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#1984246 - 11/08/12 04:24 PM Charging more for Saturdays?
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
36% of my students are coming to lesson Saturdays because that is the only day the parents are free to bring them to lesson.
I start to wonder if I should charge more for Saturday students.
How many of you have done this?
If yes I should charge more, how much more I should charge to be fair??

Thanks
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#1984329 - 11/08/12 07:18 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
I don't see how you could charge more logically.

I do see some teachers provide discounts for times that aren't usually filled (ie, morning hours for home-school children at a 10% discount or the like), but to charge more for times that work for people because they are in demand anyway? Those times should be your regular price.
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

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#1984333 - 11/08/12 07:52 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5513
Loc: Orange County, CA
You can charge however you want. You are absolutely not obligated to charge all clients the same fee. If you charge the Saturday students more money--and they know about the different rates you're charging--they might go find other teachers. It's your call, ultimately.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1984417 - 11/08/12 11:45 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Most employees expect time and a half pay when working weekends. I think it entirely reasonable to have a premium add-on for working hours you'd rather not work.
_________________________
"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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#1984419 - 11/08/12 11:50 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1265
Loc: California
How much are your Saturdays worth to you? I would certainly charge more.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1984466 - 11/09/12 02:50 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
In all my years as a piano teacher I've never heard of something like this, ez. Either you are breaking new ground for our profession, or you're digging your studio into a hole, and giving all your colleagues in Orange County something to chuckle over. My vote is for the latter.

But what the heck, go ahead and double your rates for Saturdays starting next month and see what happens. Something certainly will.

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#1984544 - 11/09/12 08:41 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Peter, I've never known any teacher to do it, either, but there's no logical reason why a premium shouldn't be charged for premium time. Alternately, you could set a base rate for Sat's, a slight discount for school day afternoon's, and yet greater discount for other times. The effect is the same, even if the name is different. I believe they call that marketing!
_________________________
"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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#1984580 - 11/09/12 10:42 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
In the end, it all comes down to what the market will bear.

If the OP's market will bear a Saturday premium, then it would be remiss of her not to apply it.
_________________________
Rob

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#1984622 - 11/09/12 12:22 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: R0B]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1265
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: R0B
In the end, it all comes down to what the market will bear.

If the OP's market will bear a Saturday premium, then it would be remiss of her not to apply it.


Ditto. I liken it to teachers who travel to homes and charge more for the privilege. They aren't just covering their gas expense. What's the value of someone coming to the home? In my town of 100+ piano teachers only 2 travel to homes. The demand is great.

The same for teaching Saturdays. And if the market will bear it, go for it.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1984636 - 11/09/12 12:59 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5513
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
or you're digging your studio into a hole, and giving all your colleagues in Orange County something to chuckle over.

Nice!

Actually, there are all kinds of crazy stuff that happens in Orange County. Where do I begin? We have parents who are paying through their noses for inferior piano instruction, and parents who opt for more expensive piano instruction from a recent college grad when their previous teacher is a proven, experienced teacher who happened to charge less.

Must be something in the drinking water. Common sense is not so common around here.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1984642 - 11/09/12 01:05 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
To Peter:
I like to think innovative but act logically and with fairness.
If I am going to raise my rate for Saturdays, it is not going to be next month because the only time I raise my rate is during summer time, before school start.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#1984645 - 11/09/12 01:07 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2648
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
36% of my students are coming to lesson Saturdays because that is the only day the parents are free to bring them to lesson.
I start to wonder if I should charge more for Saturday students.
How many of you have done this?
If yes I should charge more, how much more I should charge to be fair??

Thanks


Hi ezpiano,

I teach on Sundays and I when scheduling a new student I had a parent ask me if Sunday lessons cost more. So it wouldn't necessarily be a surprise to everyone if there were a higher weekend charge.

I do not charge more for Sunday lessons. I tend to only have 3 or 4 on Sundays and it works out great for me. I enjoy Sunday lessons.

If you decide to charge more for Saturdays, I would suggest a 10 percent increase. Or at least limit it to 15 percent.

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#1984689 - 11/09/12 03:06 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: AZNpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Must be something in the drinking water. Common sense is not so common around here.

Isn't that why we call it "La La Land?"
_________________________
"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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#1984729 - 11/09/12 05:57 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2611
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Don't confuse LA with OC!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1984761 - 11/09/12 07:40 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Ez has now explained herself better. She is already thinking ahead to a different fee structure for next season, not for anytime soon. Good for her: I don't tend to think past the end of my nose, so perhaps I can learn something here.

I guess the main question is this? What is the goal of doing something as unusual as charging extra for Saturday lessons? Is it to teach less on Saturdays? Is it to have Saturdays off? Is it to punish the Saturday families in one's studio, because that is what it will feel like to them.

As an independent piano teacher in the US of A, one can do whatever one wishes. Well, you can't charge different rates for students of different ethnic backgrounds or religions or genders. But sure, there could be different rates for different days of the week. I just find it bizarre.

