Teach Guitar  Logo
 Teaching Skills Music Skills Business Skills Aspiring Teachers New Teachers Experienced Teachers
Teaching Skills Teaching Skills > How to Teach > Basics of Teaching Guitar Music Theory > Don't believe a word your student says!
Summary: Being a Better Teacher - Get your student to demonstrate their understanding, using knowledge helps increase confidence

Don't believe a word your student says!

[Last article] [BTGMT Index] [Next article]

You've just spent 15 minutes explaining to your student the basis of the chromatic scale:

"So E has no sharp(#) and F has no flat(b); B no sharp(#) and C no flat(b)"

You conclude with a smile.

"Have you got that?"


They smile back. Hoping that you can get on to something interesting, loud and heavy now.

Don't believe them!

My Golden Rule Number 3 says:

Never take your student's word for it when they say they've understood something!

Get them to prove it. This is best done by getting them to think with the newly-learned information:

Okay!" You say. "That's the end of the explanation. Now let's put this information to use. Play me the note B on the 6th string. - Good, now work out the name of the note at the 6th fret on the 5th string ...." etc.

As they put the information to use several things happen.

  • You discover what they have understood and what they haven't.
  • They process the information mentally and this fixes it in memory.
  • They gain confidence as the subject de-mystifies.
  • They discover that theory is actually useful and relevant!

So never, never, never just explain a point and accept your students word that they have understood it. Always get them to demonstrate their understanding by actual application.

[Last article] [BTGMT Index] [Next article]

Related Pages
 From the Bottom Up
 The Importance of the Major Scale
 Correct Sequence
 Use it or Lose it
 Don't Waste Time Explaining
 The Importance of Repeated Use
 Defining Musical Terms
 Motivate before Mystifying
 Examine, Revise, Consolidate
Products from TeachGuitar.com

Could YOU make a
living from your ability
to play guitar?








an ebook by Nick Minnion
 Read More
 Order Information


TeachGuitar Forums

 -Guitarist's Dictionary
 -Resource Exchange Library
 -Guitar Teacher's Forum


 -About Us
- Contact Us
 -Nick Minnion