“Every artist has a special set of tools. When you really use those tools, and you make yourself feel really good about the product you create, I think you’ll find an audience for it.”– Steve Vai
Over the course of my life, I have come to realize one simple truth: Our mission on this planet is to find our own unique voice—our one true note—and sing it out unapologetically to the world in a way that adds character and style to the chorus we call life.
As an independent guitar instructor, your task is to discover the aspects of your teaching business that make you unique and amplify it. As you begin amplifying your one true note, you will gradually make the transition from being a generic guitar instructor to being a remarkable guitar instructor.
Generic Guitar Teacher
The generic guitar teacher is the person who teaches her students exactly what they want to learn. The generic guitar teacher is a DJ taking request. As a result, she spends her free time learning the latest Ed Sheeran song and her lesson time teaching Smoke On the Water for the 10,000th!
According to Seth Godin, in his online Freelancer Course, “generic professionals will always struggle to attract new clients and to get paid what they deserve because they are just like everyone else.” In other words, replaceable.
Remarkable Guitar Teacher
The remarkable guitar teacher isn’t just better than everyone else, she’s so much different from anyone else that she is no longer competing with any other guitar teacher.
The remarkable guitar teacher is so far forward that her teaching has a name for itself.
The Dangers of Being Generic
Every guitar teacher has the capacity to be remarkable because every guitar teacher is unique. Unfortunately, the world conspires to make you generic. Your education system is designed to make you generic, but it is your duty to make the journey from generic to remarkable if you want to stay in business and save the guitar!
It is my belief that technology is changing the guitar teaching business. Those teachers relying on a generic approach to teaching the guitar will eventually be out of business because of new technologies. Gradually, students who want to learn famous songs on the guitar will turn to websites like YouTube or other platforms.
On the other hand, remarkable teachers who can offer unique learning experiences for their students will become the ambassadors of music education for years to come.
In my next blog post, I’ll provide you with five tips to help you make the leap from generic to remarkable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Parham is the founder of the Rock Dojo in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches hundreds of kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years-old to play, perform, and compose their own original music on the guitar in after-school group guitar lessons. He’s also the author of three guitar method books including Guitar for Kids: Rock Dojo The Complete Belt System.