Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 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!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
How It All Really Began
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
55 registered members (AprilE, apianostudent, anamnesis, 7uturu, abarax, 17 invisible), 1,147 guests, and 5 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Tuition rates #2743758
06/11/18 10:49 PM
06/11/18 10:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
Every so often I see a piano teacher charging different hourly rates depending on the ability level of the student. I don't mean, for example, that she charges $30 for a half hour beginner lesson, $45 for a 45-minute intermediate lesson, and $60 for an hour advanced lesson. Rather, I mean she might charge an hourly rate of (for example) $50 for beginners and intermediates, and $75 for more advanced students.

I don't understand the logic, and wonder if any of you do, or if any of you adhere to such a rate structure or have colleagues who do. The implication, I gather, is that it requires more skill or is more challenging to teach an advanced piano student than an early-level student.

I always figured a teacher's time was worth x per hour, not a figure that fluctuates depending on the student. Any thoughts?

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 06/11/18 10:51 PM.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743761
06/11/18 11:06 PM
06/11/18 11:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 187
P
pianofan1017 Offline
Full Member
pianofan1017  Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 187
I am not a teacher. But my teacher charges $80 per hour lesson. I am currently working on getting ABRSM grade 8 exam. Not sure if it is because I am more advanced. I believe in general she charges $80 an hour to every student who takes one hour lesson.


In Progress:
1.Debussy Arabasque1
2. Czerny 740 no 3
3. Mozart Sonata K330 1st Movement
4. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C Major
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743763
06/11/18 11:15 PM
06/11/18 11:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 53
Canada
pianist_lady Offline
Full Member
pianist_lady  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 53
Canada
Interesting. I don't find that advanced students are necessarily more work. While I may have to practice advanced repertoire well enough to demonstrate in the lesson or listen to recordings to hear different interpretations, I may also spend equal time planning how to teach fundamentals to beginners or looking for game-like activities for younger kids.
Perhaps a higher rate makes the student feel as though they are getting top-notch instruction?


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743771
06/11/18 11:45 PM
06/11/18 11:45 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
My teacher charges the same rank, regardless of the level of the student


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743783
06/12/18 01:42 AM
06/12/18 01:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,652
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Opus_Maximus  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,652
I've heard of this before as well. I think the logic behind it is that the student is paying for that many more years of instruction that the teacher had. For instance - it's theoretically possible to teach beginners with the knowledge one accrues by the time they are a senior in high school. Note-reading, rhythm, and basic theory are usually all learned by the time most of us 16.

However, the knowledge that a teacher acquired during her master's degree at a fancy (and expensive) conservatory is, in a way, only of benefit to the advanced student. Beginners and intermediate students will not necessarily benefit from the fact that you have experience playing chamber music, studying the Liszt Sonata, or preparing for international competitions - but an advanced student likely will - so he/she's gotta pay for it. It's a bit like why medical specialists (Neurologists, cardiologists, surgeons), make more than your average GP. But in this case, the same teacher is offering a service option of both.

That said - I would never do it, and cannot imagine what goes on in the head of somebody who would insist on such trivial, pedantic policy.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 06/12/18 01:51 AM.
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743784
06/12/18 01:43 AM
06/12/18 01:43 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
I don't see a problem at all. A teacher can charge however he/she wants.

Whenever I raise rates, I always phrase it in a way that suggests I'm charging higher because the student has advanced to a higher level. It's not always the truth.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Tuition rates [Re: dogperson] #2743828
06/12/18 08:13 AM
06/12/18 08:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 594
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
500 Post Club Member
NobleHouse  Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 594
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by dogperson
My teacher charges the same rank, regardless of the level of the student



Mine does as well.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743836
06/12/18 08:49 AM
06/12/18 08:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 29
Sydney, Australia
S
Slowdown Offline
Full Member
Slowdown  Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 29
Sydney, Australia
I have known teachers - some quite accomplished - who charge more for advanced students.

I would never do it - and believe it is based on flawed logic.

Truth is, I work no less hard with a talented, engaged six-year-old than I do with a talented, engaged advanced student of university age/level (or beyond).

