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  1. #1

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    As some already know I was once a private guitar teacher. The majority of my students were teenagers and I was in my late 30's early 40's so being able to relate with the students wasn't difficult, plus I had the Pat Metheny hair style so they didn't think I was "That Old"

    So my question for any of the older teachers on here is this. Do your younger students listen to what you have to say and teach them? Or do they think your just some old guy that their parents bring them too? I'm 62 now but don't really look or act it. I'm thinking about teaching again because I enjoyed it, but I'm also wondering if I should just look for older students that would feel more comfortable learning from someone older, same age, rather than someone who's younger.

    I'm also thinking about teaching online too, but that's another thought for down the road.

    Thanks Again for any input.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strbender
    As some already know I was once a private guitar teacher. The majority of my students were teenagers and I was in my late 30's early 40's so being able to relate with the students wasn't difficult, plus I had the Pat Metheny hair style so they didn't think I was "That Old"

    So my question for any of the older teachers on here is this. Do your younger students listen to what you have to say and teach them? Or do they think your just some old guy that their parents bring them too? I'm 62 now but don't really look or act it. I'm thinking about teaching again because I enjoyed it, but I'm also wondering if I should just look for older students that would feel more comfortable learning from someone older, same age, rather than someone who's younger.

    I'm also thinking about teaching online too, but that's another thought for down the road.

    Thanks Again for any input.
    It doesnt matter. Just have a passion about what you do, it's contagious. Also don't put down stuff they ask to learn, like some crap modern pop tunes. I mean, it's maybe, probably bad, but they dont need the negativity. Actually, you lucky if they do show interest in active learning, many say they don't really care or have no idea what they want to learn.

    And the guitar today is the old man instrument, that's how kids look at it, i have that impression. But everybody likes when you play good and know some tricks that makes them smile.

  4. #3

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    All of my students are adults over 25, mostly over 40. The guitar stores used to send me students of all ages, but now reserve the old ones for me! As it happens, older students are less shy, so we can have a human to human discussion, unlike with some teenagers who just used to stare at me, LOL. But I love teaching any student of any age.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strbender
    As some already know I was once a private guitar teacher. The majority of my students were teenagers and I was in my late 30's early 40's so being able to relate with the students wasn't difficult, plus I had the Pat Metheny hair style so they didn't think I was "That Old"

    So my question for any of the older teachers on here is this. Do your younger students listen to what you have to say and teach them? Or do they think your just some old guy that their parents bring them too? I'm 62 now but don't really look or act it. I'm thinking about teaching again because I enjoyed it, but I'm also wondering if I should just look for older students that would feel more comfortable learning from someone older, same age, rather than someone who's younger.

    I'm also thinking about teaching online too, but that's another thought for down the road.

    Thanks Again for any input.
    I think you'll find the older ones are a lot harder to teach than the younger ones - if the younger ones really want to do jazz, that is. You've got to be able to deliver what they want.

    The older ones, who can usually play already, tend to be a bit stuck in their ways. Not completely, and they may be very keen, but beware of the oldie who, after three months of new stuff, can't really do it. There's always the exception, of course.

    But, whereas the younger ones tend to want to be 'cool' overnight, the oldies will listen... so I think you just go for it and see what happens - with both varieties. Both have pros and cons but the best learning experience will probably be you about yourself :-)

  6. #5

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    The teacher I related to best as a teen was in his 70's. If you are good at what you do and aren't afraid to show that you like what you do, thats contagious, as hep said

  7. #6

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    Thanks for everyone's input. My first guitar teacher when I was 14 was also in his 70's. My piano teacher was my Grandmother when I was 6. She was still teaching when she passed away at 77, so, I guess age doesn't matter if you can teach. I was always very supportive of my past students, and whenever I've had to instruct others over the years in non musical situations. I was feeling that my age could be a factor, but now I feel it won't be!

    Thanks Again

  8. #7

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    My first teacher was in his 70s. I'll never forget when he played an Em chord on an acoustic guitar, and then placed the palm of his right hand on the soundboard, damping the sound. He did it with such intent, whispering to me how magical it was. Best lesson I ever had. I can't remember anything else, but there was no need to: he had awoken me to the magic of sound. Thank you, Mr Corder!

  9. #8

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    If we are talking purely of Jazz guitar tuition, then I respectfully suggest that the teacher"s
    age is irrelevant, but an older , more experienced one is preferable. In my own experience.
    I had one or two younger tutors, but luckily I was recommended to my last and best,
    who had played in the BBC radio Orchestra, had his own Jazz Radio programme and had
    played with just about everyone, friends with Joe Pass, Barney Kessel ,Wes Montgomery and
    so on, he was 66 years of age and held a Masters Degree in Music (Jazz) he was very patient
    and taught me to read music, wrote his own arrangements ( 3 per week) of Standards and
    quizzed me mid -tune asking what note i was playing. When playing with his own Quintet/Septet
    he doubled on Trombone,and often stepped down telling me to play a few numbers, invaluable
    experience, for which I was ,and still am grateful. A tough and unforgiving tutor, who didnt suffer
    fools. He passed away in 1997, we had remained friends after my tuition, the Church was filled
    with a great number of players paying their respects.


    Silverfoxx

  10. #9

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    Like you, I am 62. I have taught pretty much full-time since 1999, always looked my age, and my student retention is very good. Cool (for lack of a better term) isn't about appearance and youth (though I used to have THAT HAIR), it's about dignity and respect, compassion and understanding, so age falls away when folks communicate enthusiastically about their shared interest in the art of music.

