APPLY FOR FREE CONSULTATION
Simply fill out the form below and I will be in touch with you shortly.
There’s a big difference between part-time teachers who teach as a side gig and full-time pros with a proven track record of getting incredible results for their students.
For kids to win in music, two things must happen: 1) they must have fun and enjoy the experience; and 2) they must make progress quickly, so their motivation level stays high.
Teaching the guitar and playing the guitar are two entirely different skill sets. Just because someone can play the guitar doesn’t mean they know how to teach it. The key is to find someone who can back up their pedagogy with their own skills. Most importantly, they must have a track record of success with students they’ve taught.
“We had been looking for quite some time and trying different classes and browsing, until we met Preston. Our daughter had classes in the past with other teachers and schools, but we didn't see any progress... Since our first meeting with Preston, we were amazed how he had a different approach and was engaging and dedicated to teaching. Our daughter was so excited that she couldn't wait to start her first lesson.
“What makes Preston different from other teachers is that he makes it fun for kids and is such a great instructor with lots of approaches and ideas. She has been taking lessons for 3 months, and we are amazed at what she has learned and how her life is so affected with everything she has learned so far. She found herself in guitar! Watching her every time she comes home from class with so much excitement and motivation to do more makes us so happy. I can't wait to see what will be in the next 3 months.”
- Mirjana / Parent
An Open Letter to Parents
Learning to play the guitar is such an exciting time in life for kids!
I still remember that day in 8th grade when my friend Brad brought his electric guitar to school to show off what he’d learned. He played the “Enter Sandman” intro by Metallica for us, and after he finished, I was stunned! It never occurred to me that was possible or that perhaps there was a chance I could learn to play my favorite songs too.
After that, I convinced my parents to let me buy my first guitar with the money I’d saved from harvesting potatoes (we lived in a little farming town in Idaho). Dad was skeptical at first because it wasn’t “traditional” like the acoustic guitar; however, he relented, and I got my first guitar, an Ibanez GRX 20 (see below). I couldn’t put it down, and it quickly overtook video games as my new favorite childhood obsession!
However, none of my family members were musical, so they looked for someone who could teach me. My mom found a lady who did lessons out of her basement....
She taught the lamest songs where she'd sing, and we'd play Kumbaya or "Mama Don't Allow." It was the worst! I was 15 years old and wanted to play rock and roll, but I thought, “Hey if this is what it takes, I'll do it.”
Over the years, I had 11 guitar teachers. I had everyone from stay-at-home moms, to college kids who thought they could teach because they played in bands, to hippies with really bad breath, to guys with big music degrees who would just show off the whole time! I even tried looking up stuff online, but it was all so confusing.
Long story short: thousands of dollars and hundreds of lessons later, I realized that most guitar teachers are not equipped to really train kids how to play correctly. This became even more apparent to me when I ran my first class as a substitute teacher years ago.
The shocking “substitute teacher” experience
that finally caused me to start my own school…
When I first moved to Salt Lake City, I made friends with a local guitar teacher. I let him know I wanted to pursue a career in music. Long story short: I ended up being a substitute teacher for him one day and was shocked at what I discovered...
… I realized every student I met with could barely do anything on the guitar, even though they’d been taking lessons for 2+ years!
They all had binders full of music sheets but could barely play a scale or any of the songs they had. They were still trying to remember their basic chords and were fumbling through simple riffs. After I explained and demonstrated what a scale is and what it’s used for, another teacher ran out of his lesson (leaving his student) and said, “DUDE, that is awesome!"
Wait, what? I was so confused...
It really wasn't anything special, just some basic blues licks. I thought, shouldn't this be normal? I mean, aren't we supposed to be the "pros" here?
Needless to say, I was never invited back, as the students began asking me for lessons... Thus, SLC Guitar was born.
Fast-forward nearly 8 years, and SLC Guitar is now one of the most sought-after schools in the greater Salt Lake City area. I’ve developed my own custom method that’s superior to what 98% of schools teach (more on that below)...
To learn more, click the button below to apply for a free consultation. I'd be happy to chat with you to see if you'd be a good fit for my school.
After working with 11 different instructors and working with 100s and 100s of students over the years who’ve had previous lessons, I have a very good idea of how "professional lessons" are taught.
Here's the breakdown:
The Read-A-Book Method: You show up for your "professional lessons," and the teacher literally helps you read a book. It’s slow and freaking boring. There’s no training your ear, no training on creativity, no learning the cool fun songs you want, and no training you how to play songs from memory. What are you going to do, run and grab your book when someone asks you to play a song? And then play “Blow Ye Gentle Winds” or some other lame song written 100 years ago? There’s such a disconnect for students (especially kids) who want to rock out on the guitar only to then get the most boring lessons ever. Progress is slow, practicing is boring, and most don’t stick with it for very long.
The Show-Random-Songs Method: In this method, you show up, and the “professional” teacher asks, "So, what song do you want to play?" Every week… It's like showing up for kindergarten, and the teacher asks the kids, "What do you want to learn today?" Can you imagine the randomness and the problems with the lack of structure? How could any sort of coherent learning take place? What most don’t realize (until it's too late) is years can go by and the student will still be a beginner. They never learned anything except how to play some songs. They are totally clueless on virtually everything except moving their fingers around. Yea, it’s more engaging than the boring read-a-book Method, but it’s really sad to see someone spend years trying to learn a skill and paying a “pro” to help but getting nowhere.
The Whatever-Comes-To-Mind Method: This is the most common method used by teachers who are more advanced players. This is similar to the show-random-songs method, but instead of songs, its random musical concepts: scale patterns, arpeggios, triads, the modes, etc. You end up learning a bunch of musical “stuff,” but you don't really learn how to put it all together. It’s like first-graders learning college-level things, then off to 4th grade, then next week its 8th grade, then back to 1st. I know it seems like an exaggeration, but this has been my experience and observation.
