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Give yourself a raise in 2012 #1811941
12/24/11 06:25 PM
12/24/11 06:25 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
Irvine, CA
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bzpiano Offline OP
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Irvine, CA


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Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1811945
12/24/11 06:35 PM
12/24/11 06:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Olympia, Washington, USA
I did a combo of raise and cost of living increase in 2011. Don't plan one for 2012, however.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1811984
12/24/11 08:17 PM
12/24/11 08:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Excellent link!!! And, great idea.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1812130
12/25/11 07:20 AM
12/25/11 07:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 503
Fort Worth, Texas
D4v3 Offline
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Fort Worth, Texas
I'd be interested to see how this unfolds. On one hand it would possibly reduce your student base if they thought you were already pretty pricey; on the other hand it would show you how many students are committed to you the individual as opposed to the mere idea of taking piano lessons from the most affordable person.

This also leads to another interesting question. What's the ideal wage for a piano teacher? Ideal meaning maximum total monthly take home before a higher hrly price reduces your student base enough to reduce your monthly pay more than it was the month before.

Also, do you base your rate increase off of what others around you are charging through formal/informal teacher collusions?

How do you handle the family that really wants to learn but can't afford the rate increase?


Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1812131
12/25/11 07:36 AM
12/25/11 07:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 450
Worcester, UK
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Ben Crosland Offline
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Worcester, UK
We put our prices up every January - in fact, it specifically states that this will happen in our terms and cons, now. This way, we can keep the increments relatively small, and we don't have to formally announce every rise as it happens - we simply hand the invoice out at the end of December with the new prices.

This year, the price increase for *individual lessons went up by approximately 5% - not a single eyebrow raised in response.

*Paired lessons remained at the same price, as they have done for the last few years, as we wanted to bring them into line with the recommended 2/3 of individual price - when we first opened, we kept the exact same price structure as the music school we'd just left. From next year, they will be subject to the same percentage increase as individual lessons.

Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1813151
12/27/11 02:45 PM
12/27/11 02:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
I'm surprised that there are not more positive comments. Raising prices of course, 'might' lose some clients but, how good we are, at what we do, clenches sales and retains clients too. smile


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Ben Crosland] #1813881
12/28/11 04:55 PM
12/28/11 04:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,905
SoCal
Plowboy Offline

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SoCal
Originally Posted by Ben Crosland

This year, the price increase for *individual lessons went up by approximately 5% - not a single eyebrow raised in response.


Well after three years in a row of 5% increases, my eyebrows are raised. My income has taken a 15% hit over the last four years. My finances are already being strained, and the latest increase has me thinking. I might have to cut back on the length of my lesson.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Plowboy] #1813906
12/28/11 05:29 PM
12/28/11 05:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 503
Fort Worth, Texas
D4v3 Offline
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Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Originally Posted by Ben Crosland

This year, the price increase for *individual lessons went up by approximately 5% - not a single eyebrow raised in response.


Well after three years in a row of 5% increases, my eyebrows are raised. My income has taken a 15% hit over the last four years. My finances are already being strained, and the latest increase has me thinking. I might have to cut back on the length of my lesson.


And the mystery guest has signed in. This response is more of what I would expect from the person who pays the bills these days.


I guess it depends on whether you teach in a wealthy neighborhood or an area where income is closer to the average household income and whose breadwinners are struggling with unemployment potential and mortgage payments.

There are too many dynamics at play to simply suggest that giving your self a raise is a good idea for everyone. And even though you may feel good about the idea, I would just say look before you leap.


Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1813911
12/28/11 05:35 PM
12/28/11 05:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
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I raise my rates every August. It helps weed out those students who are in just for an "activity" and doesn't affect the more serious students.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Stanny] #1813941
12/28/11 06:15 PM
12/28/11 06:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 503
Fort Worth, Texas
D4v3 Offline
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D4v3  Offline
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Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by Stanny
I raise my rates every August. It helps weed out those students who are in just for an "activity" and doesn't affect the more serious students.


While I don't mind the idea of weeding out students who are lackluster about the piano if thats your preference, I am a little concenred that you seem to equate wealth and means of payment as a sign of committment.


Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1814228
12/29/11 05:11 AM
12/29/11 05:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 45
Rexburg, Idaho
lovefamilypiano Offline
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Posts: 45
Rexburg, Idaho
I live in Rexburg, ID and the culture here is for parents to enroll every child in piano lessons for as cheap as possible. Even the more established teachers don't charge much which makes it difficult to raise prices. Is it like that in every college town?


David Love
The Love Family Piano Studio
www.rexburgmusic.com
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1814451
12/29/11 02:24 PM
12/29/11 02:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
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Stanny  Offline
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Thanks for your concern, D4v3. It's a fact of life that when people pay a little more for something, they take it more seriously. And I have a couple of serious students on scholarship too.

The nice thing about owning your own business is that you can chose what kind of work to do. It's more enjoyable for me to work with students who practice and enjoy music than those who do not. (They don't have to be especially talented.) So that's what I do!

I'm in a college town too, but I still get plenty of requests.

Last edited by Stanny; 12/29/11 02:25 PM.

