Welcome To Melbourne Guitar Academy!

Congratulations on signing up for your Guitar Lesson Program at Melbourne Guitar Academy! You’ve taken a huge step towards achieving all of your guitar and music related goals and will be playing guitar well quicker than you ever thought possible!

On this page you will find all of the information  you need to get started  with your guitar lesson program. It’s important that you read everything on this page and watch every video in the Introduction To Guitar Video Series (linked below) prior to your first lesson with us. Doing so will set you up for success and ensure we can make the most of the time we have together in lessons.

If you follow the instructions given to you in your lessons, practice regularly and commit to your program long term, you will be able to play guitar just as good (if not better) than all of your favorite players. The only difference between them and you is that they stuck with guitar long term and fortunately for you, we’re here to guide you along your journey and to help you avoid all the mistakes they made and overcome the hurdles and challenges they faced.

Melbourne Guitar Academy General Expectations

  • Arrival
    • Aim to arrive 5 minutes early to get prepared for your lesson. You should tune your guitar, prepare your books & folders and begin warming up in order to begin your lesson on time.
    • If you arrive late please enter the room quietly and wait until the instructions are over, anything you missed will be revised for you once the group is set to task.

 

  • Waiting Area
    • You can take a seat in the waiting area or head onto the student lounge (room 4) or practice studio (room 5). Please make sure your guitar case and any bags are stacked neatly. Feel free to make yourself a tea, coffee or get a cup of water from the kitchen area if the door is open.

 

  • Student’s Lounge & Practice Room
    • The student’s lounge is a relaxing space where you can hang out, warm up or practice. Take advantage of the books, DVDs and games provided both before and after your lesson. You are welcome to come in any time and use these spaces provided that the “Session In Progress” sign is not on the door.

 

  • Practice
    • If you want to improve your playing you need to be practicing regularly between your lessons. Practice by definition is the repetition of an idea or action over and over with the intention of improving. Practicing is not playing songs or material that you already know how to play, practicing is going over things you can’t yet do well in order to improve them. You should aim to pick up the guitar at least once a day (even if it’s for just 5 minutes) and to play through something you are working on.
    • There are many different ways to practice but all of them involve repetition, get used to setting yourself a time limit to work in or set number of reps that you need to hit before moving onto a new topic. Simply playing something 3 times and moving on does not allow you to build up the muscle memory of the skill.
    • We have to be realistic with what time we can commit to practice. Whether it’s 30m a day or 30m a week, determine how much time you can commit to practice each week and stick to it.

 

  • Practice Journal & Display Book
    • Last year we found that although the website had the option to download your lesson materials, it often was a hassle to go through the process of logging in and printing things out and thus went unused. In an effort to make things simpler any of the week to week content not found in your lesson books will be printed out and given to you in class time.
    • To make things easier for you we will be you will be given a workbook and a plastic display folder which you need to bring to every lesson. In your workbook you should take down notes of what we worked on in class, write out your homework for the week and keep a log of what you worked on and any questions you may have come up with between lessons.
    • Any handouts you are given need to be kept safe in your folder. Make a habit of logging into your student account once a week and printing off any files you have been given and keeping them safe in your folder.
    • If you don’t bring your materials we have to waste lesson time finding a spare copy or organising something else for you to work on, so make sure you bring them.

 

  • Logging Practice
    • Logging your practice is the best way to see that you’re improving and indicate that your hard work and effort is paying off. You can log practice in your student account, your workbook or with a printout. You should do this at least once a week so that we can monitor your progress and so you don’t miss out on any bonus sessions that may be dependant on your practice log for on your involvement.

 

  • Electric Guitar Students
    • We have amplifiers that will be permanently set up in each room.
    • If you are an electric guitar student you should bring your own guitar lead and a set of headphones to every lesson so that you can plug in and play without being distracted or drowned out by acoustic players.

