How To End Your “Guitar Teaching Insanity” & Finally Make A Great Income Teaching Guitar

By Tom Hess

Albert Einstein defined insanity as: “repeating the same mistakes over and over while hoping to get alternate results.” The unfortunate truth is, this is what most guitar teachers do when trying to earn a good living teaching guitar… and this is exactly why they continually fail at becoming massively successful.

You will experience INSANITY like this whenever you copy the same things other teachers in your area are doing to try to build a teaching business. In fact, the overwhelming majority of guitar teachers are just making un-educated guesses about what works for building up a highly successful guitar teaching business…with NO understanding of what is really working or not. So trying to copy the actions / approaches of other guitar teachers and then doing those ineffective things over and over again leads to:…that’s right…”total insanity”.

The following are six major reasons why copying local guitar teachers ensures that you will not make great money teaching guitar:

Reason #1 – Most Guitar Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet

A lot of guitar teachers firmly believe in the conventional wisdom they’ve come across on the topic of how to make money through teaching lessons - becoming broke in the process. Here are 3 terrible ideas you’ve probably already heard and SEEN used by most guitar teachers in your area:

“You will get more students if you market guitar lessons for all different styles.” Read this eBook about how to make a lot more money teaching guitar to find out the main reasons why this idea never succeeds, and what to do instead to grow your teaching business.

“You need to reduce your lesson rates to get more guitar students.” This advice couldn’t be any more false and destructive (both for your income AND for your students). Find out why using cheap lesson rates is a bad move for your teaching business by reading this column about earning a good living teaching guitar.

“Summer is the worst time for trying to get new students… in fact, it’s not even worth the effort.” This thinking will lead you right down the path to complete financial failure…not only in the summer, but for the entire year. Read this column on growing your guitar teaching business throughout the summer to discover more about this topic.

Reason #2 – Most Guitar Teachers Cannot Get Anything More Than Mediocre Results With Their Students

If you check out the overall student roster for the majority of guitar teachers, you will notice TONS of students who are standing still when it comes to making progress. And the tiny amount of students these teachers have who can play well, were probably already great guitarists before they began lessons. You can clearly see this is what is going on, because the teacher’s number of “good” students is miniscule when contrasted to the overall number of students he/she is teaching.

So what will happen when you copy the approaches used by these teachers? Answer: your students will have a very hard time achieving their goals and you will become “just another so-so guitar teacher”.

To discover how to improve your guitar teaching skills, take this free guitar teaching assessment.

Reason #3 - Most Guitar Teachers Think Of Guitar Teaching Like A Regular “Job”

Most guitar teachers don’t treat their guitar teaching like an actual business... instead they treat it like a job. What do I mean? In short: A business earns you money whether you are there or not. A job just pays you whenever you work... and pays you once for that time. Many guitar teachers invest all of their time into “teaching” and never really end up growing their business.

Reason #4 – Most Guitar Teachers Work Full Time Hours And Feel Stressed Out On A Consistent Basis

One of quickest ways to burn yourself out as a guitar teacher is trying to get tons of students and teaching them all in private 1 on 1 lessons. Most teachers think this is the only way to go, (falsely) thinking that this is the best way to earn good money teaching guitar.

This doesn’t work for several reasons:

1. You completely (and indefinitely) restrict how much money you can make by only teaching one-on-one lessons. Watch this free guitar teaching video to discover why.

2. You will feel completely overrun by the enormous amounts of hours you must work when teaching exclusively in a one-on-one format with your students...additionally, you’ll need to use time for: getting payments from everyone, re-scheduling for makeup lessons, creating lesson materials, scheduling lesson times in your calendar, taxes, administrative problems, etc. As a result, you’ll be left without any time for doing things such as working on your music career, creating music or improving yourself as a musician.

Most guitar teachers must choose between two things: first, they either stop getting more new students, because they won’t be able to handle the load (losing income and failing to help as many people as they could) or keep being miserable, frustrated and stressed out from working tons of hours all the time.

