Guitar Teachers are found through a variety of methods, through friends and family, word of mouth, advertising or through a local Music shop. All of these are perfectly fine and valid. This article is intended to inform a potential student or parent to make this choice a little easier when looking for a teacher.
You don't need a qualification or licence to be a guitar teacher. Anyone can set up and start charging students for lessons. People often don't ask or consider whether their guitar teacher has any qualifications in either Music or education. Is it necessary for a guitar teacher to have qualifications?
Often people will choose a guitar teacher through hearing someone play but a great player doesn't necessarily make a great teacher. I believe that there are a couple of important aspects to effectively teaching an instrument. These include subject knowledge, communication skills and understanding different learning styles of students. These factors can be subjective as well. Different people come to Music in different ways. Some students are analytical and tend toward the theoretical side of Music where others are more intuitive. Usually a combination of both is best.
Music qualification gives the teacher deep knowledge of the subject matter. Aspects such as music theory, proper technique, an understanding of harmony and detailed study of great musicians in a particular field. This is of course a great background for an instrumental tutor to have. If this knowledge can be effectively communicated to students then this is a fantastic basis for a productive student teacher relationship.
Of course there are plenty of amazing guitar teachers that have no qualifications. Anyone that has reached a high level of competency on an instrument has effectively “studied” to get to where they are. The ability to form a rapport with students is just as important as subject knowledge. As is the ability to identify and implement areas that need to be worked on in order for the student to grow and improve.
Essentially you need to find a teacher that is able to affectively communicate the information that you need at the stage that you are at in your development as a musician. This will change throughout your development. Many great players will have different mentors throughout their development. And of course many have gotten to where they are through listening to the masters on recordings and imitating them through hours of hard work.
If you are choosing a teacher for your child qualifications in Music and Education can be a good place to start. More importantly look for someone that can affectively communicate with students and make the lessons a positive and enjoyable experience. A recommendation from a friend is good also but what suits their child may not necessarily suit your child due to different learning styles. Good luck. Be patient and persistent, some days will be better than others. Practice is always the vital ingredient what ever way you learn and the old cliche that it’s a journey not a destination certainly rings true when learning an instrument.