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Old 12-03-2012, 08:33 PM   #1
mikejaycox
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Join Date: May 2009
I would like to start teaching guitar. Looking for tips from pros/fulltimers

So here is some possibly irrelevant background to my playing..

I decided when i was done with high school i'd pursue to be the best damn private teacher and musician i could be. I worked my butt off for a year, and am now a music major. It has helped me gain some much needed theory knowledge, and has helped me acquire some other great musical skills like aural skills and some piano work.Iv'e heard a degree is not necessary to be a private teacher. Either way, i'm still majoring in industry and minoring in recording. It will contribute to the big picture somehow.

I take lessons outside of school from a blues player who has toured with Shemekia copeland, and has also played with B.B king, Albert king, Jeff beck, etc. He is a real inspiration.

So, what i want to know is how i can make that dive into teaching? I'd like to be making some money in music now versus later, and gaining some much needed experience while i'm young. I figure the sooner the better as far as gaining skills goes.

What tips can you pass along that have seemed to work really well? Should lessons have curriculum, should i provide as many handouts as necessary, etc? I'm really anxious to put my all into this so i look forward to some responses.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
supersac
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first things first you need experience teaching some people are naturally great teachers and some arent and you wont know what you need to work on until you start

also dont just start your student with drills and scales and theory too early
in the begining most peoepl want to have fun and play along with favorite songs and such so have them build up their technical skills by playing simple song they like and recognize before you go on teaching them the theory aspect of it or youll be boring your students away

about the handouts dont provide too may i find alot of people get dependant on them maybe show them how to make their own chord/scale/fingering/whatever diagrams and encourange them to find things they want to learn about the music they listen to
and fill in the knowledge and correct as you see neccesary

anyway good luck on your future carreer in guitar teacher
im no proffesional but iv been eaching people for about 3 years nows
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:18 AM   #3
British_Steal
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Honestly the best way is just to make that dive and apply to a local music store.

My other bit of advice is to keep in mind that not all the students you will have will be enthusiastic/talented and some wont even practice at all and some will have a piss poor personality to go along with it.

While its admirable that you want to give it your all, its important not to burn yourself out on students that have little to no interest or ability. Do the best you can, but dont get obsessed with how your students play, not all of them will play well and its not your fault (to a certain point, if they dont practice you cant help them too much)

For a curriculum I recommend some sort of method book, preferably one that teaches rhythm and maybe TAB. For popular guitar, TAB gets people learning songs quicker you can always teach them notes a little down the line. Reading rhythmic notation is a must however. Make sure you teach them an easy easy song in there first lesson so they get a taste of playing.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
mikejaycox
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British_Steal, i really like the idea with the music store. Unfortunately i know that for all the big ones down here, you need to already have students and some experience. I have zero right now. Otherwise all your other tips were spot on. I agree with the TAB comments. Reading sheet music can be introduced if someone is interested, but most aren't. Most want to learn songs quickly.

And supersac, good points too. Scales and theory should never be introduced early either in my opinion... but drills should be. To an extent. Simple finger exercises to help build strength and for warm ups is what i had in mind.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
martmiguel
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You can teach anything as long as you are organized, a lesson program can do wonders, it also saves you time because you dont have to prepare each lesson

Some teachers believe that in order to keep your students you need to teach them one song after the other, but my own experience tells me that people like music theory and exercises, they know that technique is necessary to become a great guitar player. They also like to see goals and achieve them, for example I work a 60 lesson program, this must be developed in a year and a half.

this is what I normally do:
60 minutes lesson:
15 minutes: teory
15 minutes: technique
30 minutes: repertoire "songs they like" and try to apply the theory concepts on the songs.

At the time I have 19 students that I see 1 time per week and charge 50 US per lesson.

Hope you find this useful
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejaycox
British_Steal, i really like the idea with the music store. Unfortunately i know that for all the big ones down here, you need to already have students and some experience. I have zero right now. Otherwise all your other tips were spot on. I agree with the TAB comments. Reading sheet music can be introduced if someone is interested, but most aren't. Most want to learn songs quickly.

And supersac, good points too. Scales and theory should never be introduced early either in my opinion... but drills should be. To an extent. Simple finger exercises to help build strength and for warm ups is what i had in mind.


its a catch 22 situation you need experience to get the job and you need the job to get experience. If you have a degree of some sort that can outweigh the no experience problem or if you have a good teacher with a reputation that is known use him as a reference that could get you the job. Maybe teach some people for free (somne friends) and then you can say you do have experience. I would just apply even if you think you wont get it and see what happens.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:24 PM   #7
mikejaycox
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I agree with both the above posts. I have students so far, starting with me in a few weeks. I am facing a problem with having a place to teach, but im working on that right now. Sadly the only spare room we have is upstairs, and it won't be the best place to teach children per say. Either way, i'm trying not to teach under 13.
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