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
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(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
Topic Options
#2012469 - 01/10/13 08:42 PM Increased fees - family expressed concern
eccp19 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 77
Loc: United States
Hi Folks,

Need some advice. I recently increased my fees for a 30 min lesson from $20 to $22. I don't want to get into the details but I felt that it was time to increase my rates. Tonight at lessons, a mother of a family of three I teach expressed to me dissatisfaction with the fee increase because as I understand, she believes there should be some sort of "tier" discount for 3 students in one travel (I travel to teach). She told me that another family of three I teach also feels the same way (both families I teach are mutual friends). I was a little taken aback and said I would take into consideration her concern. On the one hand, I can see it is common for businesses to give discounts for increased business transactions and I don't want to lose the income from these families. On the other hand, the question is, which student is deserving of a "cheaper" lesson? I would appreciate teacher's who can relate to this experience. Thanks

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2012500 - 01/10/13 09:54 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
What's your business model? Do you charge extra for traveling? Are there sibling discounts? How long has it been since you last raised your rates? How much notice did the family have? Do they pay monthly or tuition by the semester?

$2 x 3 kids x 4 weeks is $24 extra per month

So the perception could go both ways - on one hand, $24/month is pocket change for some people; for others, it can be a decent amount of money. It's also a 10% tuition hike. That's a pretty steep percentage, but if it's been 4-5 years since you raised your rates, that's only 2% a year, which doesn't cover inflation, so they've actually had a bargain for the last few years. Also, in most communities, $22 for a 30 minute lesson is still pretty cheap, especially given that you travel.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#2012560 - 01/11/13 12:40 AM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1357
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Here's a way to view this.

The fact that you teach in students' homes is, I believe, not pertinent. Because, unlike our friend Scott Coletta, you don't also teach in your home.

So it's not as if you have two different price structures - one for your studio and one for in-the-home lessons. Instead you just have one, and on Jan. 1 (or whenever) you raised it. By ten percent. And two families that were used to paying $60 a week for lessons are suddenly confronting $66. And one mom has mentioned this, hoping to get a break.

Just smile sweetly and say there is no travel fee, but lessons are simply now $22 each. You felt it was time to raise your rate, and you did. If she wants one of her children to end piano lessons, tell her you would be sorry about this, but you would understand, since you realize that for some people $22 is a lot of money.

As Kreisler has suggested, I do hope you gave your families some advance notice about this increase. If you did not, and even moreso if people pay you each week, you might have a tougher time staying firm.

If you want to get into the messy business of family discounts, you can. But it sounds like you have avoided them in the past, and I'd say good for you.

Top
#2012651 - 01/11/13 08:32 AM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11959
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Did you increase your fees to cover the travel costs, or was it just a regular price increase? In the latter case your time is worth what it is worth. Your rate is $22/half hour, and that half hour is not including your driving time.

This family was previously paying $20/half hour, and getting no discount for 3 kids in one home. Now that you are raising your rates (and who knows when the last time you raised your rates?), they suddenly want a cheaper rate for having 3 in the home. Why suddenly an exception? And for how long? If you raise your raise on a regular basis, will she insist on staying at the $20 rate? At some point this becomes absurd.

In the case that you said you were trying to cover your travel costs as the reason for the rate increase, then they should consider that if you did not have those 3 kids at one home, you would have had to raise your prices further to cover the additional travel costs. You calculate our hourly rate (hopefully) based on what you need to make to survive after business expenses are paid. It's one lump sum dollar amount (gas = $250/month for example) that gets spread out and evenly divided among your entire studio.

Sometimes explaining that to families from that standpoint allows them to see that what they're asking isn't good business practice.
_________________________
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
#2012707 - 01/11/13 10:38 AM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Peter mentioned that I teach both in my studio and traveling to students, which gives me two different rates. This is true. But my travel rate is still set up as a flat charge added to my studio rate. Currently, my rate is $27 per half hour lesson in my studio, and my travel charge is $18. So if you had a 30 minute lesson in your home it would be $45. But if you have an hour lesson it's $72, and an hour and a half is $99. I did it this way when I didn't have a studio as well, but the rates where lower.

Perhaps you can re-structure your fee so that you are charging $20 for a 30 minute lesson and then add $3 as a travel fee. Your 30 minute students will pay $23, your hour students $43, and your 90 minutes $63. Depending on how many students you have in each category it may work out about the same anyway. Just write a nice letter to your students explaining that you've decided to modify your fee structure to make it more practical. Basically, you only drive once for every household, regardless of the number of students there. So it makes sense that each household pays the same fee for the driving. Once you set this up, you can easily raise your lesson fee or driving fee as needed going forward.

I just find it's helpful to keep these things separate. What I ended up doing is over a period of a several years when I only drove to students, I found that the average time spent driving between students is 20 minutes. So I set up my driving fee to be 66% of my half hour lesson rate. You can explain this to your students in your letter. The more transparent you are, the easier it is for them to understand.

Top
#2012723 - 01/11/13 11:04 AM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
bmbutler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
Stick to your policy. I raised my rates by a couple of dollars two years ago. Not one person said a word including two families with multiple children.
_________________________
Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983

Top
#2012791 - 01/11/13 01:18 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
eccp19,

I would consider telling the parent this: "I do not currently charge students a travel fee. It is a fee I am considering adding to tuition starting in July. If I do start charging for travel, I assure you that your family will only have the fee added for one student."

Edit: I think there are several good ideas in this thread. You could simply leave your policy alone. Or have separate charges.

Overall, I think the parents are being petty. I think you have to be the judge of how best to keep parents happy. (Or when to not worry about it.)


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/11/13 03:15 PM)

Top
#2012912 - 01/11/13 03:37 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
deleted due to info being misused


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/11/13 08:02 PM)

Top
#2012916 - 01/11/13 03:57 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
deleted due to info being misused.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/11/13 08:01 PM)

Top
#2012932 - 01/11/13 04:20 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Ann, your reply raised a thought for me which I've posted on the why won't students ask their teachers? thread.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2013004 - 01/11/13 06:17 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: eccp19]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
I think any question can be asked without being offensive about it.

I think the OP did well to say he/she would take the question into consideration.


Edit: The parents want to argue that they are saving time for the teacher. They are overlooking the fact that they receive the convenience of an in-home lesson for EACH child.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/11/13 07:58 PM)

Top
#2013061 - 01/11/13 08:03 PM Re: Increased fees - family expressed concern [Re: PianoStudent88]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Ann, your reply raised a thought for me which I've posted on the why won't students ask their teachers? thread.


Your reply raised a thought for me also.

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
My Kawai CA-95 does not record drum patterns
by SP6NIN
32 minutes 53 seconds ago
page-turning for tablets
by Barly
Today at 04:02 AM
Vertegrand pressure bar loosening
by Chris Leslie
Today at 03:47 AM
The Godfather movie theme
by Danijelcro
Today at 02:30 AM
taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade?
by littlebirdblue
Today at 02:28 AM
Who's Online
71 registered (Ben_NZ, barbaram, Alux, bennevis, aesop, 16 invisible), 1071 Guests and 15 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76370 Members
42 Forums
157879 Topics
2318695 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