#1
I have an undergradute degree in psychology...but have taught guitar part-time on the side.
I always saw myself in the health field...and still may...but just interested in options.

I do not have RCM qualification but was still able to teach students. However, if I were to turn this guitar teaching into a more serious business, what qualifications would you recommend? I see all sorts of teachers on popular websites that have masters degree and festival experience, and all sorts of awards and have been playing since a very young age. I feel that I do not have any of this and feel kinda overwhelmed by it.

So whats your opinion? Is advertizing and getting yourself out there more important than experience/credentials when it comes to being a teacher and making a living with music and teaching (not in schools). I am thinking about getting conservatory training and getting up to grade 8 eventually...

Any input/advice/opinions/views appreciated!
#2
Being able to teach another person guitar is the only qualification required. If you can teach someone else to play and answer their questions, you are qualified. Also, being able to teach proper form and technique is also important. I know several guitarists who play well, but they were self-taught and their technique is generally accepted as wrong.

Not everyone who can play is qualified to teach. Not everyone who can teach is qualified to play.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Jan 21, 2012,
#3
It depends I guess.

I know equal amount of good and bad teachers both with and without credentials.

In my personal opinion, if you're going to teach music theory, then teach it with proper examples of various concepts.

This is very beneficial to the student, as in that they also learn to hear how it sounds in various contexts.

Now, for guitar technique.. You will want to check at least with qualified people/teachers if you know it correctly. (health reasons come to mind)

And..in my personal opinion ..I like teachers that also show real examples of how techniques work, and not just say "play these scales in 16ths every day, and you can perfectly alternate pick in 6 months"

It's good to teach a student for example in alternate picking when things are muted and when not..or why one might prefer legato...and how to combine various rhythmic patterns in a smooth line.

These are just a few example in what I consider to be valuable for guitar playing as well as the musical development of a student.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 21, 2012,
#4
thanks for the replies, I definitely see what you guys mean.

I am curious though, as to what is the best way to attract students as well though..any opinions on this matter?
#5
I suppose it depends on what level you want to teach. I think for a teacher the basic requirement is good knowledge of theory and the physical aspects of playing, familiarity with a wide range of genres, and the ability to impart this information to any student in such a way that they retain interest and learn to look for things themselves. "Use techniques to teach principles" sort of thing. But I don't think it's necessary to have a formal qualification as long as your knowledge and experience are sound. At the end of the day, the more you know, - the better, of course, and going through a degree or conservatory training will help you become a better musician and give you extra credentials - but the avenues you take are pretty much up to you.

edit: that was in reply to the first set questions, not so much the advertising/clientelle aspects...

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Last edited by Emenius Sleepus at Jan 21, 2012,
#6
Quote by dvm25
thanks for the replies, I definitely see what you guys mean.

I am curious though, as to what is the best way to attract students as well though..any opinions on this matter?



I sometimes approach people at jam sessions, and afterwards tell them what I liked and where I find to be room for improvement in their playing.

I must confess, that I only teach people I feel are talented towards the instrument, or where I see what a player wants to "say", but struggles in bringing it across. And off course are motivated.

1 guy turned up blazed out of his mind sometimes, and I have nothing against that, but not when I teach. I sent him away.

Also once I showboated when I was drunk and I played some sweeping lick on a random acoustic guitar and "look cool". Guy said "wow, can I have lessons", and I said okay.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 21, 2012,
#7
Word of mouth seems to work well. Also, you can try advertising at most guitar stores. Seems most of them have boards where you can leave a business card. Craigslist is another avenue, although I have to laugh at some of their attempts to get students.

Another thing to consider is where you'll give lessons. Will you give them in YOUR home? Will you travel to the student's home? Will you give lessons at a guitar store? Consider working for a music store - several of them hire instructors to teach. I'm often leery to give lessons out of my home, as you don't always know with whom you're dealing. All it takes is for a student to decide to break in and steal your toys, when you're not home. Having a neutral location can be good.
#8
So whats your opinion? Is advertizing and getting yourself out there more important than experience/credentials when it comes to being a teacher and making a living with music and teaching (not in schools). I am thinking about getting conservatory training and getting up to grade 8 eventually...


Well, honestly, the most important thing is good teaching skills. A good teacher doesn't just know the stuff, he knows multiple ways to teach it. If you're a good teacher you'll get more teaching work and private students will stay with you.

I know a guy with a great reputation who doesn't really teach well. He gets a lot of students but they leave pretty quickly.

I know another guy who can really teach - although he's not as experienced, qualified, or as well known. He keeps almost every student that comes to him and as such is doing quite well.

Experience is a big deal but obviously you get that by doing it.

Advertising and getting yourself out there is also important. I work through music schools and they do most of the advertising for me, but I have my youtube stuff and I have recommendations through word of mouth.

My qualifications have been useful, but they are secondary to the above.