Want to have the greatest guitar students around, have new students constantly at your door trying to take lessons and have all the other local guitar teachers talking about how they wish they could be as successful as you? In order to make this a reality, you have to know how to continually transform OK guitar students into excellent musicians. This means doing much more than just showing them how to play guitar – you must turn them into highly creative and self-reliant musicians. THIS is the one true way to become a top level guitar teacher and is why some guitar teachers make 6-figures per year.
Truth is, it’s much easier to teach creativity to your guitar students than you might expect. Plus, almost all of your local competitors are clueless about how important it is to teach this to their students (and don’t know how to do it anyway). As soon as you understand how to teach guitar successfully (which involves showing your students how to be creative), you will have a major competitive advantage over all other Barre Teacher Training guitar instructors in your city.
Here are 5 things you have to do in your guitar lessons to quickly transform your students into highly creative musicians:
Keep Your Students From Getting In Their Own Way
Before you “instruct” your students on ANYTHING about musical creativity, know that the larger part of your students will have two major challenges to solve:
1. Most guitar students are under the impression that “creativity is not a subject that can be taught” This is completely false and has been proven to be so countless times. (I’ve demonstrated this with my own guitar students AND other guitar instructors who I coach have demonstrated this with THEIR students).
2. They feel uncertain about their capacity to be creative musicians and believe that they are inherently untalented in this area. This part is likewise false, on the grounds that everyone has the potential to become creative.
Truth is, your students will often have difficulty being musically creative provided they continue believing in those myths. It’s an important component of your job as a teacher to remove these damaging, disempowering beliefs from your students’ heads and replace them with real, empowering ones. Until & unless you do this, your students’ shortage of confidence in themselves will overpower whatever you do to actually “teach” them to become more creative.
There are two principal methods to use in order to change your students’ mindset about this subject. The primary way is to make clear to your students that musical creativity is NOT a strange, mystical power that only a few musicians are born with, while most aren’t. In reality, “musical creativity” is not even one “skill”. It is simply a consequence of having acquired a number of musical skills and combined them together to make creativity achievable (read more about this below). Talking about this will already help your students understand why the thinking above is completely untrue and will make them enthusiastic about their TRUE potential.
The 2nd way involves not merely “telling”, but truly SHOWING your students how easily they’ll become more creative musicians. This process requires that you:
Stop “Teaching” So Much And Start “Training” A Lot More
The number one mistake that the majority of guitar instructors make (particularly those who never learned the best way to teach guitar) is “teaching too much”. This develops out of an incorrect belief that their primary job is to provide students with “exercises and practice items”. Because of this, they overwhelm their students with new practice items in every single lesson and they don’t feel like they’ve really been a good teacher unless the student is given a big variety of new stuff to practice. This is the typical result of such an ineffective methodology:
1. Your students become bogged down (and much more prone to quitting guitar lessons with you) on account of becoming overwhelmed with too much information. Have you ever heard one of your students say: “I’ve been given so much material from you, I have got to drop lessons until I can catch up?” Now you understand specifically what brings this about.
2. Your students never really master the majority of the things you teach them (thus never really become creative). Yes, you are making your students (and yourself) feel great within the moment when it comes to learning “more” things in every lesson, however, as far as having the ability to apply the things they know, they experience totally helplessness. Whenever your students “feel” like beginners even though they stopped being beginners years ago (in various areas of their playing), this kills their enthusiasm and it is dangerous for YOUR status as his or her guitar teacher.
3. You (the guitar instructor) wind up working considerably more hours than needed (typically without pay) setting up new guitar plans and thinking about lesson materials each week.
Ultimately, everybody seems to lose with this kinds of teaching approach, and guess what… nearly ALL guitar instructors educate their students in this exact manner (You’ve now come to understand why the average student does not stick with guitar lessons for more than a few months at most and why most guitar instructors have only so-so students at best).
