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Old 07-19-2015, 10:48 AM   #1
brenton393
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teaching guitar

So im a collage student who needs money, been playing for atleast 8 years and im looking to start teaching. I know a guy who might be able to get me a job as a guitar teacher at a local company. Im wondering is it better to try private lessons at home lessons or to reach out to this company. Im thinking company = possible more students and Private teacher = no driving, no "middle man", I create my schedule.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:01 PM   #2
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Keep in mind that 8 years isn't strictly speaking a long time and if you lack education in teaching don't expect huge sums of money to be thrown your way. I've had lessons with guys who've been playing for 20+ years and still sucked at teaching. So make sure you plan ahead and know what you're doing.

Company doesn't only bring in new students, but also credibility. Private teachers that don't have formal education aren't really the most sought after way of learning. If you do have formal education in music, make sure to mention it in your ad. If you don't, the company might give you a good start in the teaching business. Personally, if I saw an ad that goes "bedroom guitarist gives lessons, 50$ per session" I would just skip it right away. However, I don't really have personal experience with companies either, I've only studied in dedicated or public music schools

I don't mean to drag you down here, but I personally wouldn't recommend that anyone would get a teacher that only has 8 years of experience, or at least an expensive one. You might be able to get a few students, but even then you might have to keep the prices very low. The reason I think that the company sounds better is simply because it makes you sound more professional.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:37 PM   #3
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Teaching is a skill in its own right. Being good at music (and 8 years is enough IMO) doesn't make you good at teaching it. (In fact the longer you've been playing, the harder it is to rearrange your knowledge into a teachable format.)

I teach in schools and colleges, as well as privately. Schools/colleges have the advantage of some kind of contract (usually), and provision of facilities as well as supplying the students. The downside is the admin. It varies from company to company, but they may want you to teach in a certain way, to a certain curriculum. You will have to keep records, and may be judged on the quality and style of your teaching.

Teaching privately, of course, you have none of that pressure (although planning and keeping records is still advisable). What you lack is the ready supply of students, and a reliable steady income.

If you're generally good at planning and are well organised, the company sounds like a good idea. Maybe try and find out more about them first, how many courses they run, how they're organised. Think seriously about how you would plan a sample lesson - they will ask you.

BTW, I took a course in teaching music before I took it up professionally. It taught me a lot of stuff I hadn't considered before. If you start without that, you will likely hit a lot of stuff you hadn't bargained for. Playing for 8 years, you'll be taking a lot of things for granted by now - forgetting what it was like not to know them.
However, if you've been having music lessons yourself, you can learn a lot from those, about how and what to teach, and how to plan courses. (I was self-taught, so that was all new to me.)

Last edited by jongtr : 07-19-2015 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:45 PM   #4
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I agree with Kevštuhri, especially if you yourself have never had any formal lessons then you probably really have no idea of what kind of proper structure you'll need. The company would not only give you some credibility but also peers who can help you develop a lesson plan and give you guidance.

Also, until you get a better idea of what it entails to be a teacher I would target beginner players to start with. Initially it's going to be a learning experience for yourself and your students. Just cause you can shred Eruption note for note doesn't mean your going to be able to effectively teach that to someone else.

Now just so you don't think I'm talking out of my ass, I've been teaching for 12 years now, playing for close to 25 and I've done private and worked for a company. Personally, I prefer the company over private. Even though I could make more money on my own, I like the fact that I show up, my schedule is full and everyone has paid. There's no chasing down money or students, maintaining a home studio or driving around the city to lessons (which is what I found most students wanted when going the private route).

Once again, not trying to discourage you just making sure that you know what your getting into. I've had my fair share of students who came from "teachers" who thought they could teach because they could play well and it was usually frustrating for myself and the student undoing any bad habits or going over basic stuff like tuning because they were never shown the proper way or technique.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
brenton393
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Im well aware of everything you guys said. 8 years is not long and I have no right to call myself a great player. Ive been taking lessons for most of the 8 years ive played and I just graduated from a one year program for Guitar. this still doesnt make me great, but as you said teaching is an entirely different thing. I have no intention in teaching anyone other then intro/beginners and am well aware that teaching is a serious thing and im preparing for it. As soon as I have the money im taking lessons again. You guys assumed alot, but that ok. thanks for the help.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brenton393
I just graduated from a one year program for Guitar.


That's actually a great start if you've had a year of structured and organized lessons on your instrument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brenton393
I have no intention in teaching anyone other then intro/beginners and am well aware that teaching is a serious thing and im preparing for it. As soon as I have the money im taking lessons again. You guys assumed alot, but that ok. thanks for the help.


And I think you should stick to beginners for now. We by now means imply that you're a bad guitarist though, you're probably better than me :P But I've actually had a private lesson with one of the best guitarists here in Finland, and to be honest even though it was a great experience, the lesson itself wasn't great, and the guitarist was very aware that he wasn't that good of a teacher. So just keep in mind that teaching is, as you seem to understand, completely different from simply playing. I think that it's great that you want to share your knowledge. And it's one of the nicer ways to generate income. Just think it through and prepare thoroughly, and as Killroy said make it a learning experience for yourself.

Just a protip, the most useful things that I've ever been taught by a teacher were proper posture, hand placement and rhythm. I completely sucked at palm mutes during my first year or so, and getting a teacher fixed that in ten seconds. I think that it's things like that, basic concepts of clean technique and ergonomy, that are especially valuable to absolute beginners. Just my two cents. Good luck with your teaching career
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:04 AM   #7
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:15 AM   #8
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I've been playing for 13 years and trying to teach someone who never played before was the hardest thing I've tried to do. You may do great, but you may fail miserably like I did haha.
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