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Hello,


do any of you guys have any ideas/tips/suggestions on teaching guitar as a profession? There are probabrly loads of little things that need to be considered so can any of you suggest anything?

I'm guessing you need to get registered, and then have some sort of criminal disclosure check....

Please contribute!

Chris
 

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No registration or background checks that I know of. I taught for a few years and my friend does it as a full time job now. He's making a killing, teaches around 80 students a week out of his house.
 

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I know a guy who used to teach. But he got fed up of it after having to put up with the kids who started guitar on a whim and aren't serious about learning the instrument.

I would take into consideration WHO you are wanting to teach..if you are mainly going to be teaching new starters I can see it quickly getting tedious and turning into a chore.

-Sean
 

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I know a guy who used to teach. But he got fed up of it after having to put up with the kids who started guitar on a whim and aren't serious about learning the instrument.

I would take into consideration WHO you are wanting to teach..if you are mainly going to be teaching new starters I can see it quickly getting tedious and turning into a chore.

-Sean
I agree, I teach a few kids just for some cash and nearly all of them (bar one) don't bother to listening to me when I give them suggestions to do some personal learning. They never practice too.

It's like, how can they expect to get better when all they do is one hour a week of learning and practice.....

It has become more or less a chore.

It is a great feeling when you that start to improve though.

Reece
 

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I teach full-time and have for a few years now. I average about 45 students a week and give 1/2hr lessons and hour lessons depending on experience of the student. Most students are beginners.

I teach out of the local music store and handle all my own bookings and cash and just pay room rent every month for the studio. I like it and there's no way I could beat the influx of students when teaching out of a music store. The only downside I have is the time the store closes limits the amount of students I can teach out of the store. I could easily teach until 9pm but the store closes at 6pm which makes the "hot" times 3pm - 6pm for teaching mon-thur (I don't teach on Fridays, one of the pleasantries of being your own boss).

My best advice is to learn patience. To keep my feet on the ground when dealing with new students, every so often I'll sit down with a guitar flipped over and try to play left-handed (I'm right-handed) so I know exactly what the new students feel like when starting out.

Develop lesson plans for different levels of players with two seperate plans for teaching older beginners and younger beginners. I have beginning students as old as 66 and younger students as young as 7yrs old. You have to keep it fun and interesting while you also teach what the students NEED to know but also teaching the student something they WANT to know like a song from time to time. I live by the old saying about "teaching someone to fish so they can feed themselves for life" but every now and then "giving them a fish and feeding them for a day".

Working an average of 25-30hrs a week at $40 an hour isn't a bad thing either ;)
 

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I agree, I teach a few kids just for some cash and nearly all of them (bar one) don't bother to listening to me when I give them suggestions to do some personal learning. They never practice too.

. . . .
I am a novice on the guitar but I have worked with kids in the outdoors for twelve years now.

One of the greatest lessons I've learned is that the work is often like planting seeds. I have accepted that I will not be able to see most of the seeds grow into tall trees, but they are growing nonetheless.

Some of the kids that give teachers and authority figures the hardest time in their education will grow up to be great people. It used to bother me (and of course some of my kids stil wind me up, ohh boy do they ever), but for the most part, I just smile knowing that it won't last and they will eventually get it.

Peace.
 

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It is a business, and in business you make money!

If you are a good player (sight reading is a plus, but reading is a must) it may be hard for you to understand why they (students) don't get it as easily as you did, or have your passion for it.

Find out what music they are into and give them work/exercises that are similar sounding.

Always make a lesson fun. Mary Had A Little Lamb is not fun. AC/DC is fun. Instead of focusing on the 400 things they are doing wrong or didn't practice, find the 1 positive to motivate them. This cultivates a passion and a steady income.

Find a beginner lesson book that you are comfortable with working out of.
Some go from really easy to quite hard for a beginner, and some stay fairly easy all the way through.

Everyone wants to learn songs right away, accommodate everything to keep them positive and interested. Bust some easy Dylan or Eagles stuff out. They have real simple versions which can be digested by beginners fairly easy. Dumb down songs they want to learn if you have to. In between strumming, you can work their single note exercises. Start out basic so they see the improvements as well.

Above all remember it is a job, and Daddy needs to get paid...:mrgreen:
 

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You've got to know how to properly spell first Big Job :wink:

Jimmy:smile:
Check your own post before nit-picking you must or grammar errors find you will. ;)

A split infinitive from the spelling/grammar police!

Having spent a few years teaching English for a living (and the odd spot of guitar for fun) I can vouch for how frustrating teaching can be and at the same time how satisfying. I honestly think that with most things in life the more enthusiasm and energy you put into something the more you get out of it. This is particularly true of teaching anything, the more enthusiasm you can impart to your students the more satisfying your job will become.

Although ultimately a job that doesn't involve being chained to a desk and a computer is always something to be treasured.
 

