There are so many people out there who are interested in learning how to play the guitar. Well in a place such as the internet, or even in Eugene for that matter there are even more people yelling "I can do it!". So the question is how do you sift through the people that won't teach you much and the folks that will change the way you view music?
Well, luckily there are a couple of ways. And remember this is just my opinion, you can always get lucky with a random flyer in town.
This is a big one. Make sure that they have a teaching philosophy available for you to read. You can learn from anyone how to learn a few chords. You can even go on YouTube for that one. But what makes for a great instructor is the ability to see your weaknesses, and correlate that to your goals.
Their philosophy should tell you that, and any teacher that does not have one available should be avoided.
Ego is a problem is the musical world. If your instructor does not present themselves in a professional manner nor have a website. Avoid them! They may be the best musician in the world, but this does not mean they know how to be an instructor.
One thing to think about as well. If they do not have a website, or at least a page on a 3rd party website like ThumbTack. If they are not putting in the effort in their presentation and marketing they probably are not taking teaching very seriously. And as a result your lessons will lack quality.
This is a big one to look for. I don't think you need to find someone with a PhD in Guitar Performance, however your teacher should have lot's of experience. I have a bachelors in music, 6 years as a music teacher, time spent as a professional touring musician, and a life long dedication to music. If they don't have a degree they better have the experience to make up for it. Better yet, experience and education!
That being said, if they have education but 0 teaching experience I would go forward with caution.
This is a big one for people! Do you get along with them? If you dread your lessons because your teacher doesn't understand humor and licks his lips constantly (real life experience of mine) then you might not learn much. Your teacher should know how to put you at ease so you can settle into the right head space to learn!
This is why I offer a free 30 minute lesson to get you started. It doesn't happen often but if were not a fit, then I refer them to a colleague.
I hope this helps you with finding a music teacher. You may be with them for years so it's a decision that shouldn't be taken too lightly.
Interested in a free 30 minute lesson?