One of the most unexpected things that will ruin your chances for success as a guitar teacher is 'asking the wrong questions'. Fact is, most guitar teachers ask the wrong questions whenever problems arise in their teaching businesses and end up losing students, money and time. This will happen to you as well unless you are able to learn the difference between guitar teaching business 'myths' and 'reality'.
I've spent many years training guitar teachers to become successful, highly-paid instructors... and during this time, I have come across a wide array of questions on the topic of "how to become a successful guitar teacher". After hearing the same questions over and over so many times, I am able to immediately spot false assumptions about the guitar teaching business embedded within a person's thoughts and beliefs. Simply put, many questions asked by guitar teachers are based on misconceptions that will ultimately lead you to failure. It is highly important that you ask the RIGHT questions that will help you flourish as a guitar teacher. To do this, you must identify the common questions asked by most guitar teachers that will limit you and prevent you from becoming successful. The following are seven major examples of these types of questions. Read through each one to learn why they are based on misconceptions and how you can avoid 'sabotaging' your guitar teaching business.
Here is why this question is destructive to the success of your guitar teaching business:
1. Contrary to what many guitar teachers think, there is not a 'perfect' location when it comes to marketing and advertising guitar lessons. To advertise your guitar teaching business effectively, you must exploit 'all' the marketing methods to help you continually grow and earn more money.
2. Only using a single method for gaining new students is a dangerous way to run a guitar teaching business and will lead you to many problems. If/when your only way of gaining students begins to lose effectiveness, your teaching business as a whole will suffer greatly since you were entirely dependent on it.
Rather than looking for a single 'best' way of getting new students, invest time into learning and implementing an overarching strategy that will help you effectively market your guitar teaching business using a variety of approaches. This will make building a successful guitar teaching business a much safer, more secure endeavor. Learn more on this topic by getting guitar teaching success training.
By merely 'asking' this question, you are instantly setting yourself up to fail because you instill the belief in your mind that you must compete with other guitar teachers based on price alone (or that you need to somehow base your prices on what is 'fair' compared to everyone else). You are making it easy for your students to view guitar lessons as simply a matter of finding the lowest price/best deal rather than seeking the greatest guitar teacher who will offer the best value for his or her students. Potential guitar students will have no real incentive to work with you until and unless you give them a real reason why they should study guitar with you instead of anyone else in your area.
On top of this, the question itself assumes that you only have one pricing option available to students (in the form of one on one lessons). This is a very limiting approach that is far from reality. Truth is, there are tons of teaching models that can be used that will help you bring great results to your guitar students, expand your teaching business and present many affordable pricing options for your patrons. Discover more on this subject by watching this guitar teacher business video.
The main point is, you must charge for guitar lessons based on the specific benefits you can offer students, not just the average rate in your local area. No one but 'you' decides how much value you offer to the musicians you work with. Rather than trying to find an answer to the question above, focus on becoming a more effective guitar teacher and getting the greatest results for your students. Then raise your prices based on the increasingly better value you offer.
Fact is, your guitar students do not begin lessons with you in order for you to 'teach them stuff'. Instead, they come to you to get results (understanding how to play guitar and make music). This is why the question above will not only be damaging to you, but to your students as well. Everything you teach your guitar students should be based on a strategy that will help them attain the specific results they are looking for.
The majority of guitar teachers focus on giving their students a lot of random 'stuff' in lessons to make themselves feel more like they are doing their job as 'teachers'.
The truth is, helping your students get big results requires using an effective, personalized strategy based on each person's specific goals.
In order to do this, you must do three main things:
1. Change your perspective from searching for 'things' to teach your students to taking a laser-like focused approach to helping them achieve their own, unique goals.
2. Develop an ability to listen to what you students tell you about their playing and discern the main causes of the struggles they are having. This is just like how you are 'treated' for an ailment after telling your doctor the symptoms you are suffering from.
3. Become efficient at helping your students make process to realize their greatest musical goals.
To learn how to do these things, get guitar teaching success training.
