Question: Do I have to enroll in a music theory crash course from my local music college to get a degree to teach guitar? Music theory is all about sight reading using a classical guitar but what if my goal is to become an electric guitar teacher? What am I supposed to do?

Tom Hess's Answer: You do not need a music degree to teach guitar nor do you need to study music theory in college. These things are nice to have for your own musical development, but they will NOT help you to find guitar students or to teach them very effectively or to keep them studying with you for a long time. What WILL help you is to get specific guitar teacher training from an expert on how to “teach” guitar (and on how to run your guitar teaching business) as well as simply getting the experience of teaching (you will get better as you go).

Your musical skills only need to be high enough to be ahead of the guitar student who is sitting in front of you. You do NOT need to be a highly advanced guitar player in order to teach beginner or intermediate level students effectively. In fact, many guitar teachers who are very advanced have a hard time relating to less advanced students and cannot effectively help them to make progress (although this isn’t true of all highly advanced guitarists who teach of course).

The point is that you need to be less concerned about your own guitar playing and focus a lot more on getting guitar teacher training so you can learn “how to TEACH guitar”.

To begin, check out these free guitar teaching resources and begin to implement these ideas in your guitar teaching business right away.


Learn how to earn more money teaching guitar by working with a guitar teaching expert.

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