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#1260769 - 09/02/09 12:39 AM Salary of a piano teacher
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Hello,

I am planning to become a full time piano teacher. For those who are teaching the piano full time -- my only question is are you able to make a decent living off of it?

I am not interested in making big bucks or anything, I just love teaching too much to purely think about that.

I just want to know if the bills get paid and if there's any extra to be saved.

I know it's always varied/differs from where you live and how you handle business etc. but I'm interested in knowing how you personally are doing with a piano teacher's income.

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

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#1260788 - 09/02/09 01:17 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: bittersweetmusique]
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1035
Loc: Texas
Depends on how much you're charging and how many students you have.
_________________________
Houston, Texas

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#1260799 - 09/02/09 01:56 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Loki]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
In a good teaching climate, I think $45-50k a year is possible, especially if you can be a part of a community music school.
_________________________
"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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#1260803 - 09/02/09 02:07 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
The downside is that if you work for yourself and live in the US, you will have to pay for your own health insurance, and if you have any medical problems, those can bankrupt you in a very short amount of time.

Also get used to no paid vacation, no sick-leave, etc.

Of course there are pluses, but very few are financial.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1260824 - 09/02/09 03:33 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
The short answer is yes, you can make a living from teaching piano full time.

There are benefits and drawbacks as in any profession.

Here are some of the plus points:

You are your own boss which means you get to choose your hours and your students. The more you work the more you earn and when you work for yourself there is that incentive to increase your hours for greater income. In fact you need to watch that you don't end up doing too much.

You get to decide the nature of the work. Where will you teach? Who will you teach? Maybe you will want to specialise in a particular style or genre or age group. The best thing is freedom and choice.

You can make good money from the start. Piano teachers often charge a going rate for the area in which they live. More experienced teachers will have higher fees but the difference is not that much. This means you don't have to start out on a low wage and work your way up.

That brings me to some negatives.....

As you get older that salary doesn't change much. Your freinds who chose other careers get promotions and salary increases but you don't. I am afraid that while you can make a living you will never get rich. That may not matter to you now but think ahead to when you might want a family or a nice house, car, holidays etc.

Also, it's not a salary! Your income will fluctuate depending on the amount of work you are doing. This can make it difficult to plan and budget for things.

What Gary said! No pension, no insurance, no sick-pay, no vacations etc.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1260907 - 09/02/09 09:32 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Chris H.]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12228
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
You may want to start out with a slightly lower rate than more experienced colleagues. You will get a full studio to start with. Granted, some of them may only be looking for cheap lessons, but you'll get a lot of good students too. Having a clearly defined policy that you stick to will help weed out the trouble students. Every year you teach you can increase your rates until you are comparable to others with your experience and schooling.

When I started, I also gave a free lesson to any current student who referred a new student to me (they would actually have to start lessons, not just inquire, of course). That really helped me to get going.

Also, in order to make the income more steady, you may want to deposit all of your tuition payments into a savings account, and then "pay yourself" once a month. If you're like me, some will pay you for the entire semester, and some pay monthly. This helps to make sure I don't squander the semester tuition all at once, and gives the illusion of a salary.

Another thing to consider is taxes. I used to keep 10% of all the tuition payments in my savings so that I'd have some saved up for taxes. If you show a profit for a few years then the government may want you to make quarterly tax payments (not sure if it's the same in Canada as in the US). However, the penalty for not doing this is minimal - around $75 to $100. For me, it's well worth hanging onto that money rather than giving it to Uncle Sam. That's my little way of sticking it to the man LOL laugh.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1260922 - 09/02/09 09:59 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Morodiene]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
I just wanted to comment on the 'no paid vacation'. I allot for 5 weeks during my 10-month teaching year where I don't teach, yet my monthly tuition remains the same. This way I take off a week at Thanksgiving, 2 at Christmas, 1 at Easter, and an additional week I can take off whenever I want. Other teachers who operate on a year-round schedule do this as well. In my view it's a paid vacation.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1260923 - 09/02/09 10:01 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I get paid vacation. My students pay monthly tuition, not per-lesson, so I make the same amount in December and January as I do in October and April.
_________________________
"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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#1260941 - 09/02/09 10:40 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
That's what most of us more experienced teachers do. But did you start out that way? I know I didn't.

