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Question for teachers...

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Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

For those of you who are teachers/tutors, what is the dropout rate for your students? Just wondering how many students give up out of frustration or other reasons.


Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

I'm not sure I'd call it 'dropout'... turnover is probably a better term.

Students come and students go. They go because of cost, because their job demands longer hours, because they get married/have children, because they move away, go study music in college (with private teachers there), or a host of other reasons.

There was a thread here recently by someone wanting to start a teaching business, and in it I mentioned my average student has been with me 8 months. I talked to several other teachers around me, and it seems I'm at about twice the average for retention time - most teachers here have a turnover of 3x per year, mine's about 1.5x.

The number that give up in frustration is pretty small. This year for me, it's one - he was five years old, and couldn't reach all the strings, even on his 3/4 size guitar (he was my youngest student ever). His older brother - who's six - is making good progress after two months, so I suspect the little guy will be back when he grows a bit. He was already getting good tone from all four fingers on the three strings he could reach without straining his wrist, so it's strictly a size issue.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 289

I taught a adult beginners class at a church over the summer and had a solid eight students, sometimes up to 10 or 12. This fall the class has shrunk to about three on a good week. Some quit due to lack of interest, others due to lack of time (many were parents), and a few due to the loss of the Spanish ministry.

Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342

I only teach as a part time thing, but I've had 100% turnover in two years - one paid for six lessons, had two then disappeared, two stopped coming, one wasn't studying so her parents refused to carry on, one wasn't learning or practicing or anything so I suggested to his mum that they pull the plug, and one emigrated.

Against that, one had to cancel lessons whilst he wasn't working and then called me up to start again, and I've been with my star pupil for almost 18 months (Classical Guitar - Step 1 Honours, going for Step 2)


A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at:

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

You can usually tell right off the bat. Cost is an issue. Time is an issue. Desire is an issue.

Students move on, outgrow my skill level, leave the area, etc. etc.

I don't charge much for the DC area, I am flexible on time, and although I can keep the lessons interesting and motivate I can't provide the desire.

I don't think I've had a student leave because they wanted a different teacher though. I could be wrong.

Anyway, I guess around 50% turnover in a year.

Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 119

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I need a teacher. I don't suppose any of you teacher-types offer correspondence courses? :lol: Everyone around where I live seems to be a cowboy (i.e. I know how to play and need some cash = I should teach).