Keep the country happy play guitar
At the RGT conference recently I was talking to a number of teachers and the question that seemed to keep coming up was how much work everyone had and to everyone’s surprise the pupil numbers had actually gone up for most which considering the economic climate was not what you would expected.
I had written about this a while ago after having a discussion with someone high up in a teaching organisation who was of the opinion that we were going to hell in a hand cart and my point was that even in the war people were learning musical instruments and therefore there is something else happening inspiring the public to learn.
There is often a self-fulfilling prophecy at work when the economy is ‘talked down’ by the experts and, as a friend of mine calls them ‘sheeple’, follow the instructions to the letter. However some arrive at the point of thinking ‘what the hell I want to do something interesting like learn an instrument’ and therefore problem times can throw up anomalies in human behaviour some of which are very positive for music teachers.
The more we focus on the positive outcome the more chance it has to manifest because you begin to notice opportunity around you that is how the mind is wired; to see things that match and confirm your thoughts.
In NLP there is a term for people who do the opposite to the expected reaction, the term ‘polarity responder’ would apply to the character who will change direction simply to be different from the crowd. These people are good for rock guitar because ALL of the early guitar greats where polarity responders because the guitar was the instrument for the social subversive and even though there is an abundance of college courses it is still looked upon as socially different to be a working musician.
So the best advice for you in these times if the numbers are not stable or going up look at how you can attract new customers by offering group lessons and get them involved having fun playing. Focus on the enjoyment aspect of playing an instrument and make customers feel good about themselves. As there is scant little about to make anyone full of cheer making your music happiness enhancing will create a good USP for the business whether you are teaching or playing gigs.