Just FYI, the AGO (American Guild of Organists) posted standard rates for per service performances.
They lost a court case claiming price fixing and were forced to remove all references to fees on their website.
I'm not suggesting that would apply to individual piano teachers but I found it interesting.
I'm curious how long ago that court case was. Not that I think that would affect independent teachers. I agree with you and Tyrone that it's a different situation than individual teachers posting rates.
As a student, I would not necessarily have a positive impression about the posting of rates, because I think it gives them too much prominence.
I was thinking similarly when I took down the rate information from my site.
If someone were significantly less than the standard rate, I would not contact them unless I received a positive evaluation from a student
This is an interesting viewpoint. My rates tend to be middle of the road. A bit on the low side of what studios with multiple teachers advertise, and more on the higher end of what teachers like me (who work from home) charge in my area. So I tended to wonder if my higher-than-the-"standard"-rate in that teacher demographic would make people not bother to contact me in the first place.
OTOH, I considered that not posting my rates at all might be viewed as, "She must be too expensive if she doesn't want to post her rates."
My singing teacher's website has both her rates (complicated by how many lessons the student commits to, and how long they are), _and_ her booking / cancellation policy, on her website.
It made my life easier.
Interesting, your use of the word complicated. I offer lessons of various lengths and number of sessions per week, too, but after a while, I thought all of that on a web page might look rather complicated to someone who was just beginning their search for a piano teacher.
I find it annoying when people (not just piano teachers) donâ€™t post their rates. But thatâ€™s solved just by asking the question when I contact them, so no big problem.
Thanks for this feedback, that you contact them anyway. I wonder if you're in the majority or minority of people who don't like when rates are posted, but follow through with contact, nonetheless.
I want people to be interested initially in my teaching values as reflected in my ads or on a website, not my unpublished fees. If they want to know about my fees before asking anything else about me, the chances are good that we won't end up working together, since we are mismatched.
This comes closest to the feeling I had just before I decided to take my prices down. Your comment made me say "Yes" out loud, so it may just be the thing that will keep me from waffling anymore on this issue.
I would never publish my rates on my website.
But my website is almost useless, anyway. In the past 12 years it has generated a total of 6 students.
About the same percentage for me -- the website's brought me 1 student in the almost 2 years since I started it. That student started only this year. My site renews next month, and I almost deleted it, since, at the time I was getting really frustrated with the cost and lack of yield, it had brought only one inquiry, but no student (they wanted a teacher willing to travel). But now I do have a student I acquired through my website, so it will pay for itself in 3-4 months of lessons with that student. So... I'm going to renew, anyway.
As a parent Iâ€™d want your website to include both price and teacher qualifications. I find it annoying when I canâ€™t find that sort of information on the web. Itâ€™s a great way for parents to filter out teachers they wouldnâ€™t want. I would think teachers would feel the same way as they donâ€™t waste their time talking with uninterested parents.
That was some of my reasoning when I first put my rates on my site--if people consider me too expensive, they won't contact me. But it really doesn't take much of my time to get a phone or email inquiry asking me what my rates are, and then have them hang up on me or never write back.
Just kidding. (Partly--no one's hung up on me.)
Further contact beyond the website, though, does give me a chance to share more specifics about my qualifications and offerings (which I put a little of on my site). If I put everything on my website--prices, studio policy, etc.--and I get hits on my site but no inquiries, then it's hard to determine what stopped the follow-through. Saving some information for the phone consultation helps me hear how people respond to various aspects of the information I give, and makes me more aware of what people are looking for in piano lessons today.