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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933481 01/13/20 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson


If you actually read my last post, you would realize they were not only my teachers but became friends, Otherwise I would not have known there was a needy child that needed dress clothes for a recital and could not afford to buy piano music.


It seems out of bounds to me for a teacher to share that kind of information with friends. Is there no such thing as privacy? This is obviously not a typical situation.


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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2933484 01/13/20 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
But charging more than the "normal" rate because someone has high income would seem a bit weird...Of course in our system the progressive taxes will take care of that wink

And just like that, it doesn't seem so weird any more, does it? All it takes is an analogy smile


Actually it's not quite the same thing. When we pay high taxes we are also given the opportunity to enjoy lower rates for a lot of services than we would have to pay more otherwise. It's just that those who earn
less may get the "extra" bonus of even lower rates. And the taxes are paid regardless of what services one actually uses. The beauty of taxing is that as an individual you cannot really choose what that money goes to. What would be weird to me was if a certain service was the more expensive the more you earn, so no fixed upper limit.

Since someone brought up kitten sales: I have been offered to pay a lot more for a kitten that I would normally charge just because it was peanuts for the buyer. Even if I was a student with low income it felt weird and I refused. It does not feel weird to charge less in the right circumstances.




Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: LarryK] #2933485 01/13/20 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson


If you actually read my last post, you would realize they were not only my teachers but became friends, Otherwise I would not have known there was a needy child that needed dress clothes for a recital and could not afford to buy piano music.


It seems out of bounds to me for a teacher to share that kind of information with friends. Is there no such thing as privacy? This is obviously not a typical situation.


It depends whether the child was named, or whether a teacher says "I have had students who could not afford dress clothes for a recital, or the piano music." I had a student who had no lunch and my students pooled their lunch together to help him or her out. It happened decades ago. Have I just violated anyone's privacy? Btw, what dogperson related sounds like a very typical situation - depends where you're teaching or where you live.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: keystring] #2933487 01/13/20 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson


If you actually read my last post, you would realize they were not only my teachers but became friends, Otherwise I would not have known there was a needy child that needed dress clothes for a recital and could not afford to buy piano music.


It seems out of bounds to me for a teacher to share that kind of information with friends. Is there no such thing as privacy? This is obviously not a typical situation.


It depends whether the child was named, or whether a teacher says "I have had students who could not afford dress clothes for a recital, or the piano music." I had a student who had no lunch and my students pooled their lunch together to help him or her out. It happened decades ago. Have I just violated anyone's privacy? Btw, what dogperson related sounds like a very typical situation - depends where you're teaching or where you live.


It sounds like this teacher shares information about what she or he charges every single student with friends. Who knows what other information is shared. Teachers can certainly waive their teaching fee and photocopy music without spreading the information regarding one student's financial situation to the whole world.


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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: LarryK] #2933490 01/13/20 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson


If you actually read my last post, you would realize they were not only my teachers but became friends, Otherwise I would not have known there was a needy child that needed dress clothes for a recital and could not afford to buy piano music.


It seems out of bounds to me for a teacher to share that kind of information with friends. Is there no such thing as privacy? This is obviously not a typical situation.


It depends whether the child was named, or whether a teacher says "I have had students who could not afford dress clothes for a recital, or the piano music." I had a student who had no lunch and my students pooled their lunch together to help him or her out. It happened decades ago. Have I just violated anyone's privacy? Btw, what dogperson related sounds like a very typical situation - depends where you're teaching or where you live.


It sounds like this teacher shares information about what she or he charges every single student with friends. Who knows what other information is shared. Teachers can certainly waive their teaching fee and photocopy music without spreading the information regarding one student's financial situation to the whole world.


Larry the information was not spread to the whole world—- but to one person. And she knew me well enough to know I would want to help them financially. I don’t see how you can continue to write so much about something you know nothing about . I’m done; So continue to make up what other negative scenario and make whatever negative comments you please without knowing anything. This teacher did not violate confidentiality, but I do not need to defend this to you nor provide other details.


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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933492 01/13/20 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson

Larry the information was not spread to the whole world—- but to one person. And she knew me well enough to know I would want to help them financially. I don’t see how you can continue to write so much about something you know nothing about . I’m done; So continue to make up what other negative scenario and make whatever negative comments you please without knowing anything. This teacher did not violate confidentiality, but I do not need to defend this to you nor provide other details.


