Here are several core beliefs that shape my philosophy on teaching lessons and student learning.
Students enjoy learning when they receive support and validation from their teacher.
It’s really important to me that students feel understood, accepted, and listened to during their lessons. When teaching, I try to consistently provide my students with a supportive and encouraging learning environment.
The musical journey is just as important as reaching the destination.
Learning any musical instrument takes a great deal of time that often exceeds our patience and expectations. When teaching, I try to help students foster patience with themselves and patience with the the time it takes to realize improvements in their skills.
Learning takes place more effectively with clear and attainable goals.
Private lessons become much more effective when my students have tangible goals and tasks laid out before them. A majority of my students feel more comfortable approaching weekly practice when they know exactly what to work on. I currently use Google Docs to provide a weekly outline of what my students need to practice between lessons.
Songs serve as great opportunities for experiential learning.
I find that songs are great vehicles for helping students gain technical proficiency and understanding of how music works. For my beginning students I will often use melodies or motives from popular music to build their finger strength and flexibility while also working on scales.
I try my best to remain flexible with my students.
In short, a flexible guitar teacher = much happier students. So, often I will look for tasks and songs that compliment my students strengths and interests in the moment. There have been many times where I’ve been teaching a song and my student suggests another song option that turns out to be a better fit for them.
Parent involvement and presence during lessons is always welcome and beneficial.
I prefer to have parents present when their student is taking lessons. This really supports the student and puts them at ease. Also, parents who sit in on lessons have a better idea of what I’m asking students to practice during the week. Also, I’ve observed that students enjoy performing for their parents and sharing their learning with them.
It’s my ambition to maintain ongoing, up-to-date, open communication with families and students.
I feel that private lessons work best when there is ongoing communication between myself, my students, and their parents. I try to put my best efforts into being available to talk about the progress of lessons, practice expectations, scheduling, or issues that are a part of the learning process.
Continue the conversation…..
Contact Gordon if you have thoughts, ideas, or questions about his overall philosophy towards teaching music.