Why Are Your Guitar Students Really Quitting?
“I am having some money issues at the moment so won’t be able to continue guitar”
“My Aunt Fanny is sick and I have to go and take care of her so won’t have time for lessons”
“I have school exams coming up so will be stopping guitar for now”
Do you believe the excuses?
Many guitar teachers believe the excuses their students tell them as reasons for quitting guitar. The fact is the excuses they give you are rarely true. The reason we believe the excuses has to do with psychology. We are protecting our egos which is actually a natural and normal response. In one study done on employees (taken from the book ‘Change Anything’) they found that around 66% of employees believed they deserved a promotion but their bosses thought otherwise. In another study more then 90% of drivers in the UK believed they were above average drivers (only 49% could actually be above average). We want to believe we are better than we actually are which according to psychologists is important for maintaining our self-esteem but it does come at a cost.
The cost of inaccurate self assessment for guitar teachers
The problem for guitar teachers is they see student dropouts as not being their fault in any way. They declare to themselves that they did their best and the rest was up to the student. Most teachers accept the student excuses because it dismisses them of any responsibility. I ran guitar schools for many years and this problem became very obvious. Those teachers who accepted the most responsibility were the most successful. Teachers who did not accept responsibility were often defensive and even angry that I would even suggest that they were in anyway responsible. This was a problem for me as a business operator but teachers who operate independently who do not take responsibility will generally struggle to build their student numbers.
The best way and simplest way to avoid this problem is to assume that in every case it was in some way your fault that the student quit. This doesn’t mean that in every case you were actually responsible and you should not beat yourself up emotionally over it but taking this approach will help you to become a more successful teacher. When you start putting your teaching under the microscope you will start to see the cracks and you can fix them. I believe that around90% of most student drop outs are avoidable.