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#2183989 - 11/17/13 03:43 PM Teacher raising prices once again
RaindropPrelude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 74
Hey guys,

I've been seeing my current piano teacher for about a year and initially prices were $60 a lesson for an hour. Less than two months ago she raised them to $65, and in the last lesson she hinted that they would have to go to $70 very soon. I also do half an hour of theory with her so all in all one lesson a week costs me almost $100.
Is it normal to change the lesson price by $10 in a short period of time like that? I love my lessons and feel like they're worth what I pay (at least I think they are?) but I dunno if I am being duped here lol.
_________________________
If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth.ť - Shostakovich

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#2184044 - 11/17/13 04:55 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
Have the fees been $60ph for quite a while I wonder? Maybe your teacher put off raising the fees for too long and now has to play catch-up. Not ideal, but it might explain what's happening.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2184114 - 11/17/13 07:04 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
I raise my fee every 12 months with 2 months of notice.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2184132 - 11/17/13 07:40 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
RaindropPrelude, I have read your post, here:

subject: Teacher raising prices once again

Hey guys,

I've been seeing my current piano teacher for about a year and initially prices were $60 a lesson for an hour. Less than two months ago she raised them to $65, and in the last lesson she hinted that they would have to go to $70 very soon. I also do half an hour of theory with her so all in all one lesson a week costs me almost $100.
Is it normal to change the lesson price by $10 in a short period of time like that? I love my lessons and feel like they're worth what I pay (at least I think they are?) but I dunno if I am being duped here lol.

_____

I had a sax teacher who was such a great teacher, that now that I am playing the piano and I can't afford a teacher, that everything he taught me over the four years enabled me to learn the piano because he taught me the basics that are needed to be able to learn to play any instrument.

You only have to hang out in the forums here and you will see that finding a great teacher can be a very, very, very difficult task.

You see there are lots of students that don't want to listen to what their teachers say or they want to learn pieces that are 10 piano levels over their ability and so they don't like what their teachers say and the student thinks their teachers are no good.

If you remember parents, or you are a parent, you know that you have to tell children stuff they don't want to hear and the children/kids think their parents are not too bright, but that is because the kids are less bright in a different way because they haven't experienced enough of life to know otherwise.

So, I guess as a piano student, you pay whatever you can afford for the best teacher you can find and afford and the teachers may have babies and children to support so they have to charge what they have to - to be able to stay in business else they will go broke and have to find another job.

cheers,

3N17PN



Edited by Michael_99 (11/17/13 07:52 PM)

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#2184168 - 11/17/13 08:34 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13796
Loc: Iowa City, IA
That's a rather drastic increase, but it's the teacher's prerogative. If the price of lessons is too high, tell her you may have to look elsewhere.
_________________________
"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

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#2184191 - 11/17/13 09:30 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
To me your teacher sounds rather unprofessional - which is no comment on her teaching abilities. She sounds new at studio teaching. Perhaps young? Perhaps recently divorced? A teacher with very few students? It sounds as if she has no idea about the appropriateness of raising prices, and is using you as a sounding board - at the same time as she is starting to annoy you at a subconscious level.

No, I don't know that. But she's starting to annoy *me* as a fellow piano teacher.

There's nothing wrong with you saying to her, "Forgive me, Mildred, I naively assumed when you raised your rate by 8.3% to $65 a few weeks ago, that this fee would endure for at least a year or two. That's normally the way raises work. If you're lucky. But now you want to give yourself another nearly 8% raise in a few more weeks? Wow!

"You're a fine teacher, Millie, and I enjoy my lessons, but I might have to drop those extra theory half-hours. Would that be ok? I bet you could use that extra half-hour for another student."

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#2184196 - 11/17/13 09:41 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: Peter K. Mose]
RaindropPrelude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 74
Hahah, this made me laugh.

Of course there could be a very valid reason as to why she needs more money, and I don't think it would be right of me to ask but I am curious and do kind of want a justification for it even though it's not my right to know.

