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Topic Options
#1985776 - 11/12/12 04:08 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
"I'm sorry but I won't be teaching on Saturdays except from X time to Y time after Z date. Those slots are currently booked, so we are going to need to find another time to have our lessons. I'm sorry for the inconvenience."

Raise your prices, however, and you'll probably lose more students than you want to free up. To be perfectly honest, you already charge on the higher end (as in, the absolute most I'd ever pay and most people I know would pay) for Irvine. If you charged more and I were taking lessons from you, I'd find another teacher without another thought. Quality education does deserve quality pay, but there are still limits at which most people are going to work. I'm glad you're able to have such a busy studio at that rate, but I think charging more would:

1) look funny to all of your students, and most would look for a different teacher (not only the ones on Saturday either)

and

2) not necessarily free up your time in the way you want.

Instead of trying to work around this in a pretty dirty way, I'd just be honest with the students and let them know that your teaching hours are changing and that you'll have to work out another time where you could offer them lessons. Maybe offer something that first time, or don't.

PS: I looked at your sign-up page, and while a bit OT, how is sending an email for termination considered 'not written'? If anything, I'd send an email to a teacher so I could go back to it and say "SEE, LOOK, I DID SEND IT ON THIS DATE" if they ever claimed they didn't receive a termination notice.
_________________________
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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#1985781 - 11/12/12 04:25 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I like kayvee's idea, combined with your idea of giving some sort of gift/concession to the families who now must switch.

Alternatively, you can handle it through attrition; as the weekend folks stop lessons (as they will, sooner or later), consolidate their times and don't add any new students to the opened up slots on Saturday. That may take longer to accomplish what you want, though.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1985789 - 11/12/12 04:44 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I would simply announce to the parents something like this:

Beginning January 1, the studio will be open the following hours: Monday-Friday, 3-8 pm; Saturdays 9 am - noon. Closed on Sunday. If your lesson time currently falls outside of these business hours or if your schedule is changing and you'd like a new time, please contact me to arrange the schedule.

Then let the chips fall where they may.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1985794 - 11/12/12 04:51 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
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?


Yes, as stated before...if you do not want to teach on Sat, say so rather than raising rates for that day. To me that is so absurd. Either teach on Sat or don't.

How to handle it?

"As of Jan 1, I will no longer be teaching on Sat. Please call to make arrangements for another time slot."
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1985801 - 11/12/12 04:59 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
You could also take on the task of rescheduling your entire work hours based around how Minniemay mentioned.

Give the hours you'll be open to teach, and then hand out a piece of paper to everyone with 5 lines. Ask them to give as many times that would work for them.

Then figure out a schedule based on that. It may a little more work, but it will also give you the freedom of hopefully a few students being flexible to other times.
_________________________
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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#1985813 - 11/12/12 05:16 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I think the best way to get people to move off of Saturday is to first offer a discount for the other days of the week (and you might rather do this after a major rate change) The gift idea is interesting. I don't like the lottery or auction idea. But that's just me!
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#1985814 - 11/12/12 05:18 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
if you do not want to teach on Sat, say so rather than raising rates for that day. To me that is so absurd.


Please read my post carefully before you post. Yes I do want to teach Saturdays but I want to reduce the load from 36% to 20%....
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#1985818 - 11/12/12 05:33 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
if you do not want to teach on Sat, say so rather than raising rates for that day. To me that is so absurd.


Please read my post carefully before you post. Yes I do want to teach Saturdays but I want to reduce the load from 36% to 20%....
Then how would charging more help this? No one would want to stay. It wouldn't reduce you from 36% to 20% like a math equation. Plus, the people who would want to stay would be staying at their same time for a higher price when you still want to teach during that time anyway.

John mentioned that some employees expect pay and a half for certain days/hours. I don't think I know ANY job where you're paid more because it's the weekend, though I do know some employers do do this. Usually it's for holidays and overtime though, as a standard. And, as I've seen mentioned on these forums (including by John), don't piano teachers not consider themselves employees?

This isn't about a fee increase. This is about changing your schedule. So do it in the appropriate manner: change your schedule.
_________________________
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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#1985836 - 11/12/12 06:26 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: kayvee]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: kayvee
John mentioned that some employees expect pay and a half for certain days/hours. I don't think I know ANY job where you're paid more because it's the weekend, though I do know some employers do do this.

Know any union workers? To be fair, I was thinking "overtime" and that Saturday as the 6th teaching day of the week, since I already teach Mon - Fri. As you point out, the OP changed the situation on us, so fees really are no longer at issue. I don't wish to teach on weekends, so if you really, really, really want my services, you'll have to entice me financially.
_________________________
"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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#1985840 - 11/12/12 06:31 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: kayvee]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: kayvee
No one would want to stay.

