#1 What I’ve Learned from Teaching Music: Introduction
I started teaching music because at my gigs parents would come over and asked me to teach their children. I travelled to each house on a Saturday afternoon for about 2 to 3 hours a week, and I would get paid after the lesson, if I had a gig a bit further away I would let them know the week before the gig.
When I got to my mid twenties I was now married and did some window cleaning one day a week for extra money along with some gigs at the weekend. After actually falling of my ladders at least three times, I started to think really hard about what other type of work I could do.
When I was driving home one Saturday, after teaching my students, I realized I had been teaching some of my students for about 8 years, the pay was good and most important of all it was regular work. What I did next changed everything for me, I advertised in the local newspaper for 3 weeks, the advert was simple, giving my name and that I teach music for piano accordion and guitar, giving my phone number as the point of contact, this was about the middle to late seventies, no internet or computers for that matter, disco was in full flight, punk rock was arriving and Star Wars was about to hit the movie screens for the first time.
I got so many enquiries I had a waiting list, so I organised a room in my flat as my teaching room and students came to my home for one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes every week. I remember going in to book a holiday in Spain with my first wife Mary and paid for it cash on the desk, we could now pay all the bills, it was wonderful, things have changed now but I think at this time there just wasn’t a lot of competition, well not where I lived at least.
I eventually hired premises, and brought my younger brother Graham in to work with me, he would take students for piano and electronic organ. Graham went on courses on how to teach music in small groups, but I will give you more information about this in my next blog and what I learned from my brother.
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