Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#1778488 - 10/28/11 12:13 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5944
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Really though, if you run the numbers ... 25 hours of teaching X $60 / hour comes out to be just a hair below 80k a year.
That's with teaching 52 weeks a year, though!
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1778490 - 10/28/11 12:17 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: currawong]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Really though, if you run the numbers ... 25 hours of teaching X $60 / hour comes out to be just a hair below 80k a year.
That's with teaching 52 weeks a year, though!


well, do you want the money or not!?

Nobody says you have to take vacations. smile

Even if you took 2 to 4 weeks vacation every year, it wouldn't cut your yearly salary by THAT much to complain about.
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1778499 - 10/28/11 12:34 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5944
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Really though, if you run the numbers ... 25 hours of teaching X $60 / hour comes out to be just a hair below 80k a year.
That's with teaching 52 weeks a year, though!
Nobody says you have to take vacations. smile
Even if you took 2 to 4 weeks vacation every year, it wouldn't cut your yearly salary by THAT much to complain about.
I'm not complaining about my salary at all. But I wonder if you could keep that up - 25 hours pw solid teaching, with no breaks. Just seems an unrealistic estimate. But if that's what you want to do, by all means go for it!
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
well, do you want the money or not!?
My concern about this thread is that that's all it seems to be about. I don't think teachers should hesitate to charge a fee appropriate for their qualifications and experience, and they needn't be apologetic. That's certainly how I operate. But if you want to get rich quick, I'd choose another career.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1778525 - 10/28/11 01:29 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: currawong]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: currawong
My concern about this thread is that that's all it seems to be about.


Agreed.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Top
#1778538 - 10/28/11 01:52 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: currawong]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
But if you want to get rich quick, I'd choose another career.



Also, we had our MTAC meeting a few weeks ago. EVERYONE was in need of more students--even the really good teachers! The economy definitely has not picked up around here.

It got so bad around here, a few "music schools" have decided to branch into offering ballet classes.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1778610 - 10/28/11 07:32 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1777
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Staying with the facts of the original question, look at it this way: Your studio is full, and you have a waiting list of 30 applicants...

Under those facts, any economist who ever lived -- whether it's Milton Friedman or Karl Marx -- would tell you that you are UNDERPRICING your lessons.

So imagine that for every student who came in, for every lesson, you actually took out your wallet and handed that student $15 to $25 dollars as a gift.

Would you really do that in real life? If so, stay with the current arrangement, because that's exactly what you're already doing, though the delivery mechanics are slightly different.

If not, charge per lesson the amount that the market is now saying you're worth -- then satisfy your altruistic urges by donating some or all of your increased earnings to whatever charitable cause most tickles your fancy (including discounts or rebates to deserving or needy students, if you like). If you leave things in the status quo, you've made a default decision to make the "donations" of the entire amount of your aggregate underpricing to each student (deserving, needy, or neither) on a lesson-by-lesson basis.

Again, if the facts are as originally stated, it's not a question of morality, but rather of how diplomatically to adjust to the price that the piano student market is ALREADY saying you are worth -- a price that to date you have elected to forego collecting.


Edited by ClsscLib (10/28/11 07:33 AM)
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

Top
#1778614 - 10/28/11 07:50 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: TimR]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I can see why one would raise rates for some but not all. Some students take much more energy to teach.


Uh, have you considered how the students will take that?

Especially the ones who find out they are getting charged more because they are "hard to teach" or maybe "losers?" (harsh word, but SOME will take it that way)

Not sure I'd want to go there.

Look, you give 100% of your best effort to every student for that hour, seems like you'd charge them all the same.


Are you telling me you think every teacher charges the exact same for every student? No one has any partial scholarship students?
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

Top
#1778641 - 10/28/11 08:38 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
I still think we piano teachers tend to err on the side of being overly altruistic, even if the result is that our own children can't participate in activities that their friends can afford, or will have trouble affording college (that's everyone now, though). Maybe I'm just being pessimistic tonight. smirk

I think we can ameliorate any personal moral concerns we may harbor by participating as a volunteer with non-profit music schools, MusicLink, doing pro bono work, etc....

Can you imagine any other professional group having this discussion about rates? I'm trying to picture it and just can't see it. What's the matter with us? Have we been charging such low rates as a profession for so long, that we just can't change?

I'm saying this as someone who is a complete wimp about raising fees. laugh I should probably stop now and go to bed. smile


hah, instead of going to bed, maybe you should raise your fees instead!

