18 Oct How to Become a Guitar Teacher – My Story and Tips
I have several passions, one being guitar, and another being teaching. I love to see people grow in skill, of course, but the real joy is watching them experience what I’ve experienced by playing the guitar. Teaching others to play is a way to share the pleasure and fulfillment you’ve gotten and continue the craft. If you don’t enjoy watching the lightbulbs go off in others, you may not enjoy teaching. It requires a lot of patience and ability. However, if you would like to turn your time into money using the skills you’ve already acquired, teaching guitar could be a great fit for you. In this article, I’ll show you how to become a guitar teacher.
Decide what kind of guitar teacher to be
You may think you need to be an expert in order to share what you know, but that’s not necessarily the case. Your proficiency on guitar can take you a long ways, and you can use those skills anywhere from teaching absolute beginners to teaching theory and history in higher education. It’s possible to make decent money by simply being a private instructor and getting your own clients, though getting those leads can be difficult. However, you could partner with another institution, school, music shop, or affiliate to get plenty of clients. You’ll have to share the income accordingly, sometimes as a percentage and sometimes by accepting an hourly wage.
Genre also plays a part in these choices. For example, School of Rock, is an institution that accepts children, teaching them to play classic rock songs and hits of the 60s-90s, and sometimes beyond. If that doesn’t fit your style, interest, or ability, you could consider teaching classical guitar at a school or private academy. There’s also another ambitious route that may allow you to do exactly what you want: building an online community and teaching guitar there.
Figure out what qualifications I need to teach guitar
Do you need a degree to teach guitar? What kind of credibility is required? Guitar is unique in that the player can prove their worth simply by playing. Yes, having a solid EPK, videos of you playing, and a report with local venues can make all the difference, but there are several people who will chance working with unknown players as well. If you would like to teach at a school though, you’ll need some training and some sort of degree or certification. Generally though, you can work your way up to something like that and possibly bypass those, depending on your goals. The main thing you need, as stated earlier, is a passion to see others learn and grow and an ability that is evident to those watching/hearing you play.
Online or in-person?
We mentioned some advantages of online teaching, but it is a longer road to income than simply taking on a student right away. With in-person, you are paid immediately, while online is dependent on views, subscriptions, and how you manage the business side of it all. Building an online community is a great goal, but it’s wise to teach as many people in-person as you can. Not only will it make you a better teacher, but it will build your network and you’ll learn the common needs of most new players. This will inform your content and your teaching style.
As a musician, we can always improve. This is certainly true as teachers. There are so many methods and approaches, and it requires time to experiment with them and grow. Finding proper training and following the lead of those who have done it well is a great way to become even better. Schools like Visible Music College are great places to get high quality instruction from a variety of teaching styles. You can emulate the methods that seemed to connect to you most in your own teaching.
How much can I make as a guitar teacher?
Income varies, even depending on your location. Also, many people offer a free session that acts as an assessment or interview to see if it’s a good fit and what may be needed.
Here are some real numbers:
- Private instructor: generally, $1/minute is a good starting place, sometimes getting up to as much as $75 or even $100/hr. At $50/hr for 30 hours a week–while allotting for time to find clients and handle the business side–it’s around $60,000/year.
- Teaching Guitar at a School: Zippia puts the average salary around $52,000.
- Online (Youtube) community: to make around $60,000/year, a YouTube channel needs at least 1 million subscribers.
How do I start teaching?
You’ll need to get some clients. Here are some ways to do that:
- Get the word out. Make it a point to tell everyone what you do, even if it’s a stranger, and have cards ready to hand out. Most people know someone who is musical or wants to be.
- Workshops. Connect with local schools, venues, music stores, and such and offer to do a workshop. Some will even pay you for the workshop. You can offer your services during or after the workshop to the attenders.
- Promotions. This could be a free lesson, related to the assessment mentioned before. You could even do a package deal such as 5 lessons for the price of 4.
- Competition. From other guitar teachers. Building a network of similar skillsets can be very valuable, especially if you play/teach different genres or ages. You can refer to each other or even help one another with creative business ideas.
- Online presence. Not necessarily a Youtube channel, but at least a page on some social media platform that has your information and some samples of what you do. Adding testimonials from clients can be great for attracting new students.
- Posters. This may seem old-school, but people interested in music gather at places where music is. It could be local schools/bands, music venues, music stores, or even some coffee shops and businesses that draw a creative crowd.
- Current Clients. Once you get a student, treat them well. Look ahead, but not so far that you look past your current clients. Your best recruitment tool for more clients are your current clients. Treat them well, and they’ll sing your praises.
Teaching guitar can be rewarding monetarily and more. It can be a source of full-time income and creative fulfillment. If you find you love the guitar more as you play it, you may want someone else to feel the same way you do. That’s the beauty of teaching, and it makes the time worth it to see passion growing in someone else the way it has in you. Despite your best efforts with a student, they will follow something else more than your instruction: your passion. It’s said that passion isn’t taught, it’s caught. You have the chance to change someone’s life with a gift you already have.
Pursue Guitar Performance at Visible
Do you have the passion to teach guitar? Begin your career with a Bachelor of Modern Music in Guitar Performance at Visible. You’ll need to be a teacher with extensive knowledge of theory and great technique in order to charge money for what others are giving away for free. Learning to play the guitar can be a great way to improve your teaching skills. At Visible Music College, we offer guitar performance courses that can help you learn the necessary techniques to become a skilled guitar teacher. If you want to become a great guitar teacher, look no further than our experienced instructors. They will help you discover your potential and become the best teacher you can be.