I’m done with you. You asked me to post the rates I pay my teachers. That is certainly no business of yours. You appear to like gossip.


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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933493 01/13/20 08:49 PM
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Quote
I'm exaggerating in this hypothetical ad of course, but I just wanted to give a plausible example. The reality is that this advertised plan is mathematically equivalent to offering discounts to the needy and charging a 50% premium to parents in the upper-class or well-off - the very topic that Peter K. Mose started with.


No, it's not. There is a general market for the service. If you charge people who can afford "full price" a premium above the market price for your particular skill set you will starve. Your business will flee for other teachers who are equally as good as you but who charge the lower going rate.

This is the point I've been trying to make all along. If you offer discounts, for the most part it comes out of YOUR income if you have any significant waitlist. But some may CHOOSE that path because they want the best group of students.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: LarryK] #2933495 01/13/20 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson

Larry the information was not spread to the whole world—- but to one person. And she knew me well enough to know I would want to help them financially. I don’t see how you can continue to write so much about something you know nothing about . I’m done; So continue to make up what other negative scenario and make whatever negative comments you please without knowing anything. This teacher did not violate confidentiality, but I do not need to defend this to you nor provide other details.


I’m done with you. You asked me to post the rates I pay my teachers. That is certainly no business of yours. You appear to like gossip.


Why don’t you copy and paste my post where I asked you to post your pisno rates?


"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
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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: dogperson] #2933496 01/13/20 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson

Larry the information was not spread to the whole world—- but to one person. And she knew me well enough to know I would want to help them financially. I don’t see how you can continue to write so much about something you know nothing about . I’m done; So continue to make up what other negative scenario and make whatever negative comments you please without knowing anything. This teacher did not violate confidentiality, but I do not need to defend this to you nor provide other details.


I’m done with you. You asked me to post the rates I pay my teachers. That is certainly no business of yours. You appear to like gossip.


Why don’t you copy and paste my post where I asked you to post your pisno rates?


You posted this:

"That has not been my experience with expensive teachers: they charge a premium, non-negotiable, and are not lacking for students. I will admit that I have a limited depth in that price realm so this statement may not be universally true.... it is just my personal experience. If you try to negotiate a rate, I hope you post the outcome. "


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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: LarryK] #2933498 01/13/20 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson

Larry the information was not spread to the whole world—- but to one person. And she knew me well enough to know I would want to help them financially. I don’t see how you can continue to write so much about something you know nothing about . I’m done; So continue to make up what other negative scenario and make whatever negative comments you please without knowing anything. This teacher did not violate confidentiality, but I do not need to defend this to you nor provide other details.


I’m done with you. You asked me to post the rates I pay my teachers. That is certainly no business of yours. You appear to like gossip.


Why don’t you copy and paste my post where I asked you to post your pisno rates?


You posted this:

"That has not been my experience with expensive teachers: they charge a premium, non-negotiable, and are not lacking for students. I will admit that I have a limited depth in that price realm so this statement may not be universally true.... it is just my personal experience. If you try to negotiate a rate, I hope you post the outcome. "



This was not asking you for the rate but whether negotiation can be useful to consider, doing. You replied that you had done it and there was no request for the rate nor amount of discount. I could care less what you or anyone else actually pays.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933523 01/13/20 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Heck, I seem to remember a guy about 2,000 years ago had no objection to paying the same wage to people who worked a full day, a half day, and only the last hour as long as the contract was freely made. And those who complained about "unfairness" were rebuked by him. smile

But context! As a parable, the main point is to show the parallel to the master's grace (i.e. master gives away what he chooses), not necessarily the literal situation.

I suppose if a modern-day business were known for doing payroll this way, workers would soon learn not to bother coming in at the beginning of the day. I can't think of if that actually happens, but this seems a common scenario: an employee is satisfied with the salary but becomes dissatisfied after finding out that someone else makes more for the same work.

My fees, when they are different per student, represent how much exclusive time on schedule they occupy and their level of ensemble class (more advanced gets more time; it's objectively determined that they pay more). I don't care to manage different rates based on a subjective value judgment or unnecessary disclosure/request of personal situation.