Really though, if you run the numbers ... 25 hours of teaching X $60 / hour comes out to be just a hair below 80k a year. Plug in performance money / side job at a church or two (and perhaps not paying your full share of taxes, not judging anyone who doesn't) , that really is in the top 25% of earners in the USA at least ... top 10% if you have two really nice church jobs (organists get paid pretty well I hear.)

How much people make in the US


That's not quite accurate, as it has been discussed on this forum before. We have to be sure to compare apples to apples. Teachers who charge $60/hr and have 25 hours of teaching do NOT make $80k, unless they are employed somewhere. The private music teacher is a freelancer, who has to shoulder their own overhead expenses such as purchase and maintenance of an instrument, continued education, hours worked in prep that are not necessarily paid for (or in your example, 25 hours of teaching = 50 hours of total work including prep time and business-related work), insurance, extra vehicle maintenance if they travel to teach, books, attending seminars, etc. You really can't compare that to someone who works a salaried or hourly job as an employee.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1778645 - 10/28/11 08:47 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders


Let's take it a step further. What if you are sure you can get $70/ hour while still having a full studio?


I think this is where uncertainty and risk comes in. You may guess that you can command higher pay, but it's a change, and you don't really know what will happen.

It may not be so much a question of whether I am worth it as a teacher, but uncertainty about parent responses. What does it take for current students to go elsewhere for lessons, or for inquiring students to be uninterested in enrolling?

If you are already at the top of the range of fees charged by local teachers, you may find that you keep current students, but no longer get as many new ones as you'd like.

If you see raising fees as a moral issue, then it's based on the idea that higher fees are cheating students. Are my new fees "highway robbery"? (to quote an old thread). smile

Top
#1778648 - 10/28/11 08:53 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Overexposed]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders


Let's take it a step further. What if you are sure you can get $70/ hour while still having a full studio?


I think this is where uncertainty and risk comes in. You may guess that you can command higher pay, but it's a change, and you don't really know what will happen.

It may not be so much a question of whether I am worth it as a teacher, but uncertainty about parent responses. What does it take for current students to go elsewhere for lessons, or for inquiring students to be uninterested in enrolling?

If you are already at the top of the range of fees charged by local teachers, you may find that you keep current students, but no longer get as many new ones as you'd like.

If you see raising fees as a moral issue, then it's based on the idea that higher fees are cheating students. Are my new fees "highway robbery"? (to quote an old thread). smile


Ann, I appreciate what you're saying, but clearly if he has a waiting list this long, he needs to raise his rates.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1778650 - 10/28/11 08:57 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Really though, if you run the numbers ... 25 hours of teaching X $60 / hour comes out to be just a hair below 80k a year.
That's with teaching 52 weeks a year, though!


well, do you want the money or not!?

Nobody says you have to take vacations. smile

Even if you took 2 to 4 weeks vacation every year, it wouldn't cut your yearly salary by THAT much to complain about.


You may be willing to teach year round, but you'll find that parents do not want to pay for lessons during school vacations (2 weeks winter break, 1 week spring break) and for part of summer vacation (4 weeks to 8 weeks).

So right off the bat, you have to lower your estimation by 25%. Also many teachers have 30 minute lessons, and even those who want 50 students (to get in 25 teaching hours), find they can get only about half that.

Also when you quote pay per year, it can sound falsely high, since the benefits package you get with good jobs (dental and health insurance, and retirement plan, sick leave, paid continuing education etc) is overlooked. You may say a certain professional earns 30K per year, but you're forgetting the 10K in benefits they also receive.

In other words an independent teacher earning 30K would be more fairly equated with someone earning 20K plus benefits.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (10/28/11 08:58 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

Top
#1778653 - 10/28/11 09:02 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Morodiene]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders


Let's take it a step further. What if you are sure you can get $70/ hour while still having a full studio?


I think this is where uncertainty and risk comes in. You may guess that you can command higher pay, but it's a change, and you don't really know what will happen.

It may not be so much a question of whether I am worth it as a teacher, but uncertainty about parent responses. What does it take for current students to go elsewhere for lessons, or for inquiring students to be uninterested in enrolling?

If you are already at the top of the range of fees charged by local teachers, you may find that you keep current students, but no longer get as many new ones as you'd like.

