I first began teaching the guitar when I was still in school. My first student was a lovely German settler called Douglas, who I met while playing at a local folk music session. “I’d love to play guitar like you,” he said “but I can’t find a good guitar teacher near me… Could you show me how to play guitar?”.
Teaching Douglas was like a revelation to me. I had never really considered that I had a skill that people might want to learn, or particularly given much thought to how to break it down to show others. Once we began however, I realised that analysing acoustic guitar techniques which I had developed over long years of playing along by ear (and with the help of lots of great guitar teachers of course) was actually something I excelled at. Once I began analysing my own playing in order to show Douglas what I was doing, the fundamentals behind my own techniques became clearer to me and whole waves of new ideas opened up. With every technique I passed on, I hit upon some little feature I had previously missed which could be modified or improved upon. The most rewarding part was to see someone else develop their own unique take on the same techniques and to teach a motivated student who was overjoyed to see each new step unfold.
As soon as I left school, it was clear to me that a career in music was the only one for me. That was back in 2011 and today, 9 years on I am teaching jazz, rock, funk and folk, writing and Youtubing about music and selling instruments for a living… So here are the top 5 reasons why I absolutely love being a guitar teacher in Sheffield!
I couldn’t have picked a better city to work in. The music scene in Sheffield is very close-knit, providing opportunities for musicians at every level to gig, meet other players and form bands or just learn from jamming. The city also has a justly deserved reputation for being the friendliest city in the UK. There is even official evidence from a survey in 2017! If you’re a beginner guitarist, there’s no substitute for learning from other musicians. So if you’re thinking “where can I find a good guitar teacher near me?”, I can teach you and also help you to find loads of great opportunities to learn from other musicians and make new friends.
Children have an incredible ability so absorb music- their brains are like little sponges! I’m constantly amazed by the kids that I teach. Their motivation, drive and sense of wonder at every new tune they learn spurs me on to come up with new and original ways of helping them to understand musical theory and practice. Inventing musical games for my private guitar lessons is one of my favourite hobbies- I love coming up with new ways to make guitar lessons for children fun!
I teach electric and acoustic guitar (click the link if you don’t know what the difference is), to beginners, improvers and advanced players. I also teach guitar students in the UK and (via the internet) in such far flung place as France, Germany the USA and Canada. Through my private guitar lessons, I have met so many fascinating people and learned a huge amount about music and loads of other things too. I have had the pleasure of teaching guitar to such amazing people as cinematographers, long distance runners, doctors, scientists, refugees, investment bankers, and service personnel to name but a few. The thing that has struck me is that every person with the drive to learn an instrument has a strong creative drive and an inner voice which they want to share. Giving music lessons feels like a journey towards releasing that voice into the world and through sharing in that journey my own life has been enriched by many fascinating people.
Let me run you through my average evening of guitar lessons (with made up names of course):
Can you spot what all five of these students have in common? That’s right- absolutely nothing, other than a desire to learn to play the guitar! For me as a guitar teacher, this is absolutely fantastic- how could you ever get bored with such a rich and varied job? I get excited every time a new beginner guitarist contacts me for lessons, because I know they will bring a new set of challenges and a completely unique taste in music with them.
This is the most important reason I love giving private guitar lessons. Although every student’s aims are different, the joy that they get from achieving them is always the same. Whether you want to learn pop, rock, jazz, classical, folk, song-writing or composition, the rewards for working hard at it will be huge. I have seen students I taught begin successful bands, win competitions, gain grades which they use for university applications, write their own songs, go on to teach professionally, travel the world with music or just revel in the joy of jamming across the Steel City. That’s the main reason I teach- because I know the joy and opportunities that come from learning an instrument.
If this post has inspired you to give learning the guitar or ukulele a try then you’ve certainly made a good choice! Now that you’ve decided, take action today and book a FREE FIRST LESSON in my studio on Cherry Street or over Skype, Zoom or Whatsapp. You can also call 07722088131 for further information or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
In case you haven’t made up your mind, here is what my students have to say about learning with Finale Guitar: