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#1261318 - 09/02/09 08:44 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: Gary D
[/QUOTE

I know how well my insurance company is handling us. $1200 a month for my wife and me, going up for sure soon, $5,000 deductable, no co-pay on any doctor visits, no help with prescriptions, out of pocket for us last year of $30,000.

Can't change companies now because I have a "pre-existing condition". It is quite possible we will soon have to drop our insurance.

_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1261320 - 09/02/09 08:45 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Mrs.A]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: Mrs.A
Originally Posted By: Gary D

I know how well my insurance company is handling us. $1200 a month for my wife and me, going up for sure soon, $5,000 deductable, no co-pay on any doctor visits, no help with prescriptions, out of pocket for us last year of $30,000.

Can't change companies now because I have a "pre-existing condition". It is quite possible we will soon have to drop our insurance.

[/quote


I hit the wrong button. Oops.

Gary, so sorry about this. I will keep you in my prayers.

K
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1261328 - 09/02/09 08:58 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: kissyana]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Wow, your post has given me so much inspiration =)

I will do that ~ gain a "regular paying job" all the while gathering up piano students in order to reach that number 1 goal of piano teaching... which in my opinion, is one of the liberating jobs in the world!!

Thank you!!

good luck to you and i kissyana!
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261335 - 09/02/09 09:06 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: bittersweetmusique]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3896
Having a spouse with health insurance and other benefits is the way to go.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1261338 - 09/02/09 09:10 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Bob]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Lol @ Bob. Thank you for the heads up.. I will be sure to choose wisely wink
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261372 - 09/02/09 10:02 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Morodiene]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
My 87 year old dad just had a quad bypass and heart valve replacement. He received excellent care, was in the hospital 3 weeks, rehab, home care AT NO COST TO HIM.

If that's how the government will handle it for all, sign me up NOW!

On the flip side, a friend who is 39 needs heart surgery due to an injury but he doesn't get insurance through his work. He can't afford to buy it outright. So we are having to raise $100,000 for him. It's just not right. Health care should be available to ALL.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1261416 - 09/02/09 11:07 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Chris H.]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
As for health insurance....You are probably all aware that we have the National Health Service in the UK and your (US) current reforms are aiming for something similar. A lot of people complain about the NHS over here but when my wife or I have needed them they have been fantastic. I am grateful for our system despite its flaws.
We in Australia have a similar system, and though it's not without its faults (waiting lists for non-urgent surgery, for example) it works pretty well for most people. I too don't want to turn this into a political rant, but the idea of anyone having to come up with $100,000 for a necessary heart operation just staggers me.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1261461 - 09/03/09 12:32 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Stanny]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Stanny
My 87 year old dad just had a quad bypass and heart valve replacement. He received excellent care, was in the hospital 3 weeks, rehab, home care AT NO COST TO HIM.

If that's how the government will handle it for all, sign me up NOW!


Just so you know, we've been paying medicare premiums (tax) since 1966, and now pay a modest monthly premium. It isn't enough to cover the expense, and the deficit is coming from the general tax fund. The proposed bill will reduce senior benefits and reduce doctors reimbursements. I suppose this will change as more and more seniors start yelping.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1261466 - 09/03/09 12:37 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I need to expand on that a bit. From 1966, when medicare came into being, all workers started paying a medicare tax, I think about 1% of income. When I turned 65 last summer, I still have to pay that tax, plus a monthly medicare insurance premium of $105.

What I can tell you about medicare is that they haven't paid a bill for me since the first of the year, since they made a bureaucratic snafu, and I will probably have to take out a loan to pay doctors, labs, etc, until this all gets resolved.

As you can see, I'm not so sanguine about government insurance plans!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1261472 - 09/03/09 12:47 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I need to expand on that a bit. From 1966, when medicare came into being, all workers started paying a medicare tax, I think about 1% of income. When I turned 65 last summer, I still have to pay that tax, plus a monthly medicare insurance premium of $105.

What I can tell you about medicare is that they haven't paid a bill for me since the first of the year, since they made a bureaucratic snafu, and I will probably have to take out a loan to pay doctors, labs, etc, until this all gets resolved.

