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TerryP Profile
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posticon Where to begin???


Hello all,
I'm not a guitar teacher (yet!), but I'm keen on giving it a go. I've been playing for around 15 years, but I've never had a lesson, and I can play guitar to a fairly high standard. My problem is that I've never really applied myself to learning 'properly', although I have a good understanding of music theory.
I've just got the Registry of Guitar Tutors exam syllabus and I'm thinking of taking the exams (at least to Grade 5).
Do you think this is the right course of action to take before I unleash my teaching skills on the general public?
Also, any other advice you can offer a newcomer to this business would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Terry
2/25/2004, 9:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to TerryP   Send PM to TerryP
 
NickMinnion Profile
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Re: Where to begin???


Hi Terry,

Thanks for the post.

Have you stumbled on the Resources pages on this site (www.teachguitar.com)yet? I have posted a whole bunch of free articles and tips designed precisely to help turn guitar players into guitar teachers.

Personally, I am not a big fan of examinations, although I would recommend the RGT approach as being one of the best if that's the way you want to go.

The important thing to appreciate is that 90% of guitar teaching is done at a very basic level. You don't have to be the world's greatest authority on the use of the locrian mode over altered chords, but you do need the patience and understanding to help someone get over the initial physical pain and discomfort involved in trying to get six strings to sound clean whilst holding down an open G chord!

You sound to me as if you probably have an excellent musical basis from which to teach - my advice is concentrate far more on learning to be a great teacher - this is the vital thing.

And the best way to learn to become a great teacher is to start teaching. Nothing else will prepare you better. If you lack confidence, then start teaching for free and only take paying customers once you are certain of your teaching abilities.

Check out our resources page at www.teachguitar.com/content/free.htm for details that will help you. Also, dare I recommed my ebooks to you? How to Make a Living Teaching Guitar has got hundreds of guitar teachers up and running from all parts of the world.

In any event, Enjoy Teaching!

Nick
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TerryP Profile
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posticon Re: Where to begin???


Thanks Nick,
Your advice is really encouraging to me, I know I have the skills to be able to teach beginners to play, but I suppose I was lacking in confidence. I think your advice is good, just get stuck in and start teaching - I think I'll know fairly quickly if I'm successful or not! Fortunately, I have a friend who is happy to be my guinea pig (actually, I think he's just after freebie lessons!)
I may still continue with the RGT exams, for my own benefit, but I probably won't steer my students down that path - it's just not rock n roll is it?!
I have looked at your resources page, and there's some good stuff on there which I will certainly make use of.
Nice pluge for the e-book emoticon , I'll be purchasing a copy soon..

Thanks again, and I'll let you know how I'm getting on and hopefully in six months time I'll be able to offer encouragement to others new to teaching.

Regards

Terry
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Re: Where to begin???


Nick's advice about just getting stuck and teaching straight away is absolutely right but I'd take the bit about exams with a pinch of salt. The RGT provide a comprehensive syllabus for learning and I've used their grading system as guide for many of my pupils. Theory isn't as important as developing a good ear but it can go a long way to helping someone build the confidence to start playing by providing them with a frame work that is in some way "correct". As long as your pupils understand that it's still up to them to discover new aspects of the guitar alongside their theory studies they should do just fine! And no, I don't work for the RGT and I haven't taken their exams myself! Chris Miles
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TerryP Profile
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Re: Where to begin???


Thanks for the advice Chris. I have been thinking along those lines anyway. I've got the RGT books for the first three grades, and I'll definitely be using them as a yardstick for producing my own study plans.
I guess it's all about flexibility - I don't want to scare students away by making things too formal, but at the same time they need to learn a certain amount of theory.
Time and experience will tell I suppose..

I just need to get my first student now emoticon

Rgds
Terry
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Re: Where to begin???


hey nick i've been looking going into teaching also and wasnt sure where to start with a beginner student. I was thinking about getting books and stuff. Well, I might still do that but your stuff looking at it is pretty good thanks a lot.
8/3/2004, 11:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to punkstarbassist101   Send PM to punkstarbassist101
 
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Re: Where to begin???


Hi Terry

I think I'm very much like yourself - I've been playing a long time, self-taught and wanted to make the plunge.

The difference for me, is that I also have a full-time job (wife and 2 kids to support and while I'd love to - I'm not willing to make a full-time plunge at the moment).

I've been teaching students (7 regulars) of an evening at my home for the past 3 months and am finding it really rewarding.
I'm probably (according to my tutor) around Grade 4-5 RGT and I'm using the RGT syllabus as a template for my teaching - getting chords, basic scales, reading rhythm charts - and for me, I think it's working. The RGT qualifications aren't everything - but I'm doing the grades to

a) get some kind of qualification that will give me the confidence to justify my being a guitar teacher

b) get me experience on the "receiving end" of exams so I can hopefully guide my students towards the RGT exams with confidence.

Incidentally - I have a bit of a confidence problem too, so as this is my first year of teaching I'm offering a free first lesson for all students, plus I only charge £10 an hour.

It's highly rewarding, and gives you a sense of achievement - particularly when you see your students smile when they "get it" - or when your student pre-books 10 lessons in advance! Good luck, Terry!

Last edited by SteveDunn, 5/2/2005, 6:13 am
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Re: Where to begin???


Hi Terry
I have been teaching since 1983 here in Australia. I'm not too familiar with the English system RGT levels. We have a similar program run by Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB). The main qualities you need to have to be a guitar teacher is Integrity,Honesty and Patience.Take the time to work with your students. Have good communication skills. You don't have to be a genius player to be a good teacher when students ask you questions try to answer them correctly if you don't knos the answer look it up and tell them the next week. I like to keep students informed through my website where I have downloads and articles on guitarists. Also I let them know about upcoming concerts and events. I have 70 students a week and usually remember where everyone is up to! But start small until your used to it or you'll get overwhelmed and loose the passion for it.I wish you good luck in the future
Cheers
John Macpherson Allan

Last edited by johnmac8, 6/15/2008, 2:42 pm
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