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
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2156071 - 09/23/13 10:23 AM The Art of Raising Fees, Part II
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
AZNPiano, started a lengthy thread on this topic back in June. Just this past week, a friend of mine sent me this post from the Washington Post, a highly respected newspaper out of Washington, D. C.

The article says, "in inflation-adjusted dollars." I'm not entirely sure how to deal with this information. I've raised my fees roughly in step with inflation, that is, no increase for increasing experience or additional course work, knowledge, etc. But my clients are losing income. Not factored into this calculation is that every day expenses, like gasoline, is commanding a greater percentage of disposable income, as the price has climbed from less than $1/gallon back then, to roughly $3.50/gallon today. That is drastically more than inflation.

In any event, if the average family in the middle of the income spectrum has lost over $500/mo in disposable income, it surely affects extra-curricular activities for their children, especially piano lessons. I'm suspecting that the change in clientele I've experienced over the last 25 years can be explained, in large part, by this decreasing real income of American households.

The only practical solution I can see is to match our fees to real income of our clients. I'm loath to do that, as I'm sure you are, but as we get older, more and more younger teachers will be coming into the field, and charging rates which put them on par with their clients, leaving it harder and harder for older, experienced teachers, to maintain their income level.

Thoughts?
_________________________
"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

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#2156124 - 09/23/13 11:47 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1335
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
John, you are raising a fascinating topic. We want our studio fees to be commensurate with what we perceive as our teaching skills and experience, and we want those fees also to creep up over the years - at the very least, we want them to keep pace with inflation.

But you are suggesting that we may have to actually *lower* our fees, to remain both affordable and competitive with our younger colleagues. Maybe so (though it looks bad to do it). I don't think piano pedagogy classes ever ponder this dilemma.

Top
#2156128 - 09/23/13 11:53 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
I'm a student -- but I just want folks to be aware of the inflation situation and I'm glad you brought this up. For those who don't know -- the reason our Government claims inflation is practically non-existent is because they conveniently changed the way it's calculated. They have removed items like food and energy costs (gasoline, oil, electricity, etc.) from the items used to determine the rate of inflation -- you know, those optional things that we really can do without (bold words are an example of sarcasm -- sad to say many do not understand sarcasm anymore so must explain).

This is why many are hurting badly as our rulers keep telling us everything is just fine.

Top
#2156137 - 09/23/13 12:05 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Thinking out loud:

If your target demographic is the semi-interested enrichment activity student, you can only charge what the parents will pay, and the entry level teachers will undercut you until you lower your rates to theirs.

If your target demographic is the serious musician who can really benefit from your advanced skills, you can raise your rates to what you're worth, until you've saturated the available market.

If you live in an affluent area you may be able to fill your studio charging $100 - $200 per hour. In a more average area there may be only one student who can afford that.

What is the biggest target audience? Isn't it the world, via Skype?


Edited by TimR (09/23/13 12:06 PM)
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#2156178 - 09/23/13 01:15 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: TimR
Thinking out loud:

What is the biggest target audience? Isn't it the world, via Skype?

Tim, there is a lot I could teach via Skype. I teach my grandchildren many lessons via Skype.

Unfortunately, it's the things I cannot teach using Skype which makes all the difference in the world. It's sort of like group lessons. Much valuable information can be taught in the classroom setting, but there remains one-on-one tweaking that simply cannot be done in that setting.
_________________________
"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

Top
#2156190 - 09/23/13 01:35 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Very interesting ideas, John!

I was going to raise my rates this month, but I decided against it.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#2156223 - 09/23/13 03:07 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
dumdumdiddle Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
I go back and forth about raising rates. On the one hand, I know the unemployment rate nationally is high (that is, the REAL rate, not the 'fake' rate that we're told), gas is higher, food is higher, taxes higher, etc....