And if the student is slow or lazy (at any age) - I certainly don't want to be compensated at a lower rate for my time - in a way it's _more_ work!
-Paul


Piano teacher, journalist, AMEB examiner.
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743838
06/12/18 09:04 AM
06/12/18 09:04 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
Hi Paul
It’s too bad that teachers can’t have a sliding scale for lessons based on the laziness of the student: ‘if you consistently don’t practice, and come to lessons unprepared, your rate will be the standard rate plus X dollars’........ Just an evil thought from the student gallery. It would reduce frustration 😊


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743841
06/12/18 09:12 AM
06/12/18 09:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,965
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,965
Canada
Peter, I have some strong opinions about this, and have a hunch you will probably agree.
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Every so often I see a piano teacher charging different hourly rates depending on the ability level of the student...... Rather, I mean she might charge an hourly rate of (for example) $50 for beginners and intermediates, and $75 for more advanced students.

I don't understand the logic, and wonder if any of you do,.....

I suspect that there is an underlying attitude to this, that the teaching of beginners is less important and requires less attention and expertise, than teaching intermediate students, and then than advanced students - in that order. We see the worst of this attitude when a novice wanting to break into teaching, and is told to get a bunch of beginners and experiment with them.

I've written this before. With the beginner you establish and build everything. You create the foundations on everything that student will do later on, the things the advanced teacher relies on and maybe takes for granted. This includes the rudiments of physical playing (technique) which expands later, the ability to read music, a basic sense of theory to build on, and how to approach practising and a piece of music. But what the lesser teacher (or "teacher") sees is this: easy notes - What's so hard about "Are You Sleeping"? They miss the point, to the detriment of the student.

I was too young to understand this attitude in general when I was in teacher's college, but I sensed that something was amiss. Those who were in the stream of becoming high school teachers seemed to have an air of privilege, and took more liberties. I also noted that they were given "preparation time" during school hours to plan lessons, while primary school teachers taught the entire time, plus had "yard duty" and "detention room duty". You prepared lessons after hours, or got to school long before it started, and prepared on week-ends and in holidays.

In regular school the expertise shifts: from expertise in learning itself, to expertise in the subject matter later. But even there, later on, I found myself tutoring kids who got lost on grade 9 math. because they didn't have the fundamentals or know how to approach things, and it seemed their teachers were staying at the level of the formulas in the textbook. (This is probably unfair. wink ) When you get at the fundamentals of a subject, it may seem "simple", but it also has depth . It's a lot harder to bring across concepts and skills to a novice. That is also the case for music.

I have my own past experience as a student with music lessons.

Due to all this - charging more according to "higher levels" does not make sense to me.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743854
06/12/18 09:59 AM
06/12/18 09:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,137
C
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,137
I haven't charged different rates but I would like to. I just let go an advanced student, mostly because I had to keep up with her with very difficult music, but she only wanted forty-five minute lessons. I do believe a teacher needs to know how to play the higher level pieces before teaching them. You need to offer fingerings for the difficult sections. So I could make that money with much less work from an intermediate or beginner student.

I never do any research for younger children, unlike you Peter. I also never practice the easier material that I've taught for years.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743856
06/12/18 10:23 AM
06/12/18 10:23 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for these initial responses. There are many ways of looking at this issue, and I'm not sure it is a right vs wrong matter. I just find it interesting.

Taking up from Slowdown and Keystring, I might even argue that it is *more* demanding of my skills to teach a beginner than to teach an advanced student, and so perhaps I should charge more for the early levels. That's amusing, but it could make sense. Just as I might argue (per Maximus) that the GP physician should earn more than the medical specialist.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743857
06/12/18 10:26 AM
06/12/18 10:26 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P.S. Just seeing Candy's post now, and she does have a point from the opposite direction! Sometimes we scramble when dealing with student players at our level or above, in a way we don't scramble with the early-level player's music.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743878
06/12/18 11:54 AM
06/12/18 11:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 161
USA
A
Andamento Offline
Full Member
Andamento  Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 161
USA
It looks like I'm in the minority here. I offer small but ever-increasing discounts the longer lesson length one chooses. Why do I do this?

1. It gives a small incentive to families to increase the lesson length, because the hourly rate in effect declines.

(For example, I find a 45-minute lesson to be superior to a 30-minute lesson for most beginners, so reducing the rate of a 45-minute lesson encouraged some people to take that option when I started offering more than 30-minute lessons. There are so many things I like to do in a lesson that help build a good foundation, but I feel quite a bit gets sacrificed with only 30-minute lessons, making progress more slow. Offering discounts as you go up sometimes helps make a longer lesson length more palatable to a family who might otherwise get "stuck" on one lesson length and not want to upgrade when it's in their best interests to do so.)

