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#1573702 - 12/10/10 12:42 AM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
This is why I love teaching piano: I can try certain things out for awhile and then if it doesn't work I can do something else.
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1574000 - 12/10/10 12:54 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: AZNpiano]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

A long time ago, I used to hand out sibling discounts, until I found out the dangers of teaching siblings. Sometimes I'm suddenly left with a 2-hour hole in my schedule.


This, exactly. I find that teaching siblings is MORE trouble than teaching singles. And Mom is so overwhelmed, driving her three kids around all the time, that she's even more likely to cancel.

Canceling aside, I had so many sibling groups this year that just scheduling around their requirements was a nightmare.

The mom with 3 piano daughters waits in my waiting room. The next students might show up a bit early, a sibling pair plus dad. I've got to acomodate 6 people at once in my waiting room, now!

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#1574021 - 12/10/10 01:18 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: trillingadventurer]
Kawai_Teacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/10
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
This is why I love teaching piano: I can try certain things out for awhile and then if it doesn't work I can do something else.


Very true. Of course it'd be nice to have everything figured out from the beginning, but at least we have the flexibility to change things as private teachers!

Thanks for everyone's suggestions and comments; you've all made some good points.

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#1914694 - 06/16/12 09:32 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
NightDream Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 18
I go to people's homes, but I decided not to do a sibling discount because I have parents who were eager to pay me full price. Those are the kinds of families I want to work with. They know I am worth the money and that it is already a great deal for what I'm giving them. I teach four sets of siblings. Once in a while, someone will call me and ask about a sibling discount, but I just tell them it's not something I have offered other families with multiple children, but we can discuss maybe a shorter lesson. Once in a while I will do a partial barter too, but bartering can't pay my rent.

Another issue is there is no guarantee those siblings will always be on the same schedule. One might start sports and another day might not work for both of them. I was just called today by a lady who wants lessons for her 3 kids, but $300 is a bit steep for her. I totally understand that, but I am in the same position. My kids don't get to do some activities because it's hard to afford. I have four children.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1914792 - 06/17/12 07:04 AM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I have a mother who pays me generously. I have taught her two daughters and have recently accepted her son as well as another adopted daughter. I have no idea how she figures out how much each kid is worth. The 17 year old pays more than the 7 year old. the super talented 11 year old, is somewhere in the middle.

I don't ask.. i just go deposit the checks. she pays by the month. Sometimes she can't quite figure out the amount so she just writes me three checks. she pays for lessons skipped (a rarity) and always seems to tack on an extra twenty dollars. She explained one time. I just said "Jane.. really, you don't have to pay me if a kid misses a lesson", but she insists. Sometimes i think she is adopting these extra kids just so I'll have something to do.

She is a fascinating woman and her own biological children have very acute intelligence. Of the 6 children she has adopted in the last 4 years, 5 have special needs (hopefully 4). This is not a foster child state funded thing, she actually adopts the children. I like how i can depend on that monthly income and don't know whether i would offer a discounted price. I have taught other siblings before and was quite irritated at the thought of them receiving cheaper lessons just because there were 3 of them.

If they practiced, i probably would have felt differently.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1914875 - 06/17/12 11:06 AM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1335
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Apple, isn't it odd that this woman plays you according to her own invented price structure and not your own? Does that ever bother you a little?

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#1914889 - 06/17/12 11:45 AM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Apple, isn't it odd that this woman plays you according to her own invented price structure and not your own? Does that ever bother you a little?


If a parent was paying me more than what my rates were, I don't think I'd be too bothered!

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#1914946 - 06/17/12 02:18 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i would be bothered, but i think i'd charge her about 75 dollars less monthly. she really is generous i think. I wouldn't have any other students if i charged them what she gives me for her kids.

i do find it funny tho, that Claire is worth more than Anthony. I do have to practice to prepare for Claire, but i need to practice somtimes anyway.

I am really excited about teaching this 7 year old boy. he is so eager and was sooooo nervous the other day. I just hugged him, he was so very frightened. that probably scared him worse.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1915026 - 06/17/12 08:13 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Para Otras]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Para Otras
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Apple, isn't it odd that this woman plays you according to her own invented price structure and not your own? Does that ever bother you a little?


If a parent was paying me more than what my rates were, I don't think I'd be too bothered!


Same here! It actually has happened before. The most grateful parents I've ever worked for. I've become great friends with them. Too bad their kids are the complete opposite.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1915036 - 06/17/12 08:55 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I have a family who gives me an extra $50 quarterly than what I charge. It's a nice gesture and I certainly don't complain wink

It's true that there is less admin when teaching families who have more than one child learning piano, but I see that as a bonus of doing my job well enough that they want to enroll their other children in lessons. Why should I pay a penalty for that?

Most families, in my experience, will enroll their other children in lessons eventually WITHOUT a discount, so there is no point offering one. But then I live in a wealthy area where money isn't generally a problem.

I too can be a bleeding heart at the best of times and find it hard to stick to my business plan, but you have to remember that at the end of the day you ARE running a business, and it's poor business practice to bleed profits unnecessarily for clients who at the end of the day will probably feel entitled to the benefits you're offering them, rather than grateful for them.

While I agree somewhat that if you don't have a full studio you might want to make some concessions, I also think you have to consider what the message is that you are sending to prospective clients. How valuable is your time? Do you percieve yourself as a professional? etc. Policies, rates etc all are indicators of the answer to these questions.

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#1915038 - 06/17/12 09:01 PM Re: Sibling Discounts? [Re: Kawai_Teacher]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
To answer the original question, I do charge slightly less for an hour than for a half-hour lesson, and if the siblings enroll in an hour, they are charged the hourly rate rather than two half-hour rates.

Other than that, I don't do sibling discounts. I do give one family a discount because I enjoy teaching the boy and they are wonderful people who just can't afford more (in reality, they pay for 45 minutes and I let it run an extra 15 minutes). They never asked, I offered.

Every book I've read on studio running has said not to offer family discounts. I think it's a case-by-case, teacher-by-teacher process.

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