How To Make An Annual 6 Figure Income As A Guitar Teacher

Author: Ed Cupler

Guitarist - musician - teacher - Tom HessAre you beginning to lose your motivation to teach guitar lessons due to a lack of significant income? It can be very hard to maintain excitement for your guitar teaching career when you are struggling to earn a living.

Teaching guitar for a living requires a lot of hard work, and most guitar teachers feel frustrated when they end up working many hours a week…only to make little or inconsistent pay. This causes most people to doubt that one can even make decent money by teaching guitar.

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The truth is, it is not ‘unrealistic’ to make 6 figures per year teaching guitar and although the majority of guitar teachers do not reach this level of success; everyone (including you) has the potential to do so. In order to help you get started, I want to show you why most guitar teachers have a hard time making money with guitar lessons. After reading the list below, you will be able to avoid the costly mistakes that other people make while teaching guitar. By knowing what NOT to do as a guitar teacher, you can make much faster progress toward making a lot more money with guitar lessons.

You do not have a solid strategy for attracting A LOT of new guitar students on a continual basis.

The majority of guitar teachers are only aware of a few ways to get the attention of potential guitar students. On top of that, these teachers almost always go about marketing their guitar lessons in very inefficient ways. Guitar teachers who make a lot of money in their guitar teaching businesses use many different strategies to gain new students all throughout the year. One of the major factors for their success is the fact that they do not rely on any single method to build their student base. This way, if one method turns out to not be particularly effective, they still have many others to draw from. Find out how you can become more effective at attracting students by taking this short survey about how to attract guitar students.

You aren’t sure how to keep your current guitar students coming back.

Most guitar teachers put all of their efforts into finding prospective guitar students. These teachers neglect learning how to keep their current students coming back for a long time. If your guitar students are not staying with you for a couple years or longer, then you have much work to do.
By learning how to keep your students longer, your guitar teaching business will be much more stable. This is because you will not need to find new guitar students in order to simply ‘make up’ for the loss of those who quit lessons with you. As you become better at retaining students, you will be able to expand your business and make much more money teaching guitar.

Your guitar teaching does not consistently turn ‘so-so’ guitar students into excellent musicians.

Fact is, guitar students come to you in order to make progress and reach their musical goals. The better you are at helping them accomplish their highest guitar goals, the more new guitar students you will get through word of mouth and referrals to friends. Any highly successful guitar teacher who makes $100k+per year has a strong reputation for transforming average guitar players into great guitar players (in short periods of time). This is what helps them to build and expand their guitar teaching business. If you have a hard time getting great results for your guitar students, check out this program for guitar teachers.

You don’t make money from guitar lessons for every week of the year.

Most guitar teachers think that they must either get paid while teaching guitar lessons or not get paid whenever they need time off (for vacation, sick days, holidays, etc.). On top of that, these teachers do not get paid whenever a guitar student does not show up to a lesson. The good news is that as a guitar teacher you CAN get paid for both the time you spend with students, and the time you spend away from teaching guitar lessons. Additionally, you can provide HUGE value to your guitar students, so that they will be ‘glad’ to pay for days when you are taking time off (you read this right!). To learn how to make money in your guitar teaching business every week of the year while keeping your students happy, get this free guide for making more money as a guitar teacher.

You are not charging enough money for your guitar lessons.

One of the biggest misunderstandings made by beginning guitar teachers is thinking that lower teaching rates means more new guitar students. Fact is, lowering the costs of your lessons not only decreases the amount of money you make from each lesson, but it also does the following:

  1. There are many potential guitar students who believe in the saying ‘you get what you pay for’. By lowering the costs of your guitar lessons, you create the perception that you are a lower quality guitar teacher.
  2. Whether they are aware of it or not, your guitar students will naturally be inclined to practice better if they are paying more for the lessons they receive. If you lower your teaching rates, you are effectively lowering your students’ standards for how hard they feel they need to practice. This is because they feel less accountable for their progress due to a relatively low financial investment.

Guitar teachers who earn a lot of money in their guitar teaching business do not lower their prices to attract new students. Instead of doing this, they focus on increasing the value of their guitar lessons as much as possible so that the price of lessons seems low when compared to the MASSIVE results and benefits their students receive.