2. The more a student advances, the more I enjoy the teaching. I do take beginners, but they feel more like "work" to me than does an intermediate or advanced student. In terms of time, the more advanced students *do* take more of my time in preparing for their lessons, but it's time that slips by so quickly, because I LOVE practicing the intermediate and advanced music I teach.

3. I feel like offering reduced-rate longer lessons is a "thank you" to loyal families who continue through the years. It's my way of giving back for all they've invested in my business. (And, yes, sometimes I get transfer students, so they, of course, haven't been with me for sometimes lots of years before that. But it's still neat that they've stayed with it--or decided to return to piano--so the lower rates at higher levels may also encourage these families to jump into a good lesson-length option, rather than a mediocre one.)

That said, regarding the OP's example, I guess I could see it that way, too--having higher rates for more advanced students, due to more time invested in preparing to teach at that level.

But then, too, the easiest might just be to have an across-the-board rate that doesn't fluctuate based on student level or age or anything else.

I guess I'd sum it all up as a "to-each-his-own" deal. smile

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Candywoman] #2743885
06/12/18 12:35 PM
06/12/18 12:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,652
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Opus_Maximus  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,652
Originally Posted by Candywoman
IYou need to offer fingerings for the difficult sections.




There is a well-known teacher in the USA who actually charges a "fingering fee" in addition to his flat tuition rate. He works on fingering all his studnets' music before thier lesson, so as not to waste lesson time doing it.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Opus_Maximus] #2743888
06/12/18 12:54 PM
06/12/18 12:54 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Originally Posted by Candywoman
IYou need to offer fingerings for the difficult sections.




There is a well-known teacher in the USA who actually charges a "fingering fee" in addition to his flat tuition rate. He works on fingering all his studnets' music before thier lesson, so as not to waste lesson time doing it.
.

I am just a student , but I do not understand why a teacher would pre-finger for several reasons: first, hand shape and distances between Fingers vary from person-to-person. Therefore fingering that may be right for my teacher, would not necessarily be right for me. Secondly, if my teacher did all of my fingering, how would I ever learn to do it myself? She has me do all of my own, but of course she is available for questions or recommended changes.

I take occasional lessons from a pianist who has written a book on fingering: He makes recommendations, but more importantly he goes through the thought process of how he came up with the recommendation. Even so, his suggestions will also often be’ try this or this’

By doing my own fingering but getting support, I need support less and less


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743898
06/12/18 01:31 PM
06/12/18 01:31 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 130
Chicago
J
John305 Online content
Full Member
John305  Online Content
Full Member
J
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 130
Chicago
If the fingering doesn’t work for me do I get a refund? smirk

dogperson, can you tell me the title of the book?

Last edited by John305; 06/12/18 01:32 PM.

It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743905
06/12/18 02:26 PM
06/12/18 02:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,704
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,704
*sigh* Salt Lake City
As a speech-language pathologist, I have sometimes taken on private clients. I have on occasion adjusted my fees based on how hard I have to work. My private clients have always been a side hustle for me, because I have always had other full time employment, so...you know...it has to be worth the trouble.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

Re: Tuition rates [Re: John305] #2743916
06/12/18 03:23 PM
06/12/18 03:23 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
Originally Posted by John305
If the fingering doesn’t work for me do I get a refund? smirk

dogperson, can you tell me the title of the book?
.

The art of piano fingering (. Highly recommended)

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Piano-Fingering-Traditional-Innovative/dp/1479285277


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Tuition rates [Re: dogperson] #2743925
06/12/18 03:51 PM
06/12/18 03:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by dogperson
It’s too bad that teachers can’t have a sliding scale for lessons based on the laziness of the student 😊

Who, me??


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Opus_Maximus] #2743926
06/12/18 03:52 PM
06/12/18 03:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
There is a well-known teacher in the USA who actually charges a "fingering fee" in addition to his flat tuition rate. He works on fingering all his studnets' music before thier lesson, so as not to waste lesson time doing it.

What an excellent idea. Let me add that to my arsenal of excuses to raise rates.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Tuition rates [Re: AZNpiano] #2743934
06/12/18 04:10 PM
06/12/18 04:10 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by dogperson
It’s too bad that teachers can’t have a sliding scale for lessons based on the laziness of the student 😊

Who, me??
.

