How To Work With The Shy Guitar Student
Shy guitar students (usually children) are often fearful of being humiliated. They keep quiet for fear that they might say something that will make them feel embarrassed. No child that I am aware of is shy in every situation. They are just shy in unfamiliar environments or situations. Their shyness quickly disappears in environments where they feel safe and not at risk of being humiliated.
The solution is to make your environment feel safe but to feel safe they need to test it. This is achieved by getting them to come out of their shell by asking questions. Start with questions you know they can answer. E.g. “How long have you had this guitar?” Try to find questions on a topic they know well. For example their parents might tell you that their daughter loves tennis. Ask them about tennis and who their favourite players are. Once they feel comfortable you should see their shyness disappear.
Why is it important?
Helping shy students to feel safe in your classroom is important because it will usually affect their practice and chances of sticking with lessons. A confident student will not be afraid to turn up to your lessons and to participate. By participating they will feel better about their overall ability to learn guitar which translates to more enthusiasm for practice at home. Its all connected and this is why our role is to help shy students to feel comfortable in our classrooms.
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