Figuring out how much to charge for music lessons is a daunting task that a lot of peripatetic music teachers face on a regular basis. Many teachers that are just starting out also experience some hesitation when trying to determine the appropriate amount.
There are multiple factors involved when deciding how much to charge for your music lessons and it's not always easy to know where to begin. We've put together some considerations that can help to make this decision a bit easier.
Private and Group Lessons
There can be different price points depending on how many students you teach at any one time. Some students may benefit from group lessons, and the social interaction between multiple students, while others may depend on the directionality of the instrumental tutor.
If a student chooses to be taught privately, they are effectively taking up more of your time and effort and you can, therefore, set these at a premium rate. Prices for individual students within group lessons can be set lower. However, having multiple students in each lesson slot means multiple incomes streaming over a shorter period of time, which might lead you to ultimately earn more money than a single slot of private tuition.
Choose the groups carefully and ensure that prices match up for each student in their respective groups and you will be on your way to earning a decent amount of money per lesson.
Student Age and Level
How much to charge for music lessons can also depend on the student’s age and playing ability. For example, if you start giving guitar lessons in a school, and there is a guaranteed number of students, you may be able to charge a lower price per student. In the case of beginner classes, lessons at this stage may be more uniform and take less effort to recreate. This can enable you to price lessons for students looking to start out and charge more as lessons become more challenging and dynamic.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may have a set of private students that are at varying levels of playing ability. This will require more of your time and tailored attention. When running a studio that specializes in individualized lessons, you may be able to charge higher tuition that will attract highly motivated students looking to play long-term. Many music teachers offer group as well as private lessons, within a school or privately with a wide spectrum of price offerings.
With this in mind, make sure you assess the situation to see what people might be able to pay. While you don’t want to stereotype different age groups, it is worth considering the disposable income of a student. This comes into play, especially with age. For example, an adult student is likely to have more disposable income and be committed in the long run in comparison to a teenager. So, it is important to be fair with pricing and remember what will likely help you retain your students.
Your Location Matters
It’s amazing that you have a lot of students, but don’t forget that you have business costs as well! Whether you teach online, at home, in a dedicated space, or travel to your student’s houses, you will still have expenses that need to be paid regularly. You should attempt to set up prices that cover the different costs associated with each option.
Traveling to Students' Homes
When traveling to students' homes, it is important to factor in the costs of the fuel. The cost of fuel often varies, so it is a good idea to set an average fee that can cover this fluctuation. Another consideration is the travel time you are putting in to get to these lessons. A long commute to a student's home can mean less time available for other lessons. Many teachers put a limit on how far they are willing to travel in order to address this issue.
Teaching at Home or Studio
When you are teaching in a dedicated space, whether that is at home or a studio, it is important to write down the following costs: electricity, rent, insurance, and more. While the costs may be harder to isolate when you are teaching from your home, you may be able to average total lessons time within your overall home expenses and figure it into the cost.
Teaching online can be a significant time and money saver. While the experience may not be as rich, it is a great way to be able to accommodate more students, and offer competitive pricing. You may want to consider the costs of your internet as teaching lessons online can require a faster and more powerful internet connection. There will also be different equipment costs associated with online lessons such as cameras, high-quality microphones, and software for studio management.
Lesson Duration Plays a Role
There are different views on this. In my experience, I’ve set prices for lesson durations as shops might do for buy one, get two for ‘x’ deals.
Say I charge £25 per half-hour lesson. For an hour-long lesson, rather than double prices, I would charge the student £40. In this way, they can view this as saving, but in reality, it is an upsell for me if minimum prices that the lesson might have to be is £20 because of costs or more.
Of course, this also depends on whether it’s private tuition or a group. Regardless, I tend to prefer longer lessons as I feel the student might be able to settle and get more out of it when compared to shorter lessons.
Your Experience and Education
Finally, education really is priceless. If you’re an accomplished performer or recognized tutor, it is likely that you will be more in demand and therefore able to increase prices. In such cases, your value will precede you and people will pay for your services. Keep working to a high standard and foster relationships with your students and their parents when relevant. If people really want to learn and it’s proven that you can teach to a high standard, they will come on their own.
As a teacher, and provider of a service, you need to put forward your prices with confidence. You aren’t just teaching, you’re providing a valuable experience containing memories, life skills, and lessons. These are all priceless. For this reason, don’t be afraid to charge what you think you’re worth, as well as the prices that cover your initial costs. Those that respect your value will pay, and the ones that don’t won’t matter in the long run.
Now that you've read through on how much to charge for music lessons, take a step back and think if you're not charging enough for your lessons or maybe if it’s too much. Remember to consider group lessons, the age and level of your students, your location, the lesson duration, and of course, your education and experience. It's never too late to re-evaluate your business and what you're offering to your students!
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