If you see raising fees as a moral issue, then it's based on the idea that higher fees are cheating students. Are my new fees "highway robbery"? (to quote an old thread). smile


Ann, I appreciate what you're saying, but clearly if he has a waiting list this long, he needs to raise his rates.


Agreed. He mentioned a hypothetical waiting list. smile

Top
#1778658 - 10/28/11 09:19 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
In this economy, it would be safer to raise rates incrementally until you find you no longer have much of a waiting list.
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

Top
#1778668 - 10/28/11 09:41 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: ClsscLib]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Staying with the facts of the original question, look at it this way: Your studio is full, and you have a waiting list of 30 applicants...

Under those facts, any economist who ever lived -- whether it's Milton Friedman or Karl Marx -- would tell you that you are UNDERPRICING your lessons.

So imagine that for every student who came in, for every lesson, you actually took out your wallet and handed that student $15 to $25 dollars as a gift.

Would you really do that in real life? If so, stay with the current arrangement, because that's exactly what you're already doing, though the delivery mechanics are slightly different.

If not, charge per lesson the amount that the market is now saying you're worth -- then satisfy your altruistic urges by donating some or all of your increased earnings to whatever charitable cause most tickles your fancy (including discounts or rebates to deserving or needy students, if you like). If you leave things in the status quo, you've made a default decision to make the "donations" of the entire amount of your aggregate underpricing to each student (deserving, needy, or neither) on a lesson-by-lesson basis.

Again, if the facts are as originally stated, it's not a question of morality, but rather of how diplomatically to adjust to the price that the piano student market is ALREADY saying you are worth -- a price that to date you have elected to forego collecting.


Very interesting way of putting it - I am handing them money every time they come to a lesson lol , that makes me feel a bit annoyed thinking of it like that and makes me want to raise my rates more now. smile
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1778669 - 10/28/11 09:45 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Overexposed]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Really though, if you run the numbers ... 25 hours of teaching X $60 / hour comes out to be just a hair below 80k a year.
That's with teaching 52 weeks a year, though!


well, do you want the money or not!?

Nobody says you have to take vacations. smile

Even if you took 2 to 4 weeks vacation every year, it wouldn't cut your yearly salary by THAT much to complain about.


You may be willing to teach year round, but you'll find that parents do not want to pay for lessons during school vacations (2 weeks winter break, 1 week spring break) and for part of summer vacation (4 weeks to 8 weeks).

So right off the bat, you have to lower your estimation by 25%. Also many teachers have 30 minute lessons, and even those who want 50 students (to get in 25 teaching hours), find they can get only about half that.

Also when you quote pay per year, it can sound falsely high, since the benefits package you get with good jobs (dental and health insurance, and retirement plan, sick leave, paid continuing education etc) is overlooked. You may say a certain professional earns 30K per year, but you're forgetting the 10K in benefits they also receive.

In other words an independent teacher earning 30K would be more fairly equated with someone earning 20K plus benefits.


I would drop a student immediately even if they refused to continue lessons throughout summer break simply bc it was summer. They are reserving their time slot with my studio, not paying per lesson, so if they don't want to reserve their slot during the summer, fine. It would go to someone else.

The vacations are a different matter ... if they give me notice ahead of time , then I take it into account.

We can set up our own retirement plans, right? Good jobs don't just give you free money to invest in their plans, you have to use your own money ... granted they might match you, but if you diversify over a long period of time, you'll still have a good amount when you get older. I'm 24 and I plan to start by the end of the year. That's 40 years I'll have to build up a massive amount of money ... as long as the USA economy doesn't go FUBAR smirk
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1778671 - 10/28/11 09:52 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: AZNpiano]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: currawong
But if you want to get rich quick, I'd choose another career.



Also, we had our MTAC meeting a few weeks ago. EVERYONE was in need of more students--even the really good teachers! The economy definitely has not picked up around here.

It got so bad around here, a few "music schools" have decided to branch into offering ballet classes.


In Cali? Maybe you should start undercutting all the other teachers and soak up the student base like a sponge smile

Near where I am, there isn't much competition at all ... type in 'piano lessons insert city here' and you get more of a trickling of studios .. and all the best private teachers don't have websites. The schools that DO don't rank very high, but are beaten by those 'Take Lessons' and 'Get Lessons Now' and 'Lesson Rating' sites.

I am proud that my website ranks very high for many city searches and I advertise EVERYWHERE that seems profitable - so within a year I have a full studio and within the next year I plan to have a huge waiting list.

