Budgets stink and worse, they’re never big enough – especially if you’re trying to run a classroom guitar program. Luckily, you have options. There are tons of free tools out there from videos that will teach you guitar, to instructions on how to build your own guitars.

Check out these 6 great ways to stretch your dime and get the gear you need to have a great guitar class.

1. PVC Pipe Guitar Stand

If you’re sick of seeing your student putting their guitars on the floor, you need guitar stands. But what if you don’t have the money? For a few bucks you can build your own guitar stands! Have a look at this DIY video on how to build your very own guitar stands. All you need is PVC pipe, glue, sand paper (optional) and spray paint (optional).

2. DIY Ensemble Music

Classroom Guitar teachers are always looking for good ensemble music. However, there’s a shortage of ensemble music out there and buying more books might not be in the budget. Well, we’ve got your back! Check out Bob Denney’s guide to making a lead sheet into a guitar ensemble in 8 easy steps! You will have the whole class playing in just a few minutes based on this formulaic approach. Best of all: no budget required!

3. Guitar Pick Hole Punch

If your kids keep losing picks, you have to keep buying picks. Guitar picks are inexpensive, but if you have 30 kids in a guitar class that runs for 20 – 40 weeks it’s going to get expensive! That’s where the Pick Hole Punch comes in. You will have to spend more upfront and you’re not going to get a great selection, but it should be less expensive over the years.

4. Foot Stools

If you’re teaching classical guitar you’re definitely going to need foot stools for your students. But what if there’s no more money left in the budget. Not to worry. Deck posts that are about 3 X 3 inches cut into 10-inch blocks work well, and 2x4x6 pieces may be hammered or glued together in stacks of varying heights.

5. Guitar Tuner

It would be nice to get every one of your students their own clip on tuners, but sadly it’s not in your budget. Luckily you can find plenty of tuners online for free! They are available on websites and in app form if you or your students have smart phones. This solution is less than ideal, but you’re not going to beat the price.

6. STEM – Guitar Building

If your school can’t afford to buy a class set of guitars, don’t worry you’re not alone. Plenty of teachers ask their kids to bring in guitars from home. But, if you want to have fun, have your students build their own guitars!

You’ve probably heard of STEM. Well, a lot of money is out there for bringing STEM Guitar Building classes to schools. Students are learning about science, technology, engineering and math while making guitars. Work with your shop teacher and get the students on board as the manufacturing arm of your classroom guitar program. The results may surprise you!

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