Ande Flavelle studied piano as a child, but moved on to guitar at age 14. "I was probably the world’s worst student in the beginning, but it has given me a certain amount of insight and patience when I now deal with similar type students of my own." Today, however his background has become quite expansive. He studied classic guitar as his major at Paterson State College, and studied width a wide range of diverse talent – from slide and Dobro specialists to New York City’s best studio guitarists. "I’m sure if I counted them I’ve studied with over 20 teachers – some for three years, some for one lesson. Obviously, some were better than others! But I believe having seen such a wide range of teachers has given me additional insight into what gets results with students and what doesn’t."

What are some of a beginners disadvantages? "Just that, being a beginner. Of course, it’s no one’s fault – we all have to start somewhere. But the average beginner doesn’t really know what he’s got in a teacher until he’s spent time and money. And let’s suppose the teacher’s a dud – some guy who just teaches a few lessons here and there for extra bucks, but doesn’t really know a whole lot. Or perhaps, he gets a teacher who’s a really professional musician, but one who’s bored working with beginners, and hates rock music. In either case, what happens to the student? The student doesn’t have the qualifications to know the guys a dud – if he did, he wouldn’t need lessons. The chances are, that student will quit, and think he’s not cut out for music. I know at must happen all the time, because it almost happened to me several times when I was first hungry for more knowledge."

Any advise for students? You bet. Tell teachers what you want from them, and then discuss with your instructor what it will take to get you there. Be especially wary of the ones that don’t get involved, and stick you immediately in books that teach you, "Mary had a little Lamb". You shouldn’t have to practice assignments you don’t understand. The teacher saying "You need to learn this" isn’t enough.

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Caldwell NJ
United States 07006


Sound Connection Inc.
Caldwell NJ
United States 07006

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