January 13, 2013

Elite Music Academy in Toronto

Tips for Finding the Right Guitar Teacher in Toronto

Characteristics of a Good Guitar Teacher

One of the first things to consider for someone looking for guitar lessons in Toronto (and you can learn more about them here) is finding the right teacher – there are literally hundreds of them in the city. One common mistake people make is to assume that a great guitarist automatically translates into a great guitar teacher.

In some instances this may be true, but in other cases it is most certainly not. Another thing to keep in mind is that some teachers enjoy teaching guitar lessons and others are simply doing it to pay the bills.

Many guitarists supplement their income by giving guitar lessons. Teaching a few days a week can be lucrative for a musician who relies on gigs to support himself.

A great guitar teacher obviously needs to possess musical knowledge and chops, but these alone will not translate into a good teacher.

First and foremost a great teacher needs to have the desire to impart his musical know-how to the student. In other words, if teaching is not something the teacher enjoys, the student will find time spent with the teacher less than satisfactory.

Effective teaching is not a one-way street in which the expert simply passes his knowledge over to the novice. Successful teaching is a much more fluid process of interaction between teacher and student.

The teacher guides the student through the process but he does so by being attentive to the needs of the student. A good teacher knows when the student is struggling and is able to offer alternative solutions and examples.

Almost every serious guitarist will have one or two stories about a favorite teacher who inspired and nurtured them and gave them the self-confidence to strike off on their own musical path.


Guitar teachers come from a variety of backgrounds. Some may have earned a degree in music and performance from a college or university.

Other teachers may have studied privately with prestigious players such as the rock guitarist Joe Satriani or jazz great Jim Hall. It is often the case, however, that a guitar teacher earned his credentials on the job, playing gig after gig.

Years of accumulated experience playing in all kinds of settings provide a wealth of information and insights that students can greatly benefit from.

Choosing a Teacher

Choosing the right teacher depends upon a few things. At the beginner or introductory level, the guitar instructor’s musical style and preferences is not really a pressing issue. The more important thing to consider is finding a teacher who enjoys working with students at the beginning level.

Students who have reached the intermediate level may wish to concentrate on a specific style of genre of guitar playing. One student may want to explore the world of jazz, another wants to delve into Celtic acoustic guitar, and another may want to be heavy metal guitar shredder.

Most guitar instructors are well versed in a few styles or genres but it is rare for a instructor to cover all the bases. If you are interested in jazz, it is a good idea to find a teacher whose playing is primarily jazz oriented.

If you’re looking for guitar lessons in Toronto, Elite Music Academy has several guitar teachers to choose from.  We offer one trial music lesson so you can meet the teacher first and ask questions. If you are interested in taking guitar lessons at Elite Music Academy, contact us at 416 406-5355.

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