You and my teacher plus the other thousands of frustrated teachers in the world... I think I’m going to suggest to mine to add a “frustration surcharge”


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2743992
06/12/18 08:48 PM
06/12/18 08:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 29
New York, NY
K
Kenji13 Offline
Full Member
Kenji13  Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 29
New York, NY
I think charging more for advanced students does not make sense. I personally think that teaching beginners or advanced students has its own challenges. For example, for beginners, teachers need to make sure that students are always engaged with simple exercises in order for them to play more advanced pieces. In order for them to build good techniques and basics, we cannot avoid the step. For advanced students, they have their own habits and a lot of times they think it is good for them. Often I have hard time to convince them to try out new stuffs...


"Men can do all things if they will" ...Kenji...
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744040
06/13/18 02:52 AM
06/13/18 02:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,137
C
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,137
The fingering fee is interesting. I work out fingerings myself, but don't always give them to the student unless there is a need. Yet, if there is a need, it's much better to have them ready. And there can be more than one fingering solution. Students are very impatient and have high expectations of me to solve their problems. I wish this were not so. But they would otherwise wonder why they're paying me.

Once you set the bar at a certain level, they expect you to remain that good. Many higher level students don't practice enough, so what else can I do with them during the lesson but practice through sections and work out solutions and technique? I'd like to be helping more with interpretation but rarely do they get to the point of having something either learnt by themselves, or even practiced to a standard that is reasonable. They need help with practice techniques despite hours showing them (separating voices, practicing "backwards") the same thing in other pieces. In short, they are not self-starters. They are more like baby birds that need to be fed all the time. I'm constantly surprised by how I have to power everything with my motivation.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: dogperson] #2744055
06/13/18 04:37 AM
06/13/18 04:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by dogperson
You and my teacher plus the other thousands of frustrated teachers in the world... I think I’m going to suggest to mine to add a “frustration surcharge”

I meant to say, "I do that already!"

Now that I actually have the luxury of dumping students I don't want, I'll simply start by raising their rates. If they want to stay with me, fine, pay more!

Or, putting it another way, I've yet to raise the fees for my favorite students.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744098
06/13/18 09:37 AM
06/13/18 09:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
Differing tuition rates for different students is the even broader question. Obviously this collides with our sense of equality and justice, but I'm sure it happens plenty often in piano studios - quietly. Not something to advertise, and tricky to defend, but I get it.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744102
06/13/18 10:01 AM
06/13/18 10:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,781
Philadelphia, PA
J
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
jdw  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,781
Philadelphia, PA
I once had a voice teacher who grandfathered in her current students when she raised rates. The result was differential pricing for a different reason. It doesn't seem like a good longterm strategy to me--kind of penalizes the teacher for continuity. Also it could get awfully complicated if one had a large studio. But I guess she felt she was rewarding loyalty and not changing the terms once lessons started.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744111
06/13/18 10:30 AM
06/13/18 10:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,965
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,965
Canada
The fairest thing is that a fee matches the service. But when you have a student (or customer) who consistently puts out extra effort, then you will also put out extra effort in kind, without charging extra for that extra effort. Well, in lessons, a student's penny also goes further when the student who puts out the effort, working with the teacher and instructions (assuming a decent teacher with plausible instructions) which makes it win-win and all-round rewarding.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: dogperson] #2744147
06/13/18 01:35 PM
06/13/18 01:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,704
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,704
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by dogperson
It’s too bad that teachers can’t have a sliding scale for lessons based on the laziness of the student 😊

Who, me??
.

You and my teacher plus the other thousands of frustrated teachers in the world... I think I’m going to suggest to mine to add a “frustration surcharge”


My point was that my fee is based on a PITA factor.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744191
06/13/18 04:41 PM
06/13/18 04:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 6
M
mrsuitcase Offline
Junior Member
mrsuitcase  Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 6
I am not a teacher. I'm just browsing. But I do know a bit about economics.

If you charge a higher rate to more advanced students, your pricing will ultimately encourage more beginners to sign up with you. The opposite holds true, where higher rates for beginners will encourage more advanced students to sign up with you.

