2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
54 members (chrisbell, CharlesXX, David Lai, colinstead, beeboss, CyberGene, Catlady, 12 invisible), 369 guests, and 408 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
Salary of a piano teacher
#1260769 09/02/09 12:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Hello,

I am planning to become a full time piano teacher. For those who are teaching the piano full time -- my only question is are you able to make a decent living off of it?

I am not interested in making big bucks or anything, I just love teaching too much to purely think about that.

I just want to know if the bills get paid and if there's any extra to be saved.

I know it's always varied/differs from where you live and how you handle business etc. but I'm interested in knowing how you personally are doing with a piano teacher's income.

Thanks!


Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
bittersweetmusique #1260788 09/02/09 01:17 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,035
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,035
Depends on how much you're charging and how many students you have.


Houston, Texas
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Loki #1260799 09/02/09 01:56 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
In a good teaching climate, I think $45-50k a year is possible, especially if you can be a part of a community music school.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Kreisler #1260803 09/02/09 02:07 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
The downside is that if you work for yourself and live in the US, you will have to pay for your own health insurance, and if you have any medical problems, those can bankrupt you in a very short amount of time.

Also get used to no paid vacation, no sick-leave, etc.

Of course there are pluses, but very few are financial.

Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Gary D. #1260824 09/02/09 03:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
The short answer is yes, you can make a living from teaching piano full time.

There are benefits and drawbacks as in any profession.

Here are some of the plus points:

You are your own boss which means you get to choose your hours and your students. The more you work the more you earn and when you work for yourself there is that incentive to increase your hours for greater income. In fact you need to watch that you don't end up doing too much.

You get to decide the nature of the work. Where will you teach? Who will you teach? Maybe you will want to specialise in a particular style or genre or age group. The best thing is freedom and choice.

You can make good money from the start. Piano teachers often charge a going rate for the area in which they live. More experienced teachers will have higher fees but the difference is not that much. This means you don't have to start out on a low wage and work your way up.

That brings me to some negatives.....

As you get older that salary doesn't change much. Your freinds who chose other careers get promotions and salary increases but you don't. I am afraid that while you can make a living you will never get rich. That may not matter to you now but think ahead to when you might want a family or a nice house, car, holidays etc.

Also, it's not a salary! Your income will fluctuate depending on the amount of work you are doing. This can make it difficult to plan and budget for things.

What Gary said! No pension, no insurance, no sick-pay, no vacations etc.



Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Chris H. #1260907 09/02/09 09:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,283
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,283
You may want to start out with a slightly lower rate than more experienced colleagues. You will get a full studio to start with. Granted, some of them may only be looking for cheap lessons, but you'll get a lot of good students too. Having a clearly defined policy that you stick to will help weed out the trouble students. Every year you teach you can increase your rates until you are comparable to others with your experience and schooling.

When I started, I also gave a free lesson to any current student who referred a new student to me (they would actually have to start lessons, not just inquire, of course). That really helped me to get going.

Also, in order to make the income more steady, you may want to deposit all of your tuition payments into a savings account, and then "pay yourself" once a month. If you're like me, some will pay you for the entire semester, and some pay monthly. This helps to make sure I don't squander the semester tuition all at once, and gives the illusion of a salary.

Another thing to consider is taxes. I used to keep 10% of all the tuition payments in my savings so that I'd have some saved up for taxes. If you show a profit for a few years then the government may want you to make quarterly tax payments (not sure if it's the same in Canada as in the US). However, the penalty for not doing this is minimal - around $75 to $100. For me, it's well worth hanging onto that money rather than giving it to Uncle Sam. That's my little way of sticking it to the man LOL laugh.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Morodiene #1260922 09/02/09 09:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
D
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
I just wanted to comment on the 'no paid vacation'. I allot for 5 weeks during my 10-month teaching year where I don't teach, yet my monthly tuition remains the same. This way I take off a week at Thanksgiving, 2 at Christmas, 1 at Easter, and an additional week I can take off whenever I want. Other teachers who operate on a year-round schedule do this as well. In my view it's a paid vacation.


