The Guide To Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher For All 52 Weeks Of The Year
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“Getting paid as a guitar teacher” means only making money on the days and weeks you work (i.e. actually teach guitar), right?
At the start of my guitar teaching career – that’s exactly how I thought teaching guitar worked.
And that was one reason why I used to struggle to make real money teaching guitar.
Worst of all...
I used to *think* I had a strict guitar teaching policy.
(My policy required all guitar students to give me a 24-hour notice if they weren't coming to lessons.)
But when students would cancel lesson and give me a sob story about their “emergency”...
... I’d lose even more money teaching guitar makeup lessons for free.
And of course...
... I wasn’t getting paid for holidays or sick days.
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But through a lot of trial & error, I’ve come up with 6 ways to ensure I was getting paid as a guitar teacher for all 52 weeks of the year.
Here is what they are and how to use them in your guitar teaching business, so you can start getting paid as a guitar teacher for every week of the year too:
Tip #1 For Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher: Use The Right Guitar Teaching Business Model.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to choose between “getting paid as a guitar teacher” and “accommodating your guitar students”.
When you run group classes ‘the right way’, you can offer your students make-up lessons every month ‘without’ working more (or losing money).
Take for example, something I call “The Gym Model”. As you might guess from its name, it’s based on how gyms run fitness classes and bootcamps.
And it allows you to teach guitar group classes in a very particular way that:
- lets you work (teach) very few hours per week
- gives your students multiple options for days/times they can attend the class they are enrolled in.
- lets your students pick and choose the date/time that works for them each week.
This, essentially, means they can miss a lesson as often as they want and then “make it up”, without even talking to you about it.
All the while, you *still* get paid and don't have to teach a minute longer than you’ve committed to!
Tip #2 For Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher: Create An Airtight (But Fair) Lesson Policy And Make Your Students Sign It.
For some reason, many guitar teachers struggle with the idea of getting paid by students even on days they don’t teach. Yet, in just about every profession this is called “paid time off” … and chances are – all your guitar students get it at their jobs.
You can too. But the key is in how you frame this idea to your guitar students.
Here is what NOT to do (if you want to keep getting paid as a guitar teacher): do not tell your guitar students to “pay you on some weeks when you won’t be there”. (That sounds like you’re being “unfair”… even though it’s exactly the same in principle as ‘paid time off’ at any job.)
One (better) way to frame the idea is this:
Tell your students what your lesson tuition is and explain that the rate ‘takes into account’ there not being any classes X number of times per year. This X number of times becomes your paid time off.
Tip #3 For Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher: NEVER Quote Lesson Prices “Per Lesson” Or “Per Hour”.
“Why not”, you ask?
Because if you do, you are virtually asking students to compare your hourly rate to another teacher’s hourly rate… and then go with the cheaper one.
That makes it pretty likely you WON’T be getting paid as a guitar teacher… by that student at least.
Quote tuition for monthly lesson programs that:
- focus on the value you provide, not on ‘your time’.
- make it very hard to compare you to any other teacher in your area
- set up the expectation for students to study with you long-term (which is good for them and for you).
This is how you come across like a real pro. And this is how you build a real business teaching guitar. One where you can earn at least 6-figures per year, working part-time.
Tip #4 For Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher: Get Your Own Mindset Right.
Here is a big problem you’ll face in your guitar teaching business:
When guitar students contact you (about teaching guitar to them), it’s likely that they’ve already talked to (or studied with) other guitar teachers.
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As such, they think they know how guitar lessons are supposed to work. And they may be expecting you to do what other guitar teachers do, which is to:
- teach guitar in 1-1 lessons
- allow them to ignore the lesson policies they agreed to when they don’t feel like following them
- ask you to bend the rules for their “special situations” and more.
All of the above will lead to you NOT getting paid as a guitar teacher and struggling to support yourself by teaching guitar.
That is unless you do 2 things:
1. Remind yourself that what other guitar teachers do has nothing to do with you. And unless you want the same disappointing results other guitar teachers are getting (for themselves and for their students)… it’s your duty and obligation to NOT run your guitar teaching business the way most guitar teachers do.
This is especially true if you want to be getting paid as a guitar teacher for all 52 weeks of the year.
2. Reset your guitar students’ “buying criteria” EARLY. This means: from your earliest interaction with your guitar students, make it clear that you don’t do things the way other guitar teachers do AND (this is key) show why your way of doing things is in your students’ best interests.
Tip #5 For Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher: Market And Attract New Students Nonstop.
This should come as no surprise, but…
When you implement the previous 4 guitar teaching tips: not every guitar student will like it.
And thus, it’s quite possible that some guitar students will refuse to start lessons with you and instead go study with a more “conventional” guitar teacher.
The solution to this is simple:
Double down on your advertising and marketing.
This way you become much more confident about enforcing your lesson policy (and lesson format) changes. Since you know that, if someone doesn't start lessons (or quits) – another guitar student will soon take their place.
If you want help with attracting a lot of new guitar students, this guitar teaching guide will help you fill your schedule FAST.
Tip #6 For Getting Paid As A Guitar Teacher: Get Training To Teach Guitar To Improve Your Skills AND Your Positioning
Similar to doubling down on marketing your guitar teaching business…
… the better your guitar teaching skills are, the easier time you’ll have getting paid as a guitar teacher for all 52 weeks of the year.
And when you are better at teaching guitar than any other teacher your students can find – you can simply refuse to teach anyone who doesn't respect your guitar teaching policies.
Here are some of the most important guitar teaching skills to work on:
The ability to diagnose and fix your students’ musical problems.
Most students you teach guitar to will ‘think’ they know what their problems are… but oftentimes their assessment is wrong. It’s part of your job as a guitar teacher to look past the students’ self-diagnosis and help them uncover the things that are REALLY holding them back.
(When you do, you’ll have become so good at what you do that getting paid as a guitar teacher will be easy.)
Here is an example of what I mean:
Motivating your students to do what you want them to do.
I’d argue that THIS is the most important guitar teaching skill. When you consistently get your students to follow your instructions (both during your lessons and at home) – they WILL become good players. Or, at least they’ll improve very rapidly towards their goals.
Getting your guitar students to do what you want them to do doesn't come naturally to most guitar teachers. But here is the process I follow to get my students to practice what I tell them that works almost every time:
Now that you know the key to getting paid as a guitar teacher, the next step is to discover how to fill your guitar teaching schedule by getting guitar students excited to start lessons with you. I can show you how (for free) in my guitar teaching guide called: “This Will Get You A Lot More Guitar Students”. Download it today and discover the guitar teaching success secrets most guitarists don’t know.
Want to make (at least) 6-figures teaching guitar by working part-time? Get guitar teacher training to learn how.
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