So, if a teacher prefers one type of student over another, they can influence the number of students they get in each category via their pricing.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: jdw] #2744193
06/13/18 04:46 PM
06/13/18 04:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 33
M
mostlystrings Offline
Full Member
mostlystrings  Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 33
In a capitalist economy, where profit is the goal, it could be said that an ideal hourly rate is what the market will bear and so what if one student is willing to pay more than another. In reality, my relationship with students/families is not strictly a business transaction, and it's more complicated.

Originally Posted by keystring
I suspect that there is an underlying attitude to this, that the teaching of beginners is less important and requires less attention and expertise, than teaching intermediate students, and then than advanced students - in that order. We see the worst of this attitude when a novice wanting to break into teaching, and is told to get a bunch of beginners and experiment with them.

I agree that this is Not True. But back to the capitalism example, it could happen if a family erroneously believes that they should pay less for beginner lessons vs. more for advanced lessons and a teacher, unwilling or unable to enforce a higher overall rate, accepts a beginner for less, thereby perpetuating the cycle.

A colleague and I were talking about her wanting to raise the rate for students who request advanced repertoire that requires a lot of extra preparation on her part - akin to a "fingering fee". If she did that, she would appear to be charge advanced students more even though it could be view not as a "lesson fee" as fee for other services performed. On the other hand, if a "frustration fee" is in order (beginners who are slacking off?), then instead of tacking on fees, you may as well raise rates in general! There are certain students that I do "extra work" for but as keystring said, it's because they are putting in the effort (and that's why they are advanced).

Originally Posted by jdw
I once had a voice teacher who grandfathered in her current students when she raised rates. The result was differential pricing for a different reason. It doesn't seem like a good longterm strategy to me--kind of penalizes the teacher for continuity. Also it could get awfully complicated if one had a large studio. But I guess she felt she was rewarding loyalty and not changing the terms once lessons started.

I have done this but still gradually moved them up so they lag the current rate by a year or two (only a few who are more than 4 years long so it's manageable). It was (is) definitely out of rewarding loyalty because the commitment of those early students made it possible for me to get where I am now. The last few years, I give everyone a rate notice each summer/before fall so even though I don't raise fees every year, they are not supposed to be surprised when the price of lessons goes up like the price of anything else.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: mrsuitcase] #2744219
06/13/18 06:52 PM
06/13/18 06:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by mrsuitcase
I do know a bit about economics.

If you charge a higher rate to more advanced students, your pricing will ultimately encourage more beginners to sign up with you. The opposite holds true, where higher rates for beginners will encourage more advanced students to sign up with you.



Valise, welcome to the board. You'll have to explain this to me, since I don't grasp the theory. Is it as simple as that people prefer knowing that they are paying less than someone else for seemingly the same thing? I.e., everyone loves a bargain?

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744310
06/14/18 04:35 AM
06/14/18 04:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Differing tuition rates for different students is the even broader question. Obviously this collides with our sense of equality and justice, but I'm sure it happens plenty often in piano studios - quietly. Not something to advertise, and tricky to defend, but I get it.

I don't share your sense of equality and justice, whatever that means.

Several of my clients are extremely wealthy, but they leave their kids with nannies and/or grandparents for the bulk of the day. I provide a brief moment of expensive babysitting. Even if kiddos don't learn a thing about piano, at least they get to interact with an intelligent adult who speaks to them in academic language and--hopefully--they can mentally absorb a thing or two through osmosis.

It's a valuable service. I'm worth every penny.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Tuition rates [Re: mrsuitcase] #2744330
06/14/18 07:48 AM
06/14/18 07:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,077
Virginia, USA
T
TimR Offline
4000 Post Club Member
TimR  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,077
Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by mrsuitcase


So, if a teacher prefers one type of student over another, they can influence the number of students they get in each category via their pricing.


In this thread there has been some talk about beginners needing just as much teacher expertise and effort as advanced students.

I think that neglects the idea that there might be two distinct categories of beginner: those who are there for "enrichment" and/or to check the block on college applications, versus those who are serious and will go on to become advanced students.


gotta go practice
Re: Tuition rates [Re: TimR] #2744372
06/14/18 11:22 AM
06/14/18 11:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,604
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,604
Originally Posted by TimR


In this thread there has been some talk about beginners needing just as much teacher expertise and effort as advanced students.

I think that neglects the idea that there might be two distinct categories of beginner: those who are there for "enrichment" and/or to check the block on college applications, versus those who are serious and will go on to become advanced students.

And then there are those beginners who're there because of their parents' wish to keep up with the Joneses, and go on to become advanced students because their teachers got them to see the light by inspired teaching.

