Parents Don’t Care Who You Studied Under

I not only teach guitar and bass, but direct a music school that has over 30 instructors. I have never advertised a job opening. But I get lots of unsolicited resumes. In looking over resumes, I often don’t see the real information I’m looking for. What’s most important to me is your philosophy of teaching, in particular how you approach teaching kids, since that is the proverbial bread and butter of this business. And I believe parents who email or call us are largely looking for the same thing.

But the conceptual gap between the biographies teachers submit to me and what parents of prospective students ask me about is often so vast it borders on comical.  I get biographies that focus almost exclusively on the names of who they studied under at various conservatories or colleges. One or two is fine, if the person is really well known. I get that dropping some names adds legitimacy to one’s resume;  I do it myself. But how you teach, how much you’ve taught and WHY you want to teach has to be front and center. I’ve had 8 private teachers myself, and I would say that only 2 of them were excellent teachers.  But 7 of them were good or great players, and most of them had great educations.

When parents call the school, they already know and believe our reputation and Google reviews. The #1 thing they care about is what days and times we have open for their kid, so they can fathom how to place another activity within the busy matrix of their life. They *might* ask about how we teach. But no resume takes the place of life in the trenches. As a private teacher you earn your respect and your reputation one lesson at a time. You start out as a cog in the machinery of a busy family’s life. If you are there, faithful to the student’s needs, week after week, and skilled at channeling your own education and technical prowess into a form that inspires and engages that student as an unique individual, then you will be esteemed as a mentor….then and only then.

One Comments

  • Buck November 22, 2016 Reply

    These are very interesting observations. I appreciate learning of them.

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