Perhaps you or other studios near you are afraid to spend money for advertising? My philosophy on business is you have to spend money to make money ... I only spend about 400 a month on advertising, but I make up for it at least 5 times in the profit I make. Then when I get a full studio, I can cut spending on advertisement and simply make all profit.
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1778680 - 10/28/11 10:11 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
We can set up our own retirement plans, right?... I'm 24 and I plan to start by the end of the year. That's 40 years I'll have to build up a massive amount of money ... as long as the USA economy doesn't go FUBAR smirk


Good luck with that one. wink
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#1778750 - 10/28/11 12:25 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Man, I wish I was 24 again and setting up my studio... Well, sort of. When I was 24 the "economy" was good.

I just turned 40 and I am freaking out. frown frown A lot of good 20 years of teaching experience and two degrees does me if I am earning the equivalent of a $20K job and pay out of pocket for insurance and my IRA. This is why I need to raise my rates. They are not up to par right now. Okay, maybe just slightly above par, but not by much. wink

Retirement?? What's that? Some of us are not retiring, ever. I am sure of it.

Okay, I really need to get in a better mood! laugh Time to practice before lessons...
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

Top
#1778789 - 10/28/11 01:09 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
lechuan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 180
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
You run some numbers and you think you can get $60 / hour - but the catch is you will most likely alienate many of your current students. But the waiting list and the new calls / emails every day or so will easily replace the ones that leave if you raise the rates


Are you sure that any of your current students and those on your waiting list are willing to pay $60 an hour? Or are they currently on your waiting list because they know you are $45 an hour?

I'd stagger it incrementally if I were you. Try a $5 jump to begin with and see the reaction to that. You can use that to gauge if you want to do a bigger jump in a year.

Top
#1779590 - 10/29/11 08:54 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
luvs2teach Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 15
Undercutting fellow piano teachers to soak up their student base is not only unethical, but reflects poorly on our profession. Here in California, many of us have never had to worry about spending a lot of money advertising to maintain a full studio. I certainly haven't. Just word of mouth has done it for me. I do have a website, which I believe is a great tool for keeping my name out there. I can't imagine spending $400/month on advertising! Maybe you haven't heard about the economic difficulties that states like California, Nevada and Florida have been experiencing these past several years. Sadly, there is no good news on the horizon, either. In spite of the downturn in our studios, many of us continue to attend professional development opportunities, such as MTAC & MTNA conferences, workshops, and branch meetings to further our education. We're not taking this lying down. But the reality is parents don't have the money to spend on piano lessons when they're losing their jobs and/or their houses. That's great your studio is thriving. But then again, it sounds like you're working hard and not making very much money, either.

Top
#1779852 - 10/30/11 11:07 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: luvs2teach]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: luvs2teach
Undercutting fellow piano teachers to soak up their student base is not only unethical, but reflects poorly on our profession. Here in California, many of us have never had to worry about spending a lot of money advertising to maintain a full studio. I certainly haven't. Just word of mouth has done it for me. I do have a website, which I believe is a great tool for keeping my name out there. I can't imagine spending $400/month on advertising! Maybe you haven't heard about the economic difficulties that states like California, Nevada and Florida have been experiencing these past several years. Sadly, there is no good news on the horizon, either. In spite of the downturn in our studios, many of us continue to attend professional development opportunities, such as MTAC & MTNA conferences, workshops, and branch meetings to further our education. We're not taking this lying down. But the reality is parents don't have the money to spend on piano lessons when they're losing their jobs and/or their houses. That's great your studio is thriving. But then again, it sounds like you're working hard and not making very much money, either.


A highly subjective phrase you used ... "But then again, it sounds like you're working hard and not making very much money, either."

I'll just say that I am 24, have no kids and no girlfriend that I need to pamper like a princess. smile

So I only need about 2500 to live on my own with my own studio , all bills paid for by myself.

So with my current number of 20 hours of teaching plus my church job which pays pretty well plus rehearsals here and there plus 5 hours left I wish to fill up in my studio ... comes out to $50 X 20 hours plus some more for the other things listed and more to come. When I run the numbers for the past few months, I am coming out very much ahead even after the advertising and like I said, when my studio get's jam packed, I will stop the advertising so that will be another $400 profit.

