#1
It seems that in many people's opinion in order to be considered a "good" teacher, or one who is able to get a job at the local music store, that you need to have a degree in music, at least 10 years experience, teaching experience, and have played semi-professionally yourself. How is it possible for anyone to become a teacher short of making that your life career? How do you even get started/hired if you've never taught before?

I have been teaching drum and guitar lessons at a school for the last 4 years. Every time I ask a question about teaching I am bombarded with people telling me I have no business teaching, and should leave it to the "professionals" I think I am a great teacher with playing experience, teaching experience, I am also responsible, and personable. And spend a lot of my free time writing my lessons to be customized to the students I am currently teaching.

No I will never have a degree in music because personally I don't think it is necessary, and wouldn't help get me very far in the music business. Just because I don't have the tangible items to show, doesn't mean I am not qualified.
#2
Thats good for you. i personally cant teach very well. i have a short temper. i guess some people were meant for teaching.
#3
a good teacher would know how to teach new things in a way that is easily understood and to apply to the guitar. some people are good players but cant explain things very well. unfortunatly, im in that area. im getting better though. my problem is teaching complete noobs. i dont really know where to start or how far to progress. i can teach people who already play though. like show them new tricks and tips and so on.
#4
A degree doesn't make you any more of a teacher then owning a guitar makes you a guitarist. To be a teacher you have to know how to teach, and getting a degree from a good school can help that.

As evidenced by your second paragraph, a degree, in essence, only makes you a marketable teacher, which is a very useful when you're trying to feed yourself but is quite a world apart from 'good' teaching. Good teaching is quite a number of things really, but if we allow all other things to be equal, it's the communicative skills that are most important. That is, in so far as they pertain to teaching of course.


On a related side note, validation is one of the first things a student or parent looks for in a teacher. When your exposure is in performance, it is that performance which serves as a means of validation between you and your prospective students, but if you are to widen and impersonalize your distribution channel, such as advertising in the classifieds of a newspaper, a degree will function likewise. In so far as music degrees allows one to be marketed, so then is it useful to music business. (If you haven't noticed, I had quite a stink with your second to last sentence!)
#5
A music degree tells someone that you have reached a certain level of knowledge and skill, so it is useful. Having a degree doesn't mean you can teach though, and I don't think it's necessary to have a music degree to teach an instrument.

If you don't have a degree you just need to find another way of demonstrating your validity as a teacher - whether it be by performing or having references from students you have successfully taught in the past, or some other evidence.

I believe the most important asset a teacher needs is good communication skills and shedloads of patience - which is why I'd make a rubbish teacher lol
#6
It seems that in many people's opinion in order to be considered a "good" teacher, or one who is able to get a job at the local music store, that you need to have a degree in music, at least 10 years experience, teaching experience, and have played semi-professionally yourself.


Many people are idiots.

If you teach well, you teach well. I know people who have degrees in music, 30 years experience and plenty of semi-pro playing to their name, and they're rubbish at teaching. They see large amounts of sign-ups and then the pupils gradually drop off. Wonder why?

You'll see the opposite if you can teach.
#7
If you're getting paid for teaching, then you're a professional and therefore leaving it up to the professionals.


No, this does not contradict what I said in the other thread.
#8
What I look for a teacher falls into several criteria. The teacher has to be able to impress me with his/her abilities and musicality on the instrument. Being impressed is a great motivator and will give me the impetus to learn and expand.... in other words, inspired. It is true that a teacher can have doctorates and millions of hours of performance but inefficient at teaching. What a good teacher does is to constantly evaluate the student for strengths and weaknesses, and instruct them what to practice on. I also feel that the teacher has to have a clear goal for the student. There has to be a tangible system where progress can be measured. I don't like it when I walk into a lesson and get handed a stack of covers songs. The teacher has to select material that will cover a relevant musical topic. Also, Patience, a teacher has to be able to sit there and work on a student's problem without getting frustrated. Since music is subjective, the teacher has to be able to relate to genres or any other artist and artistic style in a positive manner. When a student returns to the next lesson with a new and more advanced technique they learned on their own... that makes me very happy. I cant emphasize enough about good teachers being motivators. Finding a teacher who loves teaching for the sake of spreading the love of music is a golden find and worth the money.
#9
From my perspective as a 'degreed' teacher.... I have both a degree in music, AND a degree in education....

A great teacher needs only a few things:
-to motivate their students
-to inspire their students
-to encourage their students
-to care about their students
-to be able to teach the student to teach him/herself as a life-long learner.

