Finding a great guitar teacher is difficult for several reasons. Firstly they are very rare. Secondly great teachers rarely have vacancies. Lastly teaching guitar is an unregulated industry so anyone can teach guitar which means you need to go through a lot of teachers to find those few exceptional ones. The question is how do you recognise an average (or poor) teacher from a great one? Here are 5 quick tips.
How busy are they? Great teachers like great restaurants will generally be heavily booked. Don’t expect to get a time that suits you. Just take whatever you can get.
Are there any online reviews? Check their website or Facebook page to see if other students have posted reviews. You can even search on Facebook to see if anyone is talking about the teacher.
Do they have experience? Great teachers will generally have at least a few years of experience. Teachers who have less than 2 years experience are often enthusiastic but their teaching skills are unlikely to be developed unless they are being mentored. Don’t rule them out but check the next point.
Are they undergoing any teacher training or mentoring? I believe the best teachers are those who themselves are proactive students. They should be seeking out mentors and teachers who can help them to become better teachers.
Do they have a teaching system? Some teachers will say their lessons are ‘personalised’ which is okay but its generally a red flag. What they really mean is they have no system for teaching guitar and will usually just make it up as they go along. These teachers will write on lose pieces of paper from week to week and each new lesson will seem unrelated to the previous one. They will often open with a question like “So what would you like to do this week?” Code for “I have no idea what we did last week.” Teachers who use a system or a method do so because they know from testing and experience that the system works.