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Breaking up with your guitar teacher.


(@evilspudboy)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I'm finding myself in a difficult situation. I've been taking lessons from a teacher for almost a year now. He is very good, he's a very experienced teacher, but very expensive. The price isn't a major issue because I can afford it, and I have learned a lot over the past almost a year.

As an aside I'd like to mention that people often complain about the cost of guitar lessons. $25/half hour or $40/hour seems like a pretty average. My teacher is much more than that. But often you are paying that $40/hr for someone who has a degree in music education, several years post-grad education and 20-30 years teaching experience. And when you consider the complexity of music and the amount of knowledge involved, it seems awfully damn cheap.

Contrast that with the cost of a computer class. And I don't mean a programming class. I mean like one of those one day seminars like "Introduction to Microsoft Word" Where you have a class of 30 people who pay like $300 each for the class and it's taught by someone who was hired and given a two week course on how to teach MS Word.

I guess what I'm saying is Guitar education is quite a value for the money. To pay such a small amount for private instruction, not to mention that a lot of teachers will travel to you. But I also understand that it's all about supply and demand and most people aren't taking guitar lessons to learn a marketable skill but just to enjoy a hobby, so the price they are willing to pay isn't as high. It's just sad to me that it's so undervalued.

But back to my dilemma. So I came across this New England Guitar Workshop. http://www.negw.org/ . I put the link so you can read about it. It sounded really good to me, It is less expensive. It is extremely close (The same town I currently live in) They offer half hour lessons, (My teacher only does hour lessons). I currently have to travel a And they seem like they have a first rate program. The bottom line, is it seems like it could be a better fit for me for a multitude of reasons.

The problem is it would be hard to leave my current teacher. Having gotten to know him, I know he will take it personally and it would be emotionally difficult. Almost like breaking up with a girlfriend.

I know what I should do. I should first take a trial lesson with this other school and see if it really is all it's cracked up to me and what kind of time slot I could get, since it may not even be right for me. And then deal with my current situation. (Although even calling them it feels like I'm seeing someone on the side, I feel dirty LOL)

And I know it is only a business relationship, but there is a personal element to it. So I guess even though I know what to do, I'm just wondering if anyone else has ever found themselves in a similar situation and how they handled it.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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It's a little different from his side of the music stand.

Anybody that's been teaching for 20-30 years has had students leave... LOTS of students leave. I mean, I've been teaching for something like 27 years now... if I still had any of my original students, I wouldn't be a very good teacher!

It's stressful for you because you haven't left many teachers.

Just tell him that you've found a teacher who's really close to you - he must know you travel a distance - and you're going to try that for a while; if it doesn't work out, you'll be back.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@evilspudboy)
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Yes, of course that's true. It's good to think of it from that perspective, Noteboat. Of course he's had hundreds of students come and go and isn't like I just can't go back to him.

Also, did you check out the link to the New England Guitar Workshop? I was wondering if you had any thoughts about them based on reading that.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Tell him, "It's not you. It's me."

:D

Besides, if you start stepping out with another teacher while you are still seeing him, he'll know. Next thing you know you'll be in the middle of a lesson and you'll call him by the other teacher's name. Better to be up front like noteboat says.


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(@evilspudboy)
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LOL, Nick

I can see it now. We are at our lesson and he says, "What was that?"

"What?" I reply.

"That thing you just played, What was it? I didn't teach you that."

"Oh, that... umm.. I think I picked up on the internet or a book or something."

"Oh, really? you don't seem too sure about that."

"No, it was an article, in Guitar Player, that's it."

"And what's that pick you are using, what's it say on it? New England Guitar Workshop... Where did you get that? Hmmm?"

"Ummm..."

"What's the matter, cat got your tongue?"

"Ummm.... I think we need to talk..."

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@noteboat)
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I checked out the site, and it looks interesting. Putting MP3s and pdf files on the web for students is a nice touch... but it also means the music will be the same for all, or at least most, students.

I've got some handouts I've made for common things, like sheets of basic chord diagrams or scale fingerings. Beyond that, every student leaves every lesson with a sheet of music manuscript notes I do on the spot - different people need different things, so if I was to put a lot of time into one handout, I'd need to be pretty sure more than one or two students could use it.

For instance, last night I had one student struggling with changing from Em to D. I wrote out the progression for Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" for him, and we worked on that for about half the lesson. I've only got one other student at the moment who would a) benefit from learning it and b) like that style of music. The other students facing a similar problem with the same change might be better off with a song like Seeger's "Turn the Page" or a traditional like "Oh, Sinner Man"... there's an awful lot of ways to skin a cat. I try to tailor the tunes to student interests rather than use the same songs for everybody; that said, there are a lot of teachers who use the same material for most students with excellent results (so I'm not trying to dis the guy in any way - teaching is a competitive business, and we all differentiate ourselves in different ways!)

The other thing that struck me about the website was how big it looks... picutres of a cafeteria type waiting area, the outside of a new, modern building... but click on the link to read about the instructors, and you get the resume of just one guy.

Maybe I should incorporate as the Suburban Chicago Conservatory of Guitar Studies :)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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 sirN
(@sirn)
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Teacher - "I will NOT be ignored EvilSpudBoy"

check out my website for good recording/playing info


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(@evilspudboy)
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I thought that was odd that they don't have any resume's of other instructors. The other thing is none of the workshops have scheduled dates yet.

I think it is a fairly new thing, as I've never heard of it and I've lived around here a while.

The location they are using is part of Salem State College, but I'm not sure what affiliation if any they have with the college. For all I know he just sneaks in there after hours and gives lessons. :)

But if it does grow to be all it seems to aspire to be, with regular workshops and all that, it's a pretty cool thing to have right in my back yard so to speak.

I definitely will check it out and try to get an idea if it has legs or if it is just some dream someone has that has yet to realize itself and may never come to fruition.

Oh and "Suburban Chicago Conservatory of Guitar Studies" has a nice ring to it. :) If you decide to go that route, maybe you could get Esteban to endorse it and have an infomercial.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@evilspudboy)
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Oh, and the other thing I noticed was on one page it says:
Experience-
Our teachers are currently or have been on the faculty of some of the best music schools in the country including the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the University of California at Berkeley, the BlueBear School of American Music in San Francisco California, the San Francisco Community Music Center and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge Massachusetts

But all of those except for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education are places listed in the one guy's resume.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@josephlefty)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Maybe you just need a change of pace, to be well rounded. I am sure a teacher would understand that.

You could always go back, right?

If it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing.


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