For teachers: Where do you start a new student? in The Lesson Loft — Guitars Posted January 15, 2009 The first thing I do is ask the student for some background information: how long they have been playing, whether or not they have taken lessons before (and for how long), what goals they have, what type of music they like, etc. If they have any previous playing experience I will evaluate what the student knows/does not know and look for any technique issues. I will ask what goals they have and what areas they feel need help. I think the main thing a student should look for is an instructor that they feel comfortable with who can explain things in a way that is easy for the student to understand.