As you can see, I'm not so sanguine about government insurance plans!

I'll trade you your flawed medicare for my flawed self-paid Tony Soprano Health Insurance plan, which is currently ruining my life and my wife's.

NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING makes me as mad as people who don't give a damn about other people who are getting DESTROYED by the health insurance companies who are delaying treatment, refusing treatments, not even paying all of the bill AFTER ridiculous deductibles, refusing to cover any pre-existing conditions, and paying their executives MILLIONS of dollars.

Every time I hear some moron say that we in the US have the best healthcare system in the world, I want to puke.

I TRIED to bow out of this, gracefully. But you guys will just not give it a rest…
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1261481 - 09/03/09 01:06 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
In support of Gary's point of view.
Certainly Medicare is far from perfect . But if you are young (-ish) and unemployed or "working poor" or not destitute enough to qualify for Medicaid or if you have to pay for health insurance without an employer's support, Medicare or any government help will be welcome indeed... Even if you have private insurance, you will still incur significant cost on top of an outrageous premium. We have tried the for profit health care system and it has failed miserably.
It is mind boggling that some people (and I don't mean people here) get so carried away with an untrusting anti-government stance over something as fundamental as health care, while being oblivious to the outrageous state of the "free market" of the health care industry with corporate profit as the main goal. Having decent access to health care is a human right. Before we deny it to someone, we should try walking in the shoes of a poor US citizen in 2009 with our brain unfettered by politics and our eyes wide open. The situation on that front is mighty grim.

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#1261485 - 09/03/09 01:14 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Andromaque]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
As a Canadian, it's hard to read about the American health care situation, especially Gary's predicament. But although you folks pay ridiculous amounts for health care, you also seem to be able to purchase houses for $150,000-$175,000 which is unheard of here in all but the smallest towns or rural districts.

To the OP, I think the best thing is to try to make enough money to buy a house and a good piano first by teaching school. Then you can switch to teaching piano later. Most people stick with their lessons at least for the year. So you can meet your mortgage payments in the future as a piano teacher.

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#1261488 - 09/03/09 01:22 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Candywoman]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
As a Canadian, it's hard to read about the American health care situation, especially Gary's predicament. But although you folks pay ridiculous amounts for health care, you also seem to be able to purchase houses for $150,000-$175,000 which is unheard of here in all but the smallest towns or rural districts.

Fine. So move here, buy an expensive house, then lose it to bankruptcy when you get a catastrophic illness and have to choose between paying medical bills or keeping your house and dying.

And we don't live in a house worth $150,000. We live in a little place. We worked hard, paid it off. No mortgage. But if we are hit again with cancer, either of us, we WILL have to take out a second mortgage. To live.

What other civilized country in the freaking world makes people make those kind of decisions?
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1261516 - 09/03/09 02:41 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Thank you Candywoman, I think I will do just that -- teach part-time until I have a decent amount of money to kick-start a full on studio.

Gary D, sounds tough to live in the US. I actually personally had a friend who was a Canadian but had moved to US, only to tell me some horror stories involving the government/medical system and whatnot.

I hope things get better in time for you guys, especially since US is supposedly one of most powerful countries in the world.

hmm..
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261543 - 09/03/09 03:44 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
What other civilized country in the freaking world makes people make those kind of decisions?


All kinds of third-world countries do that, because they do not have the resources to do otherwise.

The US is however the only modern, wealthy, Western nation that does so. It is also the only country I know of that does so out of mean and dogmatic choice rather than necessity (while spending three times the amount per capita and denying care to 20% of its population)

Even Costa Ricans have it better.


Re: the Question of the OP:

There used to be a joke that if you have to ask the price of the yacht, then you couldn't afford one.
Depending on the area you live, if you have to ask what a (parttime) piano teacher earns, you can't afford to become one!


Edited by theJourney (09/03/09 03:46 AM)

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#1261597 - 09/03/09 07:27 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Bob]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Bob
Having a spouse with health insurance and other benefits is the way to go.


Especially when your spouse is a doctor. laugh
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1261628 - 09/03/09 08:57 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: bittersweetmusique]
Hugh Sung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 422
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: bittersweetmusique
Thank you for such insight, everyone!