The thing is you need to work all this out for yourself and design and update your policy in order to protect your income. In some ways this is good because you are in control. The downside is that you have to continually explain these things to your customers. I have charged tuition for years and it's all in my policy but I still get people complain when they have to pay the same amount despite me taking a week off. Then there's the whole issue of cancellations. wink
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1260963 - 09/02/09 11:07 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Chris H.]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
When I started teaching back in the late 70's at age 16, I patterned my studio policy after my own piano teacher's. So, yes I did start out this way. I also charged NOT by the lesson, but by the year, divided into 10 equal payments (and I think back then it wasn't very common to do so).
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1260983 - 09/02/09 11:46 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Yes, I could make a full time living if I didn’t have four children to support. I base my monthly tuition on the same rate a few very good private preschools in the area charge. It is a little more then the going piano rate but it hasn’t affected my business.

At one time I had 50 students. My children are now in school and I limit my studio to 38 students.

We live in the Midwest and our mid size town is a little more expensive than most cities in our state. We have a college and large hospital and 1/3 of the kids attend private schools here. I have cousin who teaches in a similar size town but charges ½ of what I do because the median income and education level is low in her community.

She completed a Masters in Piano Performance hoping it would help her teaching business. It didn’t.
She struggles getting students. I have less education and a bigger business but I am not the better teacher. She is in a community that just doesn’t have the demographics to support a piano teacher. Consider your location.

Disadvantages to a career in piano teaching: Even if you are in high demand, It is hard to bring in 40 hours worth of teaching/income because the hours people are available to take lessons is limited. Therefore, there is an income ceiling. I am not always available for my children when I should be. No employee benefits (but if you are married, you only need one spouse with benefits).

Advantages: I work at home. It is a business with little overhead and bookwork. The tax deductions are a big plus. Utitlities, home improvements, mortgage interest etc are all deductible. I don’t spend much money on professional clothing. I tend to have a few nice outfits I put on for lessons and wear blue jeans the rest of the day. No bosses, difficult coworkers, threats of layoffs etc. I work hard but work stress is minimal. I thoroughly enjoy my job. I can do this for a very long time even if a disability or arthritis kicks in.

Another advantage is when you start building a business you don’t have to jump into full time teaching.There is little financial risk to getting started. You can continue your day job and add students until you have enough to support yourself. If you have the piano and knowledge, there is very little monetary investment.

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


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#1261046 - 09/02/09 01:06 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: bittersweetmusique]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington

I want to show you how to give yourself benefits of enough time off to live your other life and commitments outside of teaching.

I have a year round studio with annual tuition divided into 10 monthly payments to cover the 12 months of lessons. I project there will be 40 lessons per student during the year and that up to 12 of the weeks will be studio closures, holidays, student absences, snow days, and teacher vacation or teacher absence.

I have a studio calendar that is part of my studio policy: it lists the weeks when the studio is closed. The same annual calendar has been in effect for many years and it works well for me.
STUDIO OPENS September 14, 2009
STUDIO IS CLOSED
November 23-29 Thanksgiving Week
December 18 – January 1 Christmas Holidays
STUDIO OPENS January 2
STUDIO CLOSED
May 31 Memorial Day
June 21 – July 4 Week Before Fourth of July
STUDIO OPENS July 5
STUDIO CLOSED VACATION August 30 – September 13
STUDIO OPENS September 13, 2010


SEPTEMBER 2009 – AUGUST 2010 CALENDAR - STUDIO OPEN FOR LESSONS
TOTAL OF 44 WEEKS AVAILABLE FOR LESSONS
Lessons Month Weeks
3 September 14,21,28
4 October 5,12,19,26
4 November 2,9,16 – 30
2 December 7,14 -
4 January 4,11,18,25
4 February 1,8,15,22
4 March 1,8,16,22
4 April 5,12,19,26
4 May 3,10,17,24 –
3 June 7,14,21 –
4 July 5,12,19,26
4 August 2,9,16,23 –

