What is the difference of an instructor and a coach?


In one of our previous post, we shared about
 Passive vs Active Learner – “How to get the most out of your learning experience!” (Click to read the post)In this short post, we’re doing a quick review of various types of teachers.

We have worked with many music educators and we don’t fancy those who just answers you “It’s just like that…”,
“Just practice more…”,

when you ask them questions like
“Why do I need to practice this?”,
“Why am I still not getting better?”
“What is this for?”

These aren’t inspiring.

We need to provide adult learners the big picture. This is how we learn best!
You need to have the clarity to know the whys, whats, hows of the exercises required of you. Then, you can gain the ability to improve!

Let’s have a quick look at 2 different types of teachers:

Instructor (also known as Passive Teacher)

Their Profile:

  • Someone who can perform the subject can teach.
  • The teacher only need to know the discipline, they do not need to know how to teach.

During lessons:

  • Teach song by song.
  • They will play & sing, while students will follow exactly.
  • They provide instructions on what to do. 
  • Solutions they provide for students are ‘Just practice, practice and practice’.

Coach (also known as Active Teacher)

Their Profile:

  • Someone who have total mastery of the subject.
  • Someone who can perform a coach role who does not dictates but facilitates.
  • Aims to provide you with holistic understanding of each topic and how they relate to other topics.
  • Able to break down complicated thoughts in easy-to-understand metaphor.
  • Constantly thought of how to deliver each topic to its best to suit different student demographics
During lessons:
  • Deliver concepts in songs and help you relate to other similar song genres. 
  • Able to let you achieve self-directed learning skills: ‘what to practice’, ‘how to practice’, ‘why you should practice’.
  • At times, they need to ask questions to know what the learners think and feel within during practices so as to understand the mental works.
  • Reflects on their teaching and do lesson planning for your best progress according to your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Solutions they provide is “how to practice effectively in your busy lifestyle.”, break down steps to practice.


At Hark Music, we do not believe in just downloading information and pass to students.
Therefore, we do not act as an agent to get anyone who knows how to sing, how to play guitar or how to play piano to teach our students, delivering our carefully crafted syllabus.

We only invite people who has the ability to coach to be part of our team.
Hark Music’s coaches are all trained in an intensive 6-month programme to learn how to an effective coach.

This is a very important life rule as well if you want to be an effective person.
To achieve the best in all areas, make an effort to play an active role and not a passive role!

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