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#1984768 - 11/09/12 07:56 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

I guess the main question is this? What is the goal of doing something as unusual as charging extra for Saturday lessons? Is it to teach less on Saturdays? Is it to have Saturdays off? Is it to punish the Saturday families in one's studio, because that is what it will feel like to them.


My main goal is to reduce Saturday's students and move them to weekdays. If they have to "feel" that they being punished, there is nothing I can do to change their feeling. But why would they feel that way? This kind of feeling sound bizarre to me.

If John can offer morning time at a slightly discounted price for home school students, his rate is not unify for 24 hour/ 7 days, right? That means if my rate of Saturdays and weekdays are different, it is the same concept as him.
We just called it differently.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#1984779 - 11/09/12 08:25 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

I guess the main question is this? What is the goal of doing something as unusual as charging extra for Saturday lessons? Is it to teach less on Saturdays? Is it to have Saturdays off? Is it to punish the Saturday families in one's studio, because that is what it will feel like to them.


My main goal is to reduce Saturday's students and move them to weekdays. If they have to "feel" that they being punished, there is nothing I can do to change their feeling. But why would they feel that way? This kind of feeling sound bizarre to me.

If John can offer morning time at a slightly discounted price for home school students, his rate is not unify for 24 hour/ 7 days, right? That means if my rate of Saturdays and weekdays are different, it is the same concept as him.
We just called it differently.

You can charge whatever you want.

The 'business' type of sentiment is to charge more where more people want your service so that you can meet demands.

I.e. if you have too many people who want your product/service, then raise your prices to meet demands (sift out people who don't really want the product/service and give it to people who are willing to pay because they want it).

You can go either way because your service on Saturdays are technically the exact same as any other day, but you have a higher demand.

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#1984781 - 11/09/12 08:31 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: malkin]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: malkin
Don't confuse LA with OC!

You know, as much as I enjoy visiting anywhere in California, most of it fits that description!
_________________________
"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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#1984782 - 11/09/12 08:35 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Peter, I just booked a rental car for Thanksgiving week; double the usual rate. This is not uncommon. What's uncommon is for piano teachers to take a business-like approach to running their business. I suspect that the OP will do just fine charging a premium on Saturdays, but to keep customers happy, I would rephrase it some way so that it makes sense to the clients. Such as weekend rates; weekday after school rates, mid-day rates, or something along this line.
_________________________
"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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#1984784 - 11/09/12 08:47 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2611
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: malkin
Don't confuse LA with OC!

You know, as much as I enjoy visiting anywhere in California, most of it fits that description!


Well, if you are looking for common sense, I have found it in rather short supply in my home state.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1984951 - 11/10/12 08:36 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12056
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
When students ask about Saturdays, I tell them I don't teach on the weekend. I also have kept my Fridays free for personal days (which sometimes end up being make-up lesson days, but then that is my choice to do so). I have once in a while had a potential student inquire about Saturday lessons and when I told them I cannot do that, they did not sign up for lessons.

I don't feel bad about that, however, because I'm not going to please everyone, and over the years I've learned to preserve my weekends for family time. It's a personal choice, of course, but if the goal is to have your Saturdays free, I would ask your Saturday families if there is ANY other time during the week that is possible, even if that slot is currently filled with another student. If so, you may be able to reschedule that other student, as a favor to you (maybe offer them a free lesson to do it) so you can take that Saturday student then.

Once you do this, vow to not take a student that can only do Saturdays again. I think this is a better alternative to charging a different rate and will actually solve the problem (not wanting to teach on Saturdays) more directly.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1984963 - 11/10/12 09:07 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: Morodiene]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2648
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
When students ask about Saturdays, I tell them I don't teach on the weekend. I also have kept my Fridays free for personal days (which sometimes end up being make-up lesson days, but then that is my choice to do so). I have once in a while had a potential student inquire about Saturday lessons and when I told them I cannot do that, they did not sign up for lessons.



This is similar to what I do. I keep Fridays and Saturdays clear (no lessons). This gives me enough freedom to go somewhere on a Friday for an overnight.

When I found that a few folks REALLY wanted a Saturday, I decided that Sunday afternoons would work for me, and it has turned out to be a suitable alternative for them. I like to be home on Sundays anyway. And often Sunday afternoons my husband decides we should all do yard work. But now that I'm teaching, I get out of it. laugh

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#1985042 - 11/10/12 01:10 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: Overexposed]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
When students ask about Saturdays, I tell them I don't teach on the weekend. I also have kept my Fridays free for personal days (which sometimes end up being make-up lesson days, but then that is my choice to do so). I have once in a while had a potential student inquire about Saturday lessons and when I told them I cannot do that, they did not sign up for lessons.



This is similar to what I do. I keep Fridays and Saturdays clear (no lessons). This gives me enough freedom to go somewhere on a Friday for an overnight.

