Let’s face it, working full-time at a 9-5 day job sucks. Not only does a job take up most of your waking hours that could be spent making music, most jobs also don’t pay very much. Fortunately, you do not have to be stuck in a job you hate while watching your musical dreams fade away. Teaching guitar for a living is the best and easiest way to earn a great income with your musical talents.
Here are the benefits of teaching guitar versus working a “normal” day job:
By teaching guitar, you can make way more money than you ever could at any regular non-musical job. (Many guitar teachers I train earn 6-figures or multiple 6-figures per year).
You can work part-time hours and make an excellent living (growing your income every year). In contrast, at most jobs you generally must work 40-60 hours per week just to get by and are lucky to get a 2-3% pay raise per year.
You have massive flexibility of schedule. As a guitar teacher, YOU decide the hours you teach. Want to take a vacation for several weeks in the middle of the summer? You can do it. Want to take time off to go on tour with your band? You can do this too. Plus, you can actually get paid for your vacation time as well (if your teaching business is set up correctly). Compare this to working a regular job where your time off is limited and your flexibility is restricted.
- Teaching guitar for a living is a lot more secure than any regular job . For example, if you have 60 students, it’s the same as getting 60 individual (and independent!) paychecks. If for some reason you lose a student, you’re still fine because there are 59 other sources of income coming in. At a normal job, you only get one paycheck, and if something happens to that single source of income, you are in major financial trouble.
Unfortunately, many guitar players overlook teaching guitar as a career choice. The most common reason why this happens is…fear. Here is a short list of the common fears guitarists have about teaching guitar, and why (most of the time) they are irrational and unjustified:
Guitar Teaching Fear #1: You fear that your guitar playing skills aren’t advanced enough to get started.
Reality: You don’t need to be a highly advanced guitarist to teach others. All you need is to:
1. Be more advanced as a musician than the students you teach
2. Get guitar teacher training, so you learn the best ways to teach guitar and become more qualified than any teacher in your area. Fact is, your guitar teaching skills are way more important than your guitar playing abilities when it comes to helping your students become better guitarists.
3. Consistently work on improving your own musical skills to stay ahead of your students and be ready to keep teaching them as they become more advanced themselves.
Take this guitar teaching assessment to learn how prepared you are to teach guitar and get feedback that will help you to become a more effective teacher.
Guitar Teaching Fear #2: You fear not having enough teaching experience, a music degree or some other credential.
Reality: EVERYBODY starts teaching guitar with “no experience” and the only way for you to get experience is to get started teaching. This means to actually go out and look for students for real, NOT “teaching your friends for free”. If you are at least an intermediate level guitarist and if you have the desire to help your students become better guitar players, you should start teaching right now. The sooner you start, the faster you will get the experience needed to become a really great guitar teacher.
Your guitar students do not care if you have a music degree or some other impressive credentials as a musician, nor do they really care if you are an advanced guitar player. They only care about whether or not you can help them solve their guitar playing frustrations and become better musicians. If you are not sure how to effectively help your students make progress in their playing, get guitar teacher training.
Guitar Teaching Fear #3: You fear running out of things to teach to your students.
Reality: Contrary to popular belief, teaching guitar is NOT about giving your students lots of new information every time you see them. There are ways to turn your students into much better guitar players without giving them a ton of content in every lesson.
Guitar Teaching Fear #4: You fear not being able to support yourself as you transition from your day job into teaching guitar.
Reality: It is actually very easy to transition into teaching guitar for a living from your normal job. You can prepare yourself for going into teaching full time with virtually no risk (more on this below).
If you still don’t believe that it’s easy to earn a lot of money teaching guitar, consider this:
Even if you teach only 1-1 private lessons (which is the slowest, hardest and the least secure way to make money teaching guitar), charge $40 per hour, have only 40 students and teach 50 weeks out of the year, this equals $80,000 in annual income.
The above example is a very basic way to illustrate how simple it actually is to replace a typical day job with income from teaching guitar. However, there are FAR better ways to structure your guitar teaching business that can multiply the income you earn 2-5 times, while drastically reducing the number of hours you work. To learn about one such method, watch this video about building a guitar teaching business.
How To Phase Out A Day Job To Get Into Teaching Guitar Full-Time
1. Begin Advertising And Attracting “Serious” Guitar Students
Start by building a website and advertising at classified ad websites in your area. Also, create and deliver flyers into local guitar shops, stores, parking lots and neighborhoods.
Focus on learning how to convert the potential students who contact you about lessons into actual guitar students. Learn how to do it in this free guide about getting more guitar students to take lessons with you.
- Fill up all your available time on nights and weekends with students and save ALL the money you make (do not spend a penny!). Once you have saved enough money to cover 4-6 months of expenses, quit your job and go all-in to build your guitar teaching business even further.
2. Develop And Improve Your Guitar Teaching Skills
Identify and focus on your specific style or area of expertise (e.g. metal/rock, classical, jazz, blues, country, etc.) and market yourself as a teacher specializing in that style. You will become a lot more successful as a specialist in 1 style (or several closely-related styles) than as a general “guitar teacher”.
Learn how to effectively teach beginning guitar students. Beginner guitarists make up by far the largest group of all potential students, so you will never have a shortage of people to teach.
- Work with a guitar teacher trainer to learn the most effective guitar teaching methods that will increase your income to a 6-figure level and beyond.
To get even more help with launching your guitar teaching career and leaving your day job, take this guitar teaching assessment to learn how prepared you are to teach guitar.