Q. Your students are a mixture of children and adults. Do you have a preference and what are the main challenges in teaching them?
A. I've no preference, both have differing perspectives. Children tend to have unrealistic expectations as to how quickly they will learn and adults can become frustrated with their own capabilities.
NOTE: From January 2009 my focus is on teaching adults (over 25's) ONLY.
Q. Are your students mainly males or females?
A. There are plenty of school girls keen to learn but, overall, It seems to be mostly males. I wish more ladies would learn but playing the guitar still seems to be more of a "blokey" thing.
Q. Under what circumstances have you terminated lessons with a student?
A. The main reasons are usually the same. My really big gripe is If people book sessions and let me travel to their home and they're not in. Unless they have a very good reason the student is immediately free to find another teacher willing to visit their home. Sometimes it becomes apparent that their heart isn't in it and they become disheartened because it's not as easy as they expected. Also some parents book lessons for their child but really it's the parents' ideal as opposed to the child's. Both me and the students can terminate lessons at any time although the six-lesson review sessions are the best opportunity to discuss things.
Q. What's your reaction when you lose a student?
A. I think I'm fortunate in that I encourage my students to gain a sense of independence so that when they don't need my services anymore I've done my job and I'm actually pleased. The vast majority of my students stay and gain a good level of profiency but, of course whatever you teach, there are some who don't stay the course. We all lead busy lives and other pressures can curtail the time available and the ability/desire to continue.
Q. What's the shortest time a student has discontinued lessons?
A. Within the very first lesson! One very finely groomed lady had wonderful nails and was convinced that her left hand nails (nearly an inch long!) would not impede her ability to play. It was a choice between her nails and the guitar - the nails won!