How to enjoy being a guitar teacher
How to enjoy being a guitar teacher might seem an odd thing to contemplate. But it’s one that’s well worth thinking about.
I enjoy being a guitar teacher and I always have done. I have, however, met guitarists that teach with great reluctance. I’ve also met others that avoid teaching guitar altogether because they say they don’t like it.
Sadly many of these very capable guitarists have struggled financially. Others have ended up leaving music altogether and getting ‘proper jobs’. This is very sad and in most cases completely unnecessary.
The negative approach to teaching guitar
Although I enjoy being a guitar teacher, there are plenty of other activities that I’m not particularly fond of. Examples of these would be going to the gym and doing my accounts. Although they’re far from my favourite chores, I do have a degree of control over how I feel whilst doing them.
If I go about these activities whilst thinking about everything I don’t like about them and what else I’d rather be doing, I’ll of course have a pretty miserable time. What’s more, the next time I do these chores I’ll be even more certain of a miserable time because of all the negative emotions I attached to them the last time.
Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy or a negative spiral. Whatever it is, it’s not good.
The positive approach to teaching guitar
On the other hand, with just a little bit of effort I can go to the gym or do my accounts whilst actually feeling pretty happy about things.
At the gym I can remind myself that I’m staying fit and maintaining my health.
Whilst doing my accounts I can remind myself that I’m making a good living essentially from my guitar skills; something that many people would happily trade their own jobs in for.
Making the decision to get what you can out of situation is a good characteristic and one which improves our quality of life.
There is plenty to like about teaching guitar
Whilst I enjoy being a guitar teacher, I can see we’re all different. Being a guitar teacher, however, really does have plenty of potential to be a very nice experience.
You get to spend time with another person who is interested in a skill that you have. You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck. You don’t have to battle rush hour traffic or public transport. You’re in a comfortable environment. The list goes on…
Enjoy being a guitar teacher
How to enjoy being a guitar teacher is primarily down to one’s perspective. People are interesting. If you take an interest in them it’s hard not to have quite a pleasant time; even with the few people that you may not initially ‘click’ with.
If you are doing a decent job of teaching guitar you should see many small but marked improvements in their abilities. This is nice to see and should make you feel good.
Being a guitar teacher is also partly about problem solving.
Why is this guitar student struggling to make that chord change? Here you need to step into the detective role. Examine the movements closely and work out what needs to change. It feels good to find solutions to almost any problem.
A small number of people seem to be happy by nature, regardless of what they are doing. We can’t all be like that but we do have some influence over our feelings and we can keep negativity at bay.
Choosing to enjoy a guitar teaching session is well within our ability; even in a busy week and after being up half the night doing our accounts. We just need to make that choice. Once done the question of how to enjoy being a guitar teacher should be one that you never again have to contemplate.
|Stuart Bahn is a professional guitar teacher in London, and creator of the Be A Guitar Teacher video course.|
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