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
dumdumdiddle #1260923 09/02/09 10:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
I get paid vacation. My students pay monthly tuition, not per-lesson, so I make the same amount in December and January as I do in October and April.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Kreisler #1260941 09/02/09 10:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
That's what most of us more experienced teachers do. But did you start out that way? I know I didn't.

The thing is you need to work all this out for yourself and design and update your policy in order to protect your income. In some ways this is good because you are in control. The downside is that you have to continually explain these things to your customers. I have charged tuition for years and it's all in my policy but I still get people complain when they have to pay the same amount despite me taking a week off. Then there's the whole issue of cancellations. wink


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Chris H. #1260963 09/02/09 11:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
D
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
When I started teaching back in the late 70's at age 16, I patterned my studio policy after my own piano teacher's. So, yes I did start out this way. I also charged NOT by the lesson, but by the year, divided into 10 equal payments (and I think back then it wasn't very common to do so).


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
dumdumdiddle #1260983 09/02/09 11:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 155
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 155
Yes, I could make a full time living if I didn’t have four children to support. I base my monthly tuition on the same rate a few very good private preschools in the area charge. It is a little more then the going piano rate but it hasn’t affected my business.

At one time I had 50 students. My children are now in school and I limit my studio to 38 students.

We live in the Midwest and our mid size town is a little more expensive than most cities in our state. We have a college and large hospital and 1/3 of the kids attend private schools here. I have cousin who teaches in a similar size town but charges ½ of what I do because the median income and education level is low in her community.

She completed a Masters in Piano Performance hoping it would help her teaching business. It didn’t.
She struggles getting students. I have less education and a bigger business but I am not the better teacher. She is in a community that just doesn’t have the demographics to support a piano teacher. Consider your location.

Disadvantages to a career in piano teaching: Even if you are in high demand, It is hard to bring in 40 hours worth of teaching/income because the hours people are available to take lessons is limited. Therefore, there is an income ceiling. I am not always available for my children when I should be. No employee benefits (but if you are married, you only need one spouse with benefits).

Advantages: I work at home. It is a business with little overhead and bookwork. The tax deductions are a big plus. Utitlities, home improvements, mortgage interest etc are all deductible. I don’t spend much money on professional clothing. I tend to have a few nice outfits I put on for lessons and wear blue jeans the rest of the day. No bosses, difficult coworkers, threats of layoffs etc. I work hard but work stress is minimal. I thoroughly enjoy my job. I can do this for a very long time even if a disability or arthritis kicks in.

Another advantage is when you start building a business you don’t have to jump into full time teaching.There is little financial risk to getting started. You can continue your day job and add students until you have enough to support yourself. If you have the piano and knowledge, there is very little monetary investment.

Good luck.


Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.

Re: Salary of a piano teacher
bittersweetmusique #1261046 09/02/09 01:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
B
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896

I want to show you how to give yourself benefits of enough time off to live your other life and commitments outside of teaching.

I have a year round studio with annual tuition divided into 10 monthly payments to cover the 12 months of lessons. I project there will be 40 lessons per student during the year and that up to 12 of the weeks will be studio closures, holidays, student absences, snow days, and teacher vacation or teacher absence.

I have a studio calendar that is part of my studio policy: it lists the weeks when the studio is closed. The same annual calendar has been in effect for many years and it works well for me.
STUDIO OPENS September 14, 2009
STUDIO IS CLOSED
November 23-29 Thanksgiving Week
December 18 – January 1 Christmas Holidays
STUDIO OPENS January 2
STUDIO CLOSED
May 31 Memorial Day
June 21 – July 4 Week Before Fourth of July
STUDIO OPENS July 5
STUDIO CLOSED VACATION August 30 – September 13
STUDIO OPENS September 13, 2010


