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Space To Learn
by Nick Minnion

The single most important thing I have learned from 35 years of teaching the guitar is about the space in which learning actually occurs.

It occurs in the space between the STUDENT and the INSTRUMENT. Or between the STUDENT and the SUBJECT OF MUSIC.

New guitar tutors often suffer from the delusion that learning happens in the space between the TUTOR and the STUDENT.

If they operate on this basis they will run into three problems:

their students will not learn particularly quickly

they will not find the process much fun

the tutor will find the job of teaching quite exhausting!

The trick to good tutoring is to harness the students' own energy and enthusiasm as much as possible.

Letting them do all the hard work not only makes the job easier for you - it actually means they learn faster and learn in a way that allows them independent ownership of the subject.

The key to operating in the correct space is simply one of maintaining an appreciation of the students' view of the subject.

Never forget how much harder it is to play guitar in the first few months. Never forget how complex many of the elements of music theory appear to be when you first encounter them.

Nick Minnion is the founder of, a popular website for guitar teachers. He is also an experienced guitarist / guitar teacher and author of How To Make A Living Teaching Guitar, Fifty Flexible Lesson Plans For Teaching Guitar, and How To Increase Your Income From Guitar Teaching.

©2002, 2009 Nick Minnion. This material may be freely copied and distributed providing that this copyright notice including the website address is included in full. This material may not be included in any publication offered for sale without the written agreement of the copyright holder. For further information on this and related articles please visit:

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