That last one is the clincher. Someone who simply throws a bunch of tabs at a student and says, "here, do this, then do this, then do this.... and then you can play this song" has, IMHO, no business teaching. I had a student who came to me years ago who had taken lessons at a local music store for a couple years. He knew lots of songs and lots of riffs. I started seeing what he knew, as opposed to what he could do, and asked him to play me an Am chord. He looked at me like I had three heads. I had him go back and play Stairway to Heaven for me. At the first chord, I said, "Stop! What chord is that?" He had no idea. I asked him if I could see his music for it. He said he never had any. I asked him how he learned it, and he said his instructor told him to "put your fingers here and do this...."

I think a good teacher needs to teach everything from basic reading, basic theory, open chords, movable chord shapes, scales, etc., but to do it in such a way that the student *wants* to continue to learn. If a student learns that stuff and never has a lesson again in his/her life, they can continue to teach themselves, and will be able to not only find, but understand the resources they encounter in that pursuit.

So, what does a degree have to do with it? Well... a few things:

-It shows a commitment to the instrument. You have devoted years of practice and study, and have made this a life choice - not merely a hobby.
-It shows in a tangible way that you can play and know your stuff. Prospective students (or their parents) want to know that above all else, except for the health, happiness and safety of their child.

I got my degrees because teaching was my life choice. I hate the idea of "Those that can, do, and those that can't, teach." If you're going to cut it as a teacher for the long haul, it has to be a life choice, and you have to feel 'called' to do it. My goal was to teach in the public school system, which required those degrees. You can have all the references and platinum albums and world tours you want, but it won't get you even considered for employment as a school teacher.

Do you need one to teach privately? Nope. You just need to be able to do all those things I mentioned above. It doesn't take a degree to do those things.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#10
-to be able to teach the student to teach him/herself as a life-long learner.

That last one is the clincher. Someone who simply throws a bunch of tabs at a student and says, "here, do this, then do this, then do this.... and then you can play this song" has, IMHO, no business teaching.


Can I get a hallelujah?

It's an interesting thing about teaching that you are constantly striving to make yourself redundant.
#11
I teach guitar, bass, and saxophone full time in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. What makes a good teacher depends on what each student wants to learn from his/her instructor. That is the bottom line. A teacher that has a degree but does not teach his/her students material that they are interested in is not a good teacher.

Like the person who began this thread, I work very hard preparing lessons for my students. I have made them all available at this link:
Lesson Plans

I encourage everyone else to share their ideas and lesson plans to help us all become better students/teachers.
#12
A good teacher is someone with knowledge the student desires and the ability to efficiently transfer that knowledge to said student. A great teacher is someone who, in addition to the above, cultivates their student's desire for more knowledge.

I intentionally said nothing about money or status, they are separate matters.
#13
A good teacher doesn't have to have a degree in music or a degree in anything for that matter. They need passion and experience and the desire to help. As far as guitar teachers are concerned I've actually had the best experience with DVDs, I feel like the guitar teacher I had before was only teaching because he had to, and didn't have much patience with me or desire for me to succeed, he was just in it for the money.

Doug Marks has taught me how to play guitar through his DVDs. It's amazing that someone who isn't even around you can inspire and motivate you to succeed. He's been teaching for over 25 years and still seems passionate about teaching people how to play guitar. He's not in it for the money, at least i don't think so. He doesn't charge that much for his lessons and i learned more from 70$ dvds than i did in the hundreds of dollars I spent on private lessons.


-Berlin
http://guitarlessonreview.info/
#14
Quickie question, don't feel you have to answer it - how has the recession affected your business, fellow teachers?

I only just started teaching professionally about 6 months ago so I have no idea how much the market has really changed - has it affected you badly? What are your plans for dealing with the financial crisis?
#15
Quote by Freepower
Quickie question, don't feel you have to answer it - how has the recession affected your business, fellow teachers?

I only just started teaching professionally about 6 months ago so I have no idea how much the market has really changed - has it affected you badly? What are your plans for dealing with the financial crisis?



Its killed me, there are guys on Craigslist offering $15 lessons!

I have a 9-5 job (actually 10-6) so guitar lessons have always been out of love for teaching and are my savings money and money for my son, but it is very hard to get new students lately.
I stopped taking lessons myself last year because my business dropped.
But since I have stopped I have learned loads from the net myself.

I agree that a teacher has to teach you to strive to teach yourself because that is what I have learned from my teacher.