If you can play the guitar at a pretty decent level, chances are that a lot of people are willing to pay you to pass on some of that knowledge. Today, we’re going to teach you best practices on how to become a guitar teacher.
So that this article is easy to follow, we are going to divide it into three basic sections.
- What you need.
- How to get your first student
- What you need to do after getting your first student.
Table of Contents
What You Need To Become A Guitar Teacher
First, we are going to go through some basic things you need to take into consideration before deciding that you want to be a guitar teacher. You definitely don’t want to make the decision unprepared.
You Need To Have The Skill
It goes without saying, you cannot give what you do not have. If you are thinking about becoming a guitar teacher, then you have to be sure that you are already a decent player yourself.
Now does this mean that you have to have had 30 plus years of experience and the ability to play every single thing just by listening to it once? The answer is no.
Yes, you need some level of experience to teach. However, you don’t have to be Jimmy Hendrix before you can teach guitar. You just need to have more knowledge than the average guitar player, a good work ethic, and the ability to teach.
You Need To Enjoy Teaching
Most people say that the important thing is having the ability to teach. However, we are of the contrary opinion and we actually believe that although ability is good, more importantly, you need to enjoy teaching.
A lot of people who go into teaching today only do so because of the financial benefits. So, if you have the same thinking, then you are going to be like every other guitar teacher out there. Remember, we are trying to make you the best in your city. That simply means you can’t be like everybody else.
One thing that you need to understand is that your student will definitely be able to sense when you’re not putting in your all. And once they sense that, they lose the willingness to learn. And if your student cannot learn from you, then you can’t even be considered a good teacher, much more the best.
So, before you decide into opening your own guitar coaching center, pick one person and try to teach the person for free. Check out if you enjoy the process and little things such as your student playing their first chord or finally getting that scale right.
If those are things you enjoy, then you are well on your way to becoming a good guitar teacher.
You Need To Have The Gear
As much as we like to think that gear doesn’t matter at all, it still does. Yes, the person behind the guitar matters more. But imagine you’re a student and your guitar teacher walks in with a guitar that was passed down from generations and looks very battered and bruised.
We don’t know about you, but we agreed that we wouldn’t be eager to sit down for a lecture, to be very honest.
So, if your guitar is battered and bruised, try investing in a new guitar or two. Also, look at buying things like a tuner, some extra sets of strings, and things like that.
Apart from making you look more professional, these things would also make it easier for you to pass knowledge down to your students. For example, with a tuner, it would be easy for you to teach your students how to tune their guitar by themselves.
You Need To Be Ready To Move Around
Because you are just starting out, most parents are not going to be so eager to drive their children every weekend to come to your classes. This invariably means that you would have to go to the student’s house to teach them.
The easier way to do this is by setting up fliers and putting them all over your city, all over the internet, schools, and anywhere you think parents might see it. Because in the beginning, you’re most likely going to be teaching children and young teens.
When you get more established, then you can start looking at things like Skype tutoring, or even getting a place for yourself and having all the students drive down. However, in the beginning, be ready to move around.
How To Get Your First Student
Get Your Name Out There (Personal Branding)
You need to get your name out there and make people know that you are the best guitar in your city. In this day and age, the best way to do this is through social media.
We know what you’re thinking, and no. You don’t need a large following to do this. All you need to do is set up a cheap basic website, update your facebook profile to tell people who you are and what you do, and that should be enough.
Selling Yourself The Right Way
Remember, we’re trying to get you to be the best guitar teacher in your city. Chances are that most of the first clients you’ll get will be from one on one interactions and referrals. To get those one-on-one interactions, you need to go where the people who need guitar teachers are.
In your free time, try going to your local music shop. Chances are that you’ll find people there trying to buy a guitar. Once you see them, the first thing you want to do is not to sell yourself. That turns people off.
What you want to do is to provide value. So, you can start by asking them what they want to use the guitar for, and then recommending a good guitar that you know would be good for that purpose. Then, when they are happy with their purchase, you can pitch in the fact that you’re a guitar teacher.
If they don’t already have a guitar teacher, chances are high that they would consider you for the position because of the value that you already offered them.
When You Get Your First Student
Doing A Great Job
Now that you’ve gotten your first student, you can finally call yourself a guitar teacher. However, this is only your first step to becoming the best guitar teacher in your city. Unless you’re the only guitar teacher in your city, in which case, congratulations.
Doing a great job simply means putting all the knowledge you have gathered over the years into bite-sized form for your student. You need to make each lesson worth attending by making it both interesting and informative.
Remember we said you would most likely be teaching children at this age, so getting cool little gold stars or anything to serve as motivators would definitely be a good idea. If you don’t know how to break down the musical theory knowledge to a format your student would understand, a simple Google search should do the trick.
That means you have to do proper research and planning on what you’re going to teach before going to a lecture. This would ensure that you don’t go there looking like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Ask For Referrals
The best way to get more clients is by referrals. While people would most likely refer you to other people when asked about the service you offer, they might forget otherwise.
So, you definitely need to ask for referrals. If you’ve built a good relationship with your students, chances are they’ll refer you to other people if you tell them to.
Now that you’re getting a few students, it’s time to think about money. As much as you’re doing this for passion, passion won’t pay the rent. You need to monetize so that you don’t end up in debt.
Unfortunately, most people have problems with negotiating so they either end up being underpaid or overcharging and not getting any customers.
And as much as we would have loved to make it simple by giving a price tag you must charge each student, it doesn’t work that way. Each student will be unique and so you would have to charge differently.
You will need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling to teach the student, the amount of time you would spend teaching them (including the amount of time it takes to prepare the lesson), where the student is at in terms of knowledge of the guitar, and how much knowledge you have and are willing to share.
After considering all the factors we listed earlier, you should be able to come up with a fair rate that your customers won’t think sounds outrageous.
Don’t be afraid to turn down a few jobs if they simply don’t fit into your budget. You don’t want to run into a situation where you don’t even have enough money to get to the place you’re teaching. You don’t want to be a starving creative.
If you follow all the rules we’ve stated clearly, then you are definitely well on your way to becoming the best guitar in your city. Good luck!