~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Stanny] #1814480
12/29/11 03:04 PM
12/29/11 03:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,578
Canada
keystring Offline
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Canada
Originally Posted by Stanny
Thanks for your concern, D4v3. It's a fact of life that when people pay a little more for something, they take it more seriously.

it is a theory rather than a fact of life. It holds true in societies where there is affluence, where people pursue affluence and measure their worth by their ability to spend and the cost of things. It starts swinging the other way when people have very little. So much suffering and hardship is involved in trying to get together the money for expensive things, possibly depriving family members of real needs, that high price becomes a definite deterrant.

Someone who has yearned for private teaching and has not been able to get it in anything - let alone what your affluent students get, for whom piano lessons are one thing among many - will appreciate and do his best because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.

This is not the same thing as coming into a poor community as an act of charity and throwing music lessons at anyone just because he's poor. obviously appreciation will be hit and miss, with mostly misses.

Stanny, it is good to hear about the scholarships.

Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1814515
12/29/11 03:42 PM
12/29/11 03:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
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Stanny  Offline
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Posts: 1,461
Yeah, you are probably right. I should have said "a fact of MY life." I've been lucky to have been born and raised in a town which is fairly recession-proof, so my view of the world is likely skewed. But I still have a couple of students who would not be able to study music if not given some help along the way.

I don't think my students are affluent. Some have lost jobs, gone from two paychecks in the family to one, but definitely not poor. Just very middle class. But it doesn't mean I have to charge less just to help everyone else.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1814518
12/29/11 03:45 PM
12/29/11 03:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,578
Canada
keystring Offline
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Canada
Stanny, you should charge what you are worth. It is only the statement about dedication linked to money that bothers me every time it comes up. It is often true, but not always.

Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Plowboy] #1814524
12/29/11 03:58 PM
12/29/11 03:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 450
Worcester, UK
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Ben Crosland Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 450
Worcester, UK
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Originally Posted by Ben Crosland

This year, the price increase for *individual lessons went up by approximately 5% - not a single eyebrow raised in response.


Well after three years in a row of 5% increases, my eyebrows are raised. My income has taken a 15% hit over the last four years. My finances are already being strained, and the latest increase has me thinking. I might have to cut back on the length of my lesson.


I understand that price rises will inevitably lead to the occasional situation such as yours. However, this isn't really what I implied by saying there were no raised eyebrows - it could well be that some of my students are starting to find it tougher to afford the lessons, too. What I meant was, that by keeping them regular and incremental, our price rises are rarely seen as being unreasonable.

Even after this latest rise, our pricing structure is very competitive in our area.

Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1814555
12/29/11 04:44 PM
12/29/11 04:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
When it’s time to raise rates, many freelancers worry about hurting their long-time, loyal clients. After all, you may have developed personal relationships over the years. However, it’s critical to remove any emotion from the equation. Increasing your rates shouldn’t offend anyone — it is a pure business necessity. Even Social Security will receive a 3.6% cost of living increase for 2012.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Ben Crosland] #1814557
12/29/11 04:44 PM
12/29/11 04:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 41
Texas
T
trhmusic Offline
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Posts: 41
Texas
I have raised my prices as the years have gone by, but I don't do it every year. I usually put together a formal letter and send it out a few months in advance of the increase. It is always much easier to raise my rates with new students, but I haven't lost any current students due to increased rates.

I did have one instance where a students parent thought I was doing such a good job and actually gave me a raise! This was when I first started teaching and hasn't happened since, but it was such an encouragement!


Tracy Hall
Piano Teacher
http://www.trhmusic.org
"Bringing the joy of music to the next generation"
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1814633
12/29/11 06:18 PM
12/29/11 06:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 503
Fort Worth, Texas
D4v3 Offline
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Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
When it’s time to raise rates, many freelancers worry about hurting their long-time, loyal clients. After all, you may have developed personal relationships over the years. However, it’s critical to remove any emotion from the equation. Increasing your rates shouldn’t offend anyone — it is a pure business necessity. Even Social Security will receive a 3.6% cost of living increase for 2012.


I hear what you are saying about "removing emotion from the equation" and that it shouldn't offend people as it is purely a business situation. Try to understand though that the same emotions some teachers get when a student/parent tells them they are leaving for another teacher, may be similar to how a student feels when they discover they can no longer afford to take lessons.

I would also say to expect the parent/person paying to question the merits of the raise against the progress of their child/selves. If I were taking lessons and something more than base inflation was put on me and the teacher was not doing anything more now than they had when we first started then I'm starting to look at the graduate student listings. Now, to me it would be cold of me to do this if I could afford the increase and knew the teacher as a friend and they needed the money, but as you say, I guess it's business and I should only care about my interests and remove emotion from the equation.

Last edited by D4v3; 12/29/11 06:31 PM.

Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions
Re: Give yourself a raise in 2012 [Re: bzpiano] #1814644
12/29/11 06:29 PM
12/29/11 06:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
So, if a piano teacher is charging I don't know, I'll pick a figure $40 an hour and they raise their rates by 6 % they don't deserve that $2.40 increase but, the rest of the world gets their raises. wink Fair is fair for everyone. smile


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
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