How To Teach Guitar Online To Make More Money
Ever thought about teaching online, weather its with Skype, Facetime, Facebook or Whatsapp you have a wide choice of options available to you (and your students) to capitalise on different time zones and a stream of students whenever it suits you. The options for teachers to incorporate online or virtual e-learning to their traditional ‘live’ teaching have never been so extensive. However, for the uninitiated, this can also prove to be a difficult challenge. So let’s take a quick journey into the world of e-learning with a view to looking at some different ways you can start that process. In this article I have referenced a variety of websites for further information.
If you were thinking of starting to teach online– good! You’d become part of a dynamic, growing industry and here are just a few stats as an example:
• Global e-learning market predicted to be worth $325 billion by 2025 (+7.2% CAGR)*
• Worldwide growth of the middle classes (who invest more in education) is increasing: currently +140m per annum with 88% coming from Asia
• The UK is home to a world-class media industry and universities
• An ONS study in 2013 showed that Media Studies students in the UK were the 2nd most employable after those studying Medicine (93.2% in employment)
• Insufficient existing online, accredited, industry-endorsed courses to meet the expected demand worldwide *source: Reportlinker: Global E-Learning Market
To get started you will need to consider the following:
• Great content – tell a story
• Student-friendly pacing
• Sense of community
• Smart use of multimedia
• Self-directed assignments
• Ease of navigation
• Additional roads of exploration
• Appeal to different learning styles
• Technology that works
This article tries to address the challenges of teaching a musical instrument online as opposed to purely self-directed learning. It is our opinion at GoCreate that, although students can learn a terrific amount of information from watching video, images and text, the finer performance elements involve interactivity with a tutor.
Let’s accept that you’re all terrific teachers in your ‘live’ teaching classes. You share a great repartee with your students and they love coming to learn from you. But how does that translate online? Well, let’s take a hypothetical approach: you’re a guitar teacher, you’ve just started teaching online and you’re wondering how to market yourself. I believe that the law of attraction plays a great part here and that the best way to attract suitable students is to simply be yourself. IMMEDIATE CAVEAT ALERT! That’s not the ‘you’ that’s grumpy or feeling moribund about something, I’m referring to the shiny, sparkly you when you’re curious and interested about your own particular art form. When we meet people in person, there is a massive amount of non-verbal decision making going on.
This can be how a person dresses, how they look physically, their body language, the sound of their voice etc. We make snap decisions about people within seconds of meeting them. We’re somewhat bereft of that information when we ‘meet’ someone online – it’s more 2D. Plus there are distractions everywhere: pop-ups, banners, numerous alerts flying into whatever device we’re using to access the web and so on. So first impressions really count online too and as the most popular form of internet marketing and learning online is via video, let’s look at how to create your first compelling video content and how that can be delivered.
Firstly tell your story. This doesn’t mean you need to have lived a crazy, thrill-seeking, eventful life, touring the world playing to 50 thousand seat stadiums! It’s much more about the simple things: who you are, why you decided to take up music, what you believe in – musically, when you found out decisions that changed your musical life, where you
learnt to play or made that amazing discovery that influenced your musical journey so much.
The key thinking behind how you deliver content is: what is your style? Are you serious, humorous, alternative or unorthodox for example? You can be pretty much anything you want apart from disingenuous! Trust is so important to establish and so easy to lose, which is why the most successful online teachers are pretty much a practised/polished version of themselves. The same principles of virtuoso playing apply here too: practice, practice, practice! Film yourself until you (and people you trust) find your video/online persona is relaxed and not forced. If you’re worried about remembering information there are very cheap (but natural looking) ways to autocue examples in the next chapter. Never convey information for information’s sake, think about yourself as a brand and try to stay consistent to your own values. This online persona will of course adapt and evolve over time, and the amount of subscribers you have will dictate if you are on the right path or not.
From a technical aspect, what equipment do we need to create these videos? Well, like many things this all depends on budget. So let’s look at what you need for a low and medium cost set-up:
1) Camera: The good news is most of us already possess a good quality video camera – disguised as a mobile phone!
Any newish smartphone can record decent quality video – but here are a few add-ons you might need.
2) Extra memory: Video uses up stacks of phone memory, so you may need something like a phone flash drive.
3) A stand: either fixed or for filming on the move (frequently referred to as a gimbal). You can search for these on Amazon.
4) Video Filming Software: Most smartphones have built-in apps to take video, but for a small cost you can upgrade to some great software. You’ll find some examples for different makes of smartphone at: www.smartphonefilmpro.com.
5) Lighting: If you’re filming indoors you’re going to need some balanced lighting. You’re also going to need to learn how to set it up too. However this isn’t too difficult and there’s a great article to get you started at www.onlinevideo.net.
6) Backdrop: There are two approaches here, either a natural (TV-studio type) set-up or to go green-screen. Different people have different opinions – it’s really up to you. There is a brilliantly informative video and article by Chris Levine on your options which you can search for at wistia.com.
7) Video editing software: Now it is often possible to edit via your phone video software. However I prefer to take any
content shot from my phone and edit it on my computer. For this I use Final Cut Pro as I work on Apple computers. However Apple also provides free video editing software called iMovie which will do the job nicely. You can search for some of the best free and paid options for all computer platforms at: beebom.com
1) Camera/microphone: There’s an interesting article about what the most popular online bloggers are using which you can search for at: www.borrowlenses.com. As you will see, there are different options at different costs. If you want to pay the extra, you can search for a list of professional video cameras at: epfilms.tv.
2) Lighting Kits: Amazon have loads of options for lighting and green screen kits so have a search through their website to see. You’ll find a specific link to one we like in the online article.
3) You’re going to also need video editing software and a stand/stands.
Well, you’ve created some videos and you’re ready to announce yourself online. Where are you going to place your videos though and how do you monetise this? Let’s look at some LMS (Learning Management Systems), both free and paid. The beauty of using a good LMS is that you can structure courses, learning plans and manage students effectively and easily. This is the main difference between posting videos up on social media (though that’s great for
promotional purposes) and offering, and being paid for, lessons online.