When parents first call me inquiring about guitar lessons, here is a common conversation that occurs which will answer most questions you may have prior to contacting me for guitar lessons.
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The Guitar Teacher
serving Danville, San Ramon, Blackhawk, Alamo, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, since 2002
© 2002 - 2015. The Guitar Teacher. All rights reserved.
"making dreams happen, one strum at a time"
"Hi, my name is Jane, and I was given your name and number by the mom of one of your students. You came highly recommended. My son, Johnny, has been wanting to learn guitar for some time now. Can you tell me a little about what you do?"
"Jane, thank you so much for calling. I'll be glad to give you a review of the programs we offer. First of all, I don't know if your friend who referred you mentioned this or not, but the hallmark of my teaching program has been that I come to your house for our sessions."
"You come to our home! Oh,that's wonderful! We're so busy shuffling the kids around town, just knowing that you come to us makes it so much easier."
"Thanks. I've been working with guitar students now thirteen years, and I believe that holding our sessions at home produces the best results. Not only is it convenient, but it is also more safe. You're present with your child. You will get to know me, the adult, who is working closely with your son, Johnny. In this day and age, you can never be too safe when it comes to protecting our children."
"That is so true Troy! It's reassuring to me just knowing you have designed your lesson program this way. My next question is how often do you come to our house for lessons?"
"Lessons are held on a weekly basis. Towards the end of our conversation today, we'll look at scheduling an appointment to meet, what I call our "Getting to Know You" session. This first appointment is for the sole purpose of you and Johnny getting to know me. After all, I will be a stranger coming into your home, and it means a lot to me for everyone to feel comfortable with that.
This will be a time where we can all sit down together. I will explain what my program is like. Then you and Johnny can ask me any questions that you may have. Once that is finished we will go over my registration and policy statement which I will e-mail to you after we talk today.
Afterwards, we'll determine a regular lesson time. BTW, your first lesson is complimentary - my way of saying thanks for signing up for guitar lessons. Last, we will handle the initial billing. Generally the "Getting to Know You" appointment takes about 20 to 40 minutes. Also, I will bring with me the supplies and Johnny's first lesson book. This way he can begin to look over what he's going to be learning, and I'll give him a little reading assignment to prepare him for our first session together."
"Your program seems very structured and organized. This is exactly what we were wanting for Johnny, he spends all his free time playing video games."
"Exactly. Our programs are very structured. But within that structure I like to include TONS of fun! After all, that's what music is about right?"
"Yes. While I didn't take any music lessons growing up, I wish I had now, my sister did, and so did my husband. I saw the changes it made in my sister, and my husband really wanted Johnny to discover his own musical outlet like he did."
"Jane I want you to know upfront that this is precisely what we are committed to doing for Johnny. And I know with just a little practice, patience, and perseverance Johnny will discover this for himself too. I can't begin to tell you how many former students I've had, who are now adults, tell me 'thanks,' and how meaningful it was for them to learn guitar. I don't take this responsibility lightly."
"That's what my friend who referred you told me. This sounds like such a good fit for Johnny, I'm getting excited already for our first meeting. How long are your lessons?"
"During the school year I offer two basic session times, 25 minutes for students 12 and under, and 50 minutes for students 12 and over. How old is Johnny?"
"He's 14. Is that too old to start music lessons?"
"Not at all! I teach students as I like to say, "From 5 to 65. You're never too old, and never too young to learn to play music. My Grandmother gave me my first piano lessons when I was 6."
"So it sounds like Johnny would begin in the 50 minute class then?"
"That's the time frame I would recommend for Johnny since he is 14. The 50-minute program is really designed for the older students who are able to concentrate longer. The 25-minute class is really designed for the younger students. Any longer than this for them can be challenging."
"That makes sense. I agree, I think Johnny would get much more benefit from the longer class time. What about billing? How do we do that?"
"I bill on a monthly basis. When we meet the first time, as I mentioned, we'll take care of all the initial billing. I accept cash, check, or credit/debit cards - whatever is most convenient for you. I do recommend signing up for our monthly auto-pay option with your credit/debit card, which probably has some kind of points value or frequent flyer rewards. Signing up for auto-pay maximizes our session times so we're not using up valuable learning time dealing with billing. I never charge your card prior to your appointment on the billing date.
Also, at registration I collect a 'Final 4 Lesson Fee deposit' that covers your last four classes when we have to say goodbye to one another. Hopefully that will not be until Johnny graduates, as most of my students like yourself who are referrals stay with me until they graduate. We will cover this in greater detail when we meet, and you can read about this when I send you a registration form in a few minutes."
"You make this so easy. Yes, the auto-pay option will appeal to my husband since he travels a lot on business. Oh, I almost forgot to ask, how much do you charge per session?"
"For a 50-minute lesson time, my rate is: (please contact me for pricing)."
"That is very reasonable! You only charge slightly more than what we were looking at having to pay for guitar lessons at the music store! And you come to us! Troy, let's set up a time so we can get started."
"Perfect. Here's the times I have available this week [discuss options], which time sounds best to you?"
"How about [date & time]?"
"Got it. We've got you scheduled for that time. I'm really looking forward to meeting you and Johnny. Before I let you go, do you have anymore questions?"
"No. I think we've pretty much covered my questions. I'm just so excited for Johnny, he's been wanting to learn guitar for a long time."
"I'm looking forward to meeting you and Johnny as well. One thing you can do for me is have Johnny go to my website, www.troydameron.com, and have him take a look around. That will be his first assignment."
"You bet! Johnny will love this!"
"Let me get your e-mail address, and I will send you a registration / policy statement form for you to review and fill out before our first meeting."
[Jane gives her e-mail address] "Thank you so much Troy! You have been very helpful. I know Johnny is just dying to meet you! We'll look forward to seeing you on [date & time]. Bye."
"Tell Johnny I'm looking forward to meeting him too. Thanks for calling. Have a great day!"