Perhaps it is time to move on to a new teacher frown She just seemed in a rather bad mood last week. On our last lesson I said I could't come next week because I have a school obligation and she seemed pretty cross and annoyed I was telling her 'short notice' but she has a 48 hour cancellation notice policy so I don't see what the big deal was... confused

And no she is not young and has been teaching for many years and is pretty qualified so it beats me.
_________________________
If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth.ť - Shostakovich

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#2184202 - 11/17/13 09:56 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Oops, I assumed Mildred was charging yearly tuition. Raindrop, are you perhaps paying this nice lady per lesson? If so, did you offer to pay her $100 in advance for last week's missed lesson, or try to reschedule?

Because the big deal might be that Millie is suddenly out $100.

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#2184374 - 11/18/13 08:20 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Oops, I assumed Mildred was charging yearly tuition. Raindrop, are you perhaps paying this nice lady per lesson? If so, did you offer to pay her $100 in advance for last week's missed lesson, or try to reschedule?

Because the big deal might be that Millie is suddenly out $100.



But isn't that Millie's fault for not having the student pay per month and have a system in place for rescheduling missed lesson or a no-reschedule policy? Certainly not the student' fault, since she is canceling according to the policy it appears.

I don't know. The whole "catching up" thing doesn't make sense to me. For me, catching up if I haven't increased my lesson fee in a couple of years might be $5 tops. I also only raise fees in September, certainly not twice within a year's time.

I would tell this teacher (if you feel you can't afford this price change) that you'll have to drop the theory lessons if she does increase her fees again as she hinted at before.
_________________________
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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#2184471 - 11/18/13 11:35 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
"Fault" seems like the wrong word to apply to this little story. But if suddenly a piano teacher learns that she is out $100 because a student is going to be a no-show next week, she doesn't turn giddy with joy.

She may instead say, "Raindrop, I suddenly feel another lesson price hike coming over me. Have you seen my camphor spirits?"

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#2184541 - 11/18/13 01:41 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
"Fault" seems like the wrong word to apply to this little story. But if suddenly a piano teacher learns that she is out $100 because a student is going to be a no-show next week, she doesn't turn giddy with joy.

She may instead say, "Raindrop, I suddenly feel another lesson price hike coming over me. Have you seen my camphor spirits?"

If her policy is to have students pay by the lesson and that they only need 48 hour's notice to cancel, then why should she be upset when someone obeys her policy (and as it sounds, gave notice even prior to the 48 hours minimum requirement)? If the teacher does not want students to take advantage of something, then it shouldn't be a part of their policy. If a student has to reschedule with me, I'm not grumpy about it as long as it's within my policy. I designed it to be something I'm comfortable with.
_________________________
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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#2184786 - 11/18/13 07:38 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Maybe Mildred is annoyed because she can't stand up for herself. This happens often in piano teaching, and it may come out in the lesson.

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#2184912 - 11/19/13 02:43 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Morodiene writes: "If the teacher does not want students to take advantage of something, then it shouldn't be a part of their policy."
She makes perfect sense. And we know Moro has thought through her own policies as she crafted them.

But many music teachers don't do this. Either they invent as they go along, or they do have an explicit policy, only it doesn't work for them so well.

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#2193255 - 12/06/13 12:30 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
monads Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 161
Loc: CA
I don't mind incremental yearly rate increases for inflation and COLA adjustments. If a teacher increases rates monthly, that's bad business practice.

My teacher just increased the costs for 2014 by 25% on avg. for per hour lessons. Granted rates haven't been raised in 3yrs but that's just a big jump. I'm not really complaining because the increase appears more on par with current hrly. rates (old rate=$50; new rate=$63). It was great deal at the old rate no doubt wink

Wish my employer compensated me as such for merit based performance, or heck even COLA adjustments???? Forget about it.
_________________________
My music_website at http://www.OdysseyofaG.com

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#2193373 - 12/06/13 08:11 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: monads]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: monads
I don't mind incremental yearly rate increases for inflation and COLA adjustments. If a teacher increases rates monthly, that's bad business practice.

