Choosing a teacher.

Obviously I have some bias on this subject, being a teacher, but none the less there are a few things you should consider and here are the reasons why.
A large number of guitarists decide to be guitar teachers as it seems a good way to raise some extra cash. This is fair enough, however is it the best deal for the student?

A professional full time guitar teacher such as myself has spent many years learning to play and many years teaching. Myself over 20 years of teaching. This means that I have been asked most questions with regard to technique, equipment, performance, exams, and career and have the responses and strategies to deal with it.
Teaching is not just showing someone something, that can be done with Youtube, teaching is encouraging, showing, patience, having a wealth of strategies, understanding, planning and assessing.
No two students are the same, they all have different requirements. Irrespective of age and ability they will need different approaches to get the best out of them.
So this aside, what else should a teacher have? Well Qualifications in the subject is an advantage, any one can say they they can play but can you prove it? There are grades, then diplomas available through the Registry of Guitar Teachers. http://www.rgt.org.
In order to join the RGT the teacher will have had to prove qualifications and then be verified by other teachers. These teachers tend to be the best.
RGT teachers are also checked in a CRB way as declarations of back ground checks into the teachers. This is something that students or parents of students should consider.
Also check that the teacher has Public Liability insurance. Are you or your child covered in case of accidents? You may think what accidents can occur in a guitar lesson, well the very nature of accidents is that they are generally unexpected. A professional teacher will have all this and you will be able to see the certificates proving such.
Can you take examinations with the teacher? Have they got a track record of students passing? A professional teacher will have all the handbooks for the exams and will be able to advise your current level and which exams might suit.

Just because someone can play well doesn’t make them a teacher, this is a separate skill set.  Hopefully a good teacher is also a good player, chances are if they have passed the various teaching exams they have had to demonstrate a very high level of playing.

Now all of this doesn’t come cheap, so beware of the teacher who is charging low rates, they clearly don’t have the insurances and overheads to maintain.  The Musicians Union recommend that a 60 min lesson should be around the £27 mark. I personally charge £25, purely because it is easier for change.

So,   does the teacher have qualifications?  Are they a member of the RGT? Do they have a CRB certificate? Are they Public Liability insured? How much experience do they have?  Can they put you in touch with other students for you to ask what they think?

Happy with all of that, they maybe the person for you.

 

 

Good luck

 

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~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on January 16, 2013.

One Response to “Choosing a teacher.”

  1. Well, there is much to commend this post, and I speak as a teacher of guitar and literature of no little experience who both learnt the hard way and attained some teaching qualifications while he was at it.
    If I were embarking upon this road now, I would feel confident in Geoff’s ability to understand and communicate the dual skills of both playing and teaching. But then, I would say that …

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