Qualifications and fees

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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sunshine
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Qualifications and fees

Post by sunshine » 08 Jul 2009, 13:05

How much should I charge for lessons?

I have a Diploma in Solo piano performance from Trinity College London (ATCL). I am not studying music to a professional degree, although I do plan on sitting the LTCL and FTCL when time permits. I'm currently studying (not music) at the University of Manchester. I was contacted by a parent for her 3 children (9 years therabouts) who got my contact through a friend and when she called me, I emphasised that I did not have a professional (does diploma count?) or teaching qualification and I would be unqualified to take them through their grades and she said that her kids already expressed and interest and at this point, all she wanted was to sustain that interest and not do anything heavy. I taught in my halls of residence for a short period, to other fellow residents in the same halls and since had no prior experience, charged £5 per 1/2 hour. (the cheapest yet on this forum...;)). My "specialty" if it may be called that is being able to play anything (nearly,...excluding rap..=)) by ear, memorise music and a perfect pitch. And the kids seem to be interested in playing pop songs and gospel songs (again, ideal as I've been playing for church since I was 12. I'm 23 now. All my friends including one with extensive experience in teacher-hunting said that my price was too low (considering i was also travelling via public transport) and that I should be charging at least £10. I love playing the piano and teaching people with an interest in it, partially the reason why i charged so low for my friends at halls.

Any advice?

markymark
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by markymark » 08 Jul 2009, 13:59

Piano teachers do not have to have any professional qualifications to teach privately - it is quite legal. Because you are not working for a professional institution or education department, you are not obliged to follow a pay level as you would if you were in mainstream teaching like I am.

Most piano teachers will complete performance diplomas at Associate and Licentiate levels (ATCL, ALCM, LRSM). Some will either or also complete a instrumental teaching diploma at ATCL or LTCL level which helps you plan for your lessons. For Trinity Guildhall, they recently changed their ATCL teaching diploma to not include a lesson observation. You have to provide a video or write-up if I remember correctly.

In my former grammar school, we had three music teachers who were employed by the school and who taught music on a one-to-one basis and all three of them had one or more diplomas. In fact, one of them had eight diplomas from London College, Trinity, Associate and then a fellowship.

You mentioned FTCL. Unfortunately, unless you have made exceptional contributions to music education, management, composition, then FTCL in teaching may not be quite so easy to complete. They aren't given out after completion of an exam but will require you to draw on your experience in the field of education such as a INSET/CASS advisor or even a teacher over a period of years as a lengthy dissertation is required. By all means, look into it if it interests you but fellowship qualifications are not given out willy-nilly. FTCL in performance has a more recognisable exam setup like the others however, still a very high standard.

So, charge what you like basically! There is no reason for you to rank yourself as "unqualified" or not having any professional music qualifications. You have a specialist music qualification for piano which is why is not a generic music degree! It does not have the breadth of exposure to confer that title to you, but you are qualified within piano playing. Consider the music teaching diploma at ATCL or LTCL level, particularly if you are not completing a teaching qualification at uni.

Descombes
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by Descombes » 08 Jul 2009, 19:02

I agree that you should expect a reasonable fee. ATCL is a perfectly respectable qualification; many teachers making a full-time living from teaching have considerably less by way of qualification. Why not go for £12 - 15 per half-hour lesson + travelling expenses? I wonder if you ought to think about a CRB check? Being able to show that to a parent would possibly be more reassuring to them than a professional qualification. However I would say that you are perfectly equipped to prepare pupils for grade exams, though aim for a teaching diploma as well when you can find the time.

Incidentally markymark, are you sure about FTCL not being available by exam? It certainly used to be an option after LTCL, though it required a pretty high level recital. I was not aware that it had changed.

markymark
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by markymark » 08 Jul 2009, 19:30

In 2009 when the syllabus change occurred, the traditional "performance" diploma was removed. Now Trinity Guildhall offer diplomas in Recital (no exercises or scales involved), Pro-music performance and then music education.

Recital diplomas are offered at ATCL, LTCL and FTCL;
Pro-music performance at only ATCL and LTCL level;
Instrument teaching at ATCL and LTCL and
Music Education at FTCL.

The recital diplomas are completed by way of preparing a performance around 45 mins long (longer as you move towards FTCL) and a programme with some questioning. Unlike the traditional performance diploma, the performance makes up most of the exam.

Instrumental teaching diplomas are accessible for a someone without a music degree but as I was saying, FTCL requires completion of a dissertation, presentation and viva voce. Much, much more intense than the LTCL, but then again, it encompasses music education and not merely instrumental teaching.

FTCL in recital as it now is, would be accessible by exam, although at a high standard as you say.

Descombes
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by Descombes » 08 Jul 2009, 19:35

Yes, I think we agree then. FTCL is a high level recital after doing LTCL. Much as it was 30+ years ago - and it's within the bounds of possibility that sunshine could work up to it.

markymark
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by markymark » 08 Jul 2009, 19:40

Yes we do - I was really referring to FTCL in Music Education. I don't think holding a ATCL or LTCL in instrumental teaching is going to provide enough oumph to tackle a FTCL in Music Education.

Descombes
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by Descombes » 08 Jul 2009, 19:43

sunshine sounds like a go-ahead and lively 23 year old. I would not want to rule out any possibilities!

markymark
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by markymark » 09 Jul 2009, 00:02

Absolutely!

Just pointing out that FTCL in music education is tough and requires a lot of work, working knowledge and experience in the realm of music in education on which to draw for dissertation and the presentation part of the exam.

sunshine
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by sunshine » 09 Jul 2009, 02:20

Thanks for the advice and update guys. I didn't realise the syllabus had changed. What I sat for my ATCL there were scales and what not. I think I like the new changes. :) And you're right; I did think the FTCL was just another diploma like ATCL and LTCL :oops: ; thanks for correcting me on that.:)

I do have my CRB forms, and the special one at that, for working with vulnerable children. I guess those will be useful.

:piano;

markymark
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Re: Qualifications and fees

Post by markymark » 09 Jul 2009, 12:30

In some ways, a performance diploma is based on performance.

I could never really understand the point in doing a more advanced Grade VIII exam and call it performance - what do scales and sight-reading really have to do with professional performance? :roll:

I am seriously considering doing the LTCL in recital but getting time after the summer holidays to perform is not going to be easy.

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