You decided to take guitar lessons, and you’re exploding from excitement in anticipation of your first lesson with your new teacher. You’re also a bit nervous, cause you know you will be self-conscious about making mistakes, and you’re a bit worried about how your new teacher is going to react if you make a mistake or if you don’t immediately understand something.
So your first lesson starts, and all goes well.
Then your teacher presents new material, some music theory involved, and you blank out.
You focus really hard and really do your best to try to understand what he is talking about. He explains it again, using the same explanation; you feel yourself getting more confused.
The teacher can tell you’re not getting it. No problem: he does his whole explanation one more time. At this point you are now asking yourself “why am I not getting this”, you feel the vibe in the room change. Is the teacher suddenly less patient, or are you maybe imagining that he is talking a bit more agitated. Meanwhile, valuable time (that you paid for) is flying by.
You start to apologize for not understanding the material. You start to explain him reasons why you are not getting this: “I am a left brained type of person”…”I have never been good with theory”… “I am not a mathematical thinker”… “I am more intuitive”… etc…
The teacher gives it one more try: more of your lesson times gets used up, while the teacher gives you exactly the same explanation he just did 4-5 times in a row.
Now you feel really bad when you realize you still aren’t really getting it.
I got news for you:
You don’t have any reason at all to feel bad, because the reason why you are not getting this doesn’t have anything to do with you.
It is the teacher who is at fault!!!
Never blame yourself for not understanding something: it is always the teacher who is to blame.
There is this saying that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
Think about that now: if you are not understanding something that the teacher explains, it is his job and responsibility to explain the material differently the next time around.
What works with one person, does not necessarily resonate with another.
And THAT… is what makes the difference between a $35/hour instructor, and a $60 instructor.
A top instructor can very easily and efficiently explain anything from many different angles. As a result: no matter how complicated the lesson material; students always understand and master the information in no time at all.
If you can’t define or explain something in very simple words from many different angles and viewpoints, then that means that you also don’t truly fully understand the material you are talking about.
The guitar teacher, who needs a lot of time to get you to understand the information he is trying to convey, does not really master the material himself and is therefore wasting your time, talent and money. Quality is more than worth paying for: it is a money saver in the long term.