teacher who has only experience in popular music. If you want to become a screen actor you need to find an acting coach who really knows what kind of skills you need for acting in front of the camera and how to teach them to you.
5. Are they flexible in regards to the methods they are teaching? Are they open to other approaches? Are they continuing to learn about the newest (scientific) findings in their area of expertise? Are they continuing to take further training to become even better?
6. You and the teacher have to be on the same page about your goals. You should have a clear idea about what you want to achieve and discuss that with the teacher. Listen to their opinion and ask questions to see if their answers are realistic.
7. You and your teacher need to have a good chemistry. The best teacher in the world will not be the right one for you, if you don‘t click. You can‘t force what isn‘t meant to be, but when it works you can look forward to a great journey ahead!
8. Is the teacher‘s studio conveniently reachable enough for your so that you are not going to use the distance as an excuse to not go there whenever you have a „lazy day“ or the weather isn‘t nice enough ;) ? OR:
9. Does the teacher offer online teaching via Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Hangout or whatever? If so this might give you the opportunity to more options in the choice of your teacher. Maybe from much farther away.
10. What types of classed does the teacher offer? One-on-one, small groups, bigger groups?
I hope this is helpful for you. Don‘t rush into anything, but don’t wait too long. At the end of the day you will only find out if the teacher is right for you when you give them a chance and take a few lessons with them.
Stay healthy, stay creative and be brave!
Lots of love,
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Romana Carén is an actress, film and theater maker (writer & director), and singing instructor sharing her experience with juggling all her creative interests, the struggle to feel that you have to decide to be good at one of them, to constantly feel the drive to learn more, learn something new and how this inner artist can be set free to express itself in a healthy and fruitful way.
THE VERSATILE ARTIST