Finding a teacher isn't hard. Finding the right one is. There's so many choices now of ways to learn and who to learn from, that it's hard to know what's a good enough bet that you want to fork over your money. What do you do if you know you want to start studying something, but you're overwhelmed by the options? How can you tell if something is legitimate?

Here's some tips on finding the right setup for you:

  • Know your learning style - do you need the visual input of a blackboard or demonstrations, or can you learn from just hearing things or reading them in a book? Do you need to move around when you're learning?
  • If you're looking at an online program, make sure it's legitimate.  Are there testimonials or referrals? Is the price in line with other similar programs? Do you need accreditation? Sometimes you don't need formal accreditation but might want an extended program so you can feel qualified for yourself.
  • How much accountability do you need? Can you learn from a self-paced online class or set of materials, or do you need an official weekly in-person class to keep you on target? 
  • Don't put off learning if you're "too busy." There are great podcasts and audiobooks you can listen to in your car or when you're doing the dishes. Even little amounts of listening add up.
  • Check out your local community college. They have an amazing amount of classes available for reasonable price, and many of them are web-based so that you don't actually have to be present at a time that conflicts with your work or life schedule.
  • Look for the money-back guarantee. Generally you can try things for a short period of time and decide if they work for you o
  • Many programs have free material you can check out before you opt for their paid options. Check out videos and blog posts to see if you click with that particular teacher. Sometimes, even if a teacher is great, their voice might drive you crazy.