Reason #5 – Most Guitar Teachers Have NO Training Or Qualifications To Teach Guitar

Rather than pursuing training to improve their skills, most guitar teachers use a trial and error approach while copying other teachers. Then, new guitar teachers mimic the approaches that were previously copied by other teachers before them. Think about what would happen if this kind of “tribal” method for learning was the main learning approach for doctors, lawyers and accountants (for instance)…and you’ll instantly understand why it is INSANE to copy the behavior of most guitar teachers.

Reason #6 – Most Guitar Teachers Are Stuck At One Level Of Income & Will Never Make A Dime More

You already have a good understanding about why the majority of guitar teachers have merely a few students and make very little. However, even the teachers who get to a medium level of financial success (such as making a minimum of $50k per year) will get STUCK at this income and never move on to make as much as $70k, 90k, 130k or 250k+.

Here’s why:

The tactics and strategies that aid you in attracting thirty students will NOT get you to sixty students…and what gives you sixty students won’t get you to one hundred students…and beyond. The more students you give lessons to, the more developed your guitar teaching business approaches must become… otherwise you will 100% drive yourself insane attempting to keep up with your rising business. Teachers who do not make these adjustments frequently give up on trying to build their business beyond a particular point…remaining stuck at whichever level their limited business model enabled them to reach.

How does this information apply for you? If you want to make much more money than most teachers earn, DO NOT copy the business-building approaches of other teachers who have not already achieved the level of success you desire.

What You Should Do Instead Of Copying Other Guitar Teachers To Earn More Money

Rather than mindlessly “copying” the approaches of other guitar teachers, you have to look for an alternate approach – taking on a totally new concept of yourself and your teaching business. This approach could include a basic change in your perceived role as a guitar teacher, your business methods, and how you present yourself to your students. The greatest, most successful and most desired guitar teachers have all done this. There exist 2 ways for you to do the same in your business:

Get Trained By A Guitar Teaching Expert

The best, most successful and highest-earning guitar instructors work with a guitar teacher coach to improve their teaching abilities, expand their business, plus move above and beyond their financial plateaus. By seeking out and getting training, you will put yourself on a completely different level than the vast majority of other teachers who merely depend on guessing, trial and error and word of mouth as their only “credentials”.

Warning: other local guitar teachers WILL copy you as you become more successful, get great results with your students and make tons of money. However, you will ALWAYS have a strategic advantage over them because they will not have the same understanding, skills and training that you will have.

Look For And Surround Yourself With Massively Successful Guitar Teachers…Then Learn From Them

Copying the approaches of other so-so (at best) guitar teachers is a recipe for disaster…but when you form a strategic alliance with CHAMPION $100k per year-earning guitar teachers you will quickly launch your business into the stratosphere. I’ve personally seen this happen time and time again within my Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle forum (where many members make $100k+ per year, teaching tons of students). Guitar teachers who enter such a group (and apply what they learn) IMMEDIATELY begin transforming their businesses and growing their incomes.

Tip: you will have a much easier time locating such a network if you look far beyond your local area. Why? Two reasons:

1. Massively successful guitar instructors are so extremely hard to find, that the chances of you finding “a lot” of them in your local city is close to zero.

2. All successful guitar teachers in your city will NEVER reveal business secrets to other “local” competitors. In contrast, a network with guitar teachers from areas far apart have no problem discussing strategies, approaches and business ideas - working for everyone’s mutual benefit!

Setting yourself apart from the practice of doing what is “common” among guitar teachers may be tough at first - as you find yourself moving far away from what is traditionally accepted. However, as your guitar teaching business expands, your yearly-income and personal freedom soar and your students become awesome players FAST, you will be satisfied knowing that you broke the cycle of “guitar teaching insanity” and chose to go down the road to success.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, composer and a touring musician. 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.