It is a difficult situation for me because I already teach the piano part-time and enjoy it thoroughly, but of course my father wants me to get a secure job with a regular salary & benefits.

As I am working towards my degree (bachelors of education) it is still my dream to own a piano studio and teach full time because I frankly just see myself a happier person that way.

But business fluctuations, no benefits, dealing with parents etc. sometimes make me wonder if going that pathway would be a smart choice, just because it's so risky & doesn't promise you a regular income.

Should I take this pathway instead of becoming a school teacher? ( I am minoring in Biology and Kinesiology out of interest) and get a regularly paid job yet less satisfaction?

Or become a piano teacher with great pleasure yet risk not getting paid a sufficient amount due to the risk of having a business??

But thanks for the posts, they really opened my eyes.

Hello Bittersweetmusique! Jumping in a bit late into this discussion, but hope you don't mind my 2 cents. Thanks so much for the terrific topic!!

Just want to encourage you to dream BIG. REALLY BIG. For an excellent resource on creative careers and building a job that you actually love, i would highly recommend the book "No More Mondays" by Dan Miller. He has an informative website at http://48days.com/ that you might find helpful, along with a free weekly podcast.

In starting your business, I would encourage you to get rid of any consumer debt you may have at this point (credit cards, car loans, etc.) and start working from a cash basis only. Two fantastic books for sound financial living are "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George Clason, and "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey (Dave also has a daily podcast and a nightly TV show on the Fox Business Network) Getting your financial house in order to begin with is the best way to run your business going forward - here's a video we made to celebrate our own "debt free" achievement:



We're currently on track to pay off our mortgage at the end of this year, which would've been completely unthinkable 2 years ago when we were swimming in debt! Wish i had known 20 years ago what i've had to learn the hard way!

One more wonderful book that i'm still reading through, but can already recommend very highly is "Thou shall prosper" by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. This book provides a powerful argument about the inherent morality of business.

In closing, i'd like to encourage you to "change your mirrors into windows" (a paraphrase from Chet Holmes, quoting an anonymous source). We musicians can be incredibly introspective, imposing our own training and musical perspectives on others, while many times neglecting to see the true needs of others in a spirit of service. I'm raising my hand here speaking from personal experience about my own thick-headedness!

Sorry for the long ramble, but i hope some of this information helps inspire you to find the work you truly love and become phenomenally successful at the same time!
_________________________
Hugh Sung
ArtistWorks Popular Piano Instructor
www.HughSung.com

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#1261641 - 09/03/09 09:36 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

I'll trade you your flawed medicare for my flawed self-paid Tony Soprano Health Insurance plan, which is currently ruining my life and my wife's.

NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING makes me as mad as people who don't give a damn about other people who are getting DESTROYED by the health insurance companies who are delaying treatment, refusing treatments, not even paying all of the bill AFTER ridiculous deductibles, refusing to cover any pre-existing conditions, and paying their executives MILLIONS of dollars.

Every time I hear some moron say that we in the US have the best healthcare system in the world, I want to puke.

I TRIED to bow out of this, gracefully. But you guys will just not give it a rest…


Gary, you are obviously in a very precarious position. That many of us do not believe national health care is the proper route has nothing to do with our personal empathy to individuals in difficult situations. I could point out to you that the Federal government is DIRECTLY responsible for the current insurance situation, through two major bills engineered 50 years ago. I could point out to you that your state insurance commissioner and legislature controls, down to every jot and tittle, what insurance companies in Florida may or may not do. That won't make you feel better, nor will solve your problem.

When I began as a private teacher, I fully recognized that my income would not support much, if any, medical insurance. My wife solved the situation by seeking employment which provided a high quality plan.

The OP asked about salaries for piano teachers. Having a good medical plan is a necessity and figuring out how to have one is something every private music teacher needs to deal with - at the outset, not 30 years later, when our bodies are no longer at their peak. The cost of these plans is just one consideration. It is a cost which has a major bearing on income. Keeping a viable plan if medical problems develop is another consideration. Being self-employed means that you have a lot of problems to solve, problems which are compartmentalized when working for larger companies or corporations.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1261651 - 09/03/09 09:45 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
We have sure found our hot button on this thread! As important as medical insurance, personal liability insurance is just as important in case a student gets injured on your property. There are lots of costs to consider working for yourself, especially when your home is your workplace.


