How does being a guitar tutor effect your own guitar playing, and how you can ensure you progress as a player yourself
I truly believe every guitar tutor should have their own guitar tutor. You might be thinking, “why would a guitar tutor need to be taught, aren’t they suppose to be at the top of their game” . The important thing to remember is that most guitar tutors are not teaching advanced lessons to their private students. They are in actual fact, taking on beginner students and raising them up through various stages in their playing, and only the very keen players will continue to the advanced levels of guitar playing. So what does this mean for guitar tutors? It means that their playing can stagnate if they do not make a conscious effort to reach out to the advanced levels in their own playing.
Inspiration and Guidance
Who ever you are, there is always something you can learn from somebody else. This applies to most areas of life but in the context of playing guitar this is prevalent and is one of the best parts of learning guitar. In January of 2012 I embarked on pushing my own guitar playing by having advanced guitar lessons with a world class guitarist. Although some people around me couldn’t understand why I felt that my own playing needed some attention, the effects of studying advanced guitar allowed me to A, push in to areas of guitar I had never touched on before and B, give beginner and intermediate students more guidance on where they can take their playing if they continue to practise and focus on the current beginner and intermediate guitar lessons that I am giving them. My own private students reacted so positively to this and respected that I was taking on practise myself, that they felt like I was not just preaching, but actually practising what I was preaching.
Guitar Tutors’ Ceiling of Earnings
In a nutshell, guitar teachers can have a pretty low ceiling in terms of how much they can earn if they are not SMART. If you can take your students on a journey from not even knowing how to hold a guitar, to playing gigs to showcase their skills, then you have offered them so much more than just a taste of guitar. It took me quite a while to realise how limited the hours are as a guitar tutor. Students do not want lessons before 4pm in my experience and this means you need to make your best efforts to make every student a loyal and happy one. By watching an experienced guitar tutor you can benefit from seeing how they approach teaching you, the preparation they have put in, and how happy you are with the lessons. This allows you to identify what made a lesson good, and ultimately, what makes the guitar tutor good at his or her job.
Guitar tutors need to think with a business mind as well as a creative mind if they want to pursue teaching guitar for any period of time. If you learn advanced levels of guitar with a tutor, you will notice that he is charging more than he would charge a beginner. If he isn’t then he is undervaluing his expertise and losing time. Currently in 2012, it is very reasonable to charge £20 per an hour for beginner guitar lessons and £30 for advanced guitar lessons. You have to consider the extra time that goes into learning specific solos and advanced passages of music in preparation for high level teaching and then charge accordingly for this.
When you charge the right amount per a lesson you will be happier teaching guitar and your student will benefit overall.
This has been a brief introduction into my findings as a guitar teacher in Brighton. There will be a wealth of new posts coming on the topic of teaching guitar, making money teaching guitar and running a successful guitar tuition business.