But I hear that price discrimination happens in certain tourist locations where basically the local vendors charge the foreigners more, figuring they are willing to pay. If a teacher's business model is based on price discrimination and the market bears it, well, that's what comes of a free market. I personally would rather not participate in treating a teacher/student relationship as a simple transaction like selling trinkets.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Piano*Dad] #2933546 01/14/20 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
I'm exaggerating in this hypothetical ad of course, but I just wanted to give a plausible example. The reality is that this advertised plan is mathematically equivalent to offering discounts to the needy and charging a 50% premium to parents in the upper-class or well-off - the very topic that Peter K. Mose started with.


No, it's not. There is a general market for the service. If you charge people who can afford "full price" a premium above the market price for your particular skill set you will starve. Your business will flee for other teachers who are equally as good as you but who charge the lower going rate.

This is the point I've been trying to make all along. If you offer discounts, for the most part, it comes out of YOUR income if you have any significant waitlist. But some may CHOOSE that path because they want the best group of students.


Under certain circumstances, that CHOICE could be a savvy business decision to build-up the studio.

Standford offers scholarships for bright but poor students, and that is not a charity, not entirely. It as a top school still needs to compete for top talents, after all, a school is only as good as it's people. Once it established and maintained that reputation, the money follows. one way or the other.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933568 01/14/20 04:24 AM
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Good point monkeys.

As you write, a very talented student would ‘repay’ the teacher by increasing the prestige of the studio and so justify a discount in fees or even a full scholarship.

However this is different from giving perceived poor but average students a discount.

Teachers are of course able to do this but I personally find it questionable: a discount to one student is just the other side of the coin of charging more to another student: the teacher is judging relative wealth.

That’s such a minefield.


Modesty is a form of pride.
Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Piano*Dad] #2933667 01/14/20 10:59 AM
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[quote=Piano*Dad]
There is a general market for the service. If you charge people who can afford "full price" a premium above the market price for your particular skill set you will starve. Your business will flee for other teachers who are equally as good as you but who charge the lower going rate.

[/quote

You're the most knowledgeable among us given that you profess economics by day, David, but in piano teaching I don't see that things work like you say. A competent, likeable studio piano teacher who charges substantially more than her colleagues does not starve. Far from it. She simply attracts a different type of family, more affluent, keep-up-with-the-Joneses people, via word of mouth. Some people are proud of paying what you and I might call "too much" for piano lessons. I won't do it in my teaching practice, because I don't like excluding people from music lessons. But some teachers do this, and happily. They are greedy, or elitist, or both. Or maybe they are simply better businesspeople than I am.

Piano teaching is so personal, that it is harder to quantify a fair price for a 45-minute lesson than it is for purchasing a glazed donut down the street. At least that's how the world looks to me. But maybe it even works with donuts: if a fair price for a donut is $1.50, and some bakery wants to sell a similar donut for $10, I'm not sure the place will close down. It might flourish. At least for awhile. Until another place charges $15, and the crowds move over to the new place. I don't get it, but that's how fashion and trends work in our consumer, artless society.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933723 01/14/20 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
[
Some people are proud of paying what you and I might call "too much" for piano lessons. I won't do it in my teaching practice, because I don't like excluding people from music lessons.

Well, you might be excluding the "the other end" of the clientele.

Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
[
Piano teaching is so personal, that it is harder to quantify a fair price for a 45-minute lesson than it is for purchasing a glazed donut down the street. At least that's how the world looks to me. But maybe it even works with donuts: if a fair price for a donut is $1.50, and some bakery wants to sell a similar donut for $10

When a donut is sold for $10, donut itself is no longer the focus. It is about the location, the plate to hold the donut, the table cloth, the decoration, the smile of the server, and possibly a story behind it spread with selfies via Instagram. It is the experiences, not just the food.

Also, a piano lesson is a whole package too, the actual teaching is only part of it, the location of the studio, the setup of the studio, the personality of the teacher, the caliber of students, the families, the recital presentations.... the list goes on. With my limited observations, different studios attract different types of families, like it or not.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: terentius] #2933731 01/14/20 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by terentius

...... giving perceived poor but average students a discount.


That would be a bad idea, and I didn't see anyone here suggested this, I saw "poor but motivated students", maybe I missed something.

If you are doing this, you are probably the only one feels good and the only one appreciates the act.
The receiving family/student will first feel humiliated and then take it for granted and will feel betrayed if you ever take it away.

