More about Ted on Teaching

“I’ve had fine luck with teaching. First, I try to find out what they love. They have to be learning things that they either love or need. That is, learning to play the sounds they love, or working on the sounds they need to work on (‘need’ could be for 1001 possible reasons). Exploring new things about which they don’t know how they feel, is also on the table sometimes, but truthfully, love or need usually keeps most musicians occupied with their time just fine, thank you.  Next is the issue of what I call format – that is, are they or do they want or need to be playing solo, or with duos or trios and so on. If it’s duo, I find out if they want to be or already are in a situation where they are the only harmonic instrument. And will they be responsible for the low-end? What kind of low-end? And on and on.”

“ I have quite a few strategies when it comes to teaching. But every single person is unique so I always adjust everything to fit them, that is, according to their dreams, what sounds they want to make, what situations they have or hope to have in their lives, their particular relevant strengths and weaknesses, and the ways in which they learn best. Let’s see, that’s about 5 huge areas – areas which prepare me to develop a strategy for teaching someone.”


“Practice slowly, very slowly if need be, on anything that is difficult or not sounding right. And listen very carefully to yourself to hear what you are doing well and what you are not. Tape your playing from time to time. But don’t always listen back immediately. Give it a day or two. It can be a real eye-opener. The tape doesn’t lie. Just us humans do, sometimes to ourselves. Don’t do it, it’s a trap that will keep a person from ever getting really good on their instrument.”

  1. April 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Practice slowly and don;t lie too yourself …. Love it .

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