But then I figure that as long as Starbucks stores aren't closing down all around me, I'm probably fine and can make a move to increase my fees. The families who I know are cutting back are cutting things like coffee, Jamba Juice, fast food, and the like. So far, they aren't cutting piano lessons.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

Top
#2156229 - 09/23/13 03:17 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I think it probably depends on the market where you are. The natural progression is to start out fresh and cheap, then gain experience, reputation, and get more expensive. So if you find you really are losing students, then yes maybe it's necessary to lower prices, or give people some kind of 'deal'.

Customers love to think that the goods or service are reassuringly expensive, then to get them a cut price.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

Top
#2156253 - 09/23/13 03:58 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Michael Sayers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 985
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
The other side of the coin to maintaining or increasing income is to study ways to reduce expenses. One might want to liquidate assets (2nd pianos, trade down one's piano, et c.) for investments destined to perform well in the scenario some posters have described.


M.

Top
#2156274 - 09/23/13 04:40 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
September 2012 I raise my 30 minutes lesson $30 to $33 a 10% raise to all my 30 minutes students, I lost one student and the rest stay. I was very grateful for that. However, I also notice since then amount of getting new students has been decreasing compare to previous years.
July 2013, I keep the 30 minutes lesson at $34, but offer 40 minutes at $40, so, 90% of the students now bump up to 40 minutes and they are happy with it. I am also happy with it because now I have more time to go for more material to teach.

I also revise my rate to lower it such as 60 minutes used to be $60, but now is $54, but I make it mandatory for level 6 and up to take one hour lesson. In the past when it was $60, it is not mandatory, so, not a lot of students are taking it.

Other than these, I am also offering new various discount such as:
Good student discount, top five from last year CM: 5% discount
Two siblings 2% discount
Three siblings and more 3% discount
Pay per year for 5% discount, from July 2013 to June 2014
Pay per 6 months for 2% discount, from July 2013 to Dec 2013, and Jan 2014 to June 2014
Yes, these discount can be combined.

Two families use the pay per year 5% discount, families with siblings are happy with extra sibling discount and also "GOOD STUDENT DISCOUNT" only reserve for top five students in my studio according to March 2013's CM test results.

At the end, I think I am at the combination of raising fee but also lowering the fee, a combination. At this point, my monthly income has been increase.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

Top
#2156283 - 09/23/13 05:01 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: ezpiano.org]
dumdumdiddle Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Other than these, I am also offering new various discount such as:
Good student discount, top five from last year CM: 5% discount


I am intrigued by this. Do other teachers have something similar? It rewards parents whose kids really put time and effort into piano practice. Makes parents really take part in their child's music education (or so I am thinking...).

How long have you been doing this and how has it worked?
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

Top
#2156295 - 09/23/13 05:12 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
These five students are so happy!! They are getting 5% discount for every month until March 2014, then with new CM results, there will be a new five students receiving this honor.
Parents of these five students are happy too!! Overall, because of this discount, most of my kids practice more this year to hope to make it to the top five in March 2014, so, it is an encouragement.
Car insurance company offer good driver discount, I got my inspiration from there. I been doing this since July 2013 and it works out just excellent!
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

Top
#2156303 - 09/23/13 05:20 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
From the article John linked to:
Quote:

In 1989, the median American household made $51,681 in current dollars (the 2012 number, again, was $51,017). That means that 24 years ago, a middle class American family was making more than the a middle class family was making one year ago.

This isn't a lost decade for economic gains for Americans. It is a lost generation.

Is it even possible some of you did not know this has been happening for over two decades?

When I talked about what hit us here in 2008, when the "Great Depression" hit, mostly all I got back was: "Things are fine for us."

It took most of you another year or two to get hit, because South Florida got creamed first, in an obvious way, as the values of our houses were cut at least in half, and as we saw neighbors and friends leave the area.

We all barely survived down here, those of us who are still here. We have seen our adult children move home. We watch as companies hire people just long enough to use them up, before letting them go just as they would be eligible for benefits.

Anyone who shops for food knows that almost everything we are told is an outright lie. By the time you put gas in your tank, pay ever rising health care costs, shop for food, pay utility bills, pay car payments, the idea of "disposable" income is pretty much a joke for the people I know.