ADJUSTMENTS
From this, Student Absences will be subtracted provided they meet my 24 hour notice.
If I have any sick days I can take them.
If the student needs additional lessons, I will make them up at the end of the studio year.
If the student is ahead and will receive more than 40 lessons, we owe it to their good attendance, and we consider this their bonus.
I am happy with the calendar because it provides me with breaks when I need them – I give myself these benefits. The calendar stays pretty much the same year after year.

WAYS TO CREATE MORE TIME OFF FOR YOU
The studio schedule can give you 3 day weekends if you need them for family or breaks.
Eliminate either Monday or Friday from teaching.
So many Mondays are holidays or school closures, and Fridays are notoriously busy with peoples own plans for the weekend. You would probably have excessive absences on these days anyway so to me, they are totally removable.
I do no Saturday or Sunday teaching, but there are sometimes piano events scheduled on these days.

Betty Patnude Piano Studio
South Hill 98374 – Puyallup, Washington

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#1261063 - 09/02/09 01:28 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Betty Patnude]
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
I have always considered my income from teaching (piano and voice) to be about half of my total income, with the rest coming from the 3 churches I work for. Because churches hold services every weekend, I know I won't be without some regular income even if students get sick, quit, or "forget" to pay me. And weddings & funerals give me some extra $ for my vacation fund, Christmas gifts, etc.

The downside is that it's extremely difficult to get a weekend off, because while I can tell my students "no lesson next Saturday--Mrs. K will be out of town", I can't tell a church "no piano or organ next Sunday" (I usually have to arrange for a sub months in advance). And sometimes it seems like everybody else is free as a bird on Saturdays & Sundays, while I'm busy teaching and playing for church services.

But I've picked up many students from my church jobs (people hang around after the postlude and ask "do you give lessons?") And I've also gotten leads on church jobs from students ("our organist is moving to Florida--do you know anyone who's available?)

In general, I'm just happy to be earning a decent living in my chosen field. I'm a working musician, and that's what's most important!
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

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#1261072 - 09/02/09 01:42 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Betty Patnude]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
The main reason I teach piano is because I really enjoy it. I am passionate about piano and music so here I am.

As far as health insurance we have our own plan: we have three good friends who are doctors and one who is a pharmacist. Also CVS pharmacies now have affordable "minute clinics" that will diagnose and give you prescriptions for common ailments. Between that we have formed our own unique medical support group. I am still looking into information regarding catastrophic insurance as hubby and I are not covered for serious emergencies. Being self employed I know there are no big surprises regarding this stuff. I'm paying for it so I do my research. Isn't that something anyone should do anyway?

We pay for our daughter's health coverage($7/a month through Healthy Families)

We have learned to live creatively in San Diego, CA: A very expensive town.

*We have shared a house with other housemates.
*We know how to live in small places through years of practice.
*We know how to travel cheap but still have great adventures.

Unlike many Americans my goal is not to get rich. My goal is to live a fulfilling and happy life. Piano teaching is great. I get to spend alot of time with my family, choose my own hours, learn new music, socialize with interesting people, help children perform well, inspire people, live in the present moment.

Strangely enough, I seem to always get the "things" I want anyway...even without getting "rich". So maybe I am rich. Since I have become a piano teacher (OR since I have begun doing what I love) I have:

*met my husband
*been to New Zealand....twice
*befriended some pretty amazing people
*my glorious mornings free
*acquired about 40 different hand puppets. (Not sure how this relates but it does somehow)
*ALWAYS lived in a great building and a great city.

I think people don't realize that being rich doesn't make you "free". Being free makes you free. Tethering myself to a piano has been a great life-preserver for me.

