Santa Cruz Guitar Lesson  
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Lesson Philosophy

My first goal is to make sure that the student is interested in what we are playing and that the lessons are relevant to the particular individual. I find that if a person plays the guitar regularly they will make progress. I feel that to stay inspired and to want to pick up that guitar and play it is one of the hardest things to maintain. In the lessons we work on what the student is interested in learning and we also cover material that leads to the long term goals listed below.

I have several long term goals for my students:

Expression of musical self: The purpose of music is to communicate. I feel that the best thing to come out of any music training is to equip the student with the tools necessary to allow individuals to express themselves on their chosen instrument.

Development of technique: Technique is important because good technique makes things easier. Technique, however, is not an end in itself.

Knowledge of musical fundamentals: Guitar playing does not exist in a vacuum.. It exists within the context of music and students do better when they understand how the basics of music, in general, work and how they relate to guitar playing.

Appreciation/awareness of style and influences: It is important to know where you have been to see where you are going. It is important to know about influences and key players in the style that you are playing. I feel that there are no good or bad styles of music. Good music is what moves you.

Aware listening: Good listening skills pay off in many ways. Students get more out of music that they listen to and they become better musicians as they learn to gather more information from listening.

From the student I expect the following:

Discipline: It takes time and effort to learn to do anything well. Guitar playing is no different.

Three aspects of discipline are:

Focus on task at hand: The manner in which one practices will determine how one sounds in performance. A quiet place with a clear mind will always yield best results.

Regular practice: At least 20 minutes a day, five days a week. It is important that the student has regular practice sessions many times a week rather one 3 hour session. It is a good idea to make a specific time and place to practice.

Regular attendance at lessons: It can be difficult to build continuity and to follow-up without regular contact between student and teacher.




© Copyright 2012 by Guy Cantwell
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