 

    • Songs & Video Recordings
      • Everybody likes to learn their favourite songs and through this process we can build a repertoire of pieces to play through and enjoy. It is important to have the discipline to stick to one song and get it completed before moving onto the next. You should aim to be able to play the song from start to finish before taking on a new piece otherwise you will have a number of half completed songs and be frustrated because you can’t play a full piece.
      • You will be given a printout and a pdf of your song, if you lose this printout you’ll have to print out your own copy. Bring it to every lesson.
      • When you have finished a song you need to record yourself playing through it and email the video to info@melbourneguitaracademy.com We will watch the video, offer feedback on the entire play through and move you onto a new piece.
        • There are many benefits of recording yourself, here are just some of them;
          • 1 you get to see how much you’ve improved from video to video
          • 2 we can identify any problems in your playing and give you direct feedback
          • 3 you can see what mistakes you are making and what improvements you can make, and learn how to autocorrect.
          • 4 you’ll get used to performing under pressure which is a really valuable skill to have.
          • 5 You’ll have a bunch of cool videos to use on your musical resume.

 

  • Video & Audio Recording

 

      • The studio room is set up with a Mac Computer that you can use to record video at any time before, during or after your lesson.
      • Instructions on how to do this are on the desk next to the computer.
      • You can also use the computer to record audio through logic or Garageband if you know how.

 

  • Scheduling & Makeup Lessons
    • Any cancellations and reschedules must be made through the lesson booking system.
    • Unless you are going away for extended periods you do not need to call or email us, simply log into the booking system to cancel your credits and allocate it to another time slot.
    • Lesson credits expire at the end of each month.
    • If you know you are going to be away in the last week of the month, let us know in advance via email so we can overwrite the booking system credit cancellation.

 

  • Communication
      • Our preferred method of communication is email so that we have a reference of what has been said and a timeline to follow.
      • If you need to call please do so before 4:00pm
      • please don’t send SMS messages as they will often go unread for several days whereas we check and respond to our emails daily.
  • Referrals
    • We invest a lot into advertising. If you could assist us by referring friends and family members the time and money we save on advertising could be much better invested into better equipment and facilities here as well as on improving your program and lesson experience. It’s a win/win situation so please have a think about anyone you know who plays or is interested in learning to play an instrument and refer them to us.

 

  • Reviews
    • A review of your experience at MGA goes a long way towards helping us out, they only take a minute or two to write and we really appreciate the feedback. You can leave review of Google+, Facebook & True Local.

 

  • Instruments & Maintenance
    • Having great gear keeps you motivated, facilitates great playing and makes the whole experience more enjoyable. You should always aim to purchase the best instrument you can within your budget. I am happy to help with advice on purchasing new gear and can get you a discount at GH Music using your MGA Student Card.
    • Once you have your guitar it is highly recommended that you wipe it down after each practice session to stop the build up of sweat and grime on your instrument.
    • As a casual player you should aim to restring your guitar at least every 6 months and at worst once a year,
    • It’s also advisable that you get your guitar professionally serviced once a year, a bit of TLC goes a long way towards keeping your instrument in excellent condition.

 

  • Additional Equipment
    • It’s highly recommended that you have the following as well as a neat & tidy area set up to practice.
      • a tuner or tuning app
      • a music stand
      • a foot stool
      • a string winder
      • spare strings
      • a comfortable chair
      • a quality amplifier (for electric guitarists)
      • guitar leads
      • pics/plectrums

Expectations About Lessons

  • Growth Classes
    • Your growth classes are where you will learn new content, concepts and focus on repertoire from both your lesson books and of your own choice.
    • You need to bring your folder and repertoire pieces to your growth class, if you don’t bring your materials to work on you will be given book work.
    • Any additional topics will be added to your student accounts and printed out for you. Be sure to put your printouts in your folder and bring them to every session.

 

  • Mastery Training Sessions
    • Your mastery session is all about training your fundamental skills and teaching you how to practice effectively.
    • This is primarily a technical skills based class and would be run much the same way as a gym session, sports training or martial arts class.
    • You will not be given new content in these sessions and instead will focus on practicing your current content as well as running different drills and exercises to help develop your fundamental skills and techniques.
    • We will set general topics and give you examples to work on, however you are encouraged to work on your own materials that fit under each category
    • This means you must bring your guitar folder and materials along to this session, If you forget them you will have to work from the general examples.
    • You will be given an exercise, task or instruction and the expectation is you continue to repeat it until time is up, or you are given the next instruction.
    • This will allow you to learn the correct way to practice a skill, and then drill it so that you develop the muscle memory in a much shorter period of time and can transfer the learning process to other areas of your playing.

