Seattle-based guitar instructor and founder of Heartwood Guitar Instruction Rob Hampton has recently written a book titled Rob’s Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching Handbook. In the book, Hampton provides hard-earned insights into setting up and running a successful guitar teaching business.
I’ve thought several times about becoming a guitar teacher, but I’ve always had questions that have held me back. Rob’s book helps answer many of those questions. For example, one basic question I’ve always had is whether I was a good enough guitarist to start teaching others. Rob had this same question before he started, and he provides some good advice about how good you have to be. Furthermore, he learned that teaching made him play more, which helped him improve as a player himself. Another question he discusses is determining whether you’re a good enough teacher. He provides some good insight into helping you determine that for yourself.
Many people get into guitar teaching because they like playing guitar and they think it’s an easy way to make money. However, when you teach on your own, you also need to be aware of the business side of guitar teaching. Rob’s handbook breaks down many of the details about running a guitar-teaching business. For example, should you rent a studio or teach from your home? What kind of teaching space do you need? Should you make housecalls? Do you need insurance? These are just a few examples of the types of questions that Rob discusses in his book.
Another aspect of guitar teaching is marketing yourself. Rob talks about how to brand yourself and then advertise your services to your community. Rob has a unique perspective on how to market his business, as he’s been able to get his business on the first page of Google when searching for “seattle guitar lessons” and he has a five-year waiting list of students. Suffice it to say, he has some helpful strategies for marketing a guitar-teaching business.
If you’ve been able to answer all of these questions and you still want to be a guitar teacher, Rob provides some guidance on how to teach guitar. He helps you determine the type of teaching philosophy that will be successful for you and your students. He also provides advice on how to structure your lessons to get the maximum benefit for the student. The book even includes detailed information about how to teach a new concept to a beginning student. Rob really spends quite a bit of time in this section providing details and examples about teaching guitar concepts and how to approach lesson planning. He even provides a list of easy songs to teach beginning and intermediate players. This chapter is full of excellent content about the actual act of teaching.
At $30, Rob’s Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching Handbook is a treasure-trove of information for anyone thinking about teaching guitar. It’s really opened my eyes up to a lot of things I’ve never even considered and made me really think about whether or not I’m ready to teach guitar. I highly recommend Rob’s book to anyone thinking about teaching guitar.