Recommended Posts

I found out today that the fee for my violin lesson was

being raised by about $20.  I don't pay a lot for the hour and

my rate hasn't changed in 10 years.  I also take piano lessons

and pay the same amount (minus the $20).  My piano

teacher works in the same college as my violin teacher.  Now

that my violin teacher raised her rate, I don't feel right about

paying the piano teacher less.  How do tell the piano teacher

that I am raising his rate?  Do I just say since the violin

teacher did it, I think he should also have a $20 raise just to be

fair?  

These two teachers are people who are both my friends and

colleagues, in addition to being my teachers.  And although

I'm not poor, I'm also not rich and both of them are aware of this.

Both

teachers deserve the $20 raise and always have.  I

can afford paying them more an extra $20 because right now I

don't have that many expenses, but that is likely

to change in the future.  I don't know that if one day I

couldn't afford this rate if they would understand.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found it nice when a student gives me a raise. The students who have done that ususally have some contact with other teacher lesson rates - and are doctors, or some other well-paid profession.

I will use that as an indiicator of the rate I charge subsequent students, but I tend to "grandfather" old students in at their old rate and nedver mention a rate change to them - unless they wuit for a while and then return. I'll admit it can get rediculus, because at one time I had some students at my 30-year old rate ($5 per lesson).

Since your financial circumstances may not continue ascending, I would not change any rate you are not asked to change.

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a string teacher in a public school and teach privately,

but I teach mostly little children. I know the rates and

I know that I haven't been paying both teachers what is considered

average because I haven't been able to afford it.  Right now I

can.  I feel like I'm taking advantage of the piano teacher if

I don't give him a raise as well.  And what if he hears that

the violin teacher is getting more from me?  Plus, the piano

teacher is very generous with his time, the violin teacher has been

in the past as well.  When I do see that we are going over

time I am quick to remind them about it so they don't think I feel

entitled to anything.  I also play  chamber music with

the piano teacher.  In that sense we are colleagues.  I

don't know I have mixed feelings about all of this.  It is

strange territory because I know both teachers personally and

professionally.  Even with the raise, I'm still below their

standard fee.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone ever tried asking a student or their family

to simply offer what they think appropriate or can afford?

Reminds me of the restauranteur who accepted

whatever customers (poor students in particular) could afford.

Years later many returned to recompense him with gifts

and generous donations.

Hmm..... might be a risky way to go

if you are struggling yourself to survive!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lily,

I think the point to remember in pricing of lessons is that the teacher is the person who is responsible for setting the charge for a lesson. That means you have to pay whatever the the teacher asks and no more. So you are obligated to pay your violin teacher the extra $20 and have no obligation to pay the piano teacher more than the current charge until the teacher asks for more.

That's pretty clear, but is, of course, clouded by our desires as students and parents of students to be fair to people, our music teachers, who are doing us or our children a personal service.

If you feel that your piano teacher deserves more than your current charge, then you can, of course, pay more. I don't think it has to be the full $20 more. A raise of $5 or $10 would be quite nice. You might even state to your piano teacher that you feel he deserves a raise and are establishing one of $10 (or whatever amount you can afford), but would understand if the piano teacher felt it's time to raise his rates higher than that.

I think it might be embarrassing for everybody if you decided to give your piano teacher a $20 raise now, without the teacher asking for it, and found, down the road, that that amount is really more than you can afford. So, give the piano teacher a raise, if you feel the teacher deserves one, but keep it at a rate you can afford indefinitely.

Whatever the violin teacher is getting is really not relevant, because ultimately the piano teacher decides his own rate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell your piano teacher that you appreciate his efforts on your behalf, and that as he has not raised his rates in quite some time, you would not feel it unfair of him to do so now. It's really his place to valuate his time, but he may feel reluctant to do so because of you friendship and other circumstances.

HS

Link to post
Share on other sites

I pay $20/ hr for each of my two daughters for piano lessons to a local teacher who is very good with them. In addition to piano lessons, my younger daughter also takes violin lessons from another teacher and she also charges $20/hr. For the violin lessons, I have to drive her to the teacher about 90 miles round trip once a week. The violin teacher is also very good.

