Piano lesson fees for 2008

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whitebeagle
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Piano lesson fees for 2008

Post by whitebeagle » 10 Dec 2007, 15:54

Hello

I was wondering if you all thought it's reasonable to raise lessons fees for 2008? I have been teaching for 11 years, have a masters degree, and currently charge £25-28 per hour as a home visit teacher in London.

When I visited the ISM site it recommends that teachers in London charge £24 and up as a newly qualified teacher so what I charge is rather low. Home visits are becoming rather cumbersome as I don't have a car.

I don't want to shock the students however, and thinking of raising fees by a pound or two. I haven't had to do this before, as I have always worked in a music school or a school, but wonder what would be the best way to approach the subject with private students.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Gill the Piano
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Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Dec 2007, 18:20

Raise it straight away for new ones, that's easy. But when you think of your training and trouble to get to these people, you really are undervaluing yourself. And if you do, they will too. When you think it takes an aromatherapist a year to train, and they charge 30 quid upwards an hour for YOU to go to THEM....!! Send a letter, notifying them of charges increase from Easter, say. That way you have given them enough notice to go elsewhere if they want (and they'll NEVER find someone to visit for what you're charging now) and enough time to get used to the idea of actually paying what you're worth. If anyone carps, ask what they've paid for a trained ape as opposed to a proper tradesman to come to fix a tap/dishwasher/TV/cooker per hour, and to compare and contrast! Use it as an excuse for weeding out the ones you're fed up with...!
What d'you think?

whitebeagle
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Post by whitebeagle » 11 Dec 2007, 12:03

Thanks for that Gill, much appreciated.

I guess it's easy to say than do...If I was really upfront about the fee raise, I'm afraid of losing most of the students, or even if they agree to the raise, how it will affect the teacher-parent relationship. As I have only been teaching in London for a bit over a year, I haven't really built up a reputation of any sort yet. So far I only teach students who live within 30 mins drive or bus from my home. Most of them live within 10 mins, and quite a few within walking distance.

However, thanks for pointing out the training and education I have been through, you're right, I do think I have been undervaluing myself. I guess when I initially arrived in London I was just happy to be teaching again which I put on hold for a year.

Do you recommend that I also tell parents face-to-face, giving them, say 2 months notice, or do it all by letter? I teach the parent of some of the children also, so I guess it affects them too!

Gill the Piano
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Post by Gill the Piano » 11 Dec 2007, 18:36

Soften 'em up first, telling them that you will be revising charges some time in the new year, but you wanted to let them know informally first, and hope that they will understand. You can offer discounts for plAces where you teach more than one person - make a big point of it, so they know they're getting a bargain!.
I know it's hard, and I'm the worst at putting prices up; I tend to charge new customers new prices and let the rest drift, so I shouldn't be telling you! I also fall for sob stories, recently adjusting a price for a single parent so-called struggling family, only to find the brat's at a private school!!!

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Barrie Heaton
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Post by Barrie Heaton » 11 Dec 2007, 22:36

Remember this if you raise your prices by 50% and lose 50% of your clients you will still be working for the same money but half the work. Take it for me you don't, I have found the more I put my prices up the more work I seem to get but I am a tuner not a teacher

I hope you charge 10 weeks upfront as well




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whitebeagle
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Post by whitebeagle » 12 Dec 2007, 12:13

Thanks for all your comments, looks like I'll go ahead with the fee raise.

What's a reasonable raise to ask for? I don't think I'll be going with 50%, as tempting as that might be but more like 10% from the current rate. I'm already giving discounts on households with two or three students.

I guess the trouble with me is that I've built up a relationship with some of them where they invite me to holidays (I never went) and come to my concerts and so on so I don't want to appear too heartless.

However, business is business I guess, and I'll see how this goes. Thanks again, Gill and Barrie.

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 12 Dec 2007, 14:23

You are in the profession of piano teaching to make a profit the fact that you enjoy your work is the same as any other profession if you don't make a profit you may as well stack shelves in a supper market.

Good customer relations is important to a successful business but if you can't pay your bills then what's the point. You have built up a relationship with some of your clients that is good they trust you and respect your work that is important to a lot of folk and they will pay.

As Gill pointed out Hit your new clients firsts, then your newish ones. then the ones with 10 kids make it worth your wile at lest a £5.00

Get them in the habit of 10 weeks up fount they the no shows will not matter as you have been paid

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Post by cothse » 25 Dec 2007, 06:24

I agree with most of what was already said. In business, it is also often a good idea to offset any price increases with benefits. For example, as software prices get higher every year, so do the number of little features that come included with the default packages. In the business sense, the features are there for the price, and not the other way around. This helps customers maintain their patronage a lot better than any verbal consolation. See if there's anything you can do to mirror this with your piano lessons.
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williamhhay
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Piano lesson fees for 2009 (in the current economic downturn

Post by williamhhay » 27 Mar 2009, 23:29

As I understand most teachers do, I increase my fees every couple of years to take account of the value added by the teacher's experience alongside inflation and positive RPI, but in these troubled economic times I wonder if it still viable to do so?

People in many industries are accepting salary cuts or decreases in their working hours. Whilst one might expect that some people would consider music lessons to be something of a luxury on which to cut back, there certainly has not been any evidence of that so far. Enquiries from potential students are ever higher, the waiting list grows and there are never quite enough hours in the week in which to teach all the lessons which could potentially be taught.

If we do experience a general deflation in the cost of living, should this be reflected in piano lesson fees?

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Re: Piano lesson fees for 2008

Post by markymark » 28 Mar 2009, 17:29

I would look at your target social group. The higher cost of living seems to affect the mid to lower middle class mostly. If most of your pupils come from these family setting, I'd be careful about raising prices too much in case you end up losing pupils. I think you have to make a business type decision here. Is your service in big demand? Have you a big waiting list for your current rates? If so, then upping prices slightly may be okay. However, if you are starting off and are only just established as a private teacher, then I'd try holding off until you secure your "product" so-to-speak.

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