As a guitar teacher I use custom lesson plans with my students for several reasons. This is different to teachers who teach their students using a standard guitar book found in any music shop. If you’re a guitar teacher or want to teach guitar, it’s worth making the comparison between guitar books and lesson plans.
Here’s a few reasons why I choose to teach using lesson plans over any guitar books:
- You can change direction at any time with lesson plans instead of having to teach whatever is in the book
- If your student doesn’t like the way the book explains topics, or doesn’t like the exercises used, it’s makes your job hard
- You can create a unique curriculum to fit each student’s needs using lesson plans
- Every student learns in different ways and many wont learn effectively from a book
- Lesson plans give you freedom as a teacher to teach the way you want to
- Guitar books suggest to the student that they could learn without you as long as they have the book
My experience as a student
As a student I had a teacher who gave me a guitar book (actually I had to buy it) and in the first lesson we started on page 1 then worked page by page towards the end. It was the worst experience because I didn’t like the songs and exercises in the book and the teacher didn’t have any backup material. Obviously he wasn’t a good teacher (for various reasons) but the fact that he simply followed the book was a clear sign that he didn’t really know how to teach properly.
After I left that teacher I found another teacher and this time instead of giving me a book, this teacher would hand me new pages filled with relevant exercises and songs to learn based on my current abilities. I would put each new lesson in a binder and if I didn’t like certain materials she gave me she would make a note and next week we would have something completely different that suited my learning needs.
Needless to say the distinction between the two teachers was obvious. As a guitar teacher I now ensure that each of my students receives the same high level of tailored lessons that I received. None of my students learn from a book and in actual fact a few of my students mentioned they were relieved they wouldn’t learn from a book when they started with me. I now write guitar teaching resources for other guitar tutors to use and once they start using them they realize how much freedom it gives them as a teacher.
It’s your choice as a guitar teacher
I’ve mentioned my story here not to say you should do one instead of the other but to show you that as a teacher you have a choice. Most people when they decide to teach guitar simply teach out of a book because it’s the default option – they didn’t choose, they just didn’t consider the alternatives. If you currently teach out of a book and feel it’s working, then that’s fine. Just realize there are other options and you may in fact be better off not teaching from a book.
Something to think about.
If you learn guitar from a teacher, leave a comment whether they teach out of a book or using custom lesson plans.