We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Frost and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Working to develop a strong private practice is not easy for any industry. Especially as a private guitar teacher, the competition of music schools, YouTube and even Guitar Center, make the landscape tough at times to navigate. The way I have found to continue to grow my business and develop further is to actively listen to the priorities of each client and work to guide them to the exact means to answer the questions they have and educate them on where they are headed next. In many ways my work is diagnostic, I have to understand what may be wrong in their form and technique, how they perceive rhythm and pitch recognition. I’ve worked very hard so that when someone searches for Guitar Lessons in Dallas or guitar lessons in my area, they see Highland Park Guitar Lessons come up and the strong reputation I have built with it communicates trust and professionalism. There is never a point of just “coasting” this business requires you to be leaning into the wind and striving forward, no matter how good business may be today, tomorrow can change that in no time, you have to stay hungry. Being a professional guitar teacher, whether you are teaching in-person lessons or online guitar lessons virtually through skype or zoom requires such a strong attention to detail and focus, at least this is in my opinion, because for me to feel I am doing the best job I can do, I really have to be tuned into what is going on. I strive on having the answer to anything my student asks and if I don’t, I do everything I can to learn right there. When searching for a good guitar teacher it is soo important to find one that is aligned with your goals but also brings a strong focus to whole picture and everything that will ultimately develop you into the best you can be. That’s not to say people don’t seek out guitar lessons near them that focuses only on learning the most basic of concepts and songs for the sake of a simple past time, I understand that, but I do actively try bring an awareness to all my students the importance of self-investment and taking responsibility for themselves and their playing. If you search for guitar lessons in Dallas, you’ll find a ton of options, so for me to stand out, I have had to really hone and craft a method of teaching that really provides a level of detail and attention that I highly doubt the majority of my competition can provide. This is not to say they wouldn’t want to be able to do this but they might simply not have the ability to devote that attention to each student. I have received countless students who took guitar lessons at guitar center, or Samash, park cities school of music, gray school of music, 4/4 school of music, School of Rock, Dallas school of music, Taylor Robinson, Takelessons, literally all over Dallas, Texas and even over the United States, this not even counting the ones that started with Justinguitar or Fender Play or Martys Guitar lessons on YouTube and I have been told me that I deliver a higher focus of attention and instruction on average than what they experienced elsewhere. I believe I am able to do this because of practice being soo focused on just one instrument and everything involved in it. I am a extremely tenacious person by nature and noting provides me more satisfaction than teaching and inspiring others to want more of themselves.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Branching out and starting out as a guitar instructor is no easy undertaking. Yes, many can get going as a small side hustle but ultimately many fade out when the business is tested in economic shifts in the economy or from burnout. This job, to be successful at is much of a lifestyle, but it can get out of hand if you don’t focus on a balance. This job means everyday is a workday, every hour is a work hour and it is important to recognize this component to the business. Getting to a sustainable position as a guitar instructor requires constant work and a active push forward to keep the business going. The most valuable lessons I’ve learned as a guitar teacher all revolve around learning how to listen and communicate with others more effectively. I wouldn’t mind the world understanding a bit more of just how much work and how much financial cost it takes to be in this business, there’s this attitude that music and music instruction should be had for nearly nothing if not free, its a part i guess of the whole “struggling/starving artist” ideal society has, but if you shifted the focus on say something like “the starving/struggling accountant or white collar worker” then its not as romantic a concept. It is easily forgotten that the answers and solutions to their guitar playing or whichever endeavor they are doing, required intense study of trial and error by someone who has dedicated years of their lives to finding these answers and solutions and how to navigate obstacles. I for one have been playing for 19 years, and I am 34, that’s a large portion of my life dedicated everyday, hours a day to practicing and learning and then developing teaching methods. If you find a good teacher, pay them what they are worth, many top level teachers charge between $85-150 an hour, and this is reasonably priced for their expertise. Many might respond with, “I bet you teach a lot of students each week, like 40 hour weeks” but the truth is a private teacher in most cases may struggle with 15-18 a week, when working very hard 25-30 a week, there simply is only so many hours available people want to take lessons, and there is only so much time a teacher can play that there body will allow them to do so. For example, just yesterday I taught from 10 am-8pm back to back with no breaks. I have had soo many come from guitar center lessons for example and complained to me about how poor the instruction was and I replied with, “How hard would you work if you got paid $10 hour?” Most didn’t even know how poorly the teachers get paid, because Guitar Center takes such a strong cut of the lessons they charge the public. Its all about how you treat others, if you want someone to invest in you and really care about your success, then show that you care about them as well and make efforts to show them they are valued as well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would probably take them to Bishop arts, and maybe for drinks and dinner at Alice, or another nice cocktail restaurant. Even exploring Kyde Warren Park area can be a lot of fun.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Johnny Bell of Top Shelf Drum Lessons, helped me get started as a teacher and has always been a great friend.