For the record, we raised prices last year. We may again next year. But I do a zillion things to help all the families I work with. I don't sneer at their entrance-level 61 key keyboard, or tell them that they won't really get anything out of lessons if they don't buy a grand next week.

We talk a lot about the money problems we are ALL facing. Life is hard now for most of us, and I get sick and tired of hearing people who are making 6 figure incomes talk about the rest of us as if we are not trying hard enough, working hard enough, making sacrifices.

If you want to improve your business, the best way to do it, as far as I am concerned, is to have a bit more empathy for the people who are struggling just to get by. Because if we are not yet in an equally leaky boat, we may be in 10 years, 5 years, or next year.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#2156332 - 09/23/13 05:51 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
To Gary D. -- Amen, brother...

Top
#2156363 - 09/23/13 06:40 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: Gary D.]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
But I do a zillion things to help all the families I work with. I don't sneer at their entrance-level 61 key keyboard, or tell them that they won't really get anything out of lessons if they don't buy a grand next week.


Yes and yes. This is the reality we live in.

I consider it a significant victory when I can get a family with 3 kids taking various music lessons to upgrade from a toy-like 61 key keyboard to an 88 semi-weighted Privia.

The Privia is a major upgrade musically, and, for some families, its $600 price tag is like 6 Grand. Or 60 Grand. (Dollars that is)


_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Top
#2156500 - 09/23/13 10:02 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: dumdumdiddle]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Other than these, I am also offering new various discount such as:
Good student discount, top five from last year CM: 5% discount


I am intrigued by this. Do other teachers have something similar? It rewards parents whose kids really put time and effort into piano practice. Makes parents really take part in their child's music education (or so I am thinking...).

I wonder how that works. CM doesn't give out a numerical rating like RCM, and every level's theory test is different. You get very vague ratings like "Excellent" or "Good."

If this ranking system is based purely on theory scores, that might work. However, it's really easy to get 100% on the Prep and Level 1 theory test, but NOBODY gets 100% on theory tests past Level 6. So it's not a fair ranking system, either.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#2156525 - 09/23/13 11:23 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
John v.d. Brook, I have read your post, here:

The Art of Raising Fees, Part II
John v.d.Brook Online content

AZNPiano, started a lengthy thread on this topic back in June. Just this past week, a friend of mine sent me this post from the Washington Post, a highly respected newspaper out of Washington, D. C.

The article says, "in inflation-adjusted dollars." I'm not entirely sure how to deal with this information. I've raised my fees roughly in step with inflation, that is, no increase for increasing experience or additional course work, knowledge, etc. But my clients are losing income. Not factored into this calculation is that every day expenses, like gasoline, is commanding a greater percentage of disposable income, as the price has climbed from less than $1/gallon back then, to roughly $3.50/gallon today. That is drastically more than inflation.

In any event, if the average family in the middle of the income spectrum has lost over $500/mo in disposable income, it surely affects extra-curricular activities for their children, especially piano lessons. I'm suspecting that the change in clientele I've experienced over the last 25 years can be explained, in large part, by this decreasing real income of American households.

The only practical solution I can see is to match our fees to real income of our clients. I'm loath to do that, as I'm sure you are, but as we get older, more and more younger teachers will be coming into the field, and charging rates which put them on par with their clients, leaving it harder and harder for older, experienced teachers, to maintain their income level.

Thoughts?

____________________________________________________________________________________________


Yes, my thoughts are: I am not a teacher,of course, but I am old - for whatever that is worth.

When I was a kid my parents told me everybody was on relief during the depression. When I was 21 starting my first job, I told a guy at work that everybody was on relief during the depression. The guy said, no, my parents were not on relief. They were rich. I learned a big lesson - early.

What I learned was that there are always lots of people with money. In fact, during the bad times, a lot of people become rich because - they have some money as opposed to no money to speak of so they can and do - do well.

I had a great job and made excellent money when I was very young. So I made the most of it and I coincentally had an excellent sax teacher and it was as I recall $45 for 3/4 of an hour over 20 years ago. An excellent anything - excellent teacher is worth their weight in gold!

