Posted by StringOvation Team on Aug 21, 2017
Students interested in a music career know that there is stiff competition to learn from certain instructors. Being able to get off on the right foot with a new music teacher is crucial for establishing a learning relationship that really benefits student advancement. The ugly truth is that it’s hard to learn from someone you don’t get along with, so making a great impression on your educator—regardless of your age or skill level—is a key to success.
Every time you meet someone an evaluation takes place. Although it may seem wrong, people assess others with one glance. Body language, demeanor, manners, and how you are dressed all help to form an instant impression. Someone’s opinion may change as new character aspects are reveled, but there is so much power in the first impression, that it’s essential to get it right. Sometimes a bad one is impossible to overcome.
When meeting a teacher for the first time, there are small things that you can do to ensure that you make an excellent impression.
Greet your new music teacher with a smile. It really makes a terrific impression and actually boosts your own mood. Studies have shown that facial expressions influence your feelings. It can make you feel less nervous and more confident. When you choose to smile, you give the impression of kindness and happiness to be learning with your instructor.
Be On Time
Your music teacher is not concerned with your excuses, particularly when you meet him for the first time. Good manners go a long way toward making a great impression, and that means making certain that you arrive on time.
Choose Your Clothing with Care
Again, many first impressions happen within a few seconds. You can use that to your advantage by picking out an outfit that will be easy to practice in, but still looks professional. Essentially, you need to present a physical appearance that is pleasant. Make sure that you are well-groomed and ready to treat the learning session or music class with respect. That will unconsciously be conveyed to your teacher and make a good impression.
Show Your Interest
This can be difficult for some students, but active listening skills are crucial for success. You should be able to look your teacher in the eye, nod, and use other non-verbal gestures that demonstrate your active involvement in a conversation. Looking at the wall or messing with your instrument while your teacher is talking tells your instructor that your mind is elsewhere, even if it isn’t.
Mute Your Phone
Nothing makes a worse impression than constant phone interruptions that you "have to" check. Not only is it rude, it clearly conveys the fact that your contacts (not the person you’re with) are more important than anything else. Understand that the world does not revolve around you. You are there to learn and that should be your priority. If it isn’t, the disinterest you show will make a bad impression.
Be Prepared to Perform
Many music educators will want to hear you play right away. If you are meeting your teacher for the first time in a class with other students, just make sure your instrument is in top condition and you have a small piece ready to perform, if asked. For a one-on-one learning session, expect to perform at least one piece, maybe two. Your teacher will want to assess your skill, so be calm and be prepared.
Don’t Suppress Your Individuality
To make a great impression, you don’t have to sacrifice all of your individuality. In fact, it’s a mistake to do so. Of course, fitting in is important, but don’t think that you need to change your hair color to something more subdued or alter your personality. Embrace your uniqueness, but remember your manners. They will honestly do more for making a good impression than any physical changes you might make.
Although it might seem old-fashioned or un-cool, showing courtesy during any first meeting is the key to making an excellent impression on others. In fact, if you develop it now, the skill will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.
Your new music teacher will appreciate any efforts you make to create a good first impression. Remember, she is there to help advance your skills. Your improvement and instruction will go smoothly if you start off on the right foot with your instructor.