Teaching Your First G4 Guitar Method Lesson

Your first lesson is probably the most important because it can make or break you. Getting it right will set your student up for the long term and will ensure their success and yours. So here are some points to consider.
  • Build rapport for first few minutes. Your student may be nervous so to help relax them avoid diving straight into the lesson. Just ask them a few friendly questions like “What kind of music do you like” or “When did you get your guitar?”. Keep it to a few minutes only.
  • Watch the clock. Don’t let the time get away from you. Be aware of how much time you have for each topic.
  • Talk about the Practice Log (5mins) and show them how to write in their times pointing out that it needs to be done everyday. Next fill out the times they are going to practice. Write down the actual times on their sheet. They are much more likely to practice if there are set times written down.
  • Introduce picking exercise 1 and first few chords (20mins). Anymore for a complete beginner can overwhelm. If they have experienced just ask them to try the other picking exercises and give them a chord they don’t know.
  • Review the lesson. Once again mention the Practice Log then review the important points and skills and ensure your student knows what and how to practice. The best way to ensure your student knows what to practice is to ask them to show you. Be careful not to ask “Do you know what to practice?” Instead ask them to show you. This should be done at the end of the lesson. Students are most likely to remember the last few minutes of the lesson.
  • Avoid too much explanation. For at least half the lesson time make sure they are physically doing something. Its easy to try and explain too much but they will forget most of what you say. Students are more likely to remember what they do.
  • Involve parent/s. If you are teaching a child make sure the parents are involved in the lesson. The first few lessons are especially important. I suggest you let parents know prior to the first lesson that you require a parent present at the lesson.
  • Take notes. Try to write some notes on your performance. What did you do well and where could you improve. This will help you to improve your game next time.
David J Hart
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