Incidentally, that is not dependent on the teacher's fees.

Just on the teacher's ability to impart her enthusiasm for music, and inspire her student......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Tuition rates [Re: TimR] #2744415
06/14/18 01:38 PM
06/14/18 01:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,965
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,965
Canada
Originally Posted by TimR
In this thread there has been some talk about beginners needing just as much teacher expertise and effort as advanced students.

I think that neglects the idea that there might be two distinct categories of beginner: those who are there for "enrichment" and/or to check the block on college applications, versus those who are serious and will go on to become advanced students.

My opinion. Regardless of the ultimate goal, the same foundations are needed, and as solidly, for everyone. The value of these foundations, as well as their nature, is often not appreciated - and I mean by those who believe they teach. Think of it this way: In the 3 R's, students learn what shape the letter S has, what kinds of sounds it represents, that we read from left to right (in most languages), and other fundamental things. Imagine if one decided to do this with some of the students:
- Give them books with lots of pictures, so they don't need to sound out that c-a-t spells "cat" because there's a picture of a cat. Make sure the words are easy to memorize, maybe with rhymes, along with the pictures. Have these students hear the story being read out to them over and over again while they flip through the pages, maybe parroting what they heard. They'll sound fluid. Did they learn to read? Did they learn any of the skills that go into reading? Can they recognize S? Is it justifiable to "teach" anybody in this manner, because their perceived goals are low?

I think that some approaches to teaching beginner music things is similar to the above "reading program". Our parroting child above can fluently recite his memorized story while flipping through the pages using pictures as cues. It looks and sounds good, if the goal is "fluently say the words in the book" --- but not if the goal is "learn the skills of reading". We are not fooled that way for the 3Rs but I think we are fooled this way in music. The notes of Are You Sleeping are boringly simple, and so are dismissed. The concepts - the approaches - which a beginner should acquire - these are tricky to teach, and not at all easy. And I believe that this gets missed. And beginner teachers are not recognized for the important work they do --- it is not taken seriously by many who teach, which is too bad.

Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744429
06/14/18 02:44 PM
06/14/18 02:44 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
Hi Keystring
I totally agree with you about teaching beginners, and I’m very saddened when I see an intermediate pianist thinking they can teach beginners just because they are more advanced than their potential students.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2744480
06/14/18 05:40 PM
06/14/18 05:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 6
M
mrsuitcase Offline
Junior Member
mrsuitcase  Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted by mrsuitcase
I do know a bit about economics.

If you charge a higher rate to more advanced students, your pricing will ultimately encourage more beginners to sign up with you. The opposite holds true, where higher rates for beginners will encourage more advanced students to sign up with you.



Valise, welcome to the board. You'll have to explain this to me, since I don't grasp the theory. Is it as simple as that people prefer knowing that they are paying less than someone else for seemingly the same thing? I.e., everyone loves a bargain?


No problem. If you have two teachers (Teacher A and Teacher B) with unlimited teaching time and equal teaching abilities / location advantages, advertising, etc, and Teacher A charges $35 for a session, while Teacher B charges $65 for a session. In a world with perfect information available to the prospective students, you could fully expect all students to maximize their utility and select the less expensive teacher - Teacher A.

Now, for the next step, if the two teachers evaluate every student equally, and Teacher A charges $35 for beginners, and $65 for advanced. While Teacher B does the exact opposite ($35 for advanced, $65 for beginners), what will happen?

Beginners will maximize their utility and will all select the teacher with the lowest cost. So, Teacher A will end up with all the students evaluated as beginner, while Teacher B will end up with all students evaluated as advanced.

Naturally, all those assumptions about teaching ability/location, perfect information available to the student, unlimited hours available to teacher don't apply in the real world - which is why some great teachers might struggle to find students due to factors like poor location, or available hours, while some mediocre teachers might have many students because of advantages in those areas.

But what this gets at is that if a teacher charges a higher rate for advanced students, they will start attracting beginners instead, because those lower rates are are more competitive. And the opposite holds true.

Of course, if a teacher truly prefers one type of student over the other, rather than using pricing, they could just say "no".

Re: Tuition rates [Re: mrsuitcase] #2744592
06/15/18 01:16 AM
06/15/18 01:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
Most helpful explanation, Valise - thank you!