I don't need a lot to live well and I don't consider myself working 'very hard'. I get to sleep in until whenever the heck I wish, make my own hours and I have no stress of listening to some idiot boss telling me what they want me to do because their boss told them and their boss told them, ad nauseum.

I love my situation right now and I like the profit I make.

I would love to use word of mouth, but my studio has gotten filled up within a year and I really don't think a year is much time to get word of mouth going. I am confident that it will take effect just like it does with other studios, but right now my advertising is the only way I get more students and I'm getting them VERY fast and keeping them as well.
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1779960 - 10/30/11 02:55 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: luvs2teach
Maybe you haven't heard about the economic difficulties that states like California, Nevada and Florida have been experiencing these past several years. Sadly, there is no good news on the horizon, either ... But the reality is parents don't have the money to spend on piano lessons when they're losing their jobs and/or their houses.


Having just moved to FL I am now realizing just what this statement means! On the bright side I was able to buy a beautiful home here for a reasonable price as the housing market gets to what it is in other parts of the country. But the downside is that people are suffering and while they want their kids involved in things, they have less discretionary funds available to do it all. They are more likely I think to sign up for something that is for a short time like a camp, rather than lessons which is a long-term activity. That's just my assessment from having moved here. Of course, those who are already taking lessons are making it work, but those who are just getting to the age of lessons might look elsewhere instead.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1779997 - 10/30/11 04:13 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: piano joy
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I don't see a moral issue in this question.


It's more of a business issue.
As a consumer (of anything), I would gasp at anything greater than 10% increase in price.
I'm not saying that doesn't happen in various services or products , just saying it seems (to me) too much.
A hike such as you mentioned above (from $45 to $70) would probably make me at least look around very seriously for another teacher- unless I thought you were God's gift to piano students....
In which case I would stay, and whine to my husband.... smile



lol, I am not really considering raising it to $70 I don't think, probably to $60 though.

If you want to find out how families and students view me, you can view my testimonial page and check out the 5 different testimonials. smile

Gods Gift To Piano Students Or ... Something Else?


Anybody can get the publics (laypersons) support. I've got a ton of testimonials, but it is my portfolio of professional references I am proud of. You need to use this money to continue your education. What you need is credentials from objective professionals. That's the proof of a person's qualifications, IMO. Are you going to use the extra money to further you own education? IMO, that is the only justification for charging a rate that is higher than the teachers I know that have Doctoral degrees.


Edited by LeaC (10/30/11 04:16 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar
_________________________
Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)

Top
#1780022 - 10/30/11 05:13 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: LeaC]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: LeaC
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: piano joy
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I don't see a moral issue in this question.


It's more of a business issue.
As a consumer (of anything), I would gasp at anything greater than 10% increase in price.
I'm not saying that doesn't happen in various services or products , just saying it seems (to me) too much.
A hike such as you mentioned above (from $45 to $70) would probably make me at least look around very seriously for another teacher- unless I thought you were God's gift to piano students....
In which case I would stay, and whine to my husband.... smile



lol, I am not really considering raising it to $70 I don't think, probably to $60 though.

If you want to find out how families and students view me, you can view my testimonial page and check out the 5 different testimonials. smile

Gods Gift To Piano Students Or ... Something Else?


Anybody can get the publics (laypersons) support. I've got a ton of testimonials, but it is my portfolio of professional references I am proud of. You need to use this money to continue your education. What you need is credentials from objective professionals. That's the proof of a person's qualifications, IMO. Are you going to use the extra money to further you own education? IMO, that is the only justification for charging a rate that is higher than the teachers I know that have Doctoral degrees.


Well, just because someone has a doctoral degree doesn't mean they are great with children or they inspire children to want to learn. Or they are willing to venture into pop music and braodway / movie themes instead of drilling Scarlatti and Mozart all day long. (Although children do enjoy classical music if it's the right kind of pieces.)

It also depends on what the parents want out of lessons. I am not running a studio to create competition winners, I am running it to do what I love and to inspire all ages to enjoy piano and have fun with it.
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1780023 - 10/30/11 05:15 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: currawong
But if you want to get rich quick, I'd choose another career.



Also, we had our MTAC meeting a few weeks ago. EVERYONE was in need of more students--even the really good teachers! The economy definitely has not picked up around here.

It got so bad around here, a few "music schools" have decided to branch into offering ballet classes.


