5 Surprising Reasons Why Guitar Students Quit

by Tom Hess
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How do you stop guitar students from quitting?

Answer this question and it’s likely you’ll never struggle to make money teaching guitar ever again.

Since guitar students quitting is the #1 biggest obstacle to you earning the guitar teaching income you want and deserve.

And I got good and bad news.

The bad guitar teaching news is: there is very little you can do to stop guitar students from quitting after they’ve made up their mind to quit because, getting them to stay at *that* point requires them to admit to you that they were wrong in wanting to quit. And few people like admitting that.

Do THIS And You'll Get A Lot More Guitar Students
This Will Get You A Lot More Guitar Students e-Guide

By submitting your info, you agree to send it to Tom Hess Music Corporation who will process and use it according to their privacy policy.

But here is the good news for your guitar teaching business:

When you know the common reasons why guitar students quit, you’ll have a much easier time recognizing the warning signs before your students make the decision to stop lessons.

And THAT gives you a very good chance to stop guitar students quitting and dramatically increase your guitar teaching income.

Here are 5 surprising reasons why guitar students quit and how to prevent each one from affecting your guitar teaching business.

Why Guitar Students Quit

Reason #1 Why Guitar Students Quit: You (The Guitar Teacher) Have Overwhelmed Them.

Believe it or not, too much information (even good information) can be a likely reason why guitar students quit - so they can “catch up” on it. 

The reason overwhelm can lead to guitar students quitting is: 

- students feel like they are failing you (their guitar teacher) if they can’t immediately master your guitar teaching materials quickly enough.

- they assume (usually wrongly) that they have to master the things their guitar teacher is teaching them in a linear, step-by-step order.

- they feel like they are wasting their time (and money) taking lessons from a guitar teacher if they continue accumulating your guitar teaching materials they never fully master.

- guitar lessons (and learning guitar) start to feel like work rather than fun. 

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Any of these feelings can leads to your guitar students quitting.

But the good news is...

There IS a way to protect your offline guitar teaching business from all that (and to keep guitar students from quitting).

The secret is:

To give your offline guitar students the experiences they can ONLY get with you.

One way to do this it to pace the flow of new information in your guitar teaching business. 

Instead of burying your students with a mountain of things to practice, part of your job as a guitar teacher is to optimize your students’ experience with a healthy rotation of:

1. Content – this is the actual “guitar teaching” of new material - what most guitar teachers already understand how to do.

2. Understanding – this is where you (the guitar teacher) ensure that the students you’re teaching guitar to are clear on the content you’ve taught them. This can be as simple as encouraging them to ask questions. Or, by asking your students questions to test their understanding.

3. Application – this is where you train your guitar students to use what you just taught them in music. 

4. Integration – this is where you train your guitar students to connect what you just taught them with their other skills.

5. Review – As the name implies, this means spending some part of your guitar teaching time going over topics and skills you already taught them.

6. Creativity – this is where you train your guitar students to be creative with the skills you’ve taught them.

7. Fixing bad habits your guitar students have. (Where applicable.)

This will often be needed when you are teaching guitar to intermediate students who likely have plenty of bad habits from years of teaching guitar to themselves. 

That said, believe it or not, spending too much time fixing bad habits can also lead to guitar students quitting. The reason is: many guitar students are not strong-minded enough to handle working on something as “boring” as fixing bad habits.

Reason #2 Why Guitar Students Quit: Your Students Stop Believing In Themselves.

Students will only keep taking lessons for as long as they believe they can reach their goals. Lack of belief in themselves is a common reason why guitar students quit.

Fortunately, there IS a way to make guitar students believe in themselves way more and make it less likely to see guitar students quitting due to self-doubt:

1. Remind your students that you – their guitar teacher – are on their side. Believe it or not, guitar teachers almost never do this. They (the guitar teachers) take it for granted that their students will learn to believe in themselves all on their own. And then, they act surprised and wonder why guitar students quit. 

Here is an example of what showing your guitar students you are on their side looks like in your guitar teaching business:

2. Tell stories of how you – the guitar teacher – struggled to learn guitar, laugh at the silly mistakes you made on your journey along the way, and don’t be afraid to make yourself look imperfect in front of your guitar students (yes, even while teaching guitar to them). Believe it or not, you’re less likely to see a lot of guitar students quitting if/when they see that you are a human being – just like them. 

