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> Mtp Guidelines
Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 22 2008, 11:33 PM
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Mentors & Mentorees - as we start to roll out the Mentored Training program we wanted to create some guidelines that set down how we expect both sides to behave in the program. Whilst we don't want to be overly restrictive, there are a few things we have learned already and here we have made a a few suggestions on how things should work. Like you we want this to be as smooth a process as possible and to reflect well on both the individuals involved and GMC as well!

With that in mind, here are the guidelines:

1. Mentors, make sure the basics are covered! One of the most important aspects of the programme are to discover and eliminate the sort of basic mistakes that can arise in playing when learning in isolation without a teacher, as many GMC:ers do. If you have never interacted with anyone else musically, you may well have some basic problems with timing etc. These problems must be corrected before moving onto more advanced techniques or you will never be a succesful guitarist. To help with this, we will be producing a basic sylabus of suggested exercises. Your first job as a mentor will be to asses the strength and weaknesses of your mentorees by giving them exercises from this program and progressing through it to ensure a strong grasp of the basics. Of course, you can add additional stuff to keep things interesting, but in the first weeks, this should be the bulk of what you work on.

2. Mentors, use material and lessons from GMC wherever possible - GMC is a fantastic resounrce, and part of the idea behind the program is that is allows people to get more value out of the incredible content here. So, rather than inventing a new timing lesson, pick one from GMC and give it to your students as an exercise - that saves you work, and focuses people on the incredible GMC content we have. Of course if you want to make a video to illustrate a particular point that is fine, or if you want to cover something for which there is no GMC lesson that is fine too (you should consider making an SI lesson if that is the case!)

3. Mentors, expect natural wastage - we have already seen this happen even on the pilot programs. People are less motivated than they expected to be, problems crop up that distract them from practicing, or any number of other things happen. This is a fact of life and is to be expected. If we give you 5 students to mentor, the chances are that a couple will drop out or just stop posting, and maybe 1 or 2 will be dedicated and focused. If people want to drop out, it's their loss and not your responsibility, which brings us to:

4. Mentors should not feel that they have to chase their students - the mentoring is a privilege for the mentorees (it's free after all), and it is up to the mentoree to gain the most form it. Mentors should not feel obligated to chase mentorees for late assignments, nor slow the progress of the rest of the group if a mentoree isn't making an effort. In part though, mentoring is about inspiration and leadership, so if you feel strongly about it, by all means make whatever efforts you feel to be necessary to keep your students engaged, but the GMC management doesn't expect you to do this, it's at your discretion!

5. Mentors, expect an initial surge of work when starting. It takes time to establish what level your students are at and what they need to work on. When things are up and running the workload is considerably less, and experience has shown that it should be no more than 3 - 4 hours a week for as many as 6 students

6. As a mentor, be pleasant and supportive of your mentorees, remember patience is a virtue! Your are there to gently lead and inspire them. If they have problem with a concept or technique, be patient, and work with them until they get it - this is very important for them even if it is something easy and obvious. One of the greatest rewards of teaching is that moment when the light comes on in your students head and you know they finally understand what you are telling them!

7. A mentor group is just that - a group! You will work together on similar exercises and can help each other out if you like. Working with others is a great way to progress. Also, as a group, feel free to influence the direction your mentor is taking you in, but respect that the mentor is more experienced than you, and has the final word on the value of any suggestions that the individual or group makes.

8. Mentorees - Be open. If you don't understand why your Mentor is asking you to do something, ask him! If he can't justify it he isn't doing a good job of mentoring!

9. Mentorees, if you are not happy with your mentor, or want something different let us know - we will try and reassign you to a new mentor group as vacancies permit. We understand that different people get along in different ways. If there is some sort of personality clash we will reassign members - this doesn't reflect badly on either the mentor or the mentoree, its just a fact of life that sometimes people don't get on!

10. Assume that your mentor will guide you in the direction of playing more like him. Don't join a mentor group led by a Bluesman and demand he teaches you how to Gallop! This is fairly obvious - very few guitarists are equally talented in all different areas, so you should look at what your mentor does best and if that fits in with your vision of where you want to go then its a good fit. Note that for absolute beginners this is less important, as the basics are the same no matter what style of playing you eventually hope to have.

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post Dec 22 2008, 11:37 PM
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Great guide lines Andrew

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post Dec 23 2008, 09:15 PM
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Sounds good Andrew! It it is even half as good as the pilot program, then this is going to seriously upgrade this site!!!

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post Dec 23 2008, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the guidelines. This will help the participants a lot to not get confused and to stay fair.

I can´t wait for the beginning. smile.gif I hope I´ll get some mentorees and a cool mentor. smile.gif
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post Dec 23 2008, 09:41 PM
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very cool.

Will there be a specific method for providing constructive feedback to the mentors?

2nd question.

Can the "groups" set up their own space like the virtual bands have? That would be handy. Little study group areas.

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Chris Evans
post Dec 23 2008, 09:49 PM
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QUOTE (jer @ Dec 23 2008, 08:41 PM) *
very cool.

Will there be a specific method for providing constructive feedback to the mentors?

2nd question.

Can the "groups" set up their own space like the virtual bands have? That would be handy. Little study group areas.

not sure about the first question mate to be honest, but you will be able to provide feedback directly or indirectly, I see no reason why not smile.gif

the best place for the groups to hang out is in the Mentors practice agenda, if you check out mine you`ll see that we got a nice group thing going on smile.gif and its a space for the guys to provide feedback, comment on the others takes, offer advice etc, or chat about anything if ya like smile.gif

I think the new sub forum for the MTP will also provide a space to discuss etc.

I believe we are going to use this area for the second phase of the intermediate competition (Andrew will clarify this for you), so that it is all "open" for the whole community to follow whats going on smile.gif

hope that helps smile.gif

This post has been edited by Smells: Dec 23 2008, 09:49 PM

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Luciana Segovia
post Mar 13 2009, 03:54 PM
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sounds great! very clear.

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post May 7 2009, 09:30 PM
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Very helpful and informative, Andrew. Hat down (although I'm not wearing one) tongue.gif

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