It is surely a sacrifice, but well worth my money and time.

$20/hr is the going rate in my area. The violin teacher has a waiting list.

I tried to teach violin to my younger daughter and she soon lost interest. She is doing very well with the teacher.

Link to post
Share on other sites

$20 per hour for a music teacher who has a college degree in music and maybe some professional experience is a real bargain.

Here, in southwestern Idaho, the rate for such a teacher is about $40, plus or minus $10.

I, too, tried to teach my daughter violin -- when she was 6. That was a mistake, and today at 13 she's a great pianist, probably because I have stayed out of her piano training. She will have absolutely nothing to do with the violin, much to my disappointment.

Maybe there's a lesson there for other parents. Play it safe, and send your child to a teacher, no matter what your own qualifications as a teacher are. I think it's the rare parent-child relationship that allows for a good teacher-student relationship on a musical instrument.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is easy to see how the term "starving musician" comes about. Most professional musicians think business with the wrong side of the brain, just like the majority of other self-employed people. If you take an average wage of $40,000 for arguments sake, add 20% benefits and 10% pension contributions, factor in paid vacation , that's about $26/hr. Then consider the extra overhead expenses of a musician and the fact that they spend about 50% of their working time in non-billable hours, and the equivalent rate should be $60/hr., considerably more for exceptional teachers. For instance, I know some elementary school teachers earn more than double that wage. (Ontario wages)

I think you are noble and correct in offering two comparable teachers the same rate and considering that rates have been discounted and constant for 10 years they probably deserve it. Remember that if the reward is not great enough the service may eventually disappear. If your circumstances change in the future you will be in a better position for bargaining a renewed discount with both teachers. Hopefully you will not have to exercise that course of action, but that is one bridge you don't need to think about or cross until you come to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify, my violin teacher has a degree and other professional

music qualifications and with her I'm studying classical violin

technique and repertoire and working towards teaching the

instrument myself in the future.My fiddle teacher is a touring and

recording folk and traditional musician and with her I'm studying

fiddle technique, styles, repertoire,performance, interpretation

and improvisation.Two teachers, two attitudes, two knowledge bases

to tap into, same instrument.

Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
Omobono

Reminds me of an oft quoted line of Eugene Ormandy:

"Play as if you've had expensive lessons!"

Good quote Omo, you're always a source of amazing database material. I had a total of 18 months of lessons starting at age 18 but always play as if I've had extensive formal training too. I think it boils down to the teacher and confidence. I see people who struggle along for years with weekly lessons and never seem to get better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Goodness, I got away with some cheap lessons before!

My old teacher charged me a monthly rate which worked out to around $8-$10 dollars an hour, depending on how long or short some lessons went.

Of course, my old teacher had a bit of a crush on me too!

I suppose I made up for it a bit, and though I was (am) married and therefore unavailable, before we moved I gave her my old car rather than try to sell it. My wife knew the old teacher had a tiny crush (she was the one who pointed it out to me) but she didn't mind, since she trusts me. The old teacher and I are still friends.

I will likely never find rates like that again, and my wife says I can never have a teacher that happens to be a young, cute female again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
Ms.Fiddle

To clarify, my violin teacher has a degree and other professional

music qualifications and with her I'm studying classical violin

technique and repertoire and working towards teaching the

instrument myself in the future.My fiddle teacher is a touring and

recording folk and traditional musician and with her I'm studying

fiddle technique, styles, repertoire,performance, interpretation

and improvisation.Two teachers, two attitudes, two knowledge bases

to tap into, same instrument.

Getting exposed to as many traditions and styles (classical and folk, jazz and gypsy, too)

as time allows is a great idea. Playing traditional folk music is a great way to learn

to play by ear, play with others, and play 20 minutes at a time with an unwavering,

steady beat so that people can dance to your playing. Those are skills all violinists,

even classical ones, should learn.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.