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#1103918 - 11/07/08 12:10 AM piano lessons in Durham/Chapel Hill
Just Love Piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 15
Loc: Durham
I just moved from Kentucky to North Carolina for several months. The first thing besides finding an apartment is to find a piano teacher for myself. Though I studied piano lessons for one year and now can play some Clementi Sonatina, I still define myself a beginner when I communicate with local teachers. To my disappointment, most teachers whose name can be googled and are not willing to take beginners like me, especially those coming from academy. Given my experience with previous teacher, who is department chair of music school and an established pianist and with several students win in international competition, I feel very confused. My previous teacher claimed that he would rather teach a student from scratch and that's what he did to me...We began with reading CDEFGAB and middle C on the keyboard...
Another unacceptable thing is the price. Teachers here are easily charging like $80-100/hr with no negotiation. My previous teacher charged only $50/hr. If performing activities/teaching experience can be calculated, based on my previous teacher, I expect local teachers should charge below 50/hrs.
If you are encountered with similar embarrassment, please join my discussion and let's talk about it. Or if you have information of decent piano teachers in the triangle area, please don't hesitate let me know.

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#1103919 - 11/07/08 12:17 PM Re: piano lessons in Durham/Chapel Hill
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
The piano teaching system is essentially
set up to teach children from about age
7 to 17. After 17, those with enough talent
would be expected to continue on in college
as piano majors. Those who don't are
typically not encouraged to continue with
lessons, as they are now adults, and
their presence among the children would
be awkward from then on.

Thus, adults students do not fit easily into the
instructional system. Many teachers won't
take them, and so adults often end up
in group lessons at community colleges
or with high-priced university instructors.

But in a town like Chapel Hill there must
be hundreds of piano teachers. Simply go through
the phone book until you find one who
takes adults.

#1103920 - 11/07/08 01:32 PM Re: piano lessons in Durham/Chapel Hill
Ken S. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 87
Loc: North Carolina
Welcome to the "Triangle" (Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill). There are teachers here for adult learners of all abilities. My experience is limited, but I would be surprised to find that the average rates in this area are $80 to $100 per hour. I'm guessing more like $50 to $60.

You could ask at the music departments of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University or Meredith College (Raleigh). I also have seen a number of craigslist ads. You also may wish to try to the local music teachers associations. Durham's has a referral website:


Good luck finding someone with whom you fit.

#1103921 - 11/07/08 02:16 PM Re: piano lessons in Durham/Chapel Hill
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
That surprises me, too. I took lessons from a woman in Cary for $10/hour about 10 years ago. I understand inflation, but not that much. (To be fair, while she was a fine pianist, know that I know more, I wish I'd have switched teachers rather than quit.)

Maybe they ask high prices because of RTP and all the "rich folks?"

I'm sorry this doesn't help. You might try the local papers, including the independent ones.

#1103922 - 11/07/08 02:42 PM Re: piano lessons in Durham/Chapel Hill
Just Love Piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 15
Loc: Durham
Thank you guys. I would not go further about the price, b/c each piano teacher has his own standards of marketing. What frustrates me most is I can't find a piano teacher who would take adult student and charge a fair price.

If the piano teaching system is trying to produce elites only instead of educate the common population, I would feel very sorry for that. Adult students should have equal right to be trained as patiently as what is done to children. I don't like to learn something in a big class room without detailed personal instruction.

Thank you, Ken S. Your website is very helpful.

#1103923 - 11/07/08 05:30 PM Re: piano lessons in Durham/Chapel Hill
Ivory Dreams Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 210
Loc: Central NC
Mingqing Cai,
First of all....Welcome to North Carolina! I'm a life long resident. I can't seem to make up my mind which end of the state to call home. I guess it is all good!

THOSE FOLKS IN CHAPEL HILL ARE SPECIAL. If they smell money and they can get it, they will charge it. It doesn't matter if it is piano lessons or house cleaning. You'll really learn something if you need a plumber or an electrician.

If you drive...Please take a moment to consider driving down to Pittsboro for your lessons. (15-20 minutes south by car from Chapel Hill). There is a wonderful piano teacher there named Liz Tedesco. She is a treasure, she does private lessons in her home, Her lessons previously were around $25/hr. She possibly has increased her rate, (hasn't everyone?) but I believe you will find her fee reasonable.

If she has an opening, she will evaluate where you are and begin there. The majority of her students are adults.

She is a hugely talented pianist, and a gifted piano teacher. If you are interested in learning pop, clasical, music theory.... or just playing the music that "you" like to listen to, you need to call her.

Forgive me if I sound like an advertisement, I took lessons from her and I never miss an opportunity to sing her praises.

A FEW WORDS OF CAUTION..... She gives lessons on an awesome baby grand. This instrument is seriously adictive.... It has a rich tone, and a great touch.

Her number is 919-542-2890.

You can own a Chickering, Christifori, or Steinway, but if you can't play it.... It is just a piece of eye candy.


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