We call this an asserted conclusion. On what facts do you base this conclusion? Do you have some research available in which piano teachers charge a 5% or 10% premium, for example, for weekend lessons, but have lost all their weekend students?
_________________________
"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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#1985847 - 11/12/12 06:53 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Theme&Variations Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/10
Posts: 135
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I'm sure some people would want to stay!! When I want to see my doctor on the weekend it costs more than during the week. Seems fair enough to me.
_________________________
Private piano teacher since 2003
Member:
ASME (Australian Society for Music Education),
ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand Cultural Arts),
KMEIA (Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia).

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#1985929 - 11/12/12 10:36 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Any other thoughts?


I just glanced at your website, and it strikes me that one thing you should do right away is take down the part that shows your schedule. All that does is communicate to current and prospective students that you are very open to teaching on Saturdays!

And I don't blame you for wanting to cut down your Saturday hours; your whole day is basically blown. But if I were a prospective student, my first reaction would be to think, "Great! This teacher loves teaching on Saturdays and that will be so much easier for the kids than trying to squeeze in homework etc."
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1985937 - 11/12/12 11:25 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Know any union workers? To be fair, I was thinking "overtime" and that Saturday as the 6th teaching day of the week, since I already teach Mon - Fri. As you point out, the OP changed the situation on us, so fees really are no longer at issue. I don't wish to teach on weekends, so if you really, really, really want my services, you'll have to entice me financially.
Originally Posted By: kayvee
No one would want to stay.

We call this an asserted conclusion. On what facts do you base this conclusion? Do you have some research available in which piano teachers charge a 5% or 10% premium, for example, for weekend lessons, but have lost all their weekend students?
Quite a few - as I was one until very recently! Overtime works in terms of hours, and not in terms of days - you could work 7 days and not earn overtime. But earning more on weekends just because they are weekends isn't that common, as far as I know (again, as I mentioned above, I said to my own knowledge).

It was more of an opinion than a conclusion - of course I don't believe that all students would stop working with the teacher for charging more on Saturday. But I wouldn't be surprised by it. And the main reason I pointed it out was because it didn't seem to be "I think Saturdays should cost a premium because they are more in demand than weekday lessons," but that there was something else behind it all.

In either case, I think you addressed what should really happen that I also mentioned before: Saturdays are the 'real' rate while the others are discounted because they aren't as frequently sought after (ie, homeschooling hours). Though, in Irvine, plenty of people would rather have weekday lessons than weekend lessons (as I found out from asking dozens of piano teachers when searching for my brother - every teacher seemed to be booked during the week, and willing to take on extra time on weekends).
_________________________
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..."

Top
#1985946 - 11/12/12 11:56 PM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
I have seen comparison to car rentals, and to union workers. I really think that similar should be compared with similar. Music teachers are not objects that get rented out, and they don't work on assembly lines. I think we're considering professionals rather than hobbyist teachers. What is it that professionals do in other fields? On what do they base their fees and premium fees?

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#1985959 - 11/13/12 01:04 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Doctors definitely charge more on weekends. So do veterinarians. However, people (and animals) HAVE to go to the doctor. People don't HAVE to take piano lessons.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1985960 - 11/13/12 01:17 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: keystring]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
We may not be automobiles or union workers, except that some of us are union members, but that aside, the underlying problem I see here is two fold. One is that the laws of economics apply regardless of your profession or work, and you ignore them at your peril and/or loss. Secondly, I sense a martyr complex among some teachers. They feel that somehow they should be the sacrificial lamb and sacrifice theirs and their family's well-being for the sake of the student. IMO, this is pure stupidity. These are the teachers who chronically complain that they cannot attend professional conferences, travel, etc., etc. But it's problem of their own making.

In economics, which is the study of behavioral relationships among humans in dealing with limited resources but unlimited appetites for same, a fair trade is defined as one in which each party is satisfied with the outcome. If you offer Sat lessons for $40/hr, after school lessons for $35/hr, and school day lessons at $30/hr, perspective students can take it or leave it. If they're willing to pay $40/hr for weekend lessons, both parties are satisfied, and that's the end of the discussion. I wouldn't take sax lessons even if the instructor paid me to, so his pricing is moot. But I am willing to pay $180/hr for lessons with a concert artist who is also a proven top drawer piano teacher. There are millions of piano students who would not. So they don't get the lessons I get. I'm satisfied; my instructor is satisfied and it really doesn't matter whether anyone else thinks it's fair or not fair. It's actually none of their business. But I digress.

As many people have now stated, the OP can set her hours as she pleases, and if she finds her studio filled on Saturdays, especially with a waiting list, then she's undercharging the market and should adjust her rate upwards.
_________________________
"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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#1985983 - 11/13/12 03:20 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Hey, if you don't want Saturday students, send them over to me! I have lots of openings on weekends, and I don't charge extra for the privilege.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1986056 - 11/13/12 09:08 AM Re: Charging more for Saturdays? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
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?


What about my suggestion to talk to your Saturday families and see if there is possibly another day and time during that week - any time at all that would work. Then approach the student who occupies that time and see if they are flexible enough to move to another time of the week as a favor to you.
_________________________
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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