I’ve always wanted to be a guitar teacher
My parents are both teachers, and music teachers have been an inspiration throughout my life.
I always knew that I wanted to be that same inspirational figure for others.
The career path I chose was to complete my doctorate and teach at a university.
I Worked Hard. Really hard.
I was awarded degrees from three top jazz programs, McGill University, Western Michigan University, and finishing with a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This path of study was difficult, lengthy, and very expensive. Like me, many of you are familiar with student loans.
It was easy to land the first university job I applied for, teaching guitar part time at Western Illinois University.
I took the job while working on my doctorate degree and teaching as a teaching assistant, and it meant driving almost 3 hours each way to work, two days a week.
My goal was to become a tenured professor, which was promised to me at the time.
Despite all the driving, lost sleep, and stress, I loved it. Teaching guitar is my passion.
Reality vs. Expectations
I was a success.
I went out and recruited students and filled my studio, raised money for graduate scholarships, and brought significant cultural events into the community.
As a result, I was made full time, but due to budget cuts I wasn’t tenure track.
Then reality kicked in.
I suffered through low pay, long hours, and as a result was struggling with my student loan debt.
But I loved my students and teaching.
What was I to do?
Forced to Make a Change
I did what other people would do – I applied for other university teaching jobs, but unlike my first job, this time wasn’t so easy.
I even went so far as to interview for a job selling insurance just to make ends meet.
After being offered the insurance job, it made me realize I wasn’t pursuing my passion.
In hindsight, this gut-wrenching experience was exactly what I needed to be where I am today.
There is a better way.
In 2011 I took a big chance and decided to leave my teaching job.
I’d always wanted to start a music teaching website, so this was a good time to launch that project.
There weren’t a lot of jazz guitar websites at that time, and I wanted to create something people would dig.
So, mattwarnockguitar.com was launched in June 2011, and the rest, as they say, is history.
At first, the site was meant to be a free resource where people could find accurate and helpful jazz guitar lessons.
But it quickly turned into a part-time job, and within a few years a full-time job.
Less than 30 days after launching the site I started to get emails from readers who wanted to take Skype guitar lessons.
I’d never taught on Skype, but it sounded fun. So I tried it, and I loved it.
Things were starting to look good.
Five years later, I’m teaching over 120 Skype guitar lessons each month with students all over the world.
Another cool thing happened about a month into my website:
A reader emailed me about my “30 Days to Better Jazz Guitar” series of lessons.
They asked if I’d put that into a PDF for them and they’d pay me for it.
After thinking about it for a few days, I decided that if one person wanted to pay for it, maybe others would too.
So, I put the series into a PDF, added 25 pages of new lessons as a bonus, and started selling the book.
It did a lot better than I’d even hoped, so I begin writing more eBooks.
I finished my 11th eBook in June 2016, and have sold over 25,000 eBooks since 2011.
My new venture had become my new career.
Living My Passion While More Than Payin’ the Bills
I’ve more than replaced my university income, while being able to live wherever I choose.
With a laptop and good internet connection, I can work from anywhere.
Since launching my site, I’ve lived in Canada, the US, Brazil, and the UK.
I’ve also travelled all over the world, bringing my business along with me in my briefcase.
I’ve also been paying down my student loans, something I wasn’t able to do working as a non-tenured professor.
Today, I teach guitar, live where I want, and love every minute of work.
Success and freedom really appeal to me.
Your Success and Freedom
As well as teaching guitarists, I work with music teachers asking me to teach them how to launch their own online music teaching business.
This is where the inspiration for Teach Music Online came about.
The material on this site comes from my own experiences, good and bad, teaching music online.
It also comes from years of research into running an online business.
In these pages you’ll learn how to start your own successful online teaching business, ranging from a side-project to full-time employment.
I hope you can use the material on this site to reach your professional goals and dreams.
If you’re taking your first steps to working online, download my free Teach Music Online Starter Kit.
It has everything you need to start your own business online.
If you want to launch an online music teaching business, check out my Career Coaching page.
Sometimes all you need is a push in the right direction to realize your career goals.