How To Make $100,000 Per Year Teaching Guitar
I will cut straight to the chase and say that most guitar teachers earn less than $50k per year because they teach privately. This is a hard pill for many private guitar teachers to swallow. In many cases they have spent years teaching privately and some even manage to earn enough to cover a reasonable lifestyle but I can safely say very few if any get above the average income of $40k per year. You only have to run some basic numbers to see this is true. This simply means you will need to teach group or charge very high prices (which few people will pay) to be earning over $100k per year. So lets begin with the financial numbers of a typical private guitar teacher for clarification.
The truth about private guitar lessons
Private guitar teachers need to teach after school and evenings and perhaps Saturdays as these are the times when students are available. Even if they taught 6 days a week this would amount to about 35 hours a week. There will always be gaps and cancellations so an 80% full schedule would be about right for a good teacher therefore 30 hours a week. School kids get 12 weeks a year holidays plus there is about 2 weeks of public holidays a year. This brings the total hours for the year down to 1140 hours. If your hourly rate is $50 per hour you would receive $57k per year. You would incur a minimum of $10k in expenses bringing you down to $47k. Now you must also add in your administration hours, lesson prep, lead in and lead out time (the time before and after your shift starts) and cancellations. That 20% of time you are not paid for due to cancellations or gaps in your schedule. This adds up to 12 hours a week conservatively speaking. When all is said and done you earn about $21 per hour. About the same as a basic job except there are no benefits.
Changing your mindset
I know it can be hard to change your mindset. It took me over 10 years of frustration as a private guitar teacher to finally make the switch. I was absolutely convinced private lessons were the only way to effectively teach. My firm beliefs started to come undone when I met a Suzuki violin teacher who spoke of the merits of group teaching when done correctly but, what really convinced me were her students. She would send her students to me if they wanted to learn guitar and I was amazed at how good they were. I’m talking about 7 and 8 year olds who were better musicians than any student I could manage to produce of any age. I was sold. I told myself that if this was the standard of her group students my beliefs around private being superior to group were flawed. It was refreshing because it open the door to me earning over $100,000 per year working less than 20 hours per week.
Are you worth $100,000 per year?
To reach your income target of $100k per year you will of course need to be a worthy group teacher. Our income is based on the value we offer. Its not enough to just decide to teach group. You must also learn the skills of a group teacher. The good news is these skills are available to learn. The book ‘Teach Like A Champion’ by Doug Lemov is a great resource. He also provides videos. His findings are based on studying 1000’s of hours of video from the best classroom teachers in schools in the US. His mission was to find champion teachers and study their methods. He created a list of techniques which will help you to become a successful classroom teacher. Don’t expect this to happen overnight but the sooner you start the sooner you’ll be earning $100k per year.
Want to become a more valuable teacher?
How serious are you about succeeding as a guitar teacher and earning $100,000 per year or more? I have been in the business of teaching guitar for over 30 years and now operate a global franchise with over 50 teachers in Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK and the US. Our mission is to find the guitar teachers who have a growth mindset who are keen to learn and grow together. If you are serious the first step is to do our world class guitar teacher training. To get started simply fill in the form for ‘The Essential Guide To Teaching Guitar‘ on this page.