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Teaching music: which rate should you charge students?

Posted by Mariana Del Rosal on Jan 30, 2020 11:00:31 AM

So you have decided to start teaching music on your own. Good for you! However, before you start, there are certain aspects you should carefully consider. One of them is how much should you charge for your music lessons. In this article, we won’t give you an exact rate, but we will examine what you should take into account in order to charge a fair price both for the students and for yourself. Afterward, you will have a much clearer idea of your possible rates.

First things first: your experience

When it comes to
providing your rate, the first thing you need to consider is your own
experience as a music teacher. For instance, if you are still a student (an
advanced musician, not yet a professional music teacher) you will charge a lower
rate than the average. This is because you are just beginning, and you want
your students to get to know you. You will probably be teaching beginners as
well –we’ll get into the student’s expectations later- and your classes won’t
require so much preparation in advance.

On the other hand,
if you are an experienced teacher you will charge a higher rate: your knowledge
is worth it! You are probably in conditions to teach advanced students who will
value your qualifications and trajectory.

Check the local marketplace

When we say “average” rate, how much is it? Well, that depends on the local market. How many music teachers are there in your town? Which instrument do you teach? For example, if you are a guitar instructor, you may find a lot of colleagues doing the same, and you should research their rates before setting your own. This is because too-low rates will make you seem amateur, while too-high rates will keep new students away.

However, if you teach a not-so-common musical instrument (for example, the oboe, the mandolin, or the clavichord) chances are there will be little to no competition around you, so you will be able to set higher rates. Anyway, you should still take into account the fact that more children are looking forward to playing instruments such as the piano, the violin or the guitar. If you find an oboe enthusiast, try not to scare her away with a terribly expensive rate!

The student’s expectations

Even when you may feel comfortable with a fixed rate for all of your lessons, you should probably consider charging each of your students individually according to their level and/or expectations. A little child that is just learning to play “Twinkle twinkle little star” on the keyboard, a high school student that wishes to start their own rock band, or an advanced music student who is preparing their graduation concert is not all the same!

In the case of young children who are only beginning to familiarize themselves with the instrument, you want their parents to feel they are not wasting their money. Besides charging a low rate, remember to implement resources to make your music lessons fun and engaging. More advanced students have plenty of motivations on their own and are probably looking for that something extra your lessons could bring them. This takes us to the following point…

How much time you invest in each lesson

When it comes to teaching music to advanced students, you should not charge higher rates just because. This depends on the amount of preparation each lesson requires. You may be familiarized with a classic Mozart masterpiece, but if your student requests you to prepare some arrangements for his or her own songs or some from a group you have never heard of, you will have to practice all of it in your free time. Somehow, the rate for your music lessons should reflect how much time you invest in each of them. After all, teaching music does not start when the student arrives and does not end after the hour is over.

Some more things to consider when teaching music

Now you probably have an idea of how much you should rate your students. Anyway, there are more things you should take into account in order to adjust your rates and get a fair price. For example, consider if the student, or her family, is willing to pay several lessons in advance: the more they commit, the lower the price you should offer. In any case, a student who is willing to take lessons with you for at least 3 months will allow you to get familiarized with him or her, and to work more comfortably. If a student only comes up every once in a while or asks for a single lesson only, feel free to charge a higher rate.

Where are you
teaching music? It is not the same if you teach at your own place than if you
have to rent a space, or if you are going to the student’s home. Take commuting
into account when providing your rates. How about online teaching? It may be a
great opportunity to expand your potential market!

Go for group
lessons!

Do you wish you could charge larger rates, but you are afraid of losing your students? Try to turn your individual music lessons into group lessons. You can begin by putting together some students with a similar level of the instrument, and offering a discount on their rates as long as they take the lesson at the same time. Or you can make your own student’s band, choir, or orchestra and make more money in an hour while still charging significantly lower rates. Group lessons have great advantages for students as well, as they are ideal for making new friends and having fun while learning to play their instrument.

More ideas to make
more money

After reading all of the above, you still don’t know how to earn enough money from your music lessons? Remember, there are more ways to increase your incomes, such as renting your instruments or equipment, joining a community or using social networks in your favor. The most important thing to remember is to put love and professionalism in what you do!

Topics: Tips, Tips for Musicians, Music Lessons, Tips for Teachers, Instructors

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