Keeping your lessons to 30 minutes

Some teachers feel that a 30 minute lesson is too short. They will often say that the time just goes too quickly. I think if you are doing a more consultation style of lesson this could be the case. That is where you are asking questions (consulting) and then putting together a plan for your student all within 30 minutes. This style of teaching does require a little more time because you need time to ask questions and understand your student’s needs and then formulate a plan. When it comes to teaching a method this should not be the case. 30 minutes will be plenty.
Teaching a guitar method is more about following a routine. Each lesson should follow a familiar format and students should have less need to ask questions and the teacher also will have little need for asking questions. Because I ran to a format my lessons tended to be fairly fast paced and focused. I would try to keep it practical and if a lengthy explanation was required I would tell them to look it up on the Internet or to email me or I will take a note and email them. Better still write a blog and then email it to them. E.g. I might give a brief description of what a chord is but then suggest they read my blog on chord theory and download the G4 Guitar Theory PDF.
Its really important to leverage your time. You want to give your students value but not by giving longer lessons as this takes up more of your time. I treat the 30 minute lesson like a practice session so they learn how to practice. In the case of guitar tuning I would ask students to tune before class using an electronic tuner. Those who were not tuned up I would give my guitar and ask them to start picking while I quickly tuned their guitar and asking them to make sure they are in tune next time. Usually takes a few week but after that they are good. Its all about making sure they are prepared and making the best use of the 30 minutes. Remember at home they are rarely going to practice for more than 30 minutes at a time so teaching them to focus will improve the quality of that 30 minutes practice.
Guitar Teachers
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David Hart

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