What are you paying your teacher for? Are they giving you something that you can’t get somewhere else more easily or for less money?

Some teachers are paid to hand out sheet music, or to give information that is easily found online or in books. Some teachers are just a person to hang out and jam with.

Students are usually able to find information on their own. It’s the teacher’s job to put this information in context in a way that the student cannot. A teacher can also help a student understand why it’s worth the time to seek out information independently.

Students can also usually find a musician to play music with. A teacher is someone a student can play music with that is generally a higher caliber and more experienced musician. That’s worth the money.

Is your teacher giving you real value for your money? If not, what are the questions you can ask to tease out that knowledge and experience?

If you’re a teacher, are you giving value to your students? Are you doing something for them that they can’t already do themselves? Are you trying to pass the torch and help them understand how to start to do this work on their own?

This isn’t really about money, it’s about time.

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