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elcid,

what were you experinces like, and why did you stop?

Chris
It was about what you'd expect. Some good students some bad ones. The money was good and gear purchases become tax deductions.
The store where I taught had far more bad teachers than good, so that helped my decision to leave. Plus it was a part time thing to make some spare cash and get the wife and I through some thin times. They had one guy who would take a 10 minute break every 30 minute lesson, another kid just hung out at the store alot, and started signing himself up students and the owner just let him, but he was never officially hired as a teacher. He sucked bad, had only been playing 3 years. Just remember that being able to interract with the students (mine were between 7 and late 50's) is at least as important as your guitar knowledge.
 

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I taught around 50 students a week for about a year. It was fun but really draining. There were no breaks, and when you add the 10 or so minutes of lesson preparation per student, the money starts to look less and less great. Eventually I quit because they were giving me more and more students, and with a new baby at home I didn't want to work til 9pm every night any more.
 

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If I could teach later I would. I usually don't start teaching until somewhere between 1pm-2pm Mon-Thur and then I also teach most Sat 10am-4pm. I'd love to have 60+ students honestly, that would put me over $60k a year which isn't too bad for someone who didn't finish college IMHO. ;)

I'm not going to be too far off that this year, it's shaping up to be one of my best years teaching so far. :mrgreen:
 

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I would say that taking lessons from other teachers would be one of the best things you can do in order to find out more about what works and doesn't work for students. It would be worth your time to try to do that. It will make you a better teacher and thus help your student retention, so it's a worthwhile investment.

I've hired quite a few teachers over the years and I've discovered that while they obviously need to have the teaching and playing skills, their people skills need to also be top notch. If a teacher has zero personality or doesn't seem to get along well with the public in general, how is he going to be able to converse with parents about their children's growth on the instrument? It's a very important part of instruction since you are dealing with parents all the time. And then he may have to go from teaching an 8 year old to teaching a big time exec of a fortune 500 company. That's quite a switch and if he doesn't have the interpersonal skills to handle those situations, then it's going to make things tough. Make sure you are a good communicator with your students, parents and anybody else involved. Be a pro, like you would in any other job.

paul
 

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Great advice Paul. I only wish I could have more stundents that have interpersonal skills 8O:lol: ;)
 

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i taught last year w/ around 40 a week, and also worked in the music store.. it was pretty fun, but where I live I only make 10$ a lesson (30min) in my pocket, so its only half as nice as you city boys have it..:D

Realistically, if you took the time to make a lesson plan, you could have 60+ students a week and be making some serious cash..
 

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I'm actually at the tail end of my teaching "career" of about 6-ish years right now.
The most I ever had was between 30-40 students and that was while I was still gigging 3 nights a week, before I got divorced and still actually had money.

I think all the other guys here did a great job obviously with the basic plan you need to make a living teaching.

I'll touch on the buisness end a bit, at least what worked for me.

I worked out of a local music store about 25 miles from my house.
The upstairs of the store was the studio/learning center.
We all made our own schedules and set our own rates.
The store never even charged us rent.

The other teacher, Dave Reed (www.myspace.com/davereedmusic), who had been there for the better part of the previous decade took me under his wing and taught me all the ins & outs of the buisness, which he still runs today and is successfull as ever.

He has roughly about 75 students per week.

1st thing the student/parent signs is a contract where you lay out all your policies in writing, in advance. Which is handy to have in the event of a bad check or non-payment.
Every student pays a minimum of 4 lessons in advance, no exceptions.
$12 per 1/2 hour lesson.
If Dave cancels the lesson there is no charge to the student, however if the student cancels for any reason they are billed for it.
He says in the contract he will do what he can to get a make up lesson in, but no make up is guaranteed.

If you show up with no $$$ on payday, no lesson until the next 4 lessons are paid in advance.
No exceptions.

I followed this to a tee the entire time I was a teacher and it worked great.
However I'm easily a push over and more often then not I allowed people to "just get me next week" which almost always ended with me getting owed money in the end.

: - {

I thought over all it was a rewarding experience.
Inevitably you are gonna get kids that don't give a ****, but the ones who became good guitar players even if it's in a small way because of me I take a ton of pride in.

Some who aren't quite there yet, at least I know I've passed on my love for music and for performing.

Some just needed someone to listen to when their parents wouldn't.
And having an adult they thought was "cool" who acted like a friend and maybe was a positive influence in their life was probably the most common role I had.

Plus it teaches you alot about yourself as a musician and a guitar player.
I know my game improved immensely from teaching.

Plus teaching right next to a world class teacher like Dave 3 days a week & learning on the job was probably not a bad situation either...

However when Green Day was HUGE a few years ago, I could have done without the hundred plus times I taught "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"....

Over all though, it's a great way to get paid for doing something you love doing..
 
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