My facebook status today is:

No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1261673 - 09/03/09 10:09 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Bob
Having a spouse with health insurance and other benefits is the way to go.


Especially when your spouse is a doctor. laugh


I recently had a conversation with a doctor friend who complained his insurance(I assume through the hospital) was lousy. Walmart has much better insurance.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1261768 - 09/03/09 12:11 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Bob]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Bob
Having a spouse with health insurance and other benefits is the way to go.


Or move to a civilized country where you have true freedom to work where and how you want and to marry whomever you want while your spouse also maintains their freedom without having to worry about health insurance, coverage, premiums, going bankrupt, etc.

It is amazing to see how those who have not yet had back luck lulls them into a false sense of security. The dirty little secret of US insurance companies is that as soon as you get really sick or have a catastrophe on an individual policy you have a very good chance of one of the following happening:
- your policy will be rescinded on a technicality
- your premiums will rise to a level no one can pay
- the insurance company will refuse to reimburse assuming you won't be able to afford to sue them
- you will be told your treatment is experimental, or not covered or requires co-pays that no mortal could pay.
- you will be told you have reached your "maximum payout" and coverage will stop
- etc.

End result usually the same: financial ruin & premature death

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#1261859 - 09/03/09 02:30 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: theJourney]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Hugh, tons of info you just gave me! thanks & i will definitely browse through the resources you've given me!

I'm glad my topic has provoked many important concepts on health insurance etc.

I'm young so I don't really know the extent of how good Canada's health system is, but the biggest complaint is that since our medical system is free(?) , the wait rooms are literally jam-packed at ALL GIVEN TIMES. You could be given the position to wait a couple HOURS before even getting help, even in the emergency room. Quoting from a friend "they wait until you are DYING before they take you in." Anyways this is quite a blunt statement that may be biased ~ I'm not complaining or anything but this is what I've heard.

Good luck people! may we all have good health .. lol smile
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261929 - 09/03/09 04:23 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: bittersweetmusique]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: bittersweetmusique
I'm young so I don't really know the extent of how good Canada's health system is, but the biggest complaint is that since our medical system is free(?) , the wait rooms are literally jam-packed at ALL GIVEN TIMES. You could be given the position to wait a couple HOURS before even getting help, even in the emergency room. Quoting from a friend "they wait until you are DYING before they take you in." Anyways this is quite a blunt statement that may be biased ~ I'm not complaining or anything but this is what I've heard.



Yes, we've heard this too and it's only one of several factors in the debate on health care reform in the US.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1261987 - 09/03/09 06:11 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: dumdumdiddle]
MrsChristy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Surprise, AZ
To DumDumDiddle -
i was curious to know more about your "paid vacation" I teach full time as my husband works full time as well. Any time I take a day or a week off, I always have arranged for makeup lessons. I also charge on a monthly basis. On the months in Nov and Dec you take time off, do your students still pay the months' tuition these months although only having 2-3 weeks of the months lessons? Any details you could give, I'd appreciate it! Thanks smile

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#1262024 - 09/03/09 07:51 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Mrs.A]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Believe it or not, the insurance my wife gets (she's a medical resident at the university hospital here) is exactly the same as "IowaCare," Iowa's version of Medicaid:

http://www.ime.state.ia.us/IowaCare/index.html

laugh


Originally Posted By: Mrs.A
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Bob
Having a spouse with health insurance and other benefits is the way to go.


Especially when your spouse is a doctor. laugh


I recently had a conversation with a doctor friend who complained his insurance(I assume through the hospital) was lousy. Walmart has much better insurance.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1262066 - 09/03/09 09:11 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: MrsChristy]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: MrsChristy
To DumDumDiddle -
i was curious to know more about your "paid vacation" I teach full time as my husband works full time as well. Any time I take a day or a week off, I always have arranged for makeup lessons. I also charge on a monthly basis. On the months in Nov and Dec you take time off, do your students still pay the months' tuition these months although only having 2-3 weeks of the months lessons? Any details you could give, I'd appreciate it! Thanks smile




Welcome.

