Today I was asked how I liked being coached in guitar…
The truth is I love it. Every week I’m so fortunate to receive world class coaching doing the thing I love most in this world. I love learning from an expert. My coach – Austin Weyand – is phenomenal. From his bio:
Austin Weyand is passionate about music and is sought after as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator of Fingerstyle guitar. He has run the gamut of performing situations from playing guitar concertos with symphony orchestras, jazz jam sessions in Chicago, bluegrass and Celtic music on a tour through Europe, a rock band throughout the inter-mountain west, to Spanish Flamenco for an 8 week run of the U.S. Premiere of Zorro the Musical.
Drawing from this range of musical styles and experiences Austin creates a truly diverse and awe-inspiring experience with his pianistic approach to the guitar. He displays melody, harmony, bass lines, even percussion in stellar arrangements and compositions that fascinate audiences wherever he performs.
And as a teacher, he’s fantastic for many reasons. If you’re looking into being coached in anything – be it guitar, voice, dance, business, or even math, I’d recommend finding a coach who possesses two qualities of a master coach.
Find a coach who shares:
When searching for a coach, we seek the experts. The individuals who know their way around their craft like a master sailor. One thing I’ve learned through experience and watching the experiences of those close to me is this: An expert doesn’t always make an expert teacher. Find a coach who is expert in what they do AND one who is willing to share their skill. Austin is a world class performer, and he’s willing to share that knowledge with me, and all his other students, with the hope (and belief) that one day our skill will match his.
Find a coach who cares:
My coach genuinely cares about me as an individual. It makes a huge difference when a coach cares about the improvement that I make in my life even if it doesn’t have to do with guitar. Austin will regularly ask me about my album. In these moments, I’m able to to share the progress that has been made, the challenges that I’m facing, and the goals I’ve set. Having a mentor and a coach who take genuine interest in what I’m doing is priceless.
Find a Master Coach
The final trait I’d recommend finding in a coach has to do with a theory found in a book called The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. In this book, Coyle spends an entire section discussing the idea of master coaching. A master coach will tailor the way he/she teaches to the individual needs of the learner. This builds upon the knowledge that we all learn a little differently. I learn in a way that might not work for other people and others learn in their own unique way. A master coach will recognize this.
Another theory in the talent code reveals how a master coach is constantly pushing the learner to do better. Currently I’m being coached on jazz chords and blues chords, and I was challenged to write a song using only these techniques. Talk about a growing opportunity! This challenge allowed me to expand my skill level and break into a new comfort zone. I’m sure I’ll be pulled out of this new comfort zone soon, expanding my skills and abilities in ways I never knew possible. (For the record, I accepted the challenge and wrote a Christmas song.)
I hope you find a coach in your life who shares, cares, and allows you to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone in the best way possible.