You aren’t using a strong teaching policy.

One of the biggest problems for most guitar teachers is that they do not have a solid teaching policy in place for their guitar teaching business (or they do not enforce the one they have). This has various negative side effects, including the following:

  1. It makes you seem as if you do not take your guitar teaching business seriously. Your guitar students will quickly notice this, and will respect you much less as a guitar teacher. Some students will show up late (or not at all) for lessons, re-schedule, or miss payments.
  2. Since your guitar students do not respect you as a guitar teacher, they will feel less motivated to practice the things you show them during lessons. As a result, they will make much less progress on guitar.
  3. You will experience great frustration while spending your time calling students about missed payments, teaching free make up guitar lessons, and waiting around for students who decide not to show up on time.

You must create and enforce a strict guitar teaching policy in order to get your students to take you seriously as a guitar teacher. This will save you A LOT of time and money, and will help you to build a positive reputation in your local area. Find out how to create a good guitar teaching policy with this free guide for making more money as a guitar teacher.

You are not able to make a strong connection with your guitar students.

Guitar teachers frequently get so caught up in the act of ‘teaching guitar’, that they forget about the actual person sitting in front of them. Fact is, being a guitar teacher is about ‘people’ first and ‘guitar’ second. If you’d like to become highly successful at gaining and keeping students all year round, you must learn how to demonstrate the following to your students:

  1. You are totally COMMITTED to helping your students reach their highest goals on guitar.
  2. You genuinely care about helping them become a better guitar player.
  3. You can identify with their current struggles on guitar and have been through them yourself.

By creating a solid connection with your guitar students, they will acknowledge you by giving you strong loyalty, continued lessons together and A LOT of money for years to come.

You hold yourself back.

Most guitar teachers only consider 3 different things when thinking of ways to make more money with guitar lessons:

  1. How much they charge per guitar lesson.
  2. How many guitar students they give lessons to.
  3. How many hours they teach guitar per week.

If you attempt to become a successful guitar teacher using the three points above, you will be MASSIVELY limiting your potential to grow your guitar teaching business. Although these three points are important, they are only a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to making more money as a guitar teacher. What would you think if I told you that you could make three or four times your current yearly guitar teaching income without charging more per lesson? Believe it or not, this is a reality for most highly successful guitar teachers. Learn how to do this by watching this video about growing a highly successful guitar teaching business.

You exclusively teach private guitar lessons in a 1 on 1 format.

A big myth among guitar teachers is that guitar lessons in a 1 on 1 format are the best way to teach (and learn) guitar. Although this format can be good in some cases, it is certainly not the only way to get good results for you students. On top of that, it is an extremely limiting format in terms of making money as a guitar teacher. A better approach is to combine various different group teaching formats together with your current 1 on 1 format. Not only will this help your students learn more effectively, but it will help you make much more money in your guitar teaching business. To learn new and innovative guitar teaching formats that you can use right now for your guitar lessons, watch this video about growing a highly successful guitar teaching business.

You have not developed an effective strategy to get from your current situation to a six figure yearly income.

The most successful guitar teachers build their guitar teaching business through extensive planning and strategy. These teachers do not rely on any form of luck, instead they work hard to implement new ideas until they manifest their own success. Unfortunately, the majority of guitar teachers simply copy what other teachers are doing in hopes that it ‘might’ work for them too. The main problem with this is that most other guitar teachers are unsuccessful, and do not make a lot of money teaching guitar. By doing the same things these teachers do, you will only be working toward mediocre results (if any). If you want to build a highly successful guitar teaching business while making a lot of money, it is necessary to seek the advice of someone who knows what you need to do to become the most successful guitar teacher in your local area.

If you have identified with the points described in this article, then you now know what stands in the way of your progress toward having a highly successful (and profitable) guitar teaching business. Once you use this knowledge, you will quickly notice rapid growth as a guitar teacher, as well as higher interest and motivation for your guitar students.

Check out these free guitar teacher resources in order to be able to quickly begin implementing the ideas in this article:

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, composer and a touring musician. He plays guitar in the epic metal band Rhapsody Of Fire. He trains guitar teachers to be successful in his guitar teaching program. Go to to get more guitar teacher resources and read more guitar teaching articles.

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