Teaching guitar and bass is ultimately more rewarding than I expected it to be. I currently have 3 (well, 4) students: the 50 year old dad who yearns to be a rock star, the 13 year old who just started playing bass and the 2 Indian children who's father probably forced them into it, as well as math camp, science camp, camp, camp, camp campcampcampcamp.
The kids are quite humorous; the way their lesson is structured, I teach the younger one for 20 minutes, and then the older one for 40 (allows the dad to save that 5 extra dollars by not giving them 2 half hour lessons). My first lesson with them was Saturday. I typically like to start off new students who have been taking lessons with the last thing they've worked on, just so I can get a feel for their skill level. The first one comes in, I do my whole teacher schtick (still perfecting it) and have him play this musical passage he's been working on for what seems like a couple of weeks.
For the sake of this post, let's say it's like this:
"Ok, play through the piece."
"Ok, not bad...let's work on left hand technique. I want you to press down on the frets this time."
"...alright. One more time."
"...ok, that was...work on that this week."
I know I can't expect them to shred the guitar up after a few lessons, but you can definitely tell when kids have the talent to actually get good at the instrument. And this one does not have it.
His brother was better, thankfully; we rocked out a jerky version of Eye Of The Tiger and a couple of other things. I was breaking down his practice schedule for him, and asked, "so, how often do you practice guitar?"
"Oh, Mondays and Fridays, usually."
"...how long do you practice for on those days?
Yesterday I went in for my bass student's lesson, who I had previously had on Friday, so I wasn't expecting him to have made much progress, given the level of skill of the other guitar students. It was only his second bass lesson, after all. I had him run through the stuff I'd given him (chromatic scales and a bit of a blues progression).
He actually practiced and sounded better?
By the end of his second lesson, this kid could already almost play an entire blues progression and didn't sound half bad, especially considering he only had 2 LESSONS. That's when you know somebody has raw talent, or is at least willing to sit down and actually work for it.
I'm so proud *sniff*.