One of the driving principles behind Start Teaching Guitar is that we can all learn from each other. This “Guitar Teacher Interview” series is a chance for us to hear from other guitar teachers around the world and hopefully get some ideas for our own teaching businesses.
This interview is with Daryl Tomas from Tamarac, Florida in the USA. You can find out more about Daryl and his teaching business by visiting his website at dtguitarstudio.com.
Guitar Teacher Interview
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What’s your background?
I live in Tamarac, Florida which is just outside of Fort Lauderdale. I’ve been a professional guitarist for about 30 years and have been teaching for about 10 of them. I’m married with children now, so I try to stay as local as I can when it comes to playing. Also, my wife is a singer, and all my kids are involved in music in one capacity or another.
Tell us about your guitar teaching business. Are you doing it part-time or full-time? How many students are you currently teaching?
I’ve been teaching for about 10 years. I just recently exited a music store where I had been teaching for the last nine years and have ventured out on my own. I’ve got about 25 students, and am working on building that back up to what it used to be before the economy down here got so bad. At one time I had between 40 and 45 students a week. My students range from 7 to about 50 in age, and I teach beginners to advanced. Right now I am only doing private lessons, but I have plans of offering group lessons and workshops as soon as I get the details ironed out.
What’s been the biggest key to success in your teaching business so far?
I am not only the guitar teacher, but to my students I am also their friend. I lead by example, and I never would expect any student to do anything I haven’t already done myself to improve.
What’s been your most effective way of attracting new students?
By far – Word of Mouth. Having my students and parents of students recommend me has been essential in getting the majority of my new students. I just put up my website, and got some new marketing materials, and I am hoping that (along with some of the things I have learned from exploring startteachingguitar.com) will also help.
What’s been your most effective way of keeping your existing students from quitting?
By keeping their interest. I custom tailor their lessons to their individual needs and goals. I try to get them up and running so they can start playing the kind of stuff that made them want to play guitar in the first place, along with things they need to know to be self sufficient.
What helps to keep you motivated to continue when things don’t seem to be going as well as you would like?
I am blessed to be able to play music and teach for a living. Even if things aren’t going so well, I am thankful to be able to do this, and it beats doing anything else.
What advice would you have for someone who would like to get started teaching guitar lessons for the first time?
First – do it because you love to do it, not because you want to be paid to do it. Second – Check out the multitude of resources available to help you be a better teacher so that you are doing your students justice. Third – Take a few lessons from someone who is a better teacher than you and learn from them.
Can you share one tip that has worked for you to help your students get better results on the guitar?
Realizing everyone is different, and you have to take that into consideration when teaching them. You must use different methods for different people.
Well, that’s it for today’s Guitar Teacher Interview. If you’d like to be considered for a future interview, enter your name and email address below to join the Start Teaching Guitar community. I send out occasional interview requests to this mailing list.
If you have any questions, comments or feedback please leave a reply below!