What Skills Are Needed To Teach Playing Guitar?
I have tried to make the following list as comprehensive as I can and hopefully not left to much out. So, here is a list in no particular order.
THE GUITAR TEACHERS MUST KNOW LIST
- Be able to play your instrument in a wide variety of musical genres to a very high degree.
- You should be a good listener.
- You need to be able to both listen and interpret what the student is communicating to you. What they say and what they mean are not always the same thing.
- Strong communication skills are a must.
- Have the ability to break down playing and learning processes to small manageable chunks which are in a thought through order.
- Be able to motivate either using (figuratively speaking) a hand on the shoulder or a kick up the backside.
- Have a deep or at least a deepening understanding of the history of your instrument and its context within music.
- Be able to gauge where a student is in terms of their development, skills and learning.
- Have a wide repertoire at your fingertips for the style(s) of music you teach for demonstration, influencing and suggestion.
- Have a patient countenance.
- Understand that it’s not about you, it’s about them.
- Have the ability to enthuse and instill inspiration and enthusiasm.
- Being able to read music in my view is a must but to be fair, there are many examples of wonderful teachers who do not read and still inspire and produce great players.
- A contentious point and not everyone will agree with it, but I feel that teachers should also be players. The more experience you have of playing in real world scenarios, the more you have to share with your students.
- Having a wide range of musical resources at your disposal. Including, but not limited to guitar music (notation), mp3 files, music books etc.
- In today’s world a computer and playback facilities would be a very good idea.
Don’t Worry If You Don’t Tick All The Boxes
Hopefully reading through the list you can recognise some of these attributes and skills
within yourself. You don’t need to possess all these skills right away, but building them up over a period of time will be a considerable help.
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