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Once you have found someone who truly sounds like she knows what she is doing, it is very important that you try a lesson with that teacher. You won't get all of your answers over the phone so don't try to. When you arrive for your first lesson, let the teacher work with you. You will learn more by trying what the teacher has to offer than by asking questions for the entire hour. After that you can evaluate whether or not you want to continue with that teacher. NEVER commit to a block of lessons until you've had the chance to try one out!

When you have your first lesson, it is important that you:

Evaluate the teaching environment:
  • Is it private?
  • Do you feel comfortable there?
  • Can you see yourself taking lessons in that space for an extended period time?
  • ('Yes' has to be the answer to all three questions.)

Ask yourself does the teacher's personality make you feel comfortable?
Is he or she patient or are they abrupt and rushed? Does the teacher's ego seem to permeate his or her teaching style or does he or she keep the focus on you. Large egos inhibit learning and creativity in a lot of people.

Ask yourself if the teacher is capable of being honest while using positive re-enforcement?
Finally, you should not commit to anything unless you feel sure that you want to try lessons with this person for a period of time. During that time you should stay with one teacher to avoid confusion. It is okay to try a few different teachers before making that final choice. Choose wisely because you should study with your teacher long enough that the results stay with you for a lifetime. How long that will take will vary from student to student. If you are a beginner, you should be prepared to spend from six months to a couple of years for the results to last. Trust your instincts and you will find what you need.

Happy teacher hunting.

Orville Heyn


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