    One of the coolest guys I ever knew was a pipe organist who was still working well into his 90s. He had also been a career public school classroom music teacher who the kids adored.

    On some level, we're all cool.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strbender
    As some already know I was once a private guitar teacher. The majority of my students were teenagers and I was in my late 30's early 40's so being able to relate with the students wasn't difficult, plus I had the Pat Metheny hair style so they didn't think I was "That Old"

    So my question for any of the older teachers on here is this. Do your younger students listen to what you have to say and teach them? Or do they think your just some old guy that their parents bring them too? I'm 62 now but don't really look or act it. I'm thinking about teaching again because I enjoyed it, but I'm also wondering if I should just look for older students that would feel more comfortable learning from someone older, same age, rather than someone who's younger.

    I'm also thinking about teaching online too, but that's another thought for down the road.

    Thanks Again for any input.
    I am 53. My students are generally under the age of 16. I like teaching younger students. When they ask to learn to current pop songs I see it as an opportunity to learn new material that would not otherwise be exposed to. Once in a while, I come across something that can be adapted into my largely Jazz Standard repertoire. It keeps my repertoire current which audiences often appreciate


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooh
    Like you, I am 62. I have taught pretty much full-time since 1999, always looked my age, and my student retention is very good. Cool (for lack of a better term) isn't about appearance and youth (though I used to have THAT HAIR), it's about dignity and respect, compassion and understanding, so age falls away when folks communicate enthusiastically about their shared interest in the art of music.

    One of the coolest guys I ever knew was a pipe organist who was still working well into his 90s. He had also been a career public school classroom music teacher who the kids adored.

    On some level, we're all cool.

  13. #12

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    a career public school classroom music teacher who the kids adored
    Whom!

    Dear god...

  14. #13

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    I think the kids have too much respect

  15. #14

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    For what?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    My first teacher was in his 70s. I'll never forget when he played an Em chord on an acoustic guitar, and then placed the palm of his right hand on the soundboard, damping the sound. He did it with such intent, whispering to me how magical it was. Best lesson I ever had. I can't remember anything else, but there was no need to: he had awoken me to the magic of sound. Thank you, Mr Corder!
    Ain't that something, how that works. It was my dad who showed me E minor. He's a piano player, but he knew about 6 chords on guitar. But it only took that one to hook me. Then he showed me how to play the harmonics at the beginning of Roundabout and I knew right then and there I'd play guitar for the rest of my life.

  17. #16

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    I think you need to comfortable in who you are.

    There's nothing more cringe to kids than an older teacher who thinks they are one of them.

    It's much cooler to be yourself, while at the same time being open to learning.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think you need to comfortable in who you are.

    There's nothing more cringe to kids than an older teacher who thinks they are one of them.

    It's much cooler to be yourself, while at the same time being open to learning.
    This is important in multiple ways. be your self, and teach what you want to teach, the way you are comfortable teaching it. my wife has amassed a pretty decent studio the last year or so, kept rocking straight through COVID honestly on zoom etc. She teaches voice/piano and had always kind of chased the "what Song do you want to learn ? " angle.

    Honestly, that can be exhausting if that's most of what you DO and not as much of who you ARE. There's a balance. Some are fine with mostly doing that, and other teachers are almost 100% prescribed using their own method. It doesn't matter which, honestly. Just do what you want to do, and you gradually build a studio for students who are "yours".

    They'll give you solid testimonials and bring in other students who are willing to do the same. Can be misery trying to teach the way that you think people expect ...or other teachers methods etc. etc.

    I'm currently teaching a couple of students at the place where my wife teaches , as a favor to her. It funnels pretty young students by default. I'm good with kids and parents and don't mind the demographic, but I definitely think it's not for everyone. My personal preference for teaching young students is to always have the option of letting them go . If you're working for a store or studio or something , you can't necessarily do that.

    That's my current situation, and it's not ideal, as you're mostly stuck with them for the semester if it's not working. I'm lucky to have good kids this time, but babysitting someone who's prepaid for weeks and doesn't want to practice etc etc is murder. Adults who are paying their own way are a completely different animal.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 10-20-2020 at 02:03 PM.

  19. #18

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    Since covid I had to pretty much stop teaching and get a full time job to survive...

    But, before that I had been teaching for over 20 years, and the students that wanted to learn (and that usually meant they actually practiced) were always the best. Young or older didn't matter.

    Many of the younger ones actually liked older music, probably exposed from their parents, and they would be impressed that I could play a lot of that stuff.

    Some of the teens I had were in jazz band at school, they'd bring in bass or guitar charts to go over, that was cool.

    The last few years I always had some ukulele students...

    Often just seeing me play something made them smile and they'd want to be able to do it too.

  20. #19

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    It depends entirely on how you relate to them -- assuming you actually know what they want to learn.

    Your actual age isn't the issue. It's how you behave. If you're respectful, polite and forthright, it is very likely to go well.

  21. #20

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    The top teachers/artists don't have to worry about it. Serious students stand in line and pay top dollar to study with them. If a kid doesn't perform, he's gone and there's a long line waiting for their turn. There was a Jazz sax teacher/performer in Chicago in the 60's/70's--Joe Daley. In order to study with him you had to memorize all scales/chords and play them fluently when called. When you started your lesson, he started his alarm clock and no matter where you were in the lesson, you left when the bell rang--no time to break down your sax . . .grab your case and get out. He was rude, arrogant, and, at times, very nasty ,however, he was the most sought after sax teacher in Chicago. I guess it depends on your reputation.
    Play live . . . Marinero