Monday Mailbag – Student Interviews

What do you do in your first interview with a student?

Check out this Student Interviews post for an overview of what I include in Student Interviews and for free interview questionnaires that you can download and use in your studio. In a nutshell, though, here are the main things that I aim to accomplish in each interview:

1. Get to know the student and parent and ascertain if we will work well together. I try to get a feel for their personality, how they learn, and what their interests are.

2. Assess the student’s musical aptitude and interest and the parents’ expectations. Only under rare exceptions will I accept a student who is not personally interested in taking piano lessons. If they are interested, then I like to get an idea of what their musical strengths and weaknesses are/will be.

3. Give the student a chance to make music at the piano. I do simple activities and a couple of improvisation exercises to try to build excitement for learning to understand and make music. One of my primary objectives is for them to go home from the interview even more enthusiastic about lessons than when they arrived!

4. Discuss policy issues, studio opportunities, and scheduling considerations. I want to make sure that we are all on the same page and give the parent an opportunity to ask any questions before they sign that they agree to abide by my studio policies. We also figure out lesson times at this point.

I’d love to hear what things others include in the initial student interviews. What else have you found important to include?

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!

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