Many private tuition services have been unheard of throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Tez Skachill, founder of Salford Guitar Lessons has shared his story on how he coped with the rapid changes made to his business.
Professional guitarist Tez began his teaching journey back in 2015. After pursuing his passion for music he decided to diversify his career and launched his own private tuition service, Salford Guitar Lessons.
However, the second national lockdown has caused his newly renovated studio in Eccles to close to the public again, leading him to move teaching back online for November through Skype lessons.
Tez said: “This year was kind of like survival, it is very very different, you can see that from the students reactions when teaching them.
“It’s a recipe for disaster trying to jam along together with two people, you have to change your teaching style as well, it’s much more analytical.”
Although these technological issues did propose challenges, Tez and his students are continuing to support each other, helping to adapt to the sudden changes throughout their lessons.
Tez explained: “One of my philosophies is that you never stop learning, I learn every single day and I’ve learned more from the students sometimes in lessons than they’ve learned from me.”
Throughout the lockdown, Tez noticed the importance of music and how teaching has significantly helped his mental health.
“One of the main things that gives me a boost of energy is my lessons.” Said Tez.
To spread his message even further, Tez has launched his own merch line on Etsy in hope to engage Salford residents with his business and promote the importance of community connection.
He said: “We’re community-based, I see myself as part of the community and it’s done unbelievably well for my mental health.
“It’s been absolutely incredible, the loyalty that people have shown.
“It’s more about creating that sense of community even further, if someone wears our t-shirt it really does help.”
Back when the second lockdown was announced for the UK, Tez was left in the unknown and faced financial uncertainty for his private tutoring service as clear guidance from the Government was not provided.
“We felt like we didn’t have a voice, that was terrifying thinking are we going to stay open, are we not?
Tez continued: “It was really depressing, I felt really down about it. At the beginning of September it was a real concern that we’re going to have to turn around and going to have to start offering more services along with teaching.”
After cancelling his upcoming lessons, Tez turned to the Musicians’ Union and The Incorporated Society Of Musicians where he finally received clarification that his studio would have to close.
Tez was devastated to hear the news and said: “Making all these changes then being forced to close again in November, it’s very deflecting.
“I spent a lot of money and a lot of time making it COVID safe, we’ve even got a screen between me and the student, thinking we were going back in September.”
However, with plans to reopen on the 2nd December Tez is remaining optimistic and his students are remaining engaged with new courses such as guitar maintenance sessions.
He said: “If we do have a break we can still reach people and be able to have an income from alternative courses, I think that’s what I really feel optimistic about.
“This year has made it easy to become pessimistic but I think it’s important to keep a positive attitude.”
Although the group’s festivities have been cancelled, Tez and his students are looking forward to their Christmas Blackpool night out in 2021 where they can hopefully celebrate and reflect on the milestones they have accomplished as an independent institution surviving in the pandemic.
You can find out more about Salford Guitar Lessons here: