pethel_pic_webThere are few things that have as strong of an impact on culture than music. Many students use music as a symbol of their personality. Tapping into this social element has the potential to affect local school culture, too! Here are three ways you can create a guitar culture at your school.

1) Bring your students into the process.
You do not have to control everything. Let your students have input with regard to music selection. Who knows, maybe you will discover something in the process. By giving your students a voice, they become stakeholders in the program and develop a loyalty to the guitar class.

Here’s a bonus: You may find that your students pay more attention to your lessons when they know that you will reciprocate! You want your class to be the kind of place that students look forward to coming, and a place they belong.

2) Look for gigs!
Formal concerts are fantastic, but these are more frequently attended by friends and family members of the performers – not the general student-body. Do not exist in a vacuum! See if you can hold strategic performances in a hallway, invite other classes to join you on special days, and take advantage of social media. Videos of students in action- both in large groups and individually- can be seen by hundreds or even thousands if the content is compelling. This is also a great way to catalog your class’s repertoire. And, leave the door open so that passersby can hear your great music.

3) Think like a marketer!
Try branding your guitar class. Start by having your students come up with a name for the class. Then let them enjoy the democratic process and vote on it. Next, develop cool t-shirts for your groups that they can wear not only for concerts, but any day. How about getting the school logo printed on some picks? Use wristbands with your program’s name on them in different colors. Get inventive with this one: maybe you can have the wristbands correspond to the martial arts belt colors. Reward students when they “meet the next level” – black belt in guitar?!?! They will be proud of their accomplishments and publicize your program with everyone they meet.

Music is power has the power to drive culture, and guitar programs are exceptionally well suited to harness the energy. Take advantage of it!