Teaching is an art, requiring among other things, patience. I have had many opportunities to reflect on and realize this. Also I have been made aware of a need to rethink certain methods of instruction on occasion.
Realizing I was not getting through to a student was one instance. Knowing how to do something does not mean one will be able to explain to someone else, how to do it. I paraphrase a quote that comes to mind, read in Readers Digest years ago.
“An education is something you give to yourself”.
To me that means, despite the best efforts of teachers, the most interesting of presentations and the most comprehensive materials, we don’t learn because these exist, but because we want to. In many cases we have to learn things like walking, talking etc… But more often the subjects we study are chosen. So when a desire to learn is there, and as there are, ever increasing and evolving methods with which to acquire that education, the means of ones choosing are almost secondary.
There is no one way to acquire a skill, which is not to say a teacher is irrelevant to any course of study. But a learner must possess that which the teacher does not, an interest in learning.
The aforementioned ‘method I had to rethink’ was due in no small part to a communication error, a misunderstanding of what was expected and how to best deliver the information.
An older student wanted to improve his skill in music but his desired path was not the one I was attempting to put him on.
My method at the time, was regimented, orderly, think checklist, and focused on making progress, while his was on enjoying the process in a more casual way. Less structure more fun. Not understanding this at the time we parted ways. I don’t imagine he lost his interest to continue though, as he had made a small investment in his instrument and education materials. He just needed a more ‘in tune’ teacher.
How to prevent a communication breakdown.
Listening of course is key, asking for clarification very helpful. Not being predisposed or presumptuous for that matter on the direction to take when endeavoring to instruct can be instrumental. I try to employ these skills when privileged to teach.
One can also learn while teaching. A student can bring new music or a technique to the process that wasn’t originally part of the program, perhaps challenging the current capabilities and humility of the teacher to under take development of said new music and or technique.
Some of my more advanced students have helped me to appreciate this possibility, I find inherent in teaching. Of course ones own knowledge is enhanced by showing another how to acquire skills within their interest. So if you are a life long learner show someone what you know and prepare to be enlightened as you uncover a new way to look at what you know!
So why use a teacher when there is YOUTUBE, the internet, CD’s DVD’s, Books?
Reasonable question, I use these methods at times as well to pick up a new tune or technique. Some things a teacher can provide:
Encouragement, if I can do it you can!
Incentive, someones going to hear me I better practice!
Observation of application of the instruction, am I doing this right? this can lead to faster more relevant progress.
Having a live teacher also shows a sincere commitment to see the effort through.
That being said, I am currently accepting new students for the Guitar and/or Electric Keyboard. I have been playing and learning the Guitar for 36 + years and have been developing my Keyboard abilities for about 8 years. I teach rock and pop music primarily, I can teach you how to read music, or tablature, or learn songs by ear. I have developed a tool useful for understanding some of the more complicated musical theory concepts to a single page, as in modes, scales and chords.
One of the main benefits that I can provide is that I come to you, (Marana, Northwest Tucson) besides the fore mentioned patience, listening ability and methods available to acquire and advance musical skill. But if you prefer a by the book approach I can accommodate that as well. There are many avenues to learn by. We can use whatever method you deem appropriate. No long term commitment necessary, if you just want a single lesson that is ok. If interested email or contact me at:
Or call & leave message please 520-638-8949 Bill L
Thank you for your consideration.