Yes, some teachers are better than others. Most are also nice people, but due to their flawed approach to teaching guitar, most students ultimately fail to learn how to play the guitar and they are left thinking they weren’t good enough and that they lacked “natural talent” or some special gift, when really, the entire premise of the method being used set them up to fail.
After just 90 Days, your child will know...
Oh yea, and they'll have written 2-3 songs of their own!
Is It Worth It? Ask These Parents & Students
My son has been coming here for the past nine months and we have nothing but great things to say. He was a complete novice when he started. Now he has an extensive knowledge of riffs, etudes, chords... the list goes on and on. It is so exciting to watch his progress. He takes a particular liking to creating his own songs, an easy feat for him now because he learns music theory and composition along with amazing instruction on how to actually rock out. My 9 year old happily goes to TWO hours of guitar classes every week. It is NEVER a fight to get him to go to guitar. He actually keeps begging me to let him take MORE lessons a week, he cannot get enough. Preston and team really know their stuff and we are so glad to have found them.
Our 11-year-old son has been taking lessons from Preston for 7 months now. He's never played the guitar before and I can hardly believe how fast he's learning and how good he's getting now, all thanks to Preston's teaching style, his dedication and his interest in each and every student's success. I am so glad we found Preston. He teaches guitar in a way that is fun and effective. If you want to learn in a fun, engaging and good-paced environment, you can't go wrong with SLC Guitar and Preston.
Preston is an amazing teacher. My daughter has learned so much the short time she has been taking lessons from him and we are so pleased we went with SLC Guitar for her lessons.
Preston is a great teacher and very knowledgable - he basically eats, sleeps and breaths guitar. This is reflected in his teaching. He cares very much about his student's progress, while maintaining a fun atmosphere for us to learn in. His classes are very organized and well-planned. He also has a student resource center which is helpful for slower learners like myself. We definitely recommend.
I've been taking guitar lessons here for about 3 years, and my progress is unbelievable. I had previous lessons with another music school for about 5 years, and I really think Preston could have taught me everything they did in less than a year. Preston is the best guitar teacher you'll find anywhere near Salt Lake City. If you want to learn how to play guitar correctly and be creative with it, don’t look anywhere else.
Andrew’s Timeline: Age 5 to 8
Andrew began taking lessons in 2016 at 5 years old. He works VERY hard, and we put together a timeline of his progress to demonstrate a few things he has learned.
Who Is SLC Guitar For?
SLC Guitar is for students who want to learn guitar (the right way) in a fun, enjoyable atmosphere and excel. So, if you don’t want your kids to have fun and laugh as they learn, then this probably isn’t the place for you. And if you don’t want them to be pushed to excel, set goals and achieve them, then we probably wouldn’t be a good fit either.
However, this program is for you if…
About Preston Howard
Preston Howard is a full-time professional guitar teacher and the owner of SLC Guitar. After working with 11 different guitar teachers over the years and studying music in college, he decided to start his own school based on a unique process known as The Complete Guitar Mastery Method.™ It’s proven to get results faster than the other three methods typically taught.
Preston has devoted 100% of his time and energy into his method. He spent 6 years as a member of an international network of guitar teachers and music school owners brainstorming the most effective methods, and he’s spent 1000s of hours developing and testing his own unique method known as The Complete Guitar Mastery Method.™
Now, with over 5,000 hours of face-to-face coaching under his belt, he’s learned how to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-digest lessons. His students say his method is unlike anything they’ve experienced before in that it’s very structured and organized (a rare trait among musicians) while also being fun and lighthearted!
When not helping his students learn the guitar, or improving the methods at SLC Guitar. Preston enjoys playing guitar himself, studying music, composing music, He also enjoys snowboarding, kickboxing and hiking.
We need help buying our first guitar. Can you help?
Yes! This is one of the things we can discuss in our free consultation.
Yes. We also have bottled water and a nice comfortable seating area to relax in or to get some work done using our free WiFi!
You don’t need to know anything about guitar! Honestly, if you don't know anything about guitar or music, that’s totally fine. Just like a soccer mom learns a bit about soccer, you'll probably learn a few things about guitar (which is totally killer, by the way!).
SLC Guitar has multiple programs and various options so it depends. The most important question would be, “Are we a good match?” So, we offer a free consultation so you can come to the school with your kid and check things out. When we find out what your kid’s musical interests and current skills are, we will recommend the right program.
Although public school programs can be a good introduction to music, the lessons are often very one dimensional and taught by non experts. SLC Guitar is totally different.
Most of our students have had guitar lessons before and all say the same thing... Guitar lessons at SLC Guitar is a night and day difference from other guitar schools. Most guitar teachers use one of the 3 ineffective methods referred to above and quite often this is why your kid lost interest, didn't want to practice, and/or failed to make real progress.
Although there are some decent videos on YouTube, it's full of misinformation, contradictory views, and information from "teachers" who don't work with people face to face. Not to mention no structure or feedback. Comparing SLC Guitar to YouTube is like apples to oranges.
After their very first day. It's not uncommon for kids to learn an entire etude after their first day; even if they have no experience. One of our star students (Milica) could play 600 notes per minute after just 90 days. Results may vary though.
Apply for a Free 1-Hour Consultation
Click the button below to apply for a free consultation. After you submit your application, we’ll have a short phone call to get to know each other. If we feel like we’d be a good fit, then I’ll invite you and your child to come into the school for a free consultation.
APPLY FOR FREE CONSULTATION
Simply fill out the form below and I will be in touch with you shortly.