Teaching. One of the most rewarding parts of being a classical musician.

The moment we get to pass on the information we have learnt through our own musical journey to people just starting theirs.

Students can teach us so much about ourselves, our own learning processes, and help us put into tangible words the way we see music. It’s no wonder it’s a saturated market!

Luckily, guitar is one of the most popular instruments for beginner musicians!

Here’s how to get your name out and find your first students.

Work out your terms

Do you have the time to commute to students’ houses? Do you have the space to accommodate students at your own home? Do you have the facilities to teach on online video call?

These are all important things to work out before you start advertising your teaching.

Next you must work out how much you will charge for a lesson.

While it is important to price yourself competitively, you must also remember to not undersell yourself.

Teaching can be hard work, especially if you have to travel either side, so make sure you put a price on your time and effort that doesn’t make you feel like you’re being hard done by.

Money is one of the things that musicians are awful at talking about, but I promise you will be a better teacher if you feel like you are being fairly compensated for your work.

Try asking your colleagues how much they charge per lesson, or search online for the average prices in your local area.

Get Your Name Out There

Let people know you are giving lessons! Tell friends, tell relatives, stick a notice on your school/college bulletin board or on a local news stand.

If you have social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook, why not pen a post to your friends/followers asking if anybody would like lessons, or knows somebody who does.

Search for local Facebook groups in your area, and share the post as widely as possible, making sure that your ‘post share’ settings are public so that others can share it too.

Once the post is out there, make sure you keep an eye on your message requests, Facebook has a filter system for messages from people you aren’t friends with. So you will need to actively check this filtered inbox for messages from prospective students.

What to advertise

In your post, mention the genres, ages and playing levels you are willing to teach. Be sure to mention any previous experience and a friendly message showing off your personality and your enthusiasm.

Ask people to respond below the post, as well as alerting you to those messages that might be hiding in your messenger requests, this will also drive engagement on your post, helping it reach a wider audience.

Don’t be faceless! Prospective students are searching for a credible person, you don’t necessarily have to have a long teaching CV.

A good picture of you smiling with your guitar, and a few links to your social media accounts and videos if you have them, will show you are a trustworthy character.

Just make sure there aren’t any dubious photos anywhere to be uncovered…!

How long will it take

Unfortunately there is no strict timeline as to how long it will take for student requests to come in.

Trust the process. There will never be a shortage of enthusiastic aspiring guitarists, they will find you eventually!

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Dave McLellan

Concert & Chamber Guitarist

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