The answer to this problem is so easy that it might astonish you… but it is also certain to help make your guitar students better and much more creative players. You have to cut back time teaching your students “new information” and spend much more time training them to apply and make use of that information. Never think that your students will learn how to apply the things you show them in lessons by themselves at home – almost all of them won’t. Instead, these students will join the scores of countless guitar players who “understand lots of things” but cannot creatively USE them. It’s a part of your job as a good guitar teacher to not “stop” after teaching a brand new concept to your students. After showing them something new, you need to walk them through the entire process of using it in lots of different musical contexts. Don’t hesitate to work on this for “as long as it takes”, even when this means investing a whole hour long lesson into training your students to use an idea in a large number of contexts.
At this time you might be thinking: “Tom, I do not feel right taking my student’s money for any guitar lesson where I’m not actively showing them something new… I feel like I am cheating my students out of a lesson they’re having to pay for.” My response is: your students aren’t handing you their money to take “guitar lessons” and “learn information”. They’re having to pay you for RESULTS. Your most important task as their teacher is to get them the end results they desire by helping them reach their guitar playing goals. Therefore the only time you’re “cheating” your students is when you’re not providing them with training they require to get exactly the result they want from their playing.
“Training” your students is one of the most foundational requirements for teaching guitar as effectively as possible and is NOT limited only to giving instruction on being musically creative. To discover your current level of understanding when it comes to teaching guitar, take this guitar teaching skills assessment.
Bridge The Gap Between Implementation And Mastery
Training your students to implement their guitar skills will go a long way towards making them much better and more creative guitarists… but it’s STILL not sufficient. Why? Because skills and components of musical understanding are NOT used in isolation in actual music. Put simply, your students are only able to truly be creative using a particular skill whenever they can not only use it on it’s own, but additionally be able to mix it together with all of their current skills. All extremely advanced guitar players already know and do this naturally every time they practice guitar, but only very best guitar INSTRUCTORS know the crucial significance of helping their students to combine their skills together… and even fewer really do it.
One particular illustration of the best way to combine skills together is having your students write their own very basic musical pieces after first learning how chords are categorized into keys and learning how to play barre chords. As an alternative to merely “teaching” the ideas to them in isolation and quickly moving on to more complex chords or music theory ideas, stick to these subject areas for several more classes and get your students to work on their creativity by using these ideas to actually write something that sounds musical (with your direction). This will not only enable them to recall the main music theory subject with greater ease, but will also put them down the road to real musical creativity with all the concepts they’re learning from you.
When you begin showing your guitar students how to combine their skills together, you’ll be amazed at just how quickly your students will begin to make improvement and turn more creative guitarists. Moreover, you personally will cherish the entire process of teaching your guitar students a great deal more: both because it’s enjoyable to see your students grow rapidly and because you won’t be so exhausted from working numerous unpaid hours arranging fresh lesson materials each and every week.
Start Small… And Display Proof
When you initially get started working together with your students on components of creative guitar playing, and implementing and combining their skills, get ready to start small. Take into account that your students will still be very uncertain about their ability to be creative. For this reason, you must:
1. Supply them with modest assignments to enable them to feel confident regarding their ability to play things in a creative manner.
2. Ensure that they feel good about the new process you’re taking them through in your instruction. As soon as they notice the development and the new amount of musical freedom you are helping them attain, they’ll feel eager to learn more.
This method is especially critical if you’ve got students who believe that guitar lessons need to be focused on discovering “new” bits of information. These kinds of students may (at first) be hesitant to use their lesson time for practicing skill integration. Therefore you MUST present this shift in your approach very slowly and back this up with helping your students observe their major transformation using their own eyes.
Case in point: among the most basic (and most efficient) things you can do while teaching creative lead guitar soloing, is make your students practice producing numerous modifications of a small guitar riff. Once you’ve taught your students a good amount of subtleties of guitar phrasing (for example vibrato, bends, legato, string rakes, double stops, etc.) have them make as many variations as they possibly can from a three or five note guitar lick. As easy as this may seem, it’s unbelievably enjoyable and gets students to think beyond “which” notes to play and concentrating on “HOW to use these notes as creatively as possible”.