When I found that a few folks REALLY wanted a Saturday, I decided that Sunday afternoons would work for me, and it has turned out to be a suitable alternative for them. I like to be home on Sundays anyway. And often Sunday afternoons my husband decides we should all do yard work. But now that I'm teaching, I get out of it. laugh

Thumbs up, I love breather days. smile

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#1985402 - 11/11/12 02:54 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4978
Loc: boston north
If you don't want to teach on Saturdays, don't teach on Saturdays.

$2 (?) more per lesson is not going to make you want to give up your free time, is it? And the resentment for giving up your free day is going to show at some point, me thinks.

Or would charging more just be gouging for those that want lessons with you but just cannot do it on a weekday due to parents working, etc?
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1985438 - 11/11/12 05:04 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: lilylady]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I'm not really fond of the term "gouging" as it's emotionally laden and pejorative and more often than not, an evaluation totally dependent upon the one-sided viewpoint of the user, ie, the eye of the beholder. Generally speaking, home school students have only one working parent (the other is doing the home schooling) so have a lower disposable income. But the students are often highly motivated, directed and make great students. By discounting their fees with the caveat that lessons are held when other students are tied up in schools, seems to serve many purposes. Few complain about this arrangement. Families with two working parents often only have free time on weekends, so it's understood why they would want weekend lessons for their children. But if you elect to teach on weekends, you give up much flexibility and opportunities for yourself which are only available on weekends. Why shouldn't you charge a premium for this service? By charging a premium for weekends, you put the monkey back on the parent to weigh their priorities. If money is an issue, can they realign their schedule so as to take lessons during the week?

When you charge a higher premium for select lesson times, it's a win-win situation. The family gets the time they want, and as they've tacitly agreed that you're worth what they're paying, they should be satisfied. Likewise, you're rewarded for the inconvenience you put up with teaching when you'd rather not.

Alternatively, you could have a lottery. It would be a win for the families who won the lottery, but a loss for you and a loss for those who now cannot study with you, because they were denied the option of paying more for your services.

Perhaps there's another solution which would present itself???
_________________________
"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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#1985484 - 11/11/12 07:20 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2648
I think it is helpful to start your studio with a written schedule of what days and times are available. Then you don't end up with 15 kids on Saturdays. You'll have set a reasonable schedule for yourself from the start.

If you have no schedule in mind and allow each newcomer to pick whatever day and time suits them, you can end up overwhelmed.

I agree that a small fee increase will not deter parents from Saturday lessons.

If you want fewer Saturday students, first stop accepting new students for Saturdays. And once current ones leave, do not open that time again. If you want faster change, then shorten your Saturday hours. You could say that beginning January 1, you will no longer be available to teach after 3 pm. Those whose lessons are later than 3 pm would need to find a new lesson time.

OTOH, I never heard you say you wanted fewer lessons on Saturdays. Just that the demand made it look like an opportunity to charge more. Do you really need more money that bad?


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (11/11/12 08:35 PM)

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#1985543 - 11/11/12 09:59 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
John's response makes perfect sense. It's not a question of gouging or needing more money "that bad," it's simple economics. Some parents are happy to pay for the convenience of in-home lessons or Saturday lessons. Why is it bad to structure our business in such a way to maximize our income?

For the OP, I would wait until a semester or year end to implement a rate change, giving your customers 2 month notice. You can then discount your lesser used times, or times you want to fill.
_________________________
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#1985630 - 11/12/12 07:20 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2648
I personally would raise all rates, or none. Seeing that many families require Saturdays and therefore raising Saturday fees seems predatory to me. But others obviously see it as just good business.

Yes, we are used to hotels doubling their rates over the holidays. Doesn't mean we think it's fair. And it's not a common practice for a teacher to double weekend rates. It could work. Or backfire. Surely if your weekend rates are significantly higher than others in your area, you will lose business.

I'm curious to find out how high ez raises rates and what the parent response is. With a 50% increase many will look for another teacher.

In other words, the parents require Saturday lessons, but they do not require YOU as a teacher.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (11/12/12 07:38 AM)

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#1985760 - 11/12/12 03:41 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
With a 50% increase many will look for another teacher.

Me too...
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#1985763 - 11/12/12 03:46 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
OTOH, I never heard you say you wanted fewer lessons on Saturdays. Just that the demand made it look like an opportunity to charge more. Do you really need more money that bad?


Yes, I do want to have fewer lessons on Saturdays. Ideally, I like to teach only 20% of my students on Saturdays. Currently I am teaching 36% of my students on Saturdays.

Maybe I should re-phrase my question to:
How to reduce from 36% to 20% teaching load on Saturdays?

Brainstorming:
1. Raise Saturday's rate by x%
2. Offer one time gift for parents who switch to weekdays
3. Establish a lottery system see who got Saturday's slot and move unlucky parents to weekdays
4. Establish an auction system for parents (parents who pay more will get Saturdays' slot)

Any other thoughts?
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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