The Day I Became a Guitar Teacher
from Rob's Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching Handbook
For most of my life, I thought I wanted to be a high school English teacher, and playing guitar was just a hobby. Good classroom teachers are so badly needed, and I thought I could be a great one. But I quit teaching after three years of waking up with a knot in my stomach every morning, and spending Christmas vacations grading papers while the rest of my family went ice skating and ate figgy pudding. In photos from that period, I look like Rick Ocasek with a head cold.
Without a career goal for the first time since I was 14, I spent a couple years as Seattle’s worst handyman, installing doggie doors that didn’t open and fences that fell down. But at the same time, I was pursuing passions I’d neglected when I started teaching. One of those passions was playing in a rock band. I was in rehearsal one day, complaining to my bandmates about the terrible job I was doing painting a house, and the singer, who teaches guitar for a living, said, “Hey man, you should teach guitar.”
BING! In life there are a few pivotal moments, when the earth spins under our feet, sometimes without us noticing, and we march in a completely new direction. This was the day I found my path.
I've been teaching guitar in Seattle, WA since 2003. I specialize in teaching beginners and young children, some as young as 4 years old. Twice a year my students perform in a rowdy student recital called the Coffee Shop Jam. As you can see by the videos, they always have fun, and occasionally go viral.
I split my time between teaching private lessons and developing heartwoodguitar.com. It's gratifying to know that while I might just teach four or five private students in a day, I'm also teaching thousands of visitors online.