Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shane Lamb, Owner of Green Hills Guitar Studio, located in Nashville, TN, USA. Subkit helps regular everyday people go solo and achieve work independence on their own terms.
What’s your business, and who are your customers?
Green Hills Guitar Studio offers lessons in guitar, songwriting, creativity & entrepreneurship, music theory, piano, bass, and voice. We have two physical locations in Nashville, TN, and teach online lessons to students all over the world. We teach people of all ages and experience levels. We also work with artists and professional musicians to assist in their climb to new creative and performance plateaus.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been a professional musician since I was 20 years old. I played in bands throughout college and while maintaining a full teaching schedule…usually 50-60 students per week. As soon as I started learning guitar at 13, I started trying to write songs. I’ve always loved music, reading, and learning. I wasn’t a naturally talented guitarist. I worked hard, I was motivated to get better and to create, and I was disciplined. I wanted to do this for life. I wanted to build and grow my own thing. I never wanted a full-time “job.” I work a lot of long hours and have full weeks, but it doesn’t feel like a “job” most of the time. There’s always the admins and business side of things, but I just kept learning, creating, growing, studying, and practicing. I know how difficult learning an instrument can be. And I know how challenging, inspiring, maddening, and overwhelming creating can feel. I know all the places I’ve been stuck, creatively and in my own playing. And I’ve always enjoyed sharing those experiences and processes with others to help in their journey as much as I can. After graduating from college, I moved to Nashville without a gig or a job. I started playing with other artists and performers around town, doing my own musical projects, writing and co-writing and touring. After a few years, I decided I wanted to focus on writing and recording more of my own music, building my own teaching studio, and helping others with their musical and creative aspirations. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I still really enjoy it. I am working on a new record and also play guitar and write with the Amanda Broadway Band. We are starting the writing process on a second album. Also, my students inspire me. I see how hard they work when they struggle and then what they accomplish. It’s really rewarding to be a part of a creative process.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Whether it’s the teaching studio or my musical projects, it all feels like an extension of building something, creating. I’m really proud of starting a teaching studio that grew solely on word of mouth and referrals for years and years. Eventually, I had to make a decision to cap it off or expand. I was teaching seven days a week, 90-100 students. It was too much. It was too much focus and energy in one direction, and it was taking a toll. I decided to expand, to bring on other professional musicians in Nashville that had a heart for people, for teaching, and a love for music and growth. It also provided an opportunity for the instructors to have more time for their own musical exploration. It’s tough to do that when you are working at a day job 50 hours a week. We now have 2 locations in Nashville. I also really love that we can teach people from all over the world with online lessons. I would have done anything for that type of access when I was younger and growing up in South Dakota. The ability to study online with a professional musician in a major center for music? That’s a thrilling and amazing opportunity. I am also very proud of the recordings I’ve made. They have all been self-financed. I have recorded my records with my good friend, Casey Wood. The first record was nearly nominated for a Grammy. We were the only fully independent artist in the category. The music we created found its way through all of the juries and processes. I could never have dreamed of being mentioned in that category with those artists. I’m also very proud of the record Amanda Broadway and I wrote. The band is like a family. We all care for each other deeply, and they are such great musicians to work with. It’s a really special group.