So much to say here!
The way I approach teaching varies according to each students age and needs. Here are some concepts that I believe in:
- Lessons really need to be enjoyable and fun.
- Lessons need to be adaptive to your style, playing needs and goals.
- Depending on the student, theory is important but taught in a practical way, as needed, not as a class.
- You don’t need to learn to read music to play guitar, bass, ukulele or mandolin, but we can if you want.
- A good instrument is very important, I am willing to help get you one.
Younger Students (age 5ish to 13ish)
I try to instill confidence. I try to be very positive. I want students to feel like they will be able to do anything. I also feel that they need to know that success doesn’t come without practice.
Going through a method book is often a good idea at younger ages, but not essential. A younger student with smaller hands will often play ukulele first, I really love this idea, I have developed a beginner ukulele method book that I use, or if there is one available in the store that will work as well.
Here is a an article on the science behind the learning brain playing music. Here
Young Adult Students (age 13ish to 20ish)
Again, confidence, sometimes it’s even more important at this age range. I really want a student to feel like they can do anything. Practice can be more of an issue here and getting them to understand that good practice methods will take them a long way. I can usually show the merits of practice in one lessons, do something over and over for 15 minutes and it’s incredible how good you can get at it. Do it over and over for 15 minutes every day for a week and you will perfect it!
I want to build a complete understanding of music and guitar, this involves discussion on bands and history and different types of music, what is reggae?, what is blues?
One of my main goals with a student is to be able to walk into a room with other musicians and not be lost with what is going on. As well, they should have the confidence to join in!
We often achieve goals by playing songs that the student likes, therefore a good feel for what music they enjoy is really beneficial, if not, we can play a variety of styles and songs until they start to develop their own tastes. I try to always play a variety of styles with students.
Adults can be the most varied learners when it comes to music. My lessons and teaching styles will vary completely with the students goals, needs and ability. Practice time is also a different beast for some adults, it’s not always easy.
Some adults want to be able to play songs around the campfire, some want to learn to play jazz standards and some want to learn classical, whatever your desire for guitar is, we can achieve it together.