How to be a “Bad Student”

Hello again from Colin Berrido, the independent music teacher based in Bagshot, Surrey, England.

I thought in this article I’d show you how to be a “Bad Student”.

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In a “former life” I was involved in a major reorganisation programme. There was a lot of resistance to change with accompanying negativity. The Manager charged with heading up the changes employed a very cleaver reverse psychology technique at the briefing meetings. Rather than telling the work force what was needed for a successful changeover he asked them to brainstorm how to “wreck” the project. The meetings were a great success, good natured (in fact very entertaining) and he got his message across in a non dictatorial manner. Brilliant!

So, how could you be a “Bad Student”? Here are a few ideas to start you off….

–          Don’t practice!

–          Can’t be bothered to tune your instrument (or buy an electronic tuner)

–          Don’t learn the basics – scales, chords and arpeggios

–          Forget your music or study book

–          Don’t learn the notes on the fingerboard

–          Can’t be bothered “to read the book” or “read the Music/Tab” –

           RTFB & RTFM (Read the Flaming’ Book and Read the Flaming’ Music)

–          Don’t think about what YOU want to study or get help with

–          Don’t think about what you would like to play BEFORE your lesson

–          Refuse to buy and use a Metronome

–          Don’t turn up for your agreed lesson

–         And what’s worse – don’t pay a cancellation fee

–          Regularly turn up late for lessons

–          Turn up for a lesson with a broken string (and have a spare one!)

–          Don’t maintain your instrument (so it doesn’t work)

–          Don’t bring a pick (if you use one)

–          Don’t bring a note pad or Tab/Music notation book and a pencil

–          “Noodle” or strum whilst your teacher is trying to explain something

–          If in a Group Ensemble Session:

  • Remember to distract and chat over your fellow students
  • Play a “wrong chord” and look scathingly at the person next to you!
  • Never learn the piece ahead of the session – “wing it”!

–          Don’t “engage” and take part in the lesson ( being grumpy also helps)

–          Don’t cut the finger nails on your left hand (so all chords sound “wooly”)

–          Can’t be bothered to learn some basic theory

–          Forget to pay for your lesson (always appreciated by your teacher)

Now I’m sure you get the idea and you don’t have to be a genius to work out what makes a Good Student.

So, keep practising and playing!

Enjoy!