How to Become a Guitar Teacher
There are many different ways you can become a guitar teacher. You can teach part time on your own, full time, in a studio, at home, at a school, online, etc. With so many choices available, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first decide to start teaching guitar.
This comprehensive guide will cover all the important aspects of becoming a guitar teacher.
In this guide, you will learn:
- How to decide what type of guitar teacher you want to be
- Whether you should teach in-person or online (or both)
- Important marketing principles
- How to set up your own website
- How to get started with social media
Tip: this is a long guide so bookmark/favorite it so you can refer back to it in the future.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Teach Guitar?
If you want to get hired by a school as a guitar teacher, the school is likely to set a minimum requirement. But if you want to teach guitar privately, having a qualification isn't required. That's one of many advantages to running your own guitar teaching business - you set your own rules.
Qualifications aren't as highly regarded as they used to be. We live in a time where you can easily research any topic online - just like you're doing now! The fact is that everything you would learn when studying towards a formal qualification can be learned on your own.
On this website alone, you can learn teaching methods, marketing strategies and relevant skills needed to be a successful guitar teacher.
You may feel like not having a qualification would put you at a disadvantage as potential students will only want to deal with teachers who have formal qualifications. We can confidently say after working with hundreds of guitar teachers over the years that that's not the case. The reality is that most students don't care whether you have a qualification or not - what they do care about is whether you can provide them with good quality lessons.
So keep reading this guide and don't feel you need to get a qualification to teach guitar. If you have one already, great. If you don't, it's not going to put you at a disadvantage.
How Good Do I Need To Be On Guitar?
If you're unsure whether you're good enough at guitar to teach, here's an easy way to find the answer. Imagine you're a student looking for a teacher. Who would you prefer out of:
- A amazingly-skilled guitarist who doesn't know how to teach, or
- An average skilled guitarist who is a fantastic teacher
The choice should be obvious - being a great teacher is far more important than your guitar skills.
This is an important point to understand as being a great guitarist doesn't automatically mean you will be a great teacher. Playing guitar and teaching guitar are two very different skills.
So the first lesson here is that you shouldn't worry about whether your guitar skills are good enough. Instead, focusing on building up your teaching skills and knowledge.
If you still doubt your guitar skills, all you need skill-wise is to be able to demonstrate what the student will be learning. If you can demonstrate what the student will be learning, that's the minimum required. So think about your current skill level and think about all the skills, topics and songs you can currently play. Now think of all the potential students out there who would want to learn those skills and songs. There's going to be a lot of people out there wanting to learn from you regardless of your current skill level.
Choosing a Career Path Right For You
There are many different ways you can earn an income as a guitar teacher. Before you dive in and start teaching, it's a good idea to consider your options and figure out which option suits you best.
In early 2015 we surveyed guitar teachers around the world.
Here is a comparison of how guitar teachers are currently working:
(Employed by School/Studio)
(Employed by School/Studio)
Run a Music Studio & Hire Other Teachers
You can see that while some guitar teachers are hired by a school or studio, most guitar teachers choose to create their own guitar teaching business.
There is a big difference between working for yourself or working for somebody else. The right option for you depends on your goals as a guitar teacher.
We generally recommend teachers start out working on their own. The reason is simple - it gives you control. Instead of somebody else determining how much you will earn per lesson - you get to choose. Instead of somebody else setting your hours, you can set them.
We recommend you teach guitar on your own because it gives you control.
There will be situations where you might be better off working for a school or studio, but most teachers we help out have been far better off on their own.
Even if your goal is to eventually teach as part of a school, starting out on your own is a good choice. Not only does it give you a quick way to get started and build some experience, but it looks great on your resume.
Extra resources for Live and Teach Guitar Members:
- Week 1 & 2 of the Guitar Teaching Business Fundamentals Course
- BPL-01 Planning Your Lesson Service (includes income worksheet)
Teaching Guitar In-Person vs Online
Some guitar teachers only teach in person, some teach both in person and online and other teachers teach purely online. Whether you choose to teach online or not, you have a lot of flexibility in how you become a guitar teacher today.
Guitar teachers in the past didn't have the option to teach online - but you do. Thanks to improvements in technology and a constant increase in demand for online guitar lessons, there is a lot of opportunity for online guitar teachers.
While there will always be some demand for in-person teachers, more and more students are looking online to learn guitar. There are a number of benefits you can get from teaching online, so even if you decide to start out only teaching in-person, remember that you can always add online lessons to your services in the future.
Let's look at the main differences between teaching online vs in-person:
Teaching Guitar In-Person
Teaching Guitar Online
Marketing for Guitar Teachers
Marketing is an incredibly important topic to learn as a guitar teacher. If you're unable to attract students, then you're going to struggle. So it's worth the time and effort to learn proper marketing strategies.
The typical way guitar teachers used to promote their lessons is with posters, flyers, and newspaper ads. Those methods don't work anymore. If your plan was to rely on traditional marketing methods, you're going to have a hard time.
This is a hard lesson for some guitar teachers to accept, but the way people seek out guitar teachers has changed. People no longer look through phone directories or walk down to a community notice board in the hopes they will see a flyer for a teacher.
Today, people search online to find guitar teachers. They search in Google, look on Facebook, check out YouTube, or even ask Siri. Your marketing strategy needs to consider where potential students look for teachers. If you're not on the first page in Google for relevant searches or not on the social media platforms your students are using, you may as well not exist from a student's point of view.
Our guides and courses take the best practices and marketing strategies out there and explain how they apply to you as a guitar teacher.