In the book Flash foresight written by American futurist Daniel Burrus he advises that to succeed you should try looking in the opposite direction. When you look in the same direction as everyone else you see the same thing. Going in a different direction often leads to new discoveries and sometimes amazing breakthroughs. Google are a good example. They did something very different in regards to their approach to search engines. While most early rivals focused on trying to make money Google stuck to improving its search capabilities and it paid off. This idea resonated with me because I can see how we have applied this principal to some degree to learning guitar but you can also apply the idea to your own guitar playing. Here are some examples we have used at G4 GUITAR.
When I think of private guitar teachers or any music teacher for that matter I think of individuals teaching in a room with one student. Guitar teachers are isolated creatures that rarely come together to collaborate or share ideas. Going opposite meant collaboration and this is what G4 is doing differently. We even have a name. The G4 GUITAR NETWORK and we have teachers across Australia and even in Canada. Our teachers talk to each other, share ideas and resources. We have meetings to discuss issues about our challenges or to share our successes as well as bouncing ideas. Quite simply we have expanded our knowledge.
A structured method does not mean rigid. We want to give students a balance between the freedom to chose what they wish to play with some structure based on essential generic skills. Most teachers either operate with no method at all improvising from week to week or grab a standard guitar method off the shelf or if you are lucky the teacher has a library of resources they randomly pull out depending on your level or interest. At G4 we went opposite by creating our own method from the ground up and marrying it up with the official government music exams AMEB. The main difference with the G4 GUITAR METHOD is teachers are trained in how to apply it. When a teacher buys an off the shelf method the teacher receives no training and tends to interpret in their own way often leaving out sections. Most off the shelf methods are also 20 years or more old.
Our next bold move will be to incorporate technology but not just for the sake of it. We will only introduce the technology that improves learning. Some teachers are going this way but overall teachers still operate like they did 50 years ago. The technology is here and many students have this technology at home (E.g. iPad) so get ready. The G4 GUITAR METHOD is designed so it can also be taught to students online and we have a STUDENT SITE (please email me for the password) that will give students easy access to all the tools they need. Our goal is go opposite by providing the traditional teacher with online technology.
Be creative by thinking differently and start by looking in the opposite direction. You may be surprised what you discover.
David Hart – Program Director
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