In Cali? Maybe you should start undercutting all the other teachers and soak up the student base like a sponge smile

Near where I am, there isn't much competition at all ... type in 'piano lessons insert city here' and you get more of a trickling of studios .. and all the best private teachers don't have websites. The schools that DO don't rank very high, but are beaten by those 'Take Lessons' and 'Get Lessons Now' and 'Lesson Rating' sites.

I am proud that my website ranks very high for many city searches and I advertise EVERYWHERE that seems profitable - so within a year I have a full studio and within the next year I plan to have a huge waiting list.

Perhaps you or other studios near you are afraid to spend money for advertising? My philosophy on business is you have to spend money to make money ... I only spend about 400 a month on advertising, but I make up for it at least 5 times in the profit I make. Then when I get a full studio, I can cut spending on advertisement and simply make all profit.



Dustin, I happen to know most of the teachers around where you speak of, and it is hard not to feel irritated when I see you writing things like this. There are some very good teachers in Baltimore, and if you plan to move your business closer to Baltimore, I hope you are prepared for some competition. You get closer to Peabody, and those brilliant students are happy to teach for less. Plus, there are some oustanding teachers who I recommend based on their consistent and earnest efforts to be good teachers , not only good business persons. (On the other hand, I know of a few people off the top of my head who have absolutely NO qualifications at all and are making thousands of dollars a year based on personality alone. When I say no qualifications, I mean they can hardly play out of a book two level.)

Anyway, why don't you take a look at the front page of the MSMTA web site and read their code of ethics. It is wise, I think, to remain within that code, whether or not you are in the group.

You also need to consider taking that pretty bad jab at "certain" teachers on your web site down, as that is not going to do well for your reputation. You may feel safe by using the Internet, but your personal reputation and how you treat fellow teachers does matter. I think it's pretty low of you to stoop to cater to those who want to bad mouth their previous teacher. That certainly is the lowest form of advertising I can think of. Not cool. Let me tell you, there is a lot you don't know about that area.
_________________________
Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)

Top
#1780026 - 10/30/11 05:21 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: LeaC]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: LeaC
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: currawong
But if you want to get rich quick, I'd choose another career.



Also, we had our MTAC meeting a few weeks ago. EVERYONE was in need of more students--even the really good teachers! The economy definitely has not picked up around here.

It got so bad around here, a few "music schools" have decided to branch into offering ballet classes.


In Cali? Maybe you should start undercutting all the other teachers and soak up the student base like a sponge smile

Near where I am, there isn't much competition at all ... type in 'piano lessons insert city here' and you get more of a trickling of studios .. and all the best private teachers don't have websites. The schools that DO don't rank very high, but are beaten by those 'Take Lessons' and 'Get Lessons Now' and 'Lesson Rating' sites.

I am proud that my website ranks very high for many city searches and I advertise EVERYWHERE that seems profitable - so within a year I have a full studio and within the next year I plan to have a huge waiting list.

Perhaps you or other studios near you are afraid to spend money for advertising? My philosophy on business is you have to spend money to make money ... I only spend about 400 a month on advertising, but I make up for it at least 5 times in the profit I make. Then when I get a full studio, I can cut spending on advertisement and simply make all profit.



Dustin, I happen to know most of the teachers around where you speak of, and it is hard not to feel irritated when I see you writing things like this. There are some very good teachers in Baltimore, and if you plan to move your business closer to Baltimore, I hope you are prepared for some competition. You get closer to Peabody, and those brilliant students are happy to teach for less. Plus, there are some oustanding teachers who I recommend based on their consistent and earnest efforts to be good teachers , not only good business persons. (On the other hand, I know of a few people off the top of my head who have absolutely NO qualifications at all and are making thousands of dollars a year based on personality alone. When I say no qualifications, I mean they can hardly play out of a book two level.)

Anyway, why don't you take a look at the front page of the MSMTA web site and read their code of ethics. It is wise, I think, to remain within that code, whether or not you are in the group.

You also need to consider taking that pretty bad jab at "certain" teachers on your web site down, as that is not going to do well for your reputation. You may feel safe by using the Internet, but your personal reputation and how you treat fellow teachers does matter. I think it's pretty low of you to stoop to cater to those who want to bad mouth their previous teacher. That certainly is the lowest form of advertising I can think of. Not cool. Let me tell you, there is a lot you don't know about that area.


Didn't you just make a jab at those teachers who can't play out of level 2 and only make thousands of dollars with their personality?

