5 Action Steps To Building A Massively Successful Guitar Teaching Business And Becoming A Great Guitar Teacher

By Tom Hess


Keys-To-Guitar-Teaching-SuccessIt’s no accident why some guitar teachers always grow highly successful guitar teaching businesses, while the vast majority simply tread water or barely make ends meet. To join the special group of thriving guitar teachers, you must apply 5 action steps that enable ANYONE (including you) to earn a great living teaching music and transform the musical lives of your students, helping them become incredible guitar players.

Here are 5 action steps for reaching massive success as a guitar teacher:

Action Step #1. Stop Holding Yourself (And Your Guitar Students) Back

Here are some staggering facts about guitar teachers:

Most guitar teachers feel content with (and some even feel lucky) to make $20,000-$35,000 per year teaching guitar. Most teachers also aren’t bothered with having mostly mediocre students who never become great players. Many others are happy when they get just 20 new guitar students over the course of an entire year or celebrate when their income goes up by a tiny amount per year.

Screw that! With an attitude like this, it’s no wonder why most guitar teachers can’t make ends meet. It’s also not surprising that the students of such guitar teachers rarely (if ever) become great guitar players - their teacher’s lack of personal ambition rubs off on them and translates into slow progress and mediocre playing. In the end, both you and your students lose when you have low ambition.

A lot of the guitar teachers I mentor earn tens of thousands of dollars per MONTH (every month) and get dozens of students every single month as well. In fact, an all-time record in my Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle Program is over 100 new students acquired in a SINGLE month by a teacher (yes, you read this correctly – more than one HUNDRED new students in one month). You can be sure that such results did not happen by accident or by getting lucky or by setting tiny/insignificant goals. Incidentally, teaching 100 (or more) students every week can easily be done without working yourself into the ground. Watch this guitar teaching business video to learn how.

I'm not saying this to brag about myself, I'm simply giving you a taste of what is REALLY possible to achieve when you start setting MUCH bigger goals for yourself than you are setting now. This is the first action step towards your success.

Such massive success is absolutely possible for anyone - including you (no matter where you live or what your current experience is teaching guitar). The key to making it happen starts in your mind - you must become highly ambitious with the goals you set. Never set timid or weak goals based on what you think is possible to reach…set goals based on what you WANT to achieve. To make this happen, you must do the following:

Action Step #2. Be A Crusader

Don’t simply seek to teach guitar like a job (where your only goal is a paycheck). Instead, think of yourself as a crusader on a mission to liberate your guitar students from years of frustration, slow progress and bad playing. As a guitar teacher, you hold the power to literally and figuratively change the lives of your students in huge ways. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience teaching guitar yet, your massive desire to help your students will drive you to take the right actions (such as getting guitar teacher training) to improve your teaching skills.

When you ingrain the above mindset into the very core of your being, it becomes unacceptable to you that there are guitar students in your area who are struggling with their playing RIGHT NOW and you aren’t yet helping them. When your desire to help as many people as possible is this strong, you cannot comprehend why anyone would settle for attracting 3-5 new students this month instead of attracting 20, 30, 50 or 80.

Once you truly believe in these things and start to see yourself on a “guitar teaching crusade”, the following will happen:

  1. You will instinctively and consistently take massive action to attract as many new guitar students as possible into your business. A win for you AND for your students.
  2. You will feel morally obligated to find the very best ways to teach guitar and deliver massive results to your students (way more than they could get with anyone else). A win for your students.
  3. Because you will be providing so much value to your students, they will reward you handsomely for it, making your guitar teaching business hugely successful. A win for you.
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Action Step #3. Stop Being Afraid Of Becoming A Successful Guitar Teacher

Successful guitar teachers do NOT earn a lot of money because they are greedy or shameless or just because they are good at marketing or because “money” is their only motivator. The fact that some guitar teachers earn huge amounts of money every year means ONLY 2 things:

  1. These teachers are extremely good at what they do (better than anyone else in their area)
  2. They help a lot of students become great guitar players and reach their goals

If either of the above 2 things was not the case, these teachers would have gone out of business long ago, and no amount of clever marketing or sales tactics would save them.

In contrast, the teachers who do NOT make a lot of money teaching guitar cannot do so for similar reasons: either they are NOT good at teaching guitar or because they are not helping enough people to become great players.

The action step for you here is to realize that the money you make teaching guitar is a measurement (and reflection) of the value you give to your students. In fact, when you earn little money teaching guitar (or charge little for your guitar lessons) you are doing a huge disservice to your guitar students - something I’ve discussed in detail in my past articles about teaching guitar.

When you learn to think in the way described above, it becomes impossible to feel bad or ashamed about earning lots of money teaching guitar. In fact, you should only feel ashamed about NOT earning huge amounts of money as a teacher, because it means that you are not (yet) providing enough value to a large enough number of students.

If you don’t feel that you are worth the money you are charging - get guitar teacher training, learn how to provide more value to your students and charge for it accordingly.

Action Step #4. Do Your Job Fully

If you think that your main responsibility as a guitar teacher is to merely “teach” - you are only doing 25% of your job. (Hmm, no wonder why average guitar teachers earn 25% or less of what elite guitar teachers earn!)

Typical guitar teachers try to cram as much musical knowledge as possible into their students during each lesson, expecting them to understand it and produce great results. Problem is, guitar students are NOT robots who simply take in musical information and spit out results. To get truly incredible results for your students, you must know how to teach people as well as music. This means doing far more than simply teaching your students how to play guitar, but also coaching, training and mentoring them through their entire growth process.

To learn more about how to do this, read these articles about teaching your guitar students to practice and solving problems your guitar students have.

Action Step #5. Care Deeply…But Weed Your Garden

You don’t have to turn all your students into virtuosos (since most students won’t aspire to such levels of guitar playing), but you must expect all your students to reach their own goals and NEVER accept slow progress or mediocre results.

If your students aren’t practicing, aren’t getting results or aren't feeling motivated to play guitar, it’s your responsibility to find out WHY this is happening and do everything you can to stop it. You do this by:

1. Consistently communicating your high expectations of them, while helping your students believe in their own potential.

2. Making sure that the goals your students set for themselves are what they TRULY want and not merely something they think is possible for them to achieve.

3. Making sure you do your part in terms of teaching guitar effectively.

Note: most of your students will thank you for caring so deeply about them and will do their part to become great guitar players. However, a small number of your students will resent you for putting pressure on them, even if it’s in their own best interest! You must have the courage to fire such students from your schedule. Yes, you read correctly: you need to fire those students who consistently refuse to do what you tell them to do and show no interest in making progress. Not doing so hurts your reputation (since such people will never become great guitarists) and it is a disservice to those potential students who DO desperately want your help, but cannot study with you because your schedule is full with unmotivated students.

When you fully acquire the mindsets, tools and skillsets represented by the 5 action steps above, you will be shocked at how EASY it really is to build a massively successful guitar teaching business. To speed up the process of mastering the concepts described in this article, work together with a guitar teacher trainer who will coach you through the process of applying them to your guitar teaching business.


Get the training required to become a highly successful guitar teacher.

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