Life Coach Magazine

Want To Get Better At Something? Teach It!

By Rohan @rohanforsale

teaching guitarI teach guitar, it’s part of how I make a living. But the thing that always surprises me is just how much I learn from my students! Teaching guitar, and music in general, over the years has made me a much better guitarist, musician and communicator. And this phenomenon is not limited to music teaching. I’ve known people who’ve taught languages, yoga and martial arts, and all of them agree that the act of teaching greatly improves their knowledge and technique!

Let’s take a look at the reasons why exactly this is the case:

Reason 1 – Different Learning Styles: It’s great to be exposed to the different ways individuals learn, adapt and practice. For example some guitar students will develop their finger picking quickly and easily, while others will find strumming easier early on. Or in the case of a language one student might find the grammar a breeze while another is better with pronunciation. This perspective gives us a much greater understanding of the learning process and shows us that there are many ways to learn; some of which we can incorporate into our own learning and development!



Reason 2 – Different Interests and Motivations: Everyone wants to learn guitar for a different reason. Some want to play live music, others want to write their own songs, others still just want to be able to play a few romantic cover versions for their partner. And the same goes for genre, I might get a student who wants to learn funk and jazz, and this forces me to go outside of my musical comfort zone and learn new forms and styles to then pass on. These may be genres I would never have played if not for my students. Perhaps someone wants to learn yoga for a specific area of their body that’s giving them trouble, and are interested in an aspect of yoga you haven’t looked into much yet. This will force you to go to the next level with your knowledge and skill!

My dad training with his master in the 80s!

My dad training with his master in the 80s!

Reason 3 – Becoming A Master: When you can successfully pass on a skill or knowledge base to another person, you know you have a really good grasp of the subject. Even if you don’t yet consider yourself a master of your chosen subject or discipline, taking on a student will push you toward master status like nothing else! The student will ask questions that you might not know the answer to, they will test your knowledge and skill and force you to up your game big time! And by the time your student learns to utilize their new attribute, you will be much more adept than when you started teaching. Passing on a set of skills is the ultimate test for you own mastery of the subject.

Reason 4 – Pressure: There’s nothing like a student to keep you on your toes. When it’s just up to us to motivate ourselves to practice our disciplines it can be tough. There are so many distractions, duties and responsibilities that it can be hard to find time to spend an hour with the piano, doing yoga, studying a subject and so on. But when you know your student will be over tomorrow for their next lesson it really helps get your off your butt and working hard at mastering the subject at hand. Teaching keeps you motivated and focused!

If you enjoy a subject or discipline of any kind, even on a hobby level, I highly recommend teaching in order to boost your own knowledge and skill regarding the subject. Here are a few tips to get you started with teaching:

Tip 1 – Making Money: While it’s true that money can definitely be made from teaching just about anything, it might be best to start out teaching a friend or family member for fun and for free in the beginning. This will take some of the pressure off and allow you to enjoy yourself as you pass on your skills. Once you feel confident enough to charge then go ahead and do so, if that’s what you want to do.

Tip 2 – Schedule: Even if you are simply teaching a friend or family member for free, make it regular and somewhat formal. Choose an hour during the week and try to stick to it. During the hour focus on the subject, there will be time for chatting and refreshments afterward.

Tip 3 – Advertising: Putting ads online on sites like Craigslist, (Ireland) and so on will yield results but don’t forget about printing posters and cards. Place the printed ads in cafes, libraries, super markets, organic food stores and so on. If you want to get serious you can even advertise in the print news, but this will cost you serious cash.

Tip 4 – Have Fun: Don’t let teaching stress you out. If you’re anxious your student will pick up on it and they may not enjoy the lesson. We learn faster and more completely when we are relaxed, alert and enjoying ourselves so try to have fun and don’t take it all too seriously


So whether you are someone who has mastered a discipline or subject, or who simply wants to boost one they are still learning themselves, taking on a student or two is a really fun and rewarding experience!

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Plug: While we’re on the subject, Click Here to visit my Guitar Lessons Facebook Page and give it a Like. And if you or someone you know is interested in local lessons here in Dublin or Skype lessons from anywhere in the world, go ahead and get in touch!

Thanks for reading, all the best



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