There are advantages to living in a city because the resources are huge because of numbers, so it is easy to find work because rich people are too busy to do the small stuff so they hire trades people. But these rich people also want to live well, so they hire piano teachers, too, window washers, etc.

But also in the Yukon during the second world war and during the depression lots of people had money and did well, so even in small out of the way places, there are lots of wealthy people.

So it is using your resources in your area to make the best of a bad situation.

So, yes, the economy is bad, but it isn't bad for everybody.

Of course, I should mention that lawyers are a great example. When lawyers take a case, they charge regular lawyers' rates and then if they win, they charge lawyers' rates. But if they don't do well or lose the case, they often in some situations adjust the fees - their bill - but they can only do that if they have a good rich client base.

My life experience is that the nicest people/clients on the planet, have little or no money, but the richest, most powerful clients, have bucket of money but are busy making millions and are demanding because of the pace they keep - running lots of businesses.

So as a teacher or businessman, you have to decides what you want to do or how you want live your life.

Some teachers may not care what kind of students they teach because it is all about sending out the bills, but other teachers are fussy and so they may be more selective, both in the student and the rates they charge in all or some circumstances.

When I was in business, I cared about who I did business with because I didn't want to deal with jerks, but most people are not that way from my experience.

I am on a disability now so I can't afford a teacher but that is just fine because when I did have a teacher he was awesome and had high standards, I got my money's worth because everything he taught me applied to learning to play the piano. So I got what I paid for in spades.

And people who know - know to get the best and it is worth it. So no teacher has to apologize for their fees or rates.

As a young man my father told me - he was a self-employed contractor - and he said ask a trades man for a price on a job. When he gives you the quote, look at it, and if it sounds okay, have the work done and pay the man. If you try to get him to reduce the price, he will, but he will cut corners and you will lose. My father was right.

I had a contractor who I asked to make my soil in my yard fine like coffee grounds, because I didn't know what the word is for that kind of soil. He told me $250. I said okay. When I got home. He had done the job but it was not remotely like coffee ground. It was huge lumps the size of basketballs. He phone me to get paid. I said to him you didn't do what I asked you to do, but I will pay you, but I will pay you $25 a month until the bill is paid off because you are entitled to be paid, but if you come back and do the job properly like I asked, I will pay you cash on the spot. He came back the next day and did the job and I paid him.

cheers,

3S23PY






Edited by Michael_99 (09/23/13 11:25 PM)

Top
#2156532 - 09/23/13 11:37 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: AZNpiano]
dumdumdiddle Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Other than these, I am also offering new various discount such as:
Good student discount, top five from last year CM: 5% discount


I am intrigued by this. Do other teachers have something similar? It rewards parents whose kids really put time and effort into piano practice. Makes parents really take part in their child's music education (or so I am thinking...).

I wonder how that works. CM doesn't give out a numerical rating like RCM, and every level's theory test is different. You get very vague ratings like "Excellent" or "Good."

If this ranking system is based purely on theory scores, that might work. However, it's really easy to get 100% on the Prep and Level 1 theory test, but NOBODY gets 100% on theory tests past Level 6. So it's not a fair ranking system, either.


I'm thinking the teacher would figure a combination of their theory test score and performance rating, taking into consideration their age and level. You know which students work really hard and which ones just squeak by.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

Top
#2156538 - 09/23/13 11:45 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
ANZ, if you look at your CM syllabus at page 16 and 17, you would know what I am talking about.
Performance is 50% and Theory is 50% in my calculation.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

Top
#2156556 - 09/24/13 12:15 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
Loc: Canada
Naming 5 students who get the highest numbers on a test "good students" and giving their parents a discount does not address the problem of people being less able to afford lessons because of the economy.

Top
#2156590 - 09/24/13 01:20 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
No, it doesn't KS.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

Top
#2156609 - 09/24/13 02:06 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 837
I think a lot depends on:
what other teachers are doing in your area,
how much risk you're willing to take,
whether you're married to an income-generating spouse,
the sort of clients you want, as has been mentioned,
how capable you are of working harder or in a different field altogether,
your philosophies about music lessons, and
your own social set.

