I have been talking about the general build-up of a good guitar lesson as well as about setting and achieving goals. Now let’s take a closer look at the direct responsibilities of a guitar teacher. In case you are lucky enough to have a guitar teacher, what would be your expectations? Here is my list that is partly based on my own experience as a teacher and a student and partly based on my hopes and dreams.
1) Everybody knows that teacher is the person who chooses the relevant study material (books, notes, tablatures, exercises, etudes etc). A good teacher always leaves an impression that the student has chosen the materials. If the student is a child, it is easy – just pick out three pieces that all help to do the same thing, and let the child choose. If the student is older, there are other tricks.
2) Teacher makes long and short term plans. Shorter plans can include plans for a single lesson and longer ones deal with the whole year and study period. If your teacher seems not to have made plans, ask for that. Without proper planning you end up in a swamp.
3) One thing is setting goals, the other is making plans how to get there. Third important thing is evaluating the process and have a constant control over everything that has been planned. A good plan is nothing without honest evaluation that keeps it on track.
4) Motivation has different sources. One of the important sources is always your guitar teacher. If you close the door of a classroom, you should never think that “this was the last time I ever come here”. Unfortunately, it happens with many and it takes some days to recover for the stronger ones. The rest just quit at one moment.
5) Teacher is consciously taking care of the environment. It means building an atmosphere that supports the process in every way. It includes everything from the actual room to the attitude and the way of communication.
A student is never informed enough to demand all those things from the teacher. But student is a human after all and will understand if something is wrong. I recommend students to educate themselves and fight for their rights. After all, the teacher is to help and student is paying for that.