Student Insights: Motivation Killers - Moosiko

This is the first of a series of posts called ‘Student Insights’ where Moosiko polls guitar students to better understand how, as instructors, we can help them learn and progress.

Learning an instrument requires motivation. In this day and age, it can be difficult to find that ongoing motivation, and even when we find it, it can be tough to keep it. We polled 30 guitar students of all ages on what kills their motivation when learning guitar to provide insight of what to avoid as we teach. Here are the results:

Motivation Killers

The number one killer of motivation is unrealistic expectations or setting the bar too high. Here are some tips to avoid this monstrous motivational killer.


  • Ensure you have an open line of communication to keep your finger on the pulse of how your student is viewing the difficulty level of the material
  • Ask what motivates them, from day one, to tailor your teaching style to them
  • Have students write down their weekly or monthly goals in a notebook. Adjust as necessary as they hit or miss those goals to ensure they are making positive progress.

You don’t want your students to feel things are too easy, as that was also reported to kill motivation. It’s important to strike a balance between challenging material, but nothing too challenging. 

Another insight we found to kill motivation is just life. Kids, work, and health get in the way. Getting creative about adapting to students’ schedules and incorporating guitar into their lives is a great way to keep up your students’ engagement.


  • Offer remote lessons via Skype
  • Provide discounts to involve other family members to teach parents and children together
  • Partner with a local road race or gym to promote mental health (playing music) and physical health (running)
  • Help your students write songs about being stressed/frustrated at work, kind of like a musical stress ball

Every new student wants music to be a part of their life and it is our job to partner with them to make that happen by offering a convenient and diverse set of services. 

Modern Music Class

During our research, many guitar students provided their top sources of motivation. Here are some of our favorites:

“My motivation is simple and works for me, just do the fun bits. I play guitar to play songs and have been doing that since day 1. 8 years on and still learning.”

“Stop practicing and start playing songs. The fun is in playing songs. Your knowledge will grow as you apply what you have learned.”

In fact many students cited that playing songs is their favorite way to learn guitar. That is why we created Moosiko, to ensure students are always having fun. 

Song Suggestions

Moosiko Song Suggestions

Learning guitar through playing songs is a great way to keep student motivation high. Moosiko offers over 170 lessons that teach tons of skills through songs. Click here to request a demo of the Moosiko platform to see how we can boost motivation to lengthen and retain students for longer.