I had had one attempt to learn the guitar when I first started secondary school. I was keen to learn but my teacher refused to let me learn left handed. The teacher wasn’t very welcoming or supportive and learning never felt comfortable. In the end I viewed the lessons as a chore and didn’t want to go, so I soon gave up. For a lot of years I was interested in trying again, but that bad experience put me off. When I finally decided, I really regretted not trying properly the first time. I knew I wanted two things from my tutor. Firstly I had to be able to play left handed, and secondly I wanted my teacher to be relaxed, approachable and have the patience so I could learn at the right pace for me. I didn’t have any idea if I would be any good, or how long it would take me to take any ideas on. Vicki has always been very good and has a great nature to her teaching. She knows that certain students will stall at different points, but has patience and support for us as and when we need it.
I really look forward to lessons. I know that I will learn new things, and that I will have the time and support to help me improve. When I have made quick progress at times Vicki has noticed that too, and pushed me on to the next challenge, and that has meant I haven’t felt stuck in a place where I wasn’t learning something, or improving. I now know what the notes are on the guitar and where to find them on each string, numerous chord shapes, how to play them and how to change quickly between them and how to play some basic pieces from books and move around the top end of the guitar fretboard comfortably.
At first I felt a bit shy about playing in front of other people, especially people who were more advanced than I was. But actually group lessons provide a good setting to learn in. Everyone respects where each other is with their learning, and it promotes a relaxed atmosphere. It also helps to know what others find easy, or that they are struggling with something you are also progressing slowly with. The other students are all good people, so you never feel silly asking questions, or asking for help, and even in a group setting there is still enough time to address any individual issues you are having one to one with Vicki. The resources online are great and really help and Vicki is always approachable and willing to help in and outside of lesson time. She provides students with a lot of good materials to help explain new ideas.
The only thing Vicki doesn’t do is practice for us, but that would defeat the object! As long as someone is prepared to do the work at home they will definitely make progress if they learn with Vicki. I am personally very happy with what she has done for me so far. I began as a total beginner, and although I still have so much to learn I am confident I can now do a lot of the basics. The key is being committed to working in between lessons. My best periods of progression have happened when I have had the time to work at home. Vicki provides us with the tools to do what we need to, and extra support as and when it is needed, after that it is up to us to make the most of it and practice. I am glad that Vicki is my teacher, and hope that I will continue to progress as a guitar player.