But that's just me.
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1261074 - 09/02/09 01:43 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: lalakeys]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Regardless of how you schedule lessons and how you charge for those lessons it really does come down to how many hours you will teach and whatever your hourly rate is. I charge a fixed fee per month for 11 months of the year but there is still an hourly rate. What you need to do is calculate the income you wish to earn, divide that by a sensible hourly rate for the area you live and you are left with how many hours you need to be teaching.

For example:

I would like to earn $1000 per week.

I intend to charge $50 per hour.

Therefore I need to teach 20 hours a week.

If you take into account tax and expenses as well as the odd cancellation then you might want to make that somewhere between 20-25 hours.

Simple really (in theory anyway).

I second what Mrs. A. said about location. There are places where it's just not possible to get 20 hours worth of teaching or charge $50 per hour for it. And then there are places where it's quite easy to do so. Of course the easy areas will tend to have a higher cost of living.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1261132 - 09/02/09 03:01 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: trillingadventurer]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer


As far as health insurance we have our own plan: we have three good friends who are doctors and one who is a pharmacist. Also CVS pharmacies now have affordable "minute clinics" that will diagnose and give you prescriptions for common ailments. Between that we have formed our own unique medical support group.




Not to sound difficult but I am confused by your post. You say you creatively worked out benefits and you have invented your own medical plan- which includes some doctor friends and a pharmacist.

We have insurance but I also tend to use quick clinics as they are cheaper then our co-pay. But they are only good for the occasional strep throat or ear ache. A simple emergency operation and hospital stay can run into six figures. What happens if you break an arm? Your doctor friend may wave their fee but what about the x-ray tech, radiology department and emergency room fee costs?

Am I miss understanding something ?
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1261172 - 09/02/09 04:19 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Mrs.A]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
The insurance question is a big one. Let's hope our lawmakers include a public option for heath care in their plan.
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#1261201 - 09/02/09 05:07 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Stanny]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
Insurance is indeed a concern of those of us who are self-employed, but the current health care reform plan IN MY OPINION isn't the answer. I hope it goes down in flames.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1261229 - 09/02/09 05:42 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: dumdumdiddle]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
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.
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261252 - 09/02/09 06:20 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12228
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Insurance is indeed a concern of those of us who are self-employed, but the current health care reform plan IN MY OPINION isn't the answer. I hope it goes down in flames.
thumb

If you want to see how well the government handles health care, look at Medicare and social security. Heck, if you want to see how well the government runs anything lately, check out the Cash for Clunkers, which I think has yet to pay out. Things now may be tough, but it can always get worse.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1261255 - 09/02/09 06:30 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Morodiene]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
bittersweetmusique, if you can't imagine doing anything else then it is the right thing for you and you should follow your heart. My father was an accountant and wanted me to do the same because of the obvious financial benefits. I have no regrets in choosing a career as a piano teacher. I would have been a miserable accountant!

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.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1261258 - 09/02/09 06:36 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Chris H.]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Thank you Chris,

I will finish my degree and see where my heart takes me~!~

By the way, I live in Canada so the health system here is a little different... Yet the insurance/benefit thing would be a drag working in a private business right? Hm.
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261261 - 09/02/09 06:37 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Chris H.]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
I agree with Chris. Go for it. I have no regrets. have you considered a degree in music education? It would add credibility as a piano teacher and be a nice "fall back" degree.

As I said earlier, you can continue taking students without quiting your job.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1261265 - 09/02/09 06:43 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Mrs.A]
bittersweetmusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Mrs A, That was an interesting idea that I was actually going to partake. Although I don't see myself teaching music in elementary (lots of singing... improvisation) or secondary (band.. choir..).

I enjoy & am most comfortable with teaching the piano.

I actually enjoy biology and kinesiology as well so teaching that really is my "fall back" degree :):)..

Yet piano is my number one goal!

I am actually on my way to achieve my ARCT (associate royal conservatory diploma - which is the highest grade for piano in Canada) and am planning to take Intermediate Pedagogy diploma (in which I already have my elementary pedagogy diploma)

Hands on experience is probably what is going to improve my skills of becoming a better piano teacher, the Pedagogy courses and working with children in general.

