How to Find a Guitar Teacher: Choose the one with the best systems
Stalwart systems mark an excellent guitar teacher
The teachers who really have it together employ effective systems that they follow for teaching and for helping people play guitar. If your eyes just glazed over, bear with me.
What are systems?
Systems are what we use to make a task repeatable and easy to do. An example of a system would be a teleprompter that a politician uses to deliver a speech. Another example could be as simple as composing a list of groceries so you don't have to remember them in the grocery store. Habits, like waking up and doing yoga, are also systems.
Systems are habits and/or technologies that we all use simply to make our lives easier.
What on earth do systems have to do with finding a guitar teacher?
Teacher need to have systems to teach specific concepts that are important to the main body of students they work with. This system is called a curriculum. They also have to have a system for structuring a lesson, or else the students will think the lessons just drag on and on. They have to make scheduling a lesson so simple that students are excited to take lessons at all.
My opinion is that if you find a teacher who has a well-developed, and yet flexible, system for education, for teaching guitar lessons, you've really found the needle in the haystack. How do you find this guitar teacher? Let's go over some indicators.
How do I find a guitar teacher with awesome systems?
A teacher's love of systems can first be represented through their most precious asset: their website. Many businesses know that a well-presented website provides an excellent impression to customers. The teachers who care about having an intuitive website for potential clients to navigate are people who have spent time thinking about the customer's experience, and that definitely translates to awesome face-to-face guitar lessons.
Here's some indicators of a great website for guitar teachers:
- Good typography and choice of fonts. A messy website, one where the text and headings are sloppy, reflects poorly of a teacher. If he or she didn't care to make their message readable and understandable, they probably won't care about helping you understand guitar.
- Welcoming design. The website doesn't need to be fancy by any means, but it does need to have a basic sense of design and beauty to it. You have to feel welcome.
- Videos. Seeing the teacher act and react in front of a camera is an excellent way to see how a teacher reacts to stress. It's not easy to get up in front of a camera and deliver a message (and I know that all too well). If you see how a teacher acts before you work with them, that's amazing.
- It's easy to find out more before starting. I think the Frequently Asked Questions section is a great indicator of a teacher who cares to inform you about taking lessons before you start. My highest suggestion is to look for one.
- Intuitive, online scheduling of lessons. Teachers who use online scheduling systems know the value of them. They get to teach more students and send fewer emails.
Reputation is another mark of a guitar teacher with awesome systems. The bigger and more positive the reputation of a potential teacher, the stronger the systems this teacher will have built to teach you guitar. Why? The teachers who have good reputations have a curriculum that helps guide others without stress. They can handle a large amount of students each week without burning out.
One word of warning however: Many not-so-honest businesses will attempt to create the illusion of a good reputation by fabricating reviews (shocker, huh?). How can you tell if a guitar teacher has done this? I have one very important suggestion: The more reviews a teacher has that are longer than two paragraphs, the better the teacher.
Excellent learning materials
Teachers who have printed materials that are quickly deployed are definitely good with systems. They know that they can rely on certain materials when the need arises. They put all their energy into creating a specific sheet and then use it when a student asks for help. This is a mark of a far-better-than-average guitar teacher.
You can find this teacher by casually asking about his or her materials. Will he or she provide them for you? How many times have they been updated? If the teacher says, "I never update my materials," that's probably better than if a teacher says, "I have no materials at all."