Question: I teach many instruments, but I do not teach guitar. My question is: Is it possible to implement your guitar teaching strategies to other instruments? Thanks for your time and inspiration.

Tom Hess's Answer: Generally yes. Of course there are some technical differences between teaching guitar and teaching piano for example, but there are some critical things you need to understand about teaching music.

  1. Teaching music is 80% about people and only 20% about music. (Anyone who tells you differently is clueless and likely does not consistently transform ordinary people into fulfilled and talented musicians.) Understanding how people (your students) think, process information and apply that information to their instrument is critical. You also need to understand what motivates your student in the short and long term, what excited them, what frustrates them and why. You sometimes need to babysit their moods. Sometimes they need soft encouragement and sometimes they need a kick in their ass (not literally of course).

    Most music teachers think ‘teaching music’ is all about music theory, scales, chords, songs, etc. When they focus on ‘presenting lesson content’ to their students in a logical step by step linear way the result is often mediocre at best. Although some music students can learn well with that teaching method, the fact is most do not. This is why I created the Geometric Guitar Teaching Method™ which I explain in great detail in my Teaching Beginning Guitar Ecourse.
  2. Presenting the actual lesson content is the easiest part of teaching music ONCE you understand the philosophy of teaching music is about ‘people’, not about music. Until and unless you fully understand the things I mentioned in point #1 above, teaching music effectively will be difficult, once you do understand it you will find everything seems to fall into place pretty easily and your students will typically progress more rapidly on their instrument than ever before.

The vast majority of what I coach other guitar players to do in my guitar teacher program (the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle) is applicable to any instrument. In fact among the many guitar teachers in this program I also currently coach piano/keyboard teachers, violin teachers, bass teachers and a voice teacher.

In addition, if you want to attract more music students, all of the content in my get guitar students program will help you directly in your goal to fill your teaching studio with as many students as you wish to have.

The bottom line is, no matter what instrument you are teaching almost everything I coach guitar teachers to do is applicable to other instruments.

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