I guess you can say I am preparing for two careers -- piano teaching & high school education.
_________________________
Classically trained (ARCT) piano teacher from Vancouver who aspires to improvise with confidence.

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#1261273 - 09/02/09 06:53 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Morodiene]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

If you want to see how well the government handles health care, look at Medicare and social security.

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.

There are a lot of problems and no clear answers. Let's not turn this topic or any other into a healthcare debate, OK? It's just going to get ugly, and it will shut down discussion of music…
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1261274 - 09/02/09 06:58 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I like playing the piano! 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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#1261280 - 09/02/09 07:11 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Mrs.A]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Mrs.A

We live in the Midwest and our mid size town is a little more expensive than most cities in our state. We have a college and large hospital and 1/3 of the kids attend private schools here. I have cousin who teaches in a similar size town but charges ½ of what I do because the median income and education level is low in her community.

She completed a Masters in Piano Performance hoping it would help her teaching business. It didn’t.
She struggles getting students. I have less education and a bigger business but I am not the better teacher. She is in a community that just doesn’t have the demographics to support a piano teacher. Consider your location.


This is something worth emphasizing again. The county I grew up in has a population of about 7800 and a per capita income of less than $15,000. There may be one or two full-time piano teachers in a several county radius who actually could earn a living from the income of their piano studio. I kind of doubt it.
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1261287 - 09/02/09 07:26 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
kissyana Offline
Full Member

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

Go for it! I'm going for it, too! Right now I have a full time office job (a pretty good one, actually)and I'm slowly building up my piano studio. Although I appreciate my job and would in all actuality make more money at it, I cannot wait for the day that I can dedicate myself fully to my true calling- piano teaching! For almost 3 years, I have been too scared to really take any serious steps towards my dream. Don't let fear hold you back. It won't be easy but it will definitely be worth it. I am taking some big steps towards establishing my studio and I couldn't be happier... even in this less than satisfactory economy.

I understand feeling pressure from your parents about getting a steady, secure job. Mine put a lot of pressure on me to get a "regular" job, which I did. I can't say that I regret it because this job has enabled me to buy my own house and a grand piano, all by the time I was 23. If you can go straight into teaching and make it work, more power to you! If you have to opt for the "regular" job at first, don't fret! You don't have to be stuck there forever smile

Sorry for writing a novel here... I just get so excited about the idea of being a full time piano teacher!!

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#1261288 - 09/02/09 07:26 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: bittersweetmusique]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
Hey bittersweetmusique -

My piano teacher was the high school music teacher, and had a side business as a private piano teacher.
What a wonderful man, and teacher he was. It is thanks to him I have my own career teaching piano, and I have modeled my teaching style after his.

Your situation seems ideal to teach piano. And yes, you can have a very fulfulling career. Go for it! The posters have given you good business models, although I am a teacher that prefers to travel to the students' houses. I was taught that way, and feel they are most comfortable in their own environment. And the parents really appreciate not having to run to yet another appointment! When I'm older, I may have a studio in my house, but for now this works for me!

Note to dumdiddle & Morodiene - I agree with you completely re: the health plan fiasco!

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1261291 - 09/02/09 07:33 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I like playing the piano! laugh

smile
And I like teaching, which is why I'm still doing it, in spite of many things about that do make it (often) a difficult way to earn a living…
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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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. Online   content
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. Online   content
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).
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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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.
_________________________
"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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#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.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1262294 - 09/04/09 10:29 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Chris H.]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12228
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
That's exactly right, Chris. Some parents who opt to pay monthly ask if they pay less if there aren't 4 lessons in the month, to which I reply, "No, because I've simply taken the tuition rate over 9 months (two semesters that make up the school year) and divided it into 9 equal monthly payments. You still get the same number of lessons that a person paying a semester tuition gets, assuming you stay the entire school year."

For the summer, I require 6 weeks of lessons in order to get priority scheduling in the Fall, and the majority of students do this. I only accept payment for the entire 6 lessons upfront for these lessons.