Hmmm. I like my jab because it's true. There are in fact many awful teachers out there, not JUST in music.

So if one of those awful teachers dislikes me for my comment, I am happy to let them dislike me. I won't be dealing with them and also won't be hiring them if I increase my studio's throughout the area.

I am not moving directly to Baltimore, but in a place called Cockeysville - then most likely to Towson later on. I've already done tons of research on the competition and none of them have any Google status. None. Except the Peabody Prep and also one other private teacher who ranks in the top 2 for piano lesson in Baltimore searches.

I don't have a degree, but I have experience and passion to better myself through my life. I still plan to study privately and prepare for competitions. Not having a degree doesn't automatically mean someone is a failure. It's really only a degree after all ...



Edited by Dustin Sanders (10/30/11 05:25 PM)
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1780027 - 10/30/11 05:23 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Oh and Lea, my comment about undercutting other teachers was a joke if that's one thing you were irritated about.
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1780048 - 10/30/11 06:11 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: LeaC
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: currawong
But if you want to get rich quick, I'd choose another career.



Also, we had our MTAC meeting a few weeks ago. EVERYONE was in need of more students--even the really good teachers! The economy definitely has not picked up around here.

It got so bad around here, a few "music schools" have decided to branch into offering ballet classes.


In Cali? Maybe you should start undercutting all the other teachers and soak up the student base like a sponge smile

Near where I am, there isn't much competition at all ... type in 'piano lessons insert city here' and you get more of a trickling of studios .. and all the best private teachers don't have websites. The schools that DO don't rank very high, but are beaten by those 'Take Lessons' and 'Get Lessons Now' and 'Lesson Rating' sites.

I am proud that my website ranks very high for many city searches and I advertise EVERYWHERE that seems profitable - so within a year I have a full studio and within the next year I plan to have a huge waiting list.

Perhaps you or other studios near you are afraid to spend money for advertising? My philosophy on business is you have to spend money to make money ... I only spend about 400 a month on advertising, but I make up for it at least 5 times in the profit I make. Then when I get a full studio, I can cut spending on advertisement and simply make all profit.



Dustin, I happen to know most of the teachers around where you speak of, and it is hard not to feel irritated when I see you writing things like this. There are some very good teachers in Baltimore, and if you plan to move your business closer to Baltimore, I hope you are prepared for some competition. You get closer to Peabody, and those brilliant students are happy to teach for less. Plus, there are some oustanding teachers who I recommend based on their consistent and earnest efforts to be good teachers , not only good business persons. (On the other hand, I know of a few people off the top of my head who have absolutely NO qualifications at all and are making thousands of dollars a year based on personality alone. When I say no qualifications, I mean they can hardly play out of a book two level.)

Anyway, why don't you take a look at the front page of the MSMTA web site and read their code of ethics. It is wise, I think, to remain within that code, whether or not you are in the group.

You also need to consider taking that pretty bad jab at "certain" teachers on your web site down, as that is not going to do well for your reputation. You may feel safe by using the Internet, but your personal reputation and how you treat fellow teachers does matter. I think it's pretty low of you to stoop to cater to those who want to bad mouth their previous teacher. That certainly is the lowest form of advertising I can think of. Not cool. Let me tell you, there is a lot you don't know about that area.


Didn't you just make a jab at those teachers who can't play out of level 2 and only make thousands of dollars with their personality?

Hmmm. I like my jab because it's true. There are in fact many awful teachers out there, not JUST in music.

So if one of those awful teachers dislikes me for my comment, I am happy to let them dislike me. I won't be dealing with them and also won't be hiring them if I increase my studio's throughout the area.

I am not moving directly to Baltimore, but in a place called Cockeysville - then most likely to Towson later on. I've already done tons of research on the competition and none of them have any Google status. None. Except the Peabody Prep and also one other private teacher who ranks in the top 2 for piano lesson in Baltimore searches.

I don't have a degree, but I have experience and passion to better myself through my life. I still plan to study privately and prepare for competitions. Not having a degree doesn't automatically mean someone is a failure. It's really only a degree after all ...



Yes, I did make a negative comment about several teachers who should not be teaching. But that is here on a teaching forum, and not to the public as an angle to get students. Big difference. The thing is to highlight what you have to offer, and not to put down teachers publically to potential students and their parents. That is unethical. There was a time when I would listen to a student or parent complain, and jump right into their argument against said teacher. Now I know better. Specifically, your comments about a teacher(s) who was purported to have stopped their students frequently while they were playing at their lessons I find to be one-sided and unfair. For all I know, that could be me you are talking about, you know? I can tell you about the bad transfer students I have had, too. So can many teachers.

