To offset the often extraordinary cost of individual guitar lessons, group lessons have been gaining popularity in recent years. Rather than the traditional, student-and teacher set up, group lessons often have 10-12 students taking general instruction from a single teacher.
Here’s a look at whether group guitar lessons provide the same level of tutelage as private, one-student-per-teacher guitar lessons.
What the Classroom Environment Offers – Proponents of group guitar lessons compare it to a classroom learning environment. The big draw is that the other students are going to have problems or questions that you won’t necessarily have, but it may help you to hear those questions answered, especially technique questions. It gives the instructor more room to explain why certain things affect a guitar’s sound, and takes the pressure off of the students by letting them play with people in their own skill range. The drawback is that this causes lessons to move more slowly, and intermediate to advanced guitar players need to take special care to find a learning environment more tailored for their particular strengths and weaknesses–that is to day, beginning guitarists get the most out of group guitar lessons, and may improve more quickly than they would have in private lessons.
Finding an Experienced Teacher – It’s important when considering group guitar lessons to consider the expertise of the teacher. You should only take group guitar lessons from a teacher who’s taught them before, as they’re an entirely different animal than private lessons and require a different skill set. Unlike private teachers, group guitar teachers use lesson plans and need to work to ensure that the entire class is progressing at a reasonable rate. Ask prospective teachers for an idea of their experience in group teaching, and if possible, talk to a few students before enrolling in any classes.
Rates – Group guitar lessons are cheaper for students and more profitable for teachers, which is why they’ve gradually gained popularity. Hour sessions go for as little as $10 for a ten player classroom, and rates vary by city, instructor, and class size. If you’re beginning the guitar, group lessons are worthwhile if the instructor is skilled, but the other advantage is that a class can usually by canceled quickly if you find that it’s not improving your playing. Group guitar lessons have a definite place in the learning process of any new aspiring guitarists.
Do you take group guitar lessons? Post in our comments section below.