Tips For Group Guitar Lessons (I Wish I Knew These When I First Started Teaching!)

Are you thinking about teaching group guitar lessons in your studio but not sure how to get started? These six tips are sure to help you out!

Tips For Group Guitar Lessons (I Wish I Knew These When I First Started Teaching!)

Are you thinking about teaching group guitar lessons in your studio but not sure how to get started? I have six more tips for you – the first six tips can be found in this blog.

Before we dive into the new tips, I’d love to know if you’ve been implementing any of the advice from the first blog into your group guitar lessons. Have you noticed any positive changes in your students’ progression and engagement? Let me know by dropping a comment below!

Tip 7: Run Social Events For Your Students To Build Relationships Outside Of Lessons

Running social events is an excellent way to build a sense of community. They can also foster relationships among your students in group guitar lessons.

By providing opportunities for your students to connect with one another outside of class, you can help them

  • Form friendships (and learning is always more fun with friends)
  • Build trust (they can rely on one another in their lessons and performances)
  • Develop a deeper sense of camaraderie (this will have a positive impact on their motivation as they won’t want to let their peers down with lack of practice or engagement)

Social events might include activities such as bowling, mini-golf, outings to concerts, or casual get-togethers at a local coffee shop or park.

Whatever form these events take, they should be designed to help your students connect on a personal level, share their musical interests and experiences, and develop a sense of friendship and community.

Social events don’t have to be limited to students within the same group class. You can have an occasion where all guitar students meet (but not in a pressured situation like a performance). Interacting with other musicians of different ages and abilities can help students stay inspired and committed. Younger students can look up to older students and aspire to be like them (which, you can remind them, only happens with lots of practice!) Older and more advanced students can feel like role models for younger beginners (which can spur them to practice even more in order to continue to impress their little fans!)

Group guitar lessons tip 7: run social events for your students to build relationships outside of lesson

Tip 8: Have Private Lesson Options For Those Who Aren’t Suited To Group Guitar Lessons

While you might be wanting to steer away from private lessons and switch to group teaching only, there are always going to be people who prefer or require a private lesson option.

Rather than forcing students who aren’t suited to group guitar lessons into that format, you can offer private lessons to meet the needs of the individual student.

In my studio, we reserve private lessons for:

  • Highest achieving students who are racing ahead of the others
  • Students preparing for specific exams
  • Those with social or developmental issues

If you decide that you don’t want to offer private lessons at all, make sure you have contact details to refer students to another local teacher who does.

Group guitar lessons tip 8: have private lesson options for those who aren't suited to group guitar lessons

Tip 9: Use A Rainstick To Get The Attention During Guitar Group Lessons

Using a percussion instrument to grab the attention of your students is a fun and engaging way to get the attention of your students. Plus, it saves your voice as you don’t have to yell!

This is especially useful when you have larger and noisier groups, or when you have several hours of lessons back to back. If you only rely on shouting to grab their attention, you’ll have no voice by the end of the day!

I like to use a rainstick because it has a uniquely relaxing sound to it. This is inspired by my primary school music teacher, Mrs. Lancanshire, who used to use one! You can experiment with other percussion instruments such as hand drums, shakers, or chimes, to create different sounds and rhythms that capture your students’ attention.

Click here to grab a rainstick for your studio.

group guitar lessons tip 9: use a rain stick to get the attention during guitar group lessons

Tip 10: Have Students Put Down Their Instruments During Explanation Time

It’s always frustrating when you’re halfway through an explanation and you’re interrupted by one of your guitar students noodling.

While some students need to fiddle and fidget in order to focus and listen, in a group situation this can be distracting for you and your other students.

Simply asking your students to put their guitars down while you’re explaining things is an easy way to ensure you have everyone’s attention and no one is being disruptive.

Quite often I’ll get my students to put their guitars on a guitar rack while I’m explaining and demonstrating so that they’re not tempted to noodle, strum, or even kick their guitars while I’m talking.

Click here to go guitar rack shopping.

group guitar lessons tip 10: have students put down their instruments during explanation time

Tip 11: Make Group Guitar Lessons More Fun By Playing Games

Music games are a great way to break up group guitar lessons and inject a sense of fun and creativity into the learning process.

Games can help students develop a range of important skills including

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

All while reinforcing key musical concepts and techniques that will help your guitar students.

You can incorporate both classroom games and music-specific games into your group guitar lessons.

One classroom game I’ve adapted is “What’s The Note, Mr. Wolf?” Students have to take the number of steps corresponding to the rhythm value of the note called out by Mr. Wolf. At a random point, Mr. Wolf calls out, “Practice time!” and has to tag someone as they race back to the safe zone.

This active game is loads of fun and sees students putting their rhythm knowledge to the test. However, it isn’t suited for small spaces or places where guitars might get knocked over or stood on. Make sure the space you have is appropriate for the games you want to play.

Music-specific games can also be highly effective and enjoyable. For example, “Simon Says” can be adapted to include guitar-specific instructions such as, “Simon says play a G chord,” or “Play a major scale.” This game helps students develop their knowledge of chords and scales, improve their dexterity and finger positioning, and also encourages them to listen hard to the instructions so they don’t get caught out!

By incorporating games into your guitar lessons, you’ll be creating a more engaging, interactive, and memorable learning experience for your students.

tip 11: make group guitar lessons more fun by playing games

Tip 12: Give Students Special Roles And Jobs Within The Group Guitar Lessons

Allocating jobs to students is a great way to increase their sense of ownership and engagement. By assigning specific tasks or responsibilities you can create a more collaborative and inclusive classroom environment. What’s more, students will be encouraged to develop important leadership and organizational skills.

Examples of jobs or roles you might assign:

  • Music monitor (ensuring everyone is playing in time and the overall sound is balanced)
  • Timekeeper (making sure the lesson stays on schedule and everyone has equal time to play)
  • Group leader (facilities group discussions and provides support and guidance to their peers)
  • Equipment manager (oversees the instruments being set up at the start and tidied away at the end)

You could also pair an older and more experienced student with a newbie in their first few lessons, giving them a buddy role to look after them as they find their feet.

Being given roles and responsibilities can boost students’ confidence and helps them build a sense of pride and accomplishment.

By incorporating special jobs into your group guitar lessons you can create a more dynamic and engaging learning environment that encourages active participation and creates a sense of community among your students.

tip 12: give students special roles and jobs within the group guitar lessons

Bonus Tip: Teach Better Group Guitar Lessons With A TopMusicGuitar Membership

Incorporating these six additional tips into your group guitar lessons can help create a more engaging, effective, and enjoyable learning experience for your students.

But this is just the start! If you want to level up your group guitar teaching, we have a tonne of helpful and innovative resources in our TopMusic Guitar membership, including…

Our brand new course, “Winning With Group Guitar Teaching”

This course will guide you through how to teach guitar in a group setting with in-depth and detailed videos from a guy who’s been teaching group guitar lessons for over 15 years (me!)

Thank you for reading, and we wish you all the best in your group guitar teaching journey!

Michael Gumley

Michael Gumley is founder at Melbourne Guitar Academy, creator of Guitar Dojo Online and Guitar Ninjas, and TopMusic’s Head of Guitar. He rocked his start at guitar playing at age 15 and was instantly hooked. Michael brings his passion for music and love of all things guitar to every lesson, and seeks to help students capture that same excitement and wonder on their own journeys.

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