For instance, I've noticed that some teachers have a full studio all the time because they're French-speaking or belong to a particular religion or ethnic group. Or perhaps, they were willed a house in a rich neighborhood, and so have no trouble attracting wealthy students.

For me, I'm not too good at other jobs, so I'm afraid to set my rate much higher. But some people can work a full time job and start accumulating students at a high tuition rate.

As for music philosophies, if you're willing to teach more pop music, you will have less trouble raising your rates.

But in response to the inflation rate, I'm hard-pressed to concern myself greatly with this. I find people in general spend money on a lot of things they could forgo if they really valued piano lessons. The issue really is what people value. It's a wonder that any vehicle gets sold at full prices such as $23,000. If most places were in rough shape, you'd see most people buying up all the used cars and taking the bus when these became unavailable. But car dealerships survive and there are hundreds of used automobiles for sale.

As for food, tons of people buy potato chips, pop, and other processed foods, whereas you'd think only rich people could afford these. Who can really afford more than 50 cents for a cup of coffee? Almost everybody it seems. Doesn't anybody carry a thermos anymore and prepare it at home?

Nobody puts a patch on a pair of pants, and none of my students have socks with evidence of darning.

So, let more money flow to piano teachers, I say.

Top
#2156624 - 09/24/13 02:58 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: dumdumdiddle]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I'm thinking the teacher would figure a combination of their theory test score and performance rating, taking into consideration their age and level. You know which students work really hard and which ones just squeak by.

I'm not sure I would want to go down that path, as it will definitely open a whole new can of worms. Literally and figuratively. I live in an area where parents of CM students do talk to each other and make all sorts of ill-advised comparisons. And there are already tons of myths being spewed around. I almost feel like a myth-buster trying to dispel all the lies and half-truths that are being tossed around as facts.

Each teacher is free to make whatever he/she wants out of the exam results. I tend not to put too much emphasis on the exam results.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#2156626 - 09/24/13 03:08 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: Candywoman]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
As for music philosophies, if you're willing to teach more pop music, you will have less trouble raising your rates.

Really?! Can you let me know more about this? All of my "pop music" students did not last very long, and they tend to quit lessons when the going gets tough.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#2156652 - 09/24/13 05:08 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: keystring
Naming 5 students who get the highest numbers on a test "good students" and giving their parents a discount does not address the problem of people being less able to afford lessons because of the economy.

Exactly...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#2157317 - 09/25/13 08:47 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: DinaP]
Darsho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 29
Originally Posted By: DinaP
I'm a student -- but I just want folks to be aware of the inflation situation and I'm glad you brought this up. For those who don't know -- the reason our Government claims inflation is practically non-existent is because they conveniently changed the way it's calculated. They have removed items like food and energy costs (gasoline, oil, electricity, etc.) from the items used to determine the rate of inflation


FYI this has floating around for a while but it is not accurate: check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics 'Misconceptions FAQ'

Top
#2157324 - 09/25/13 09:00 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: Darsho]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Darsho
Originally Posted By: DinaP
I'm a student -- but I just want folks to be aware of the inflation situation and I'm glad you brought this up. For those who don't know -- the reason our Government claims inflation is practically non-existent is because they conveniently changed the way it's calculated. They have removed items like food and energy costs (gasoline, oil, electricity, etc.) from the items used to determine the rate of inflation


FYI this has floating around for a while but it is not accurate: check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics 'Misconceptions FAQ'

I've lived long enough to learn that anything published by the government needs careful examination. The fact is that in 1999, gas was under $1/gal. Now it's over $3.50/gal. That's 8.7% inflation a year. I could fill my food cart at the grocery store for well under $100, now it's over $200. That's 4.7% per year. My utilities have doubled, even if my house hasn't but I'm not buying a new house every year. The bottom line is that the things I and my family need for day to day living have gone up far more than the government's rosy reports.
_________________________
"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

Top
#2157565 - 09/25/13 05:01 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 837
AZN: That used to be the case for me, too. But for some reason, I have retained a number of students who really like pop music. Of course, they can't play much pop for about one to two years at the beginning, save for Flintstones, Star Wars etc. But after a few years, there are good arrangements of pop tunes.

There is no trick, but it helps me to act upon their requests (in simple versions). It also helps to supplement with pieces with a specific purpose. I introduce these pieces by stating the exact skill they will learn. For instance, I say, one day, when you drive a car, you need to know how to change the radio dial at the same time. This piece has both hands doing very different things. One hand lifts, the other plays legato.

I think you also have to be a bit of a maverick yourself. Few of my piano teachers would have convinced me they could teach pop. They were died-in-the-wool classical musicians.

What I would really like to be able to do is teach the piano part to pop music as it is in the original recording, and get a small band of kids together to back up my student. When I was growing up, I really wanted to be in a band. I think children really think it's hard to play in a band, but it's not really. Most of those guys couldn't pass a grade six exam. It's just difficult for teachers to organize.

At first, it was hard for me to teach pop. But if you look at the reality of my students lives, in which classical music plays a small role indeed, it seems to make sense to reach them where they're at.


Edited by Candywoman (09/25/13 05:03 PM)

Top
#2157712 - 09/25/13 10:39 PM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: John v.d.Brook]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
(I think my teacher undercharges.)
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

Top
#2157966 - 09/26/13 11:13 AM Re: The Art of Raising Fees, Part II [Re: Candywoman]
dumdumdiddle Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
AZN: That used to be the case for me, too. But for some reason, I have retained a number of students who really like pop music. Of course, they can't play much pop for about one to two years at the beginning, save for Flintstones, Star Wars etc. But after a few years, there are good arrangements of pop tunes.

There is no trick, but it helps me to act upon their requests (in simple versions). It also helps to supplement with pieces with a specific purpose. I introduce these pieces by stating the exact skill they will learn. For instance, I say, one day, when you drive a car, you need to know how to change the radio dial at the same time. This piece has both hands doing very different things. One hand lifts, the other plays legato.

I think you also have to be a bit of a maverick yourself. Few of my piano teachers would have convinced me they could teach pop. They were died-in-the-wool classical musicians.

What I would really like to be able to do is teach the piano part to pop music as it is in the original recording, and get a small band of kids together to back up my student. When I was growing up, I really wanted to be in a band. I think children really think it's hard to play in a band, but it's not really. Most of those guys couldn't pass a grade six exam. It's just difficult for teachers to organize.

At first, it was hard for me to teach pop. But if you look at the reality of my students lives, in which classical music plays a small role indeed, it seems to make sense to reach them where they're at.


Our local MTAC branch puts on an annual jazz and pop music festival. It has the largest enrollment of all of our festivals (Baroque, Romantic, Classical era are the others). There's definitely an interest in pop music among students.

candywoman, 3 of my students wanted to perform an Owl City/Carly Rae piece last year as an ensemble. I bought 3 portable keyboards, lent them to the students (with 2 kids actually deciding to buy the keyboards from me), and we all worked together to arrange the piece. It was a great learning experience for them (they were 8th graders at the time). We made use of the 'style beats' on the keyboard, they had to divide the parts between them, figure out which voices would complement each other, etc.... The song was a hit and they won a trophy for their performance.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

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.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
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
Who's Online
171 registered (acortot, accordeur, Abby Pianoman, 36251, 52 invisible), 1888 Guests and 22 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75896 Members
42 Forums
156839 Topics
2304536 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Speaker/monitor quieries
by Enthusiast
20 minutes 49 seconds ago
Rubinstein or horowitz couldn't play op 10 no 1?
by rov
21 minutes 58 seconds ago
For Sale: PE-2 PIANO PEDAL EXTENDER
by TakomaRose
Today at 02:04 PM
How is this possible?
by kaanguner
Today at 02:03 PM
Questions About Piano Magic for Sheet Music Readers
by newbert
Today at 01:51 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