Writing note names bellow the music


This morning I got a new student who comes from another teacher, with whom they have been studying guitar for one year. Taking out from her guitar case the well-known to all of us “The guitarists way” by Peter Nuttall, she had books 1, 2 and 3. I taught she is at least on book 2 and yes, that was the case. She opens the second book on page 2…and…

that’s what I see…

The entire book one was also like this, under or above each single note there was a giant letter. I hate it, I can’t stand this… someone has paid lessons for one year and what they got? Now I must use all my pedagogical skills, tricks and equilibriums to make the little girl understand that we will need to start from the beginning.  At the same time without harming her feeling of advancement that she has. It was early in the morning and I was thinking how to approach her. I asked her to play a piece, there was nothing in her playing, no note was correct even though their names ware violently written under the music. While she was messing with the guitar I was observing her trying to figure out what type of character she is, how she will react to all my remarks, what her parents will think etc. Usually, in such a case, I will wait for a lesson or two, sometimes month or two before I even attempt to do any changes. Which means that for the time being I will coop with the above picture…The 3 decades of teaching guitar had taught me many lessons and this learning never ends.Suddenly out of nowhere she said: “My mom thinks that I should do the first book again because I have not done it properly”.  


That makes my life easier it means that I have full support from the mother and we can start from the beginning, basically. In this case the student is saved from the “darkness” almost on time thanks to the mother.

What about all those students that are working for grade 5, 6 even 7 with poor music knowledge and no habits of reading and understanding the music. I don’t mean to offend anyone here, I kept quiet for a long time, it is not my business of how the others are doing their job. I don’t know those my colleagues, the so called “Guitar Teachers”, what are they doing or what they think they are doing? If you just make the student to pass grade 1, 2,3 with no idea about what is coming next…then really…I am sorry to say but… that’s everything else but teaching. Concentrating only on temporary short-term results – “let’s just do it now!”, “Let’s have fun!” “See, your friend is doing great 2 you can do it also”

Music is a challenging thing, simply it takes time and it’s NOT easy by default. It is hard for teachers and students. Leaving the student without a solid foundation is irresponsible to the extend.

The mother has brought her daughter to you, my dear “colleague”, with open heart believing that you will teach her… and you have been indolent or simply unprofessional. this is a shame to the “guitar teachers’ guild”.I would like to believe that every teacher has their own path or curve of studying and developing their teaching skills and that those are periods in the career when the one is searching for the best way to teach…

Valentin Spasov





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