In a semester, there are 17 lessons, and that takes into consideration holidays and teacher's convention. So yes, anyone could sit there and divide the semester tuition rate by 17 lessons per semester to get my per-lesson rate, but I do not accept payment per lesson unless the student requests extra lessons in preparation for a performance. But no one is getting "cheated" anything, nor am I getting paid for vacation time.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1262304 - 09/04/09 10:55 AM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Morodiene]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I think it's all semantics. You could get $2000 for 4 weeks in October and $1000 for two weeks in December, or you could get $1500 for each month. Either way, it's still the same $3000, but the $2000/$1000 doesn't feel like paid vacation, and the $1500/$1500 does.

It also depends on your business model. If you're a sole proprietor and don't have to keep close track of everything, then the accounting is quite a bit different than if you incorporate yourself and consider yourself an employee.

For an interesting take on things, consider this - if you got a new student today, would your salary go up? Most teachers would probably say yes - the extra money would get passed along to the employee, possibly even all of it.

But if the hospital where my wife works sees 25 more patients next month than this month, my wife brings home the exact same amount of money. That's the trade off of paid vacation, I think. My wife gets "paid vacation," but some weeks, she sees 6 patients in a day and works from 7am to 5pm; other weeks, she's responsible for 15 and works from 7am to 10pm - for the exact same amount of money.
_________________________
"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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#1262377 - 09/04/09 01:36 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Kreisler]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Your wife is on a salary. Piano teachers who are self employed are not on a salary. As you say the best you can do is model your business in a way which feels almost like a salary. My income is never the same from one month to the next because students come and go, but it doesn't change much so I know I have enough to cover bills and living costs. But if I were to fall ill and couldn't work for a month it would be very difficult. People couldn't be expected to keep paying for lessons that they were not taking. If you were on a fixed salary then the chances are you would get paid anyway.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1264623 - 09/08/09 01:36 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Gary D.]
Laramie Hartmann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
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?


Wow. You sound like a whiny baby. Universal healthcare is for the birds. Why should I be forced to pay for your cancer treatments? What you desire is for the govenment to forcefully take my money and give it to you. Healthcare is not a basic human right. In the U.S. we have many rights, but they do not come at a cost to others. My freedom of speech or right to bear arms costs nothing, but someone has to pay for the "right" to heathcare.

Why not take care of yourself? And as for pre-existing conditions, do you get in an auto wreck and then call an insurance company to get your car repaired?

This isn't the right forum for this conversation, but I couldn't let your perverse views go unchallenged. Wake up and stop depending on others to solve your problems.

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#1264643 - 09/08/09 02:08 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Laramie Hartmann]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yikes, we may not agree with Gary, but we ought not to resort to name calling. The fact is, teachers in Florida, Arizona, and a few other states have been dealt a double whammy, through no fault of their own. The economy has dropped precipitously and piano lessons is considered a luxury by almost everyone, so private teachers feel the blow first. To add insult to injury, the government which fostered this insurance oligopoly in the first place is now telling us they will fix the problem by making it a monopoly. Gary and thousands of other teachers can't win for losing. We can disagree with the premise of sole provider, but we owe each other civil discourse.
_________________________
"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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#1264660 - 09/08/09 02:37 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Here's Laramie's version of healthcare...



No one should die because they cannot afford health care. No one should go bankrupt because they get sick. No one should be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Make sense? Not to neanderthal John Wayne types who still think Americans should be riding horses and doing everything for themselves.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1264671 - 09/08/09 02:48 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: eweiss]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Laramie,

I pray that you continue to have the good fortune, good health, and/or wealth that allows you too feel this way.

Those of us who have suffered at the hands of this broken system understand why it needs changing, and hope that those of you who have not yet experienced this yet can be big-hearted enough to try to understand what it must be like when the shoe is on the other foot.

Preexisting conditions can be genetic and have nothing to do with 'taking care on oneself'. Cancer is not, so far as we yet understand, totally preventable. Please try not to blame the sick for their conditions.

We are not looking to pass the buck, we just want a system that works for everyone, no matter what. I want that for me, and for you too.

