Where does my piano tuition go? What do I pay for with piano lessons? Adapted from Wendy Stevens www.composecreate.com
Congratulations on choosing to participate in music lessons! Music has been found to enrich the lives of all who participate in its creation or in its enjoyment. When you choose to take music lessons, you are choosing to learn a skill that will benefit you and bring you joy your entire life! No price can be put on such a beautiful art as music. Yet, obtaining the skill will certainly require assistance from a professional—your music teacher.
Your teacher has chosen to make music his/her business and occupation. As with any business, costs are calculated to both ensure that the highest quality product is given and that the business makes enough profit to continue providing services.
What does my tuition cover?
All independent music teachers differ in methods of operation. However, the tuition of nearly all teachers covers the following:
- Time spent with the student
- Lessons, performance classes, group lessons
- Time spent in preparation for the student
- Music research
- Lesson planning
- Development of curriculum
It has been cited by professional music journals that for every hour enrolled in piano lessons, you are investing in at least 2 hours of the teacher’s time.
- Your teacher’s training and experience
- Recital costs and preparations
- Programs, refreshments, facility rental
- Professional organization memberships--Memberships are maintained by the teacher to enhance his/her teaching skills and provide the student with opportunities for festivals, competitions, and performance events
- Professional journals--Publications to assist the teacher in keeping current on new teaching materials and trends
- Studio expenses: Studio fees, copying, computer software
- Student incentive programs, instruments, tunings, repairs, newsletters.
- Music books and CD’s
- Materials purchased by the teacher to use for research or lend to students
- Self-employment taxes, insurance, retirement--The independent music teacher has no corporation to assist in providing health and life insurance or any retirement benefits. He or she also pays both the employer and employee portions of social security taxes. Tuition helps cover the increased living and business costs of your teacher.
- Continuing education
- Lessons and classes that keep the teacher current on methods and techniques
- Certification costs--Independent music teachers pay to be re-certified every five years provided they have met continuing education and studio requirements.
How do I know if music lessons are worth the price?
Shop around! Not every teacher is right for every student. You will want to be sure that your music teacher provides opportunities and insights that are important to you as well as being important to your child’s musical development.
Start by interviewing several music teachers to learn more about their:
- Goals and Expectations
- Philosophies of music education
- Teaching experience
- Studio Policy
- Performance opportunities
- Above all, find out how they demonstrate commitment to excellence in music education.