As a guitar instructor, I have 3 questions I ask when someone inquires about taking guitar lessons:
Example of Frustrations With Learning GuitarI recently had a student start lessons with me and he has been taking lessons from another teacher for a few years. He loves music and it is a really important part of his life. He contacted me because he was feeling some frustration with his current lessons. When I asked him my first question, I understood his frustration. His previous teacher had never asked about his goals. Even worse, this student had come to believe that what he was experiencing in his guitar lessons and practice had to do with his own ability. This in turn was causing disappointment, self doubt, sadness, anxiety and some fear…and none of these are helpful when learning guitar. I could tell he was shocked by the reality of this and, at the same time, was having a powerful realization. As we spoke further about the type of music he enjoyed and what he wanted to be able to do with his guitar playing, he started to get excited. I could hear how much music meant to him. His discipline and desire to play guitar were very obvious. For several years, he had been showing up and working hard. He respected his teacher and his teacher’s playing abilities. He just wasn’t getting what he wanted out of the guitar lessons and he felt stuck. There was a disconnect.
Setting Out To Learn With Clarity Of PurposeAfter asking my three questions, I laid out a lesson plan for him, showing him exactly what we were going to do and why. He was noticeably relieved and enthusiastic about getting started. So, ask yourself these 3 questions and set yourself up for success before you start guitar lessons, or begin with a new guitar instructor. You will experience success based upon your goals, studying the type of music you enjoy, that fits into the context of your life and schedule. 1. What are your goals? 2. What kind of music do you like? 3. How much time do you have, realistically, to practice each week? Whether you are beginning to play guitar, or have been playing for a while, please feel free to leave your comments and experiences about this process below. I look forward to hearing from you. See you next time! All the best, Shane
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