Re: Tuition rates [Re: keystring] #2744593
06/15/18 01:21 AM
06/15/18 01:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,163
Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by keystring

Regardless of the ultimate goal, the same foundations are needed, and as solidly, for everyone.


Bravo, keystring!

Re: Tuition rates [Re: TimR] #2744599
06/15/18 01:57 AM
06/15/18 01:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by TimR
I think that neglects the idea that there might be two distinct categories of beginner: those who are there for "enrichment" and/or to check the block on college applications, versus those who are serious and will go on to become advanced students.

There are many more categories than just two. You forgot the expensive babysitting "lessons" in which the student does not necessarily get enriched in any way, shape, or form.

I have been giving a series of trial lessons lately to potential transfer students. It is indeed very interesting to find out how few kids are remotely adequate at piano.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2745003
06/16/18 11:45 PM
06/16/18 11:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 175
Virginia
D
DFSRN Offline
Full Member
DFSRN  Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 175
Virginia
As a piano student for the past 4 years, taking lessons 4 hours a week at the same studio, two 2 hr lessons per week, if rates were raised because I became advanced (I am not advanced) I would feel penalized for my progression. If the teacher is having difficulty keeping up with the student, then refer them to another teacher who has that skill level. When my theory teacher, who received his masters from Oberlin and played for a symphony, left after 2 and a half years, the studio owner informed me she could not find someone to resume those theory lessons. She offered jazz theory with a masters prepared pianist who specializes in jazz. She did not raise my rates because I advanced. Actually she has not raised my rate in 4 years. However, if I have to miss a lesson (due to the length of my lesson time) I pay for it and do not ask to make it up. The jazz pianist also is a drummer and plays for a nursing home once a month. We work on several pieces and when I have 3-4 prepared, I play the piano and he accompanies me on the drums. Now I am have become more comfortable in front of an audience and my confidence is building, so I think I am playing better. When your students advance or you draw advanced students to your business it serves to positively promote your studio and teachers.

I coordinate a paid externship program, the selection process is competitive. Those senior college students selected are extremely sharp and keep me on top of my game, I like the challenge.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Tuition rates [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2749872
07/06/18 10:16 PM
07/06/18 10:16 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 152
Quebec city, QC
Jouishy Offline
Full Member
Jouishy  Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 152
Quebec city, QC
There is really an element in this discussion that bugged me - so I wanted to react - and it was that economic explanation.

This certainly holds true for many people, but we are forgetting a factor : many people will think they are paying for something better if they are paying more.
I've seen a post on a piano forum once (in French) from a beginner who said he looked around for available teachers in his city and took the most expansive one, because he thinks that would be the best teacher.
So a student might think that if he is paying more for more advanced lessons, it is because the teacher puts in more work and that the lesson will be more valuable for him.

Economic behaviors are trickier than we can think at first glance.


That being said, I'm not at all in that category (and I've never seen that, a teacher charging more for advanced students. Like DFSRN, my thinking would be that if a student is too advanced for a teacher to teach confortably, you should simply refer him to another teacher. And I would be perfectly confortable with the opposite too : a teacher not confortable to teach the basics that would refer too beginner students to another teacher - or refuse them at first. Teaching to beginners is something different than teacher to advanced students. Both needs preparation, but of different kind, and teachers can be more confortable with one type of student or the other).


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Mozart's K545, 1st and 3rd mov
- Tina's theme from FF VI piano collections
- Debussy's Golliwogg's cake walk
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

New In Our Store!
New In Our Store!
A few of the many new items we've added to our online store.
(PianoSupplies.com is a division of Piano World)
wrap around sunglasses with music notes
Wrap around sun glasses with music notes


88 keys, 10 fingers, no problem
88 Keys, 10 Fingers, No Problem


Bass Clef Hat
Bass Clef Hat

Tons more music related products in our online store!
(ad)
Pianoforall
PianoForAll
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Pianos at PTG and NAMM Conventions
by Grandman. 07/19/18 06:23 PM
What Is My Roland RD-600 Worth?
by AnalogJeff. 07/19/18 04:35 PM
Easy Debussy
by BbAltered. 07/19/18 03:54 PM
Daniel Lozakovich
by pianoloverus. 07/19/18 12:25 PM
Keystation49 or Launchkey49
by Stiglo Olsen. 07/19/18 11:48 AM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Steingraeber
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics186,496
Posts2,732,980
Members90,598
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
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 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1