SEPTEMBER 2009 – AUGUST 2010 CALENDAR - STUDIO OPEN FOR LESSONS
TOTAL OF 44 WEEKS AVAILABLE FOR LESSONS
Lessons Month Weeks
3 September 14,21,28
4 October 5,12,19,26
4 November 2,9,16 – 30
2 December 7,14 -
4 January 4,11,18,25
4 February 1,8,15,22
4 March 1,8,16,22
4 April 5,12,19,26
4 May 3,10,17,24 –
3 June 7,14,21 –
4 July 5,12,19,26
4 August 2,9,16,23 –

ADJUSTMENTS
From this, Student Absences will be subtracted provided they meet my 24 hour notice.
If I have any sick days I can take them.
If the student needs additional lessons, I will make them up at the end of the studio year.
If the student is ahead and will receive more than 40 lessons, we owe it to their good attendance, and we consider this their bonus.
I am happy with the calendar because it provides me with breaks when I need them – I give myself these benefits. The calendar stays pretty much the same year after year.

WAYS TO CREATE MORE TIME OFF FOR YOU
The studio schedule can give you 3 day weekends if you need them for family or breaks.
Eliminate either Monday or Friday from teaching.
So many Mondays are holidays or school closures, and Fridays are notoriously busy with peoples own plans for the weekend. You would probably have excessive absences on these days anyway so to me, they are totally removable.
I do no Saturday or Sunday teaching, but there are sometimes piano events scheduled on these days.

Betty Patnude Piano Studio
South Hill 98374 – Puyallup, Washington

Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Betty Patnude #1261063 09/02/09 01:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
I have always considered my income from teaching (piano and voice) to be about half of my total income, with the rest coming from the 3 churches I work for. Because churches hold services every weekend, I know I won't be without some regular income even if students get sick, quit, or "forget" to pay me. And weddings & funerals give me some extra $ for my vacation fund, Christmas gifts, etc.

The downside is that it's extremely difficult to get a weekend off, because while I can tell my students "no lesson next Saturday--Mrs. K will be out of town", I can't tell a church "no piano or organ next Sunday" (I usually have to arrange for a sub months in advance). And sometimes it seems like everybody else is free as a bird on Saturdays & Sundays, while I'm busy teaching and playing for church services.

But I've picked up many students from my church jobs (people hang around after the postlude and ask "do you give lessons?") And I've also gotten leads on church jobs from students ("our organist is moving to Florida--do you know anyone who's available?)

In general, I'm just happy to be earning a decent living in my chosen field. I'm a working musician, and that's what's most important!



Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Betty Patnude #1261072 09/02/09 01:42 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 304
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 304
The main reason I teach piano is because I really enjoy it. I am passionate about piano and music so here I am.

As far as health insurance we have our own plan: we have three good friends who are doctors and one who is a pharmacist. Also CVS pharmacies now have affordable "minute clinics" that will diagnose and give you prescriptions for common ailments. Between that we have formed our own unique medical support group. I am still looking into information regarding catastrophic insurance as hubby and I are not covered for serious emergencies. Being self employed I know there are no big surprises regarding this stuff. I'm paying for it so I do my research. Isn't that something anyone should do anyway?

We pay for our daughter's health coverage($7/a month through Healthy Families)

We have learned to live creatively in San Diego, CA: A very expensive town.

*We have shared a house with other housemates.
*We know how to live in small places through years of practice.
*We know how to travel cheap but still have great adventures.

Unlike many Americans my goal is not to get rich. My goal is to live a fulfilling and happy life. Piano teaching is great. I get to spend alot of time with my family, choose my own hours, learn new music, socialize with interesting people, help children perform well, inspire people, live in the present moment.

Strangely enough, I seem to always get the "things" I want anyway...even without getting "rich". So maybe I am rich. Since I have become a piano teacher (OR since I have begun doing what I love) I have:

*met my husband
*been to New Zealand....twice
*befriended some pretty amazing people
*my glorious mornings free
*acquired about 40 different hand puppets. (Not sure how this relates but it does somehow)
*ALWAYS lived in a great building and a great city.

