Information for Students Taking Music Lessons

Music Teachers and Lessons: Things to Think About

Confirm:
Location of lessons
Accessibility of location (walk/drive/public transportation)
Contact information (telephone/email/address).

Ask:
Have you taught Harvard Students previously?
What is length of lesson?
What is cost and preferred payment (up front, day of)?
What is expected frequency of lessons?
Are you flexible on lesson plans?
What is your missed lesson policy?
How frequently are you out of town (touring)
Are there specific materials, literature, etude texts, etc. to be prepared or brought to the first lesson?
What expectations are there for the first meeting?

Let them know of:
Any possible scheduling conflicts, issues.
Specific literature (orchestral excerpts, a solo work, or audition piece) that you want to work on preparing.
Specific goals for lessons (improve reading skills, work on solo material; develop improvisation skills, embouchure building, etc.)
Your level of ability (beginning, intermediate, advanced, “out of shape”).

If Instructor is NOT available Ask:
Do they have a “waiting list” you could be put on?
Are there other instructors that they could recommend?
It the cost of lessons is prohibitive ask if they could recommend a graduate student who could instruct.

At first lesson:
Bring a 3 x5 index card with your name, contact information (permanent and Harvard mailing address, telephone (home and cell) and email).
Bring Specific literature (orchestral excerpts, a solo work, or audition piece) that you want to work on preparing.
Prepare a musical selection representing music you enjoy and are comfortable with, or music you would like to work on. 
If preparing for an audition or preparing for an ensemble, spell out requirements and expectations.

If pleased with the first lesson:
Set up time for next lesson.
Discuss how regularly it is practical to meet.
Keep a written record of all lesson dates, payments and materials covered.