By Ryan Hodges, 2009.

We all want to get request private lessons for the simple reason that the money is better and the work is easier. It’s important to consider how we adjust the way we teach for different types of lessons to best keep the guests coming back.

How do we adjust the way we teach between group and private lessons?

In the introduction of a group lesson we have the chance to get to know our guests names, where they are from, and level they are at now, and what then want to get out of the lesson and an overall impression. From this we teach the best lesson we can to try and accommodate the different goals of the people in our group.

In a private lesson we have the time to go a bit further. We can relate to the guests on a more personal level, discovering what they like to do, favourite sports and similar interests. By relating to guests on this personal level trust is developed and the stage is set for a great lesson. If this trust is not gained in the introduction, you may not know it yet, but this guest will most likely not be a repeat customer.

Goal setting can also be different for group and private lessons. In the private situation we have the opportunity to make much more detailed and specific goals based on wants and needs the guest has already expressed. In a group lesson we make goals that best caters for the needs and wants of the group as a whole.

The way that information is presented can be more specific to the guest in a private lesson. Early on we can discover how the guest best receives information using the VAK model. The information you present can therefore be more focused to your private lesson guests’ specific learning style.

In a group lesson we usually have a range of types of learners. It is therefore, very important that all components of the VAK model are covered equally when presenting information.

A private lesson often provides more time for guided practice. This is the most important part of the teaching model. Finding the learning style that works best for your guest, (thinker, feeler, watcher or doer) and spending more time on this style will further personalise the lesson. There is also the opportunity to provide specific feedback and ensure the guest understands the information that has been presented.

In the group lesson we are often left with less time for guided practice due to the extra time needed for presenting the information and the extra time in getting the class around the hill. There is less time to ensure the thinker, feeler, watcher and doer all have their learning style needs met. There is also less chance for giving individualised feedback. Often a lot of practice ends up happening outside the lesson, leaving us limited opportunity to check for understanding.

For the summary in a private lesson we have a much better opportunity to sell further lessons because the guest will have made much bigger improvements during the lesson and their goal will more likely have been achieved. In a group lesson the sell will be more difficult as the improvements will not be as great.

In conclusion…

We are given the opportunity in a private lesson to get to know the guest on a personal level, and immediately establish trust. We can then be very specific in the way we present information and provide practice time and feedback. This will result in a successful lesson in which goals are achieved and the guest will want to return to achieve more.

Ryan Hodges