Teaching philosophy: “Nothing worth doing is easy.”
I believe in confidence building and using that confidence as the force to accomplish goals. The obvious purpose of the lessons are to improve the students musicianship. However, students will not practice and will not improve if they don't believe that they can.
I assess what a student's interests are and gauge where their confidence level is. I then cultivate and grow this confidence within the student by helping them play the things they are interested in. It could be a theme from a movie or something they heard on the radio. Many of the songs people hear everyday are surprisingly simple. Whatever it may be I can break it down and make it playable for even the most timid beginner.
Each small success builds and reinforces confidence and allows students to believe in themselves. The sense of accomplishment and confidence gained from learning a new chord or a new song, or performing for family and friends is the reward for the work done.
Eventually the goal is for students to realize that there is nothing that they can not do, It just requires that they try.
Once students have gained enough confidence the training wheels must come off and it is time to get serious.
I do pride myself on being sensitive to my students needs but at some point I do expect students to learn to read music and to learn fretboard/music theory and to start doing things for themselves. This process may take a few months or it may take years and because everyone is built a little bit different this is completely normal!
Blues, Jazz, and Classical music theory and techniques will be discussed with Adults and will be gone over with young people with enough experience and or confidence.
Because I believe relationship building is an important part of the overall confidence picture I encourage students to play in groups and when possible I pair them up for projects. This is one of the many reasons we have recitals twice a year and all students are strongly encouraged to participate and at minimum attend as an enthusiastic part of the audience.
Parents have a huge role in the success of young students and need to communicate effectively with me about their expectations. Parents are encouraged to sit in on the lessons and to ask questions, or bring a video/audio recorder and record the whole session.
Young students need to have 10-20 minutes 5 days a week of actual practice. They need the proper place and equipment to have effective practice sessions, like a music stand, tuner, guitar stand, armless chair that is the right height, possibly a stereo or I-pod docking station, and plenty of light. Adults will require the same but can and should have longer practice sessions.
Students must spend actual time practicing to achieve results, no one can do the practicing for you.
Improvement will require individual practice and dedication. Some lessons will be easy and some will be difficult, be prepared for the difficult ones and more of them will become easy.
Again, Students must spend actual time practicing to achieve any kind of result.