Getting private piano lessons is not a human right.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933754 01/14/20 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A competent, likeable studio piano teacher who charges substantially more than her colleagues does not starve. Far from it. She simply attracts a different type of family, more affluent, keep-up-with-the-Joneses people, via word of mouth. Some people are proud of paying what you and I might call "too much" for piano lessons. I won't do it in my teaching practice, because I don't like excluding people from music lessons. But some teachers do this, and happily. They are greedy, or elitist, or both.

Oh, get off your high horse. Stop insinuating that you are better than everybody else.

If you truly, truly want to include everybody in music lessons, then you will starve to death.

Let me reiterate what TheMonkeys just wrote: Getting private piano lessons is not a human right.


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Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: AZNpiano] #2933765 01/14/20 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A competent, likeable studio piano teacher who charges substantially more than her colleagues does not starve. Far from it. She simply attracts a different type of family, more affluent, keep-up-with-the-Joneses people, via word of mouth. Some people are proud of paying what you and I might call "too much" for piano lessons. I won't do it in my teaching practice, because I don't like excluding people from music lessons. But some teachers do this, and happily. They are greedy, or elitist, or both.

Oh, get off your high horse. Stop insinuating that you are better than everybody else.


Peter has not made a single statement of superiority. Look, I was the first person to use the term "professional ethics" and you took that term, and also extrapolated an attitude of superiority to my term. Are we to be cowed by these .... should we backtrack from having values because oh dear, if you have values, the mindreading faction will tell everyone of our "superior attitudes"? Can such values not be discussed without personal attacks?

Quote
If you truly, truly want to include everybody in music lessons, then you will starve to death.

Oh my, have we been conversing with a corpse, then? Or just a skeletal figure? Logic would suggest that only a portion of students asking for music lessons are impoverished, and if socio-economics say anything, the poor and less educated may be the least likely to ask for lessons so it won't come to that. Adding that not too many can afford to have an instrument, therefore to even ask for lessons.

Look ........ ** I ** am one of the people who benefited from the attitude Peter represents. We had just come out of a very bad situation and I was just getting on my feet again. One of my children asked for lessons. He worked his *** off when he got them; did the impossible in the few years before college age. Is this what you are fighting? Seriously? I have paid it forward since.

These also happen to be my values. I respect your right to hold your values. Having particular values does not make someone "superior" to others, unless they say they are superior to others. And disliking certain behaviours does not imply an attitude of superiority. It implies disliking those behaviours.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2933775 01/14/20 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Let me reiterate what TheMonkeys just wrote: Getting private piano lessons is not a human right.

This doesn't make sense. The definition of "human right" goes in the realm of law. "Rights" are guarantees that have been enshrined in laws. Thus human rights depend on the laws of a country, and its citizens are required to uphold those laws. Why law would come into a discussion on music lessons is beyond me. It makes no sense. I suspect it wasn't thought through.

When, in my profession, I did a translation for someone in dire straits for a lower fee, it is not because he had a "human right" to my service. I did it out of common decency. And frankly, I think it is a crying shame if someone who is burning to learn, and would work hard in that learning, is prevented from doing so because of the dollar. Actually,instead of "rights" - law - how about talking about it being a loss. For the individual and maybe even society. There are bigger issues, like why people get into such situations in the first place, and no profession, teaching or other, should be forced to become a charity to make up for the weaknesses of our social and economic structures. But surely we can discuss things like giving access when we can - or values, period.

I'm going to leave this discussion because I don't like how it makes me feel, and it's not bringing out the best. I don't usually lose my cool.

Re: Setting Fees/Sliding Scales [Re: keystring] #2933799 01/14/20 03:48 PM
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When, in my profession, I did a translation for someone in dire straits for a lower fee, it is not because he had a "human right" to my service. I did it out of common decency.


Bravo!

Quote
And frankly, I think it is a crying shame if someone who is burning to learn and would work hard in that learning, is prevented from doing so because of the dollar.


It is a difference from a one-time act and subsidizing a student for weekly lessons that last for years.
If a person is truly burning to learn and would work hard in that learning, and has the capabilities, he will learn one way or the other.

Providing a scholarship to such an individual is one thing. And as I said, both sides could benefit from it, not just the student.
Giving subsidies to families, purely based on perceived financial status, not the merit, is something different, it probably benefits no one.
Shaming private piano teachers not providing subsidies to the families that are perceived poor, is something entirely different to a different level.

We donate a fair share of our family income to charities each and every year, I also volunteer my time. We love to help people to get back on their feet.
But I don't like to encourage a system that makes people rely on the helps and do not get back on their feet.

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