Why Most Guitar Teachers Lose Students In The Summer And How To Not Let It Happen To You
by Tom Hess
It’s no secret that fewer people inquire about taking guitar lessons during the summer than any other time of year. For most teachers, this means an even greater struggle to make a living teaching guitar and constant worry about how to make ends meet. However, just because there are less inquiries about guitar lessons in the summer, this does NOT mean that there have to be fewer students for YOU!
Here are 4 reasons why guitar teachers lose many students during the summer, and how you can not just ‘keep’, but actually GROW your student count during the summer months:
Reason 1: Not Even ‘Trying’ To Promote Your Guitar Lessons During The Summer
Since guitar teachers know that there will be less inquiries about lessons in the summer, many of them prematurely give up trying to grow their business during this time. This gives YOU the golden opportunity to market to all the students that everyone else is missing out on. Fact is, there ARE guitar students looking for lessons 365 days per year (even if the total number of new prospects goes down during the summer). You can attract a much higher % of whoever IS looking for lessons in those months, since you will be one of the few guitar teachers in your area who actually advertises in this slow period. By INCREASING your promotional efforts throughout the summer while everyone else is decreasing theirs, you will transform this period from potentially the ‘worst’ time of the year for gaining students to some of the ‘best’ and most productive time in your business.
Reason 2: Using Generally Ineffective Methods For Attracting Guitar Students (During ‘Any’ Time Of Year)
In my past articles on how to teach guitar, I explained in detail why most guitar teachers’ marketing efforts are horribly inefficient and ineffective. As a result, these teachers earn only a small fraction of what they could/should be earning and don’t get to help all the students they could/should be helping. This general inability to effectively advertise your guitar lessons and attract new students is going to hurt you much more during the slower summer months. Your business simply won’t be able to sustain a drop in the already reduced pool of potential students.
To correct this weakness and ensure that your business doesn't suffer (and actually grows) during the summer months, get guitar teacher training to learn how to attract new guitar students all year around.
Reason 3: Having A Weak Guitar Teaching Policy
You will rapidly lose your guitar students if you have a weak (or a non-existent) guitar teaching policy that gives your students the power to walk all over you, quit lessons without notice or take time off without paying for it. A perfect example of such a teaching policy is one that allows your students to pay on a lesson-by-lesson basis. When you do this, your students will miss lessons, re-schedule on short notice, arrive late, not pay on time and - specifically in the summer - go on vacation (leaving you with fewer student for months…if not permanently).
Highly successful guitar teachers charge for guitar lessons on a month to month basis -and you should too. By doing this, you will ALWAYS get paid on time and will protect yourself from your guitar students taking advantage of you. Additionally, you do not have to accept the loss of your students when they go on vacation for the summer. To prepare for this scenario, design innovative ways to teach/train and add value to your students even when they don’t physically meet with you for a lesson. There are LOTS of ways to do this and I explain what some of them are in this free eBook about earning more money teaching guitar.
Reason 4: Not Communicating (In Advance) With Your Guitar Students About The Value Of Continuing Lessons During The Summer
Guitar students often lose sight of the value of their lessons with you while comparing them to other summer activities (such as playing sports, going on vacation or other forms of recreation). As their guitar teacher, it is up to YOU to communicate:
- The (true) reasons why improving their guitar playing is much more valuable (to them) than the other/leisure activities above.
- Why stopping guitar lessons in the summer will hurt your students’ musical progress. Taking a long break from guitar lessons will require your students to spend (waste) a lot of time and money just catching up to the level they were at when they quit. This is exactly what happens in all public schools in the fall, so your students will understand this idea (and see that you are right) when you explain it to them.
- Why taking lessons with you during the summer will be a unique and awesome experience that they absolutely CAN’T miss out on. Here’s just one (out of dozens) of ways you can do this:
Design one or more cool and unique programs/events that are ‘only’ offered to your guitar students during the summer months. For example, you could hold a specialized guitar soloing program, hold real-time stage performance training or even take your students on a road trip to see a killer band. You can then teach them how to play in the band’s specific playing style in a specially designed summer program. The possibilities are endless – just make sure to promote these programs and events to your students many months in advance. Doing so will build up their excitement for all the awesome things they will do and learn with you.
Now that you understand what you must do in order to keep your students during the summer, read this to learn how to attract lots of guitar students all year long and keep your business growing, no matter what season it is on the calendar.
You can learn a lot more about how to get guitar students.