My teacher just increased the costs for 2014 by 25% on avg. for per hour lessons. Granted rates haven't been raised in 3yrs but that's just a big jump. I'm not really complaining because the increase appears more on par with current hrly. rates (old rate=$50; new rate=$63). It was great deal at the old rate no doubt wink

Wish my employer compensated me as such for merit based performance, or heck even COLA adjustments???? Forget about it.
It's not quite the same when you are employed. Employees don't have to pay the overhead costs out of their pocket. So when a teacher raises their rates, it's often because their business expenses increased - not necessarily cost of living or inflation. Most leases go up every year and unless a teacher can keep adding students to defray the costs, it has to come from somewhere. Luckily, that kind of thing can be spread out among many students so the change is minimal for the individual as long as it's done consistently.
_________________________
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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#2193386 - 12/06/13 08:46 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1777
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
At least the FTC will be happy now.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2193451 - 12/06/13 11:00 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: RaindropPrelude]
monads Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 161
Loc: CA
This where I'm curious "business/operating expenses". I understand on lease/rental increases, but factored in some cost savings if you live/instruct in the same dwelling.

Do most teachers have a private off-site dedicated studio they teach/belong to for instruction or do they teach out of their home? Should there be any rate differences or savings on comparison? I guess there's a lot of variables to factor.
_________________________
My music_website at http://www.OdysseyofaG.com

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#2193455 - 12/06/13 11:25 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: monads]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago
Even if they live and teach in the same location, a teacher incurs costs directly associated with have dozens of people schlepping through their home every week. Everything from extra cleaning costs to replacing doors which wear out much faster than under more normal use. Furniture also wears out and even bathrooms are used at rates which are multiples of what would be a normal usage. On top of all of this, they have lost the free use of part of their home and either must live within a smaller area or buy a much larger home to accommodate their studio needs. So teaching out of your home is not necessarily "cheaper" than renting a separate location.
_________________________
Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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#2193459 - 12/06/13 11:31 AM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: anrpiano]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: anrpiano
Even if they live and teach in the same location, a teacher incurs costs directly associated with have dozens of people schlepping through their home every week. Everything from extra cleaning costs to replacing doors which wear out much faster than under more normal use. Furniture also wears out and even bathrooms are used at rates which are multiples of what would be a normal usage. On top of all of this, they have lost the free use of part of their home and either must live within a smaller area or buy a much larger home to accommodate their studio needs. So teaching out of your home is not necessarily "cheaper" than renting a separate location.
Even with the added costs of the wear-and-tear on the home, it doesn't amount to anywhere near renting a space costs. We pay $1840/mo for a 1500 square foot space, and we split the cost between two teachers. We are looking to sublet studios to other teachers soon to help defray the costs. I think many people understand increased costs for a facility because it's a visible representation of where there money is going, especially since we can host recitals there. When it's out of your home, it's a little harder for people to see that increase go to use, but it is still often necessary.
_________________________
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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#2193501 - 12/06/13 01:29 PM Re: Teacher raising prices once again [Re: Morodiene]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: anrpiano
Even if they live and teach in the same location, a teacher incurs costs directly associated with have dozens of people schlepping through their home every week. Everything from extra cleaning costs to replacing doors which wear out much faster than under more normal use. Furniture also wears out and even bathrooms are used at rates which are multiples of what would be a normal usage. On top of all of this, they have lost the free use of part of their home and either must live within a smaller area or buy a much larger home to accommodate their studio needs. So teaching out of your home is not necessarily "cheaper" than renting a separate location.
Even with the added costs of the wear-and-tear on the home, it doesn't amount to anywhere near renting a space costs. We pay $1840/mo for a 1500 square foot space, and we split the cost between two teachers. We are looking to sublet studios to other teachers soon to help defray the costs. I think many people understand increased costs for a facility because it's a visible representation of where there money is going, especially since we can host recitals there. When it's out of your home, it's a little harder for people to see that increase go to use, but it is still often necessary.


I didn't mean to imply the cost basis's are equal, but it isn't zero. My wife (and I until about 5 years ago) teaches in our home. We had to purchase a home large enough to accommodate two studios (an extra $10's of thousands in costs plus taxes, etc. every year), I have replaced the screen doors several times, the wear and tear on our household furnishings adds up, (folding chairs in the living room really is not how I want to live). I could go on. The point is that a home based studio is by no means free or even cheap. I make this point often when I talk to teachers, they often over look all the extra and unseen costs of teaching in their home.
_________________________
Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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