TeachWombat.com: A Review
Teaching guitar or bass demands that you run a tight ship. In addition to constantly improving your abilities as a musician and teacher, you also need to have an array of documents, grids, and diagrams at your disposal. Further, you’re going to need to keep good track of your revenue and expenses in order to get a good feel for your financial picture (and in order to stay organized for tax season!).
If you’re unsure where to start or are looking for a better/easier/different/cheaper way of organizing that information, then I highly recommend you check out the Guitar Teacher’s Toolkit and the other materials at teachwombat.com.
So what is the Guitar Teacher’s Toolkit? What additional materials are available? While the official description is on their site, here’s my take: the packages consist of diagrams and backing tracks, lesson planning advice, instructional advice, and career management tools. Basically, it’s a heaping helping of material relevant to the private teaching profession for dirt cheap. Keep good track of your revenue and expenses
Diagrams and Backing Tracks
My favorite part of the kit is the plethora of diagrams that you can use and reuse over and over. They provide chord grids, guitar neck diagrams, blank tab/staff paper, and various combinations thereof. Photocopy these and you can save quite a chunk of change over the years.
Still, there is a LOT more than that. Various major, minor and pentatonic scales up and down the neck and practice chord progressions round out what amounts to hundreds of pages of handouts and diagrams that can save you time and money. The various diagrams are available for guitar and bass.
There are also a few backing tracks available so your students can practice playing chords with a band. These tracks are surprisingly high quality and ought to make practicing that much more enjoyable for your students.
This is a neat part of the toolkit. Aimed at beginning teachers (or perhaps more established teachers who need a refresher), they provide information on how to present some of the material, and the author’s own advice on guitar instruction. Furthermore, some of the diagrams provide information above and beyond just the fingerings as well.
What I like about this is that there is just enough information to simply compliment and support – not overtake or replace – your own teaching method.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, talent alone will not get you very far. If you want to join the ranks of the few, the proud, the guitar and bass teachers (lawsuit coming, I can smell it), then you need to hustle. At the minimum this means printing out some business cards and flyers, and making sure every last person within a 50 mile radius of your teaching location sees at least one or the other. The toolkit comes with several basic but attractive designs for business cards and flyers to get you started.
There are also many sheets devoted to helping you keep track of your finances. Among these are various spreadsheets that are designed to help you keep tabs (no pun intended) on your daily and weekly cash flow from lessons and gigs. This package is a fantastic value
How to Use It
I’d recommend printing out every page, and make many copies of the diagrams you plan on using the most. Keep these organized in one binder, in the order that makes the most sense to you. For example, I might have the page showing the Amin – Dmin – E chord progression on one page, and then blank staves on the next page to have the student transpose that progression to a few different keys. Figure out what order best compliments your teaching style.
The financial documents should be kept in a separate binder. I would print them all out and have different tabs for each week or month, depending on what you want to see at a glance.
Are there things I’d like to see different or changed? Well, I’m glad you asked. I think the one thing I would like to see is digital versions of the financial tracking worksheets. It would behoove teachwombat.com to have an Excel guru take those documents and create a .xls file with different tabs for different pages/months, etc. That would become very helpful, as it is paramount that you back up your financial information, and there is no easier way to do that than with your handy-dandy internet box!
All in all though I think that this package is a fantastic value. If you are just getting into teaching and need somewhere to start, or if you’re looking for a more coherent and cost-effective way of managing your teaching business, check out teachwombat.com.