I think people don't realize that being rich doesn't make you "free". Being free makes you free. Tethering myself to a piano has been a great life-preserver for me.

But that's just me.


M. Katchur
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
lalakeys #1261074 09/02/09 01:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
Regardless of how you schedule lessons and how you charge for those lessons it really does come down to how many hours you will teach and whatever your hourly rate is. I charge a fixed fee per month for 11 months of the year but there is still an hourly rate. What you need to do is calculate the income you wish to earn, divide that by a sensible hourly rate for the area you live and you are left with how many hours you need to be teaching.

For example:

I would like to earn $1000 per week.

I intend to charge $50 per hour.

Therefore I need to teach 20 hours a week.

If you take into account tax and expenses as well as the odd cancellation then you might want to make that somewhere between 20-25 hours.

Simple really (in theory anyway).

I second what Mrs. A. said about location. There are places where it's just not possible to get 20 hours worth of teaching or charge $50 per hour for it. And then there are places where it's quite easy to do so. Of course the easy areas will tend to have a higher cost of living.


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
trillingadventurer #1261132 09/02/09 03:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 155
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by trillingadventurer


As far as health insurance we have our own plan: we have three good friends who are doctors and one who is a pharmacist. Also CVS pharmacies now have affordable "minute clinics" that will diagnose and give you prescriptions for common ailments. Between that we have formed our own unique medical support group.




Not to sound difficult but I am confused by your post. You say you creatively worked out benefits and you have invented your own medical plan- which includes some doctor friends and a pharmacist.

We have insurance but I also tend to use quick clinics as they are cheaper then our co-pay. But they are only good for the occasional strep throat or ear ache. A simple emergency operation and hospital stay can run into six figures. What happens if you break an arm? Your doctor friend may wave their fee but what about the x-ray tech, radiology department and emergency room fee costs?

Am I miss understanding something ?


Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.

Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Mrs.A #1261172 09/02/09 04:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
The insurance question is a big one. Let's hope our lawmakers include a public option for heath care in their plan.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
Stanny #1261201 09/02/09 05:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
D
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
Insurance is indeed a concern of those of us who are self-employed, but the current health care reform plan IN MY OPINION isn't the answer. I hope it goes down in flames.


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
dumdumdiddle #1261229 09/02/09 05:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Thank you for such insight, everyone!

It is a difficult situation for me because I already teach the piano part-time and enjoy it thoroughly, but of course my father wants me to get a secure job with a regular salary & benefits.

As I am working towards my degree (bachelors of education) it is still my dream to own a piano studio and teach full time because I frankly just see myself a happier person that way.

But business fluctuations, no benefits, dealing with parents etc. sometimes make me wonder if going that pathway would be a smart choice, just because it's so risky & doesn't promise you a regular income.

Should I take this pathway instead of becoming a school teacher? ( I am minoring in Biology and Kinesiology out of interest) and get a regularly paid job yet less satisfaction?

Or become a piano teacher with great pleasure yet risk not getting paid a sufficient amount due to the risk of having a business??

But thanks for the posts, they really opened my eyes.


Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.
Re: Salary of a piano teacher
dumdumdiddle #1261252 09/02/09 06:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,283
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,283
Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
Insurance is indeed a concern of those of us who are self-employed, but the current health care reform plan IN MY OPINION isn't the answer. I hope it goes down in flames.
thumb

If you want to see how well the government handles health care, look at Medicare and social security. Heck, if you want to see how well the government runs anything lately, check out the Cash for Clunkers, which I think has yet to pay out. Things now may be tough, but it can always get worse.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai es920 - record onto Android Smartphone
by big-vern - 10/21/20 04:51 AM
MP11SE in stock at bhphoto.com
by mivaldes - 10/20/20 10:35 PM
most common non ET temperaments in 2020?
by MartF - 10/20/20 08:56 PM
Why K.Kawai grand pianos are hard to find?
by tony3304 - 10/20/20 08:27 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,334
Posts3,015,661
Members98,961
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4