Music Teacher or Therapist?

I recall a student I had many years ago when I lived in Michigan. She was a young, slim, attractive lady. Anyway, she showed up for her first guitar lesson and after our initial introduction, I sat down to discuss with her the basics of the guitar and music.

Guitar Therapy?

Guitar Therapy?

As I started to explain to this guitar student about how the open strings are numbered from 1 to 6 and how each string relates to the musical alphabet, she stopped me and mentioned her self-improvement tapes. She apparently was listening to tapes and reading books to improve her image and self-esteem. Next, she told me that she was on a weight loss program, which at first glance, didn’t appear to be necessary. I soon learned that she broke up with her boyfriend and wasn’t very happy about how life was going at the moment. While I tried to reassure her, I also did my best to get her focused on learning about the guitar.

An hour went by rather quickly. Although I was interrupted by the student on more than one occasion, when I tried to advise her that the lesson was over, she finally paid me for her lesson.  I concluded the first lesson by stating “Next time, please bring a guitar to your lesson”, which is apparently something she forgot to do.

So just like the bar tender who has to listen to all those sad stories,  I was wondering if the role of a music teacher is to sometimes provide therapy for those in need? I guess for the budget concious, the music teacher is cheaper than the psychologist.


About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced eight instructional books on CD as well as numerous instrumental arrangements. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and has published an article in Issue #37 of the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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