#1
Right now I have no idea what I want to do with my life and have always considered becoming a guitar teacher because music and guitar is my passion. I want to know the ins and outs of being a guitar teacher and want to know what its really like. Can you make a living off of teaching,whats it like inviting strangers into your house if you teach at home,how challenging is it,do you ever get sick of teaching,how much of your own money do you invest. Basically I want to know the pros and cons
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.
#2
To be taken seriously, you'll need a college degree in music. I teach my friends the baisc stuff, but if I wanted to do it as a career, I would need a degree.
#3
Quote by bangoodcharlote
To be taken seriously, you'll need a college degree in music. I teach my friends the baisc stuff, but if I wanted to do it as a career, I would need a degree.


I would want to do it from home and not at a school.
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.
#4
Quote by bangoodcharlote
To be taken seriously, you'll need a college degree in music. I teach my friends the baisc stuff, but if I wanted to do it as a career, I would need a degree.


Hi, u know an awful lot of theory for someone who hasn't got a degree. R u self taught?

I am, my mate went to ACM in Guildford and he lent me his folder when he finished. Man, that is gold dust I swear.

Just started getting into the melodic minor stuff.
#5
To teach in a school (like a public school, high school, etc.; not a 'Bob's School of Music' kind of place), you need a degree in Music and a degree in Education. That doesn't sound like what you're talking about, though.

To teach privately, you will make the most money. Teaching through a studio in a store or a 'Bob's School of Music' kind of place, the store will take about half. The trade-off, though, is they provide the space, take care of getting you students, and do all the management stuff. All you have to do is show up and teach.

Teaching privately:

Your biggest asset is whatever gets people to sign up with you. It might mean a degree, but it might not. Realistically, if you don't have a degree, you should have something pretty special to make students choose you over the next person. A reputation takes time to build. I know one person who teaches voice out of his house. He has 60 students a week and charges 20 for a half-hour lesson. You do the math. He doesn't have a degree, though. He has a name (multi-platinum selling artist; solid technique, and has developed a reputation as a strong teacher). You've got to get something to make you competitive, both for number of students and for allowing you to charge top dollar.

It's a business!! To make a career out of it, as opposed to just having a handful of students, you need to treat it like a career. Have a budget. Advertise. Re-invest in your business - upgrade your teaching space, etc. Pay into a health benefit plan, a retirement plan, etc. Things you don't think about when you're 17, but you'll be glad you did when you have a family, get cancer, need to get a tooth fixed, or simply get old. Being self-employed, you'll also need to take responsibility in advance for paying income tax.

If you're in your home, you can do it just fine by yourself, but have a dedicated spot that will be sure to re-enforce your credibility and professionalism. Have a proper space. Neat and tidy. Musical, but not trendy. (no Dragonforce posters, pictures of Rhianna, etc.) If you have degrees, diplomas, awards, etc., this is the place to display them. Make sure your insurance company knows you are running a business out of your home. (eeesh.... )

If you rent/lease your own commercial space, it adds considerably to your expenses. You'll have your rent/lease, more insurance, and maybe even property taxes if they're not included in the lease. BUT!! You can help further your credibility by having a full-fledged teaching studio. Now, you're not just Jake, but you're the guy who OWNS "City-Wide Music Conservatory" or whatever. You can hire staff (more expenses, but....) and take on many, many times more students. Maybe you'll teach 50 students yourself, but if you run things well, you could have, say a staff of five other teachers, each teaching 20 more students. You'll now offer not just guitar, but piano, sax, voice, whatever too. Out of the 100 additional students, you pay your staff half, and you take the other half. If they are charging $15 for their lessons, you get $7.50x100 students = $750/wk! That's over and above the 50 students of your own! Mind you, you'll also need to have a proper payroll too, probably, and it will take your time to administer all that. You'll need to pay the employer share of whatever government plans that might be offered (in Canada, the employee gets deducted for Canada Pension Plan, (un)Employment Insurance, etc. The employer pays a share also) That will come off your extra $750 /wk. too. You might even hire an assistant to do things like return phone calls, reschedule lessons, etc. for few hours a day.

Don't forget that, in addition to your teaching duties, you will have the business side of things to do too. Maybe your assistant can help with some of that, if you hire one. Maybe your spouse will do it if you get married. Things like arranging advertising, paying bills, returning phone calls, managing payroll, bookkeeping, etc.

Lots to think about there....

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
So would you guys say give it a shot. Every one I know says I should go and get a degree in something else before trying to become a guitar teacher, would this be sometheing you would also reccomend so that I have something to fall back on. I really have no idea what my chances of making a living of teaching guitar are, all I know is that guitar is my life.
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.
#7
Hi, sorry for the post earlier that didn't really relate to your question at all. I think you should go with your instincts and give it a shot. I would think about setting out a training regime first though, especially for complete beginners who haven't picked up the instrument before. Things like posture, how to hold the guitar. Even before they start to actually play it. It's all in the planning.

As mentioned above, it's definately about developing a reputation, so get off on the right foot (easier said than done I'd imagine), and definately advertise. Don't be afraid to charge the same amount as someone who has all these letters after their name. People have money these days! If they want a lesson they'll pay for it.

How many people can you think of that are in a job that they genuinely love?! I'm not, I had a brief stint in teaching guitar just by pure luck - someone had picked up the subject in the internal email system at the company I work for and word got around.

But I tell you now, you'll probably get about 10 sh1t ones to one good one (students!) Some will be dedicated (the Vai's), some won't be (don't want to mention any names lol!).

My view on the guitar is much the same as yours and would love to make a career of it, but like you say, I've got this job to fall back on.

If you feel that a qualification is relevant then do it, if it's your life.
#8
Guitar is your life.... *playing* guitar, or *teaching* guitar? Big difference, and the two don't necessarily go together.

To be successful at teaching, whether it be guitar, or math or geography, you need to want to do it, or it will eat you alive.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
Quote by axemanchris
Guitar is your life.... *playing* guitar, or *teaching* guitar? Big difference, and the two don't necessarily go together.

To be successful at teaching, whether it be guitar, or math or geography, you need to want to do it, or it will eat you alive.

CT


Did you personally enjoy teaching?
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.
#10
Funny that, as much as I love playing guitar, I found the whole private teaching thing a pain in the neck after a while.

At the moment, I'm a certified teacher teaching in the public school system. Most of my years have been teaching grade 5 and I love it.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Yeah, I'm a junior in college right now going for my degree in Music Education. I have an Associates Degree in music already. I'm studying guitar and trombone.

To give you guys a little insight, you have to love music. And I mean LOVE music. Not just rock music, all kinds (Well, except rap that sucks all the time lol). You have to learn to appreciate all kinds of music even if it's bland. That includes vocal music which I'm not very fond of. The goal is to find out what you like musically. A music career is not for everyone. Sometimes I even question my involvement. But then I realize that it's what I want to do more than anything else.

Music has a very demanding course schedule. It's not like other majors/minors. Actually, at my current school, majoring in music is about double what it is for other majors. So don't plan on getting a minor in something if your major is music. For example these are some of the courses I'm sure you will take.

Music History I-IV 1 semester each level
Music Theory I-IV 1 semester each level
Aurals Comprehension 1 semester each level
Instrument lessons Each semester in school
1 ensemble Each semester in school
Piano proficiency 1 semester but you must pass a exam. Every student is required to have a certain level of skill in piano.
Composition 1 semester and this isn't what is considered "song writing".
Conducting I-II 1 semester each level

etc... So you really have to be dedicated. And all these courses you must be successful in and must pass for a degree. Along with all the academic requirements for any degree (Your english, math etc...)