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 Stuart Lovibond, a 17 year-old guitar teacher from Gosport, Hampshire in the UK. To find out more about Stuart and his teaching business, visit his website at http://www.stuartlovibond.com
Guitar Teacher Interview
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What’s your background?
I’m a 17 year old with about 5 years of guitar playing under my belt. I spent the last two years of school playing everyday in after school clubs because I couldn’t get enough of playing with other musicians and really making the most out of playing guitar. I’m coming to the end of college (in the UK) and am studying music, music tech and ICT. I also do a lot with local bands in my town (Gosport, Hampshire, UK) and go out a little further helping with sound, lights and playing because I can’t get enough of being around music.
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 guitar since I was 15 years old. The first student I ever taught was a 6 year old girl who was wheelchair bound, although this was the biggest struggle within my teaching career from our first lesson I knew that I wanted to carry on teaching but didn’t think that I was good enough to teach guitar and guitar alone. Just before Christmas my teaching business gained about 4 more students and these students have stuck with me since. I currently work part-time alongside my studies as it give me a little bit of money to go to gigs, hang out with my friends and things like that. At the current moment I teach 5 students that are all about the same level but with very different goals so I don’t teach the same lesson again and again and again. At the moment I only do one-to-ones but as a business I’m planning to do group lessons in the near future, some taster sessions and maybe even a class of students but I’m building firm foundations before I leap. As a teacher I think my biggest success is my student I teach over Skype in Sunnyvale, CA as this has really shown me many different ways to teach guitar.
What’s been the biggest key to success in your teaching business so far?
I think the biggest key to success I’ve had in my teaching business is having a website because this has enabled my students (and potential students) to look at what I have to offer without feeling under pressure to have lessons because they haven’t had to ask.
What’s been your most effective way of attracting new students?
The most effective way that I’ve attracted new students is through Facebook. Setting up a Facebook page, I posted in “Craig’s list” type pages for my local area and a lot of my students have then visited my website and started lessons.
What’s been your most effective way of keeping your existing students from quitting?
The most effective way that I’ve found of getting my students to keep having guitar lessons is to focus on their goals and teach them what they want to learn (I learnt this through the Start Teaching Guitar Podcast). Teaching my students the key things they need in order to work towards their goal means that they are a lot more enthusiastic to learn those things because they’re excited about the overall outcome.
What helps to keep you motivated to continue when things don’t seem to be going as well as you would like?
To keep me motivated I always look at how far I’ve come and remind myself that I’ve done it. At the end of the day, not everything is going to go as well as I thought it would but I’ve come this far and need to reevaluate, plan and move on looking forward to the future!
What advice would you have for someone who would like to get started teaching guitar lessons for the first time
Give a couple of friends and family members guitar lessons first for free, this will give you a chance to work out what you need to teach beginners (or whatever level they may be at), how to plan, etc.
Can you share one tip that has worked for you to help your students get better results on the guitar
The main way that I get better results with my students is to emphasis the importance of practicing slowly and speeding up as their confidence builds.
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.
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