When thinking about getting started teaching guitar, can you relate to any of the following?
- You get nervous imagining a situation when your students may ask you a question that you don’t know the answer to.
- You aren’t always sure how to teach guitar effectively to all types of guitar students.
- You have no idea how to measure your progress as a guitar instructor.
- You simply don’t know the steps you must take to get started teaching music.
Every guitar teacher who is just starting out goes through these same thoughts and struggles. This also happens to guitar teachers who have been teaching for a while if they have never taken action to find a mentor to show them where they are going wrong in their guitar teaching methods. Most often, these guitar teachers have been teaching for years using a trial and error approach, or by seeking the advice of other guitar teachers who have only experienced small success.
Here are 11 common guitar teaching mistakes that less experienced teachers make. If you can stay away from these, you will be well on your way to becoming a highly successful guitar teacher.
Guitar Teacher Mistake Number One: Not having any kind of strategy for helping your guitar students achieve their goals.
Many guitar teachers merely ‘react’ whenever a student poses a question or expresses interest in learning something new. This means that the guitar teacher does not have any plan for what is to be taught until the day of the lesson (when the student arrives). The mistake here is that the teacher is focusing too much on solving the student’s problem in the present, and in the process the student’s longer term goals and desires become ignored.
On the other hand, some guitar teachers will essentially ‘over plan’ their guitar lessons. These people will start with an idea of how they think they should teach Guitar lesson, and will continue teaching that way to all of their students. This approach will fail also because it does not treat each individual guitar student as a unique person with unique needs. Not everyone learns the same way, so teaching guitar to students without being flexible with your overall guitar teaching style will not bring good results.
In order to get the best results for your guitar students you must take a balanced approach between both extremes.
Guitar Teacher Mistake Number Two: Not working to combine a student’s ‘wants’ with his or her ‘needs’.
The misunderstanding that most guitar instructors have is thinking that that they must either teach ‘only’ the things their students ‘want’ to learn OR force their students to practice only what they ‘need’ to know. By teaching guitar students only what they ‘want’ in the moment, you can expect very little success in your guitar teaching business. Teaching guitar students what they really ‘need’ is a much better approach. However, in order to be an effective guitar teacher, you will need to balance out both approaches. This will help your students to not only enjoy playing guitar in the moment, but also continue to make progress toward reaching their musical goals.
The greatest guitar teaching approach is to focus on the students’ goals, while also showing him/her that what they ‘need’ is the same as what they ‘want’. You must consistently keep track of their goals, and then show them what they must do to achieve those goals (while also explaining how these things work together). By doing this, you will help your guitar students gain motivation because they understand that they will be enjoying themselves throughout the learning process. This will help your students stay on track and reach their goals.