OK, I'm going to be a guitar teacher - any hints/tips?
It turns out that I'm going to be teaching guitar to younger students in my school (I've reached the point - A levels - where you get periods that are free, so I've volunteered one of them a week to teaching kids the guitar). As rewarding as this will surely be, I'm not exactly sure what to teach them. I'm also worried that my left-handedness will cause confusion. Any hints?
Thats a good idea...thanks :)
Erm, the handedness thing shouldn't cause confusion, as long as you make it clear they know what hands they're using. Also, I know it would prolly be hard, but spend a couple of sessions getting posture and picking techniques, or whatever basic techniques there are, right with the student...prevents them picking up bad habits.
I'm also worried that my left-handedness will cause confusion. Any hints?
Convince them to practice chord fingering while looking in a mirror. That way watching how you do things will be just like watching themselves in a mirror.
I would be ready to teach a couple real easy songs. Especially with the short attention span of kids (and me) its helpful to be able to start out of the blocks with a cool riff or easy song (and not Greensleeves or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ;) ) to fall back on when practicing scales and chords gets tedious. Gotta hook 'em good before you can learn 'em!
I'd agree that you have to keep them interested, but I wouldn't spend too long on particular songs. I think talking with the kids is probably a good idea, just to explain to them that as the teacher, you can give them the tools to play, as opposed to teaching them songs..by all means, it gives a good insight, but in the end its the stuff behind the song that counts.
When I teach teach, the proper basics come first no matter what the age level is,bad habbits become hard to break and slow down the learning
For younger students I found this works well. I don't know how long the class is, but break it down (say it's 45min) use the first 30min to teach them your class objective and the last 15min to teach a fun practical use of what they just learned. For example if your teaching them open chords than at the end teach them a simple song that uses the chords taught, or if your teaching them a scale at the end teach them some cool sounding licks, or a simple solo based off of that scale,etc.
A few tips:
Be prepared; have a class objective ready before you start the class
Allow extra time (especially in the begining) to correct habits, reteach what they are not understanding,or having trouble physically doing,etc.
Teaching theory is good, but make sure that they are at a point were you think that they are ready to understand it,and keep it basic.
teach what you know.
Completely off subject---------->Well there is that saying:
"Those who can't do teach."
But really, I agree with everyone else. It is essential to have a time devoted to something fun or helping them learn a song they want to learn. That way they wont burn out.
Gun control is using both hands!!!
Is it mandatory for the kids to show up?
Or is it something they come for, for interest?
That's a good idea - only idea I had was to maybe nail the basics (the mandatory open chords) and then introduce other things to them subtley by incorporating them into songs they want to learn, I don't want to bog them down with theory if they just want to play.
How old are these kids?? I think that is so great of you to give of yourself like that. much respect!
I would suggest teaching them basics, chords, teach them scales.....I would also start them off with basic chromatic scales too.
good luck Tucker.
I agree with Markminni's post, but would devote the first portion of the class to reviewing the previous weeks practise.
I assume that you will tell them to practise what they have learned that week? If so, you should chase up their progress - "So, did we all practise the D to E chord change last week? Show me!" for example.
That way, you can make sure that nobody is being left behind.
Impress upon them that no question is 'stupid', however basic - many kids are extremely coy about asking fundamental questions because they think the others will laugh at them. Stamp on any that do laugh at others.
Also, make sure that you are in the room before the kids, and are playing something that sounds really cool when they walk in - whether it is classical or metal or whatever. That will gain you instant respect, and they will pay much more attention to the things you say.
NoteBoat put this in another thread. Just scroll down to his long post.
I hope this helps.
Are you teaching a group or one on one?
Being lefty, I can tell you that you won't have much problems. Some folks will even find it a plus - kind of like looking in a mirror. One thing you have to watch out for, though (and it's only been happening recently to me) is that your student may also think he or she is seeing upside down - playing the A string instead of the B string, for instance. You can head that off at the pass with no trouble.
If there's any one thing I'd tell you, it's to remember that each student is an individual. You may teach the same thing to a dozen people, but the chances are likely that you'll have to come up with twelve slightly different ways to do so. Don't let that get to you. Appreciate each student for his or her skills and quirks and try to make each lesson as personal as possible. In a group situation, don't make the group so large that you can't give one on one attention as needed.
Hope this helps. I think these kids will be getting a great teacher.
bltc brought out a good qeustion... is it a mandatory class? or an elective?