I am not dumdiddle but I will tell you what I do. I charge the same amount each month. According to the Calendar, some months have four weeks, some five. Each month is billed the same.

I take off two weeks for Christmas, one for Thanksgiving and one at Easter. = four weeks. I do not prorate for those months as those lost days are “made up” in the long months. (months with five weeks) Make sense?

Most of my parents prefer the same monthly fee and no one objects.

How do you make the switch?

I would send a note home titled “Tuition Increase - I have not increased tuition in XX years. Instead of an increase I will not be teaching the weeks of Christmas, one week of Thanksgiving, one week of Easter… The tuition will be $$ a month and will no longer be prorated for holidays. Consider that some months have five weeks of lessons, some four. I will not charge more for the five long months (with five weeks of lessons) nor will I prorate for the Holiday. I hope a consistent monthly tuition of $$$ will make your bookkeeping a little easier.”

When you explain the change to your parents, tell them this is designed to make it easier for THEM Considering the economy, parents would rather you take a few weeks off then have a tuition increase. They can expect the same tuition every month and they don’t have to track down how much they owe you. I think your parents will be very agreeable.

You now have the same amount coming in every month but you have those Holidays off.


Hope this helps
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1262109 - 09/03/09 10:40 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: MrsChristy]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MrsChristy
To DumDumDiddle -
i was curious to know more about your "paid vacation" I teach full time as my husband works full time as well. Any time I take a day or a week off, I always have arranged for makeup lessons. I also charge on a monthly basis. On the months in Nov and Dec you take time off, do your students still pay the months' tuition these months although only having 2-3 weeks of the months lessons? Any details you could give, I'd appreciate it! Thanks smile


You have to think in terms of charging a yearly fee, not a per lesson fee.

I figure out how many lessons I plan to teach for my 'year' (which runs Sep thru June, 10 months). I make sure and exclude 1 week for Thanksgiving, 2 for Christmas, 1 for Easter, and an 'extra' week I can take off whenever I want. I come up with a total number of lessons for the year and multiply by how much I want to get paid per lesson. That's my total for the year. Then I divide it equally over the 10 months.

I make a point of telling parents up front about the system, letting them know that some months they'll receive 4 lessons, some months 5, and some months 2 or 3. Of course, inevitably every December I will get one or two parents who didn't read my Studio Policy and will ask why tuition is the same, when they're only receiving 2 lessons.

I've operated this way for years but I do have to caution that it isn't for everyone. I know teachers who routinely are canceling and rescheduling lessons for various reasons. This wouldn't work for them. I don't do makeup lessons for students who miss lessons; I also am not in the habit of canceling lessons. The 'extra week' is for that unforeseen illness or conflict that I might have. However, I've been blessed to able to use my extra week to extend my Spring Break vacations (2 trips to Europe, 1 to Texas over the past several years).
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#1262110 - 09/03/09 10:45 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Betty Patnude]
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
Betty,

I absolutely love the ideas in your post! I am going to have to borrow your calendar concept for my own policy. Your posts are GOLD and I really appreciate what you share with us!

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#1262237 - 09/04/09 08:37 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: kissyana]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I do much the same as dumdiddlediddle.

In my school year, there are 34 teaching weeks. I charge $28 for a half hour lesson. $28 x 34 lessons = $952. Then I just divide by 9 (the number of months in the school year - September through May) and bingo, $105/month.

Between the beginning of September and the end of May, there are about 39 weeks total. One week is Thanksgiving, one week is Christmas, on week is MTNA conference, and two weeks for make-up lessons. Bingo - 3 weeks paid vacation, plus a few extra days if the makeups aren't needed.
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#1262244 - 09/04/09 08:55 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
It's not really a paid vacation though. What you (and I) are doing is spreading the payments equally over a number of months so your income doesn't fluctuate. This is what I keep having to explain to parents. They are not paying for those weeks where there are no lessons, they pay for however many lessons they receive over the year divided into equal payments. Even though tuition costs a certain amount for the year it's still easy to calculate the cost of one individual lesson or work out your hourly rate.
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