Dustin, there are a lot of positive aspects to your teaching and to your studio. Your statements are often provocative, however.

I didn't say you needed a degree to teach, but, on-going education is expected of teachers, in some form. And a few pedagogy courses are necessary, in my mind. Due to financial hardship, I've apprenticed with friends of mine even, to learn what they learned in their pedagogy classes at times. Is your motivation to learn your craft as strong as your motivation to make money? That's what I'm left thinking after all of this.
_________________________
Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)

Top
#1780054 - 10/30/11 06:26 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Yes, but what I have to offer is directly connected to what others do not. So if other teachers are awful teachers and should not be teaching, why should one not be able to use that as a reason to choose my studio?

My statements are provocative cause I'm a provocative person - It's my personality. My students like me for my personality and it just so happens I can at least play in books a wee bit past level 2. smile

I do think that teachers who make it a rule to stop their students mid flight are not doing them justice. Sure, do it sometimes, but it's important that the student get's to have fun.

But I admit, it is one sided. I stop my students mid flight as well, but I vary it up. I know some other teacher styles where they stop immediately the student makes a mistake. This is what I was referring too. It makes the student feel tense and they can't relax because they will become very conscious and afraid of trying.

Do you like my teaching philosophy at least? Many parents compliment me on that page and say that's the reason they chose my studio. Not because of other 'provocative' things I may say because I'm 24 and brash. smile
_________________________
An Eclectic Piano Teaching Experience







Top
#1780061 - 10/30/11 06:39 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Yes, but what I have to offer is directly connected to what others do not. So if other teachers are awful teachers and should not be teaching, why should one not be able to use that as a reason to choose my studio?

My statements are provocative cause I'm a provocative person - It's my personality. My students like me for my personality and it just so happens I can at least play in books a wee bit past level 2. smile

I do think that teachers who make it a rule to stop their students mid flight are not doing them justice. Sure, do it sometimes, but it's important that the student get's to have fun.

But I admit, it is one sided. I stop my students mid flight as well, but I vary it up. I know some other teacher styles where they stop immediately the student makes a mistake. This is what I was referring too. It makes the student feel tense and they can't relax because they will become very conscious and afraid of trying.

Do you like my teaching philosophy at least? Many parents compliment me on that page and say that's the reason they chose my studio. Not because of other 'provocative' things I may say because I'm 24 and brash. smile


I've had some students who will keep playing no matter what the mistakes, and so each time they play a song it's different. One boy in particular had started doing this at some point and I asked him why he wouldn't try fixing his mistake when he made it and he said he was trying to play it like a performance. I commended him on this as it should be done, but *after* you've worked a piece to the point where you reduce the amount of mistakes. After this conversation, I had to stop him at each mistake so he would listen to his playing and become more aware of how it sounded vs. how it should sound. This took quite some time and I would probably stop him after the first note sometimes.

Was that bad teaching? I don't feel it was, and it was for a specific purpose. But you wouldn't know that if you asked my student, "How did you previous teacher go through your pieces with you?" and he answered about me stopping him all the time to fix mistakes. It's that sort of thing. There are always two sides (at least), and you can certainly address concerns a parent might have while not ragging on the previous teacher.

In my previous town I knew of many of the teachers and I would withhold judgment on those transfers from teachers I didn't know until I saw what the student was doing. Even if it later was proven that the previous teacher didn't really know what they were doing, I would let the student arrive at that conclusion in comparison to what they were learning with me. There ARE charlatans out there, but my qualifications more than speak out against them, and my results do as well.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Forster vs August Forster
by eazydyonizy
16 minutes 11 seconds ago
Grigory Sokolov releases album
by wimpiano
48 minutes 6 seconds ago
Lindblad Steinway rebuilt pianos
by brahms
Today at 02:54 AM
Got the VPC1! Hooked up the Ivory! Played Brahms.
by TwoSnowflakes
Today at 02:13 AM
Pianos of Downton Abbey
by Almaviva
Yesterday at 11:58 PM
Who's Online
74 registered (angga888, AZNpiano, 19 invisible), 1056 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76620 Members
42 Forums
158436 Topics
2326669 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission