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#2074521 - 04/30/13 09:17 PM How much to charge for accompaniment?
chueh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/08
Posts: 85
I have a music degree and am a piano teacher. I have always accompanied for free, because I am not good enough to be a concert pianist and I just love playing the piano. However, too many people ask me for accompaniment, and my time isn't enough for all the requests. I would have to start to charge.

I am pretty much able to play wide repertoire. How much should I charge for each piece, or HOW should I charge? Do I just count the time I finally perform, or I should add my practice time as well.....


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#2074530 - 04/30/13 09:36 PM Re: How much to charge for accompaniment? [Re: chueh]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
It depends. Without a specific scenario it's impossible to give you an amount of money. How good are you? How much experience do you have? What level is the person you're accompanying? How hard is the piece they're playing? How many rehearsals are there?


#2074538 - 04/30/13 10:01 PM Re: How much to charge for accompaniment? [Re: chueh]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: chueh
I am pretty much able to play wide repertoire. How much should I charge for each piece, or HOW should I charge? Do I just count the time I finally perform, or I should add my practice time as well.....
I charge basically what the going rate for teaching in my area is, per hour. I don't charge for my practice time, as this would lead to the situation where those who take longer to master a certain piece would be charging more! So many things I can sight-read, other things take quite a bit of practice. It evens out, and those harder things stay in your repertoire for next time.

I have a schedule of fees for certain things that I frequently do, exams, auditions, competitions. Some include one rehearsal (like a basic exam) but for most things rehearsal is extra, at my hourly rate. Have a good think about the things you are asked to do, consider what the going rate in your area is, consider also your level of competence, and work out a reasonable fee. I very rarely have any problem with simply stating unapologetically that this is my fee.
Du holde Kunst...

#2074553 - 04/30/13 10:28 PM Re: How much to charge for accompaniment? [Re: chueh]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
I would consider it a supply-demand decision. You have "x" amount of time available. Adjust your pricing so the number of people who are willing to pay that amount fill that time.
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

#2074572 - 04/30/13 10:59 PM Re: How much to charge for accompaniment? [Re: chueh]
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
In my little midwestern US college town, the going rate is between $30-40/hour for accompanying students at the local colleges and high schools.

For things like professional recitals, weddings and other gigs, I usually quote a flat fee. It usually takes $150 or so to get me interested in something if I have to give up an evening or weekend. (Although I occasionally will do things for free if I'm just doing it for fun.) Beyond that, it just depends on the amount of work and skill set required.

Generally speaking, it's not a good idea to charge for practice time. (Because then people end up paying more for bad pianists who can't read well and less for good pianists who can - it's a screwed up way of doing things.)
"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)


#2074582 - 04/30/13 11:15 PM Re: How much to charge for accompaniment? [Re: chueh]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 568
Lots of good advice here so far. I'll just add this:

No matter what you charge per hour, I think it's important to have a base minimum that you need to make...i.e. 'I won't leave the house for less than X amount of money.'
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

#2075289 - 05/01/13 09:53 PM Re: How much to charge for accompaniment? [Re: DanS]
chueh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/08
Posts: 85
Thank you all for your wonderful replies. I kind of got the idea.


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