I've seen so many music teachers just give theory lessons and then have the student practice the ideas on their instrument. I think – with a lot of people want to study music like guitars, pianos these days – seems too... boring.

For example: A classical guitarist student (which age is 10) is getting bored because the teacher is always giving the student theory lessons and practicing a new song every meeting.

So, how can a teacher make them not bored and teach them the theory and technique for their instrument and how would a teacher help their student enjoy what they're learning?

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    I voted for this as the answer is primarily opinion-based. This type of question is not new and if the answer to it were simple, the education system would be vastly different than what it is today. In part, students and culture change with time, so the answers we create and our roles as teachers must also change through necessity of preservation. Oct 26, 2014 at 1:15
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    I didn't teach classical guitar, but I did teach both acoustic and electric guitar lessons and I found the students were most interested when I asked them to bring in songs they liked and worked through those with them. It might be different with classical, but for pop and rock my students practiced a lot when learning their favorite songs. Then you can work in some theory related to the songs they already like.
    – charlie
    Oct 26, 2014 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


In general, you should find out what the student wants from the lessons and tailor your teaching to what they want from lessons. Teaching all students the exact same way tends to be counterproductive.

If they are very serious about creating their own music, encourage improvisation as much as possible and reinforce it by showing the theory behind what they play and show them how analysis can be applied to any piece to help them create music. If a student just wants to play their instrument as a hobby, see what artist/composers they like and help them understand what's going on and the musical ideas behind them. If a student is serious about playing their instrument and wants to play professionally or attend music school for their instrument, show them what they need to know and explain how it will help them prepare for the future with some examples of how techniques and ideas are used.

If you know what they want from lessons you can do a lot to keep them interested in their lessons and you can teach them a lot easier. If they are being forced to take lessons, there really is not much you can do. You can try and make it fun for them, but unless they want to learn it is rather hard to keep them interested.

Another thing to note is even the most eager student can get "burned out" of lessons. If you know a student is starting to not practice as much as they normally do, it may be time to adjust their lessons and take them in a different direction for a little bit to rekindle their interest in lessons. Either focusing on a different topic or approaching a topic a different way can help a lot refocus the student to their lessons.

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