There is no doubt that you must continually work to gain new students, however it is dangerous to think that getting more students is the 'only' way you can grow your teaching income. By itself, finding new guitar students is 'not' enough to grow and sustain a successful guitar teaching business.
Simply put, gaining additional guitar students is only one of many ways that you can earn money in your business. There are tons of additional ways to earn good money as a guitar teacher (many that you would never expect) and you must learn them all in order to be successful. Learn more about these ideas by reading this free resource about how to learn money as a guitar teacher.
Contrary to what you might first think, this question will actually hold your guitar students back from becoming great players and reaching their musical goals. In fact, I tell guitarists who are looking for a new guitar teacher to avoid teachers who ask them this question during their lessons. This is why:
1. As the guitar teacher, you are the one with the expertise. Your guitar students are your 'students' for a reason, and it is not their job to decide how they will become better players.
2. Your students cannot differentiate between the things they 'want' to learn and the things they 'need' to learn. Certainly your students should be allowed to tell you what they 'want' to learn, but because they are inexperienced, it is impossible for them to know what they 'ought' to be learning to accomplish their goals. Students will do more harm than god by trying to dictate to you how to teach them.
Do not fall into the trap of expecting your students to figure out what they should be learning. Take action to learn how to effectively teach guitar and help them achieve their highest musical goals.
This is a very common question asked by guitar teachers. Unfortunately, no matter what answer you get to this question, you will end up damaging your guitar teaching business. True experts who have achieved massive success in their guitar teaching businesses will tell you that you should a) never teach make up lessons and b) completely abandon the idea of using a lesson cancellation policy. There are countless reasons why teaching make up lessons will ruin your guitar teaching business. Here are just two:
1. When you teach make up lessons, you are working additional 'unpaid' time. This causes you to lose money in two ways: First, you lose an extra spot in your teaching schedule where you could be earning more money with another student. Second, you lose time that you could be working to grow your guitar teaching business and bring in additional students. This effectively limits your growth as a guitar teacher and puts your free time in the hands of students who do not respect your time in the first place.
2. Your students will lose respect for you as a guitar teachers when they feel like they can walk all over you and 'show up' to lessons at their own convenience. Even worse, these kinds of students will not feel a need to practice at home or make a lot of improvement. As a result, they will make very slow progress. Eventually, you will end up damaging your reputation as a guitar teacher because word will get around that you have a schedule full of mediocre students who never reach their goals.
So what is the solution? You must require that all of your students pay for every single week of the year regardless of whether or not they decide to show up (with no make up lessons). This is the same approach used by universities. They have a strict 'no refunds' policy that applies to all students whether they come to class or not. This is also the same policy that highly successful guitar teachers use to earn $100,000+ every year.
This question contains the entirely unfounded assumption that you must utilize different marketing whenever attracting students during a slow economy versus attracting students a booming economy. This dangerous misconception could not be more wrong. If you ever receive advice for this question from another guitar teacher, understand immediately that they do not run a highly successful business.
Guitar teachers who achieve massive success use the same marketing strategies no matter how well the economy is doing. Rather than asking how you should change your advertising/marketing approach in relation to the economy, you should learn the most effective way to build your guitar teaching business in any economic condition. Then, you must use that approach religiously throughout the year. This is the best and only way to make sure that your business will continue to expand as teachers in your local area lose more and more students when the economy struggles.
In order to keep the problems presented in this article from sabotaging your success as a guitar teacher, take action to do these two things right now:
1. Use the resources mentioned throughout this article to find out more information on how to become the best guitar teacher in your community.
2. Think about the topic discussed in each of the questions above and think creatively to come up with better, 'high quality' questions based on the advice I gave for each one.
Once you have followed these steps you will massively accelerate your progress toward becoming a successful guitar teacher and put yourself light years ahead of the competition.
Tom Hess is a professional touring guitarist and recording artist. He teaches, trains and mentors musicians from around the world.
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