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Finding the Right Teacher

July 25, 2002|Brenda Rees

Picking a music teacher can be overwhelming, but experts agree that finding the right one is critical for children to succeed.

Gary L. Ingle, executive director of the Music Teachers National Assn., suggests parents ask friends and schoolteachers for recommendations. People who work at music stores or on the faculty of local colleges can also be a great resource.

Then, he says, interview prospective teachers about their own schooling and teaching experience. "Arrange to sit in on a lesson and see how the teaching is done. If the teacher feels sitting in is too intrusive, ask if they are having a student recital and attend that.

"It's important parents look beyond specific methods and find a teacher who is appropriate and whose personality is compatible to their child's," Ingle says. "Find a teacher who creates a dynamic learning environment that's built on collaboration, trust and enjoyment."

Here's an overview of some of the many music schools and programs around Southern California:

The Colburn School of Performing Arts--Around since 1952, it's the West Coast equivalent of the Juilliard School of Performing Arts. Classes are for children ages 2 1/2 to 18. 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A., (213) 621-2200.

Pasadena Conservatory of Music--Infants to senior citizens are enrolled in a wide curriculum; many of the current 1,000 students are young adults. 100 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena, (626) 683-3355.

Torrance Yamaha Music Center--All instructors are certified Yamaha music education specialists who teach students from 3 years old to adult. 22817 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, (310) 539-8882.

Music Rhapsody--Now in its 20th year, the program offers classes and summer camp experiences at four locations: Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. 1603 Aviation Blvd., Suite 1, Redondo Beach, (310) 376-8646.

Suzuki Program of Los Angeles--With a staff of 12 teachers trained in the Suzuki method, this program has been in the area more than 25 years. 5233 Lemona Ave., Sherman Oaks, (818) 981-4243.

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