Yours in peace,

LVP
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1264678 - 09/08/09 02:55 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Laramie Hartmann]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Laramie Hartmann
Wow. You sound like a whiny baby. Universal healthcare is for the birds. Why should I be forced to pay for your cancer treatments? What you desire is for the govenment to forcefully take my money and give it to you. Healthcare is not a basic human right. In the U.S. we have many rights, but they do not come at a cost to others. My freedom of speech or right to bear arms costs nothing, but someone has to pay for the "right" to heathcare.

Why not take care of yourself? And as for pre-existing conditions, do you get in an auto wreck and then call an insurance company to get your car repaired?

This isn't the right forum for this conversation, but I couldn't let your perverse views go unchallenged. Wake up and stop depending on others to solve your problems.


Wow. You sound like an ignorant right wing wack job fed by hate radio and Faux News. How does that feel?

Welcome to pianoworld.

So, do you have anything to say about pianos and piano teaching and piano salaries or are you just here to troll, trying to confirm the image of the "ugly American" who forgot that what made his or her country great and put a man on the moon was everyone pulling together. No wonder America is turning into such an undemocratic and dangerous third world county with some of the highest lethal violent crime rates, highest rate of homicides, worst income inequality, poorest health care performance, highest levels of corruption, shortest life expectancy, highest infant mortality, highest levels of drug abuse, highest incarceration rates, poorest school performance, most unhappy children and the disappearance of polite and intelligent political discourse compared to other Western nations.

There are more than fifty million Americans who have no affordable access to health care, who do not have the freedom to work when and where they want and cannot start a business. There are tens of millions of others who are under the false illusion that their insurance will cover them if they get sick and not just drop them at the first sign of trouble or lead them around the bush condemning their families to certain ruin and bankruptcy.

It is a sad statement indeed that if you want to be an independent businessman and start a piano teaching business that you have to marry someone with a certain kind of job just to have access to health care. That is like living in the USSR where you had to marry a member of the Communist Party to get the benefits of the elite. I am thankful I live in a democracy where the citizens are in charge of the country instead of corporations who pay to deceive and blackmail an ignorant electorate while ensuring they get their money's worth from the congressmen they have bought and paid for. I am so thankful I live in one of the other modern, Western democracies all of which provide access to affordable health insurance to all citizens, in our case that covers everything. Where people don't have to live in fear. Where people aren´t forced to die a painful death, abandoned by America's private insurance company run, for-profit death panels in the so-called richest country in the world. And where people, unlike this poster, are not afraid of solidarity with their fellow citizens but know that living in a true democracy gives certain rights but certainly also implies serious responsibilities.

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#1264744 - 09/08/09 04:57 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Laramie Hartmann]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Originally Posted By: Laramie Hartmann
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
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?


Wow. You sound like a whiny baby. Universal healthcare is for the birds. Why should I be forced to pay for your cancer treatments? What you desire is for the govenment to forcefully take my money and give it to you. Healthcare is not a basic human right. In the U.S. we have many rights, but they do not come at a cost to others. My freedom of speech or right to bear arms costs nothing, but someone has to pay for the "right" to heathcare.

Why not take care of yourself? And as for pre-existing conditions, do you get in an auto wreck and then call an insurance company to get your car repaired?

This isn't the right forum for this conversation, but I couldn't let your perverse views go unchallenged. Wake up and stop depending on others to solve your problems.


Lovely first post (and probably last)
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#1264767 - 09/08/09 05:47 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: Stanny]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
This is actually relevant. I just had to go to urgent care because of severe lower back pain. Total time spent there? Five hours! And that's with the best insurance available.

And it's not my insurance. I don't have any. My wife works for UCSD and has the insurance. If I wasn't covered, I don't know what I would have done.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1264772 - 09/08/09 05:53 PM Re: Salary of a piano teacher [Re: eweiss]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Suffered, likely. Or ask the pharmacist for recommendations. That's what a lot of people end up doing. So sad.

Hope you're feeling better.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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