Unless you're a big star, it's hard for a musician to make a living purely as a performing artist. Most have alternative income streams, but if those are music related (such as teaching your instrument) so much the better. According to a Musicians Union survey, 60% of professional musicians make at least some of their income from teaching. Of all the instruments you could teach, the guitar is one of the most in demand, and it's easy to see why. Only the piano can rival it in versatility, and the guitar is far more portable. So how do you go about finding students to teach?
What Do I Need to Set up as a Guitar Tutor?
You don't need a qualification to be a private guitar tutor. If you have one, so much the better, as it's likely to make students or parents feel increased confidence in your ability. However, if you don't have qualifications, you can still achieve the same effect with reviews and recommendations.
If you're teaching face to face, especially if some of your students will be complete beginners, not all of them will have their own guitar. It would be useful to have a range of guitars they can use, along with picks, capos, spare strings etc. To make sure you have the right guitars, think about what styles you're likely to be teaching — e.g. classical, folk, blues, jazz, rock. And will your students want to play acoustic or electric? Especially if you're teaching electric guitar, you might want a few extra resources — amps and pedals, for instance. Recording equipment and music editing software would also be valuable for keeping track of the students' progress.
Finally, if you're planning on teaching children, it would be as well to have a DBS check done, to show that you don't have a criminal record, although this isn't essential.
How Do I Deliver the Lessons?
One important thing to decide is whether you want to deliver the lessons at home, in the student's home or online. Online lessons, via Zoom or other platforms, have been the norm recently, of course, but there are both advantages and disadvantages for this approach in the long term. The main advantage is that you're not geographically restricted, so giving you a wider catchment for students. On the other hand, current technology doesn't allow you and the student to play together.
You'll also need to develop a range of course and lesson plans for the various levels and aims of your various students. Some may want to prepare for exams, for instance, while others may have specific performance goals. There are many courses and teaching aids you can find online.
How Do I Find Students?
You're all set up, with the courses and equipment — but how do you find your students? Traditional methods range from word of mouth to advertising in the local papers, but these are very hit or miss, especially if you're teaching online and casting your net beyond the local area. Alternatively, you can register with TutorExtra and have access to our platform. Not only will you be able to find links to a wide range of valuable resources, but you'll also be highly visible to students or parents looking for a guitar tutor.