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Moderators, please lock this thread.
#1752501 09/14/11 03:04 PM
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Last edited by R_Dorothy; 09/15/11 11:31 AM.

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752508 09/14/11 03:13 PM
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The local market matters a lot more than the degree.


"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)

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752509 09/14/11 03:14 PM
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Last edited by R_Dorothy; 09/15/11 11:32 AM.

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752511 09/14/11 03:16 PM
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I think you are being wonderfully sensitive and astute here. Part of what determines a piano teachers price is the market in which they teach. I have no idea what the market price for a teacher with those credentials is in San Jose, CA, but $60 does seem like she is underpriced.
If she has any business skill, with those credentials, she could easily command $75 -$90 per hour or more if the market can handle it.
Piano teaching is like other businesses in that good marketing of a lesser product can sell for more than poor marketing of a superior product.


Keith D Kerman
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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752513 09/14/11 03:20 PM
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Last edited by R_Dorothy; 09/15/11 11:32 AM.

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752521 09/14/11 03:36 PM
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Last edited by R_Dorothy; 09/15/11 11:34 AM.

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752537 09/14/11 04:08 PM
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I really think the type of generosity you are displaying here is good for everyone. I bet you get way more than $10 worth per lesson in return. As a matter of fact, I hope that this helps your teacher better understand her value and you may have really changed her life if that is so!

I have a dear friend who has undergrad and masters from Juilliard and DMA from Peabody. She undercharges terribly and her students' parents take terrible advantage of her. She is so fearful of seeming greedy that she works twice as many hours as necessary. And her students overwhelmingly are millionaires. They have no problem spending $100,000 on a car. They probably would have no problem paying her 50% more for her teaching at which point she would still be a great value. Ah well, her choice!


Keith D Kerman
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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752706 09/15/11 12:34 AM
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I briefly had a DMA teacher in San Mateo County who charged me $130 for a 1.5 hour lesson. I'd say $70 is still on the low side, but it's more reasonable.

Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752748 09/15/11 03:16 AM
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I'm trying to think of who is in the San Jose (is that right?) area with a name and the background the OP provided, because if I know them I'm calling them and asking why in God's name they're charging $60?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752797 09/15/11 06:32 AM
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Last edited by R_Dorothy; 09/15/11 11:31 AM.

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752809 09/15/11 07:04 AM
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I pay $70 an hour. Its competitive relative to the local market.

Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752891 09/15/11 09:48 AM
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To play a sort of devil's advocate here - and I certainly appreciate R Dorothy's generous thoughts - isn't it up to the teacher to establish rates based on his/her conception of what background and training are worth combined with what the local market will bear? Isn't it the teacher's responsibility to look out for her own business welfare?

Generosity of one student notwithstanding, how can the teacher, from a purely business point of view, accept more from one student than she feels she must charge in order to attract other students? It seems a setting up of a double-standard of fees is being created here: charge more for those who can - or feel they should - pay more. Isn't the other side of that coin that the teacher should now charge the rate that R Dorothy is paying to all her other students? How would that affect her business?

When it comes to professional fees, I don't think that clients tell their providers to charge less if the fees are high; if they can't afford the fees they look elsewhere. Isn't this a similar situation? Would you tell a professional that s/he doesn't know her own worth by saying that the fees charged are not high enough? I think it is up to the professional to charge the fees that guarantee a steady supply of clients.

Perhaps there is another way of showing appreciation for this teacher's efforts rather than telling her her fees are too low.

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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752900 09/15/11 10:10 AM
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Any business needs and appreciates constructive feedback from their clients. This seems to be just that.


Keith D Kerman
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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752906 09/15/11 10:17 AM
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If R Dorothy wants to "tip" her teacher an extra $10 each lesson, I don't think that sets up a double standard-- the teacher did not ask for it nor require it of her or others. If she decides to increase her rates for everyone as a result, that would be a fine decision too.

Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752935 09/15/11 11:15 AM
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Mine charges $70 and he got his DMA from a big name conservatory. This is the going rate for top tier teachers who teach amateurs here. There are some teachers (usually those who also teach at the university or are active performing artists) who only take pros/child prodigies and the like and they charge more, but still $90 tops I believe. If they charged more than that they would have hard time retaining students because you can get the same sort of qualifications for a lesser price elsewhere, so it all depends on the local market like many have said.

Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752940 09/15/11 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by R_Dorothy
No need to do that, stores. I'll ask her myself, thank you. Maybe her rate is low because it's hard to find students on the East Side of San Jose despite being located in the SF Bay Area. There's a lot of low-income families here, including mine, and I have to work part time to afford lessons while attending community college.

So please don't go out of your way to find her, and tell her that her rates are ridiculously low. She knows what she's worth, it's just that you have to consider the local market as Keith mentioned.


I actually think I know who you're talking about. I lived in Evergreen for a while and I had a trial lesson with a young lady with a DMA who lived off of King Road further north of me. She was quite passionate, and the rate was low, though I don't know if it was that low.

Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752942 09/15/11 11:28 AM
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Yes, very passionate. But can we stop talking about her location and identity, please? I don't want to infringe on her privacy. Mr. Jones, I don't mean to be a punk, but can you edit your post please?

I just realized how my posts were kind of infringing on her privacy.

Can a moderator lock this thread please? I appreciate the input everyone and I've made up mind. Thank you.

Last edited by R_Dorothy; 09/15/11 11:34 AM.

If you want love you must be love
But if you bleed love you will die love
Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752955 09/15/11 12:00 PM
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No one is being identified.

Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752970 09/15/11 12:35 PM
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Eh, just being on the safe side.


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Re: What's the going rate for a teacher with a DMA?
R_Dorothy #1752992 09/15/11 01:14 PM
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Surely you must realize that by changing the title to "moderators, please lock this thread," you have now guaranteed that EVERYBODY logging in to PW today will read it...

and deleting your first few posts will only verify their suspicion that something truly juicy and scandalous is going on. laugh



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