Stuff Every Guitar Teacher Needs
Here’s a list of some recommended guitar teaching resources, really cool tools and solutions that can help you solve problems and get better results with your guitar teaching business:
The best all-around solution for managing a small-to-medium-sized guitar teaching studio is definitely Music Teacher’s Helper. It combines all of the major tools you need to run your studio successfully, including tracking your accounting, collecting credit card payments from your students, an online lesson calendar, automatic email lesson reminders, practice logs for your students, lesson notes and a whole lot more. You can try Music Teacher’s Helper for free with up to 5 students, and you can save 20% off your first month if you use this link.
I use Bluehost for my website hosting, and I highly recommend them. They are inexpensive, full-featured and extremely easy to use. I’ve used a bunch of different hosting companies in the past, and I recommend Bluehost as the perfect choice for your guitar teaching business website.
WordPress is the software I use to run this website. It’s the quickest and easiest way to spin up a guitar teaching business website that’s Web 2.0-ready. No HTML coding or technical knowledge required. Oh, and WordPress is also absolutely free! Looking for a COMPLETE video tutorial course for BEGINNERS that teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know about WordPress? Click here…this comprehensive, easy-to-use course is exactly what you’ve been looking for!
Check out WooThemes! Once you have your WordPress site built, you will probably want to install a theme to make it look professional. There are a bunch of free themes available, but most of them are junk. WooThemes is a great place to buy a premium, affordable WordPress theme for your site that will make it look like you spent thousands of dollars on a website design.
You need an opt-in email list for your business…something that is affordable, keeps your emails out of the Junk Mail folder and lets you track your marketing like a pro. AWeber is the premier email list service and it works great. I use AWeber for my email list needs, and I recommend that you check it out, too.
You should make it as easy as possible for people to pay you. I recommend two solutions: first, open a free account from Square…they send you a free card swiper to plug into your smart phone and deposit the payments right into your bank account. With Square, you can swipe credit/debit cards right in your teaching studio. Second, open a free PayPal merchant account to be able to accept payments via email & the web. With this service, your students (or their parents) can pay you from your website, you can set up recurring automatic tuition payments, and get lots of other cool options. Don’t leave money on the table! Sign up for Square and PayPal today…
Earmaster Pro is software that lets your students do drills to improve their aural skills (in both pitch and rhythm areas) and their sight reading/singing skills in easy bite-sized practice sessions. It comes with a basic ear training course and a jazz course built-in, but there’s also a teacher’s edition that lets you create your own courses for your students, add your own song melodies for use in the drills and check up on the progress your students make with their ear training. The built-in basic course starts off simple (recognizing unison and minor 2nd intervals), but gets progressively harder over time. If you’ve been neglecting aural skills in your lessons, or just haven’t found a good way to help your students develop this critical aspect of musicianship, check out Earmaster Pro…there’s a free 7-day trial so you can evaluate the program and see how it works in your studio.
Looking for a great tool to help you make your own chord, scale and fretboard diagrams? Check out Neck Diagrams! It’s one of the best guitar teaching resources out there…a software application that runs on both Mac and Windows, and it let’s you create great looking diagrams you can copy and paste into any word processor program to quickly and easily create professional looking lesson plans for your guitar students. Download a free trial of Neck Diagrams and try it for yourself…it’s cool!
Another one of my favorite guitar teaching resources is Guitar Pro. One thing that will really help your guitar teaching business is the ability to create tabs and charts for your students. Guitar Pro is an awesome program that makes excellent pro-quality charts for you (both tab and standard music notation), plus a whole lot more. Check out Guitar Pro…it will even play the charts back for you using MIDI sound files so you can listen to them and make sure you wrote them correctly. You can also get a copy for FREE and offer Guitar Pro to your students at a 50% DISCOUNT if you qualify for the Guitar Pro Music Education program.
Looking for a good software tool to slow down guitar riffs so you can teach them to your students? Riff Master Pro is another one of my favorite guitar teaching resources, and it works great for this. It changes the TEMPO, but leaves the riff at the original PITCH. Perfect for when a student brings in a piece of music for you to teach them…just load it into Riff Master Pro, slow it down and away you go. Works on both Mac and Windows.
Mind mapping is an incredibly useful tool that helps you plan out and organize the various aspects of your teaching business. MindMeister is a web-based mind mapping tool that let’s you create your first 3 maps for free…and share them with anyone you like. I use this service every day and can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’re looking for a free alternative to MindMeister, check out Freemind. Not as cool, but…well…it’s free!