Let's Be Honest (Fear of Guitar Teachers)...

Some students will behave like they're really nervous and out of balance when they come in for their guitar lesson. The issue is essentially discomfort and to a certain extent even fearfulness. But, a good teacher knows how to handle this and move the lesson along so that relaxed "learning" becomes the top priority...

I had an interesting discussion today with one of my students (who also happens to be a guitar teacher). He asked me if I've ever noticed that some students get noticeably nervous when they come in for their guitar lessons. Especially new students. 

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He was telling me how he has found that (in particular some of the older students he teaches), will seem very worked up and they'll act as though they're really uncomfortable and noticeably nervous.

Some students will behave as though they're really out of balance when they come in for their lesson... 

So, I said yes absolutely, this is a common thing and it happens quite often. It has happened for many years and I'm sure that it will continue to happen for many more. The real trick is dealing with these people the right way. Putting them at ease and moving through the lesson is always the top priority.

The reason why I know this is a common experience (with not all but with "some" new students), when they first come in for the initial several months of lessons, is because for many people going for lessons is a move from "out" of the comfort zone that they're used to. 

For many people coming in to take lessons is a serious shift outside of the persons comfort zone. They may be afraid of criticism, or perhaps afraid to learn how awful a part of their technique is. Whatever it may be, there are spotlights they know are coming, and it make certain personality types uncomfortable.They want the experience, but they fear some of the results.

This "fear" can be to be more true for adults, and it can become amplified if they're older than the teacher. Believe me, it can sometimes take quite awhile before people (who are older) to start to mellow out and begin feeling a lot more "at ease" in their guitar lessons. But, the issue at the core is still essentially discomfort, and to a certain extent, even fearfulness.

Taking guitar lessons (from the outside looking in), for most people, seems like it would be experienced purely as an; interesting, fun, and enjoyable thing to do. However, sometimes - for certain people - it can be a little stressful.

This is often more relevant if the teacher is fairly esteemed (highly regarded in a local music community /scene). The pressure of being around a recognized pro can really work the student up to a point where they feel quite nervous.

Getting the opportunity to finally meet that "renown teacher" and get a chance to sit in front of that "Guitar Guru" having them start offering playing tips and suggestions to help the student improve and reach new levels of playing - it's quite something for some people to take in and experience.

From a teachers perspective, it is important to recognize that this nervous fear exists in some students. The teacher must work to understand it and realize that it can happen to certain players. And they will need to learn how to recognize the signs, and then act accordingly.

From the students perspective, it is important to know that you could have this fear. In the grand scheme of things, it really isn't any big deal. A good teacher will pull you out of it and help you focus everything toward the lessons.

Overall, the teaching experience has to mellow out as quickly as possible. A good teacher will do this smoothly and the student will feel at ease in no time. A great teacher knows how to make a student feel good inside relatively quickly. They understand that the focus needs to get right down to learning guitar as quickly as possible - without fear.

So, if you're a teacher and you suspect that you might be dealing with a really nervous student, be sure to cut them some slack. They probably think the world of you and they can't believe how cool it is to actually be in your presence.

On the flip side, if you're a nervous student, be sure to cut yourself some slack and realize that every good teacher has your best interests at heart. All the teacher wants is what's best for you, and the faster that you can relax (and accept that they're a regular person, just like you), the faster you'll become calm and ready to have fun learning guitar.

Even though your teacher may be a famous player to some degree, and they may be a phenomenal guitarist - they still have all the same problems that everyone else does. 

They need you to stay calm, ready to absorb, and ready to enjoy your lessons. Above all else, always have fun, because if it isn't fun - you're probably not learning.



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