 

  • Learning Songs
    • Our focus at MGA is not to teach you songs.
    • Our focus is to teach and develop all the necessary skills and techniques needed to become a self sufficient musician so that you can learn and play songs and everything else you wish to learn in the easiest most efficient way possible.
    • We will be learning songs along the way, and attempting to use your favourite songs as study pieces, but they will not be the sole focus of lessons.

 

  • Content Vs Training
    • In traditional guitar lessons the emphasis is on learning songs. Learning songs and repertoire is a great way to build our skills and technique and to have something to show for the effort we are putting it. Learning our favourite songs is also a great way to enjoy the instrument and should make us feel good when we can perform them for ourselves and others. It is important however to not to try and learn all of our favourite songs at the same time, nor to try and learn songs that are too far above our level.
    • At MGA we want to change the shift in focus from more content to more training. You don’t need new content and materials every lesson unless you have learned, memorised and can play previously learned materials to a good standard. Instead you need to focus the majority of your lesson and practice time on revising your current content and getting it right. This doesn’t mean you have to master everything before you move onto the next level, but you do need to have an understanding of the concept and be able to play it at a competent level before moving on.
    • Everything you learn has a finite number of repetitions you have to do in order to attain the skill, if you focus on repetition in your practice and training sessions you will get these skills down in weeks or months rather than the years it takes regular students who do a bit of practice here and a bit of practice there to get to the same level.
    • If you want to play your favourite songs, get through them at a good pace and be able to play guitar the way you want to, then focussing on drilling your fundamental skills will allow you to build up the technique that will facilitate great playing, and ease of learning.
    • Just like footy players work on their kicking, marking, handballing, tackling and running skills at training to prepare them for match day, working on our fundamentals will prepare you to be able to play your songs and perform at the required level.
    • Think of every new song I give you like being given a sandwich. You want to finish eating the sandwich before I give you another new sandwich, otherwise your space will be filled up with mouldy, half eaten sandwiches, you won’t want to touch the old ones and adding more and more will only contribute to the mess. Sometimes it’s also not possible to finish a sandwich in one sitting, you can put it in the fridge for tomorrow, and the day after, and maybe the day after if you’re brave, but if you leave it for too long you won’t be as interested in it. Think of this as learning your song over a period of several weeks, sometimes it’s not possible to do it all in one go, so do one part one week, the next part another week, and chip away piece by piece until you have got the whole song down. Then you’ll be ready for your next sandwich…er I mean song.

Mindset & Motivation

  • Mindset is Everything
    • Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude!
    • The single most important thing that will contribute towards your success in learning to play guitar is your attitude.
    • Everyone has the potential to become a great guitarist, it just comes down to whether you believe that you can become a great guitarist and are willing to put in the time and effort to reach the level that you want to reach or even go beyond.
    • As long as you believe in your ability to achieve, and put in the work that is required, you will get there.
    • “All battles are first won or lost in the mind” – Joan of Arc. Guitar playing isn’t a battle but you need to believe in your ability to win and succeed in order to win and succeed.
    • To get good at anything, all you need to do is determine what the success looks like (set a goal), break down what you need to do in order to achieve the goal (the milestones along the way) and then go and do it (your lessons and home practice). To get good at guitar all you need to do is set a goal for the type of player you want to be, determine the knowledge and skills you need to be that guitarist and then learn the skills in your lessons and practice them at home. With enough time and practice you’ll reach the goal.
    • If you tell yourself you can do it, and go out and do it, you will get there.
    • If you doubt yourself, doubt the lessons and don’t put in the effort, you won’t get there.
    • I’m here to show you the path and give you everything you need to achieve the level of guitar ability you desire, all you need to do is the work.

Important Links

Introduction To Guitar Video Series

Yellow Belt Training Dojo

Orange Belt Training Dojo

Green Belt Training Dojo

Bonus Lesson Content (check your Welcome Package for more info)

Student Resources Page

Student Portal Log In Page (currently being redeveloped)

Google+ Review Page

Facebook Link

Youtube Channel

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