Some guitarists make a full time living from this, but even if you could earn a side income from your efforts, that could still be a worthwhile use of your talent, right? If so, read on for all the info.
There is a difference between playing Guitar and Teaching it
Before embarking on teaching guitar it is worth remembering that being able to play well, doesn't necessarily mean you can teach it well. Passing on knowledge to someone else is a completely different skill than being able to do it yourself. To teach well, try to see things from their point of view. Just because something is obvious to you it doesn't mean it is to them, you only know it because of experience and learning it. If your pupil is a complete beginner, the chances are they don't know the 'obvious' things. Think back to how you learnt and what helped you to grasp the concepts originally, it may also help to think back to any lessons you had for some inspiration. Being a great guitar player is certainly an advantage, but by no means is it a given that you will be a great teacher.
Do you need to be qualified?
There is no need for a formal qualification, but you do need to be qualified in the sense that you need to know what you're talking about and able to impart good practices onto your students. If you're not fully confident you can make people better guitarists, it may be best not to give lessons quite yet. You need to be able to teach your students something worthwhile and they need to see that they can learn something from you.
There are three main ways of teaching giving guitar lessons, they are:
1) Teaching in Person
This the obvious and traditional method of teaching guitar, one to one. in person. Whether you take one student or multiple, you meet them at their house, yours or a studio.
This can either be done by doing private lessons (that are usually more lucrative) or by teaching in a school, college or an academy. Doing private lessons means you're your own boss, can work when you want and not working for anyone else. Teaching in a school requires you to apply for a job and they are typically looking for qualifications as prove of your expertise or ability to teach. Having a job as a guitar teacher is however a regular pay packet, so will suit those who prefer the stability and a guaranteed income.
2) Teaching Guitar Lessons Online
Another option is to teach your lessons online via a video calling service such as Skype. This is virtually the same as teaching in person and you get to be your own boss. The obvious difference is that your doing it over the internet. The convenience comes in not having to travel to teach your students, you can fit more lessons into shorter time period and you can spread the lessons out throughout the day. You are also not restricted by your local area, meaning you could teach someone on the other side of the world.
The downsides are that you won't be able to physically adjust their hand movements if a student is having difficulty picking something up, and you'll be staring at a computer screen the whole time (some people don't like this). If you can live with the down sides though, this is a very good way to get your guitar teaching business started.
3) Pre-Recorded Lessons Online
A pre-recorded course, hosted on a site with a pupil membership fee or on video streaming sites such as YouTube where you receive revenue from advertising, is a very effective way of teaching guitar. It also requires the least effort, as once you have recorded all the lessons that a pupil will need there is no further effort required, except maybe a few help emails. You can teach hundreds or even thousands of pupils at the same time, with no further effort from yourself! This wouldn't be possible if you tried to use the other two methods. The money you will receive per lesson is likely to be less, but you can make up for this in the frequency of lessons. Also similar way to the second method, you have even less interaction with your pupils to guide their learning.
Which is best?
There is no definitive best way, they all have their good and bad points. It is all about finding the method you find most effective and using that. For any of the methods to work though, you'll have to market your services effectively to get some students in the first place. In this day and age that means a website, social media and more besides. We know a thing or two about getting the word out about a guitar business, so drop us a line and we could point you in the right direction for advice.