3. Show your guitar students how the pros continue to have their share of struggles, just as they (your students) do. This can mean: talking about the challenges you are having right now learning something difficult in your guitar playing. Or it can be pointing out that impressive guitar performances on social media are often a result of 51 failed attempts to nail the perfect take (or, possibly, even edited to sound better than they are). Most of your guitar students won’t realize this on their own. But if you point this out to them, it could be the difference between guitar students quitting or staying with you for years.

Reason #3 Why Guitar Students Quit: Guitar Lessons Stop Being Fun.

People play guitar to have fun. And they take guitar lessons to get to the fun parts of playing sooner. If the lessons themselves are boring or they make playing LESS fun – they’ll quit.

What are some ways to make your guitar teaching more fun (for your students) and make it less likely to see guitar students quitting?

Here are three quick ideas:

1. Give your guitar students “quick wins”. That means, make your students better guitar players before they leave your guitar teaching studio after each lesson. It doesn't matter what skill you’re teaching to your students. There is almost always a way to give your students a quick boost of progress (which ALWAYS makes them have more fun). 

Watch this guitar teaching video to see an example of what I mean by a “quick win”:

If you want more help with creating “quick win” moments for your guitar students (and reducing the number of your guitar students quitting), get guitar teacher training

2. Help your guitar students refine guitar riffs and guitar licks they know. (This is an example of “integration”, “review” and “creativity” guitar teaching rotation elements discussed earlier in this article.) And what this does is – it makes your students sound more pro (with very little effort and almost no frustration). This is a surefire way to make your guitar students enjoy the experience of you teaching guitar to them.

Here is an example of what I mean:

3. Make your guitar students sound better with the skills they already have.
This is where you give your guitar students a variety of training assignments that are: simple to do, fun to play and make them better almost instantly (thus making it less likely that you’ll see those guitar students quitting). It is another example of the “quick win” strategy I mentioned earlier. 

Here is what this looks like:

Reason #4 Why Guitar Students Quit: They Don’t Practice At Home, So They Feel Like They Are Wasting Money On Lessons.

When students don’t practice, they rarely ask you for help. Instead, they’ll often conclude that they can’t justify spending money on lessons. And that often becomes yet another reason why guitar students quit. 

Fortunately, there are 2 simple solutions around this common problem guitar teachers face in their guitar teaching business:

Solution 1: Train your guitar students to practice in front of you. This is often all it takes to get your students to practice more when you are teaching guitar. When you get students to practice under your guidance, they become more certain that it’s worth it for them to make the time to practice at home. Thus, they become more likely to do it on their own.

Watch this video to see what I mean by “train your students to practice”:

Solution 2:
Hold guitar practice training classes on top of regular guitar lessons. This is where your guitar students will pay you to train them to practice guitar in front you 3-4 times per week.  

That will make their “at-home” guitar practice irrelevant, since you’ll ensure them becoming better players (and make it impossible to use “not practicing” as an excuse why guitar students quit).

Reason #5 Why Guitar Students Quit: They Distract Themselves With New Information

Ironically, when students distract themselves with too much new info, they’ll often conclude to cut back on lessons with ‘you’, instead of focusing on the path you’ve created for them. 

The solution?

Warn your guitar students about the dangers of learning guitar topics at random... since, no matter how good other guitar teachers are – random online guitar teaching isn’t the same as guitar lessons tailored to your students’ goals, needs and challenges. 

For example, here is what I tell my guitar students to help them get better results and prevent guitar students quitting for this reason:

Now that you know why guitar students quit and what to do about it, the next step to growing your guitar teaching business is to get new guitar students to start taking lessons with you (without hard-selling them to do it). I can show you how in my free eGuide: “This Will Get You A Lot More Guitar Students”. Download it today and discover the secrets to filling your teaching schedule most guitar teachers never know.

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Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains guitar teachers from all over the world how to earn 6-figures per year teaching guitar, while working less than 40 hours per week.

Here is how to build your guitar teaching business to earn 6-figures or more, while you work part-time.

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