Charging more for Saturdays?

Posted by: ezpiano.org

Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/08/12 04:24 PM

36% of my students are coming to lesson Saturdays because that is the only day the parents are free to bring them to lesson.
I start to wonder if I should charge more for Saturday students.
How many of you have done this?
If yes I should charge more, how much more I should charge to be fair??

Thanks
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/08/12 07:18 PM

I don't see how you could charge more logically.

I do see some teachers provide discounts for times that aren't usually filled (ie, morning hours for home-school children at a 10% discount or the like), but to charge more for times that work for people because they are in demand anyway? Those times should be your regular price.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/08/12 07:52 PM

You can charge however you want. You are absolutely not obligated to charge all clients the same fee. If you charge the Saturday students more money--and they know about the different rates you're charging--they might go find other teachers. It's your call, ultimately.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/08/12 11:45 PM

Most employees expect time and a half pay when working weekends. I think it entirely reasonable to have a premium add-on for working hours you'd rather not work.
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/08/12 11:50 PM

How much are your Saturdays worth to you? I would certainly charge more.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 02:50 AM

In all my years as a piano teacher I've never heard of something like this, ez. Either you are breaking new ground for our profession, or you're digging your studio into a hole, and giving all your colleagues in Orange County something to chuckle over. My vote is for the latter.

But what the heck, go ahead and double your rates for Saturdays starting next month and see what happens. Something certainly will.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 08:41 AM

Peter, I've never known any teacher to do it, either, but there's no logical reason why a premium shouldn't be charged for premium time. Alternately, you could set a base rate for Sat's, a slight discount for school day afternoon's, and yet greater discount for other times. The effect is the same, even if the name is different. I believe they call that marketing!
Posted by: R0B

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 10:42 AM

In the end, it all comes down to what the market will bear.

If the OP's market will bear a Saturday premium, then it would be remiss of her not to apply it.
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
In the end, it all comes down to what the market will bear.

If the OP's market will bear a Saturday premium, then it would be remiss of her not to apply it.


Ditto. I liken it to teachers who travel to homes and charge more for the privilege. They aren't just covering their gas expense. What's the value of someone coming to the home? In my town of 100+ piano teachers only 2 travel to homes. The demand is great.

The same for teaching Saturdays. And if the market will bear it, go for it.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 12:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
or you're digging your studio into a hole, and giving all your colleagues in Orange County something to chuckle over.

Nice!

Actually, there are all kinds of crazy stuff that happens in Orange County. Where do I begin? We have parents who are paying through their noses for inferior piano instruction, and parents who opt for more expensive piano instruction from a recent college grad when their previous teacher is a proven, experienced teacher who happened to charge less.

Must be something in the drinking water. Common sense is not so common around here.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 01:05 PM

To Peter:
I like to think innovative but act logically and with fairness.
If I am going to raise my rate for Saturdays, it is not going to be next month because the only time I raise my rate is during summer time, before school start.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 01:07 PM

Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
36% of my students are coming to lesson Saturdays because that is the only day the parents are free to bring them to lesson.
I start to wonder if I should charge more for Saturday students.
How many of you have done this?
If yes I should charge more, how much more I should charge to be fair??

Thanks


Hi ezpiano,

I teach on Sundays and I when scheduling a new student I had a parent ask me if Sunday lessons cost more. So it wouldn't necessarily be a surprise to everyone if there were a higher weekend charge.

I do not charge more for Sunday lessons. I tend to only have 3 or 4 on Sundays and it works out great for me. I enjoy Sunday lessons.

If you decide to charge more for Saturdays, I would suggest a 10 percent increase. Or at least limit it to 15 percent.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Must be something in the drinking water. Common sense is not so common around here.

Isn't that why we call it "La La Land?"
Posted by: malkin

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 05:57 PM

Don't confuse LA with OC!
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 07:40 PM

Ez has now explained herself better. She is already thinking ahead to a different fee structure for next season, not for anytime soon. Good for her: I don't tend to think past the end of my nose, so perhaps I can learn something here.

I guess the main question is this? What is the goal of doing something as unusual as charging extra for Saturday lessons? Is it to teach less on Saturdays? Is it to have Saturdays off? Is it to punish the Saturday families in one's studio, because that is what it will feel like to them.

As an independent piano teacher in the US of A, one can do whatever one wishes. Well, you can't charge different rates for students of different ethnic backgrounds or religions or genders. But sure, there could be different rates for different days of the week. I just find it bizarre.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 07:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

I guess the main question is this? What is the goal of doing something as unusual as charging extra for Saturday lessons? Is it to teach less on Saturdays? Is it to have Saturdays off? Is it to punish the Saturday families in one's studio, because that is what it will feel like to them.


My main goal is to reduce Saturday's students and move them to weekdays. If they have to "feel" that they being punished, there is nothing I can do to change their feeling. But why would they feel that way? This kind of feeling sound bizarre to me.

If John can offer morning time at a slightly discounted price for home school students, his rate is not unify for 24 hour/ 7 days, right? That means if my rate of Saturdays and weekdays are different, it is the same concept as him.
We just called it differently.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 08:25 PM

Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

I guess the main question is this? What is the goal of doing something as unusual as charging extra for Saturday lessons? Is it to teach less on Saturdays? Is it to have Saturdays off? Is it to punish the Saturday families in one's studio, because that is what it will feel like to them.


My main goal is to reduce Saturday's students and move them to weekdays. If they have to "feel" that they being punished, there is nothing I can do to change their feeling. But why would they feel that way? This kind of feeling sound bizarre to me.

If John can offer morning time at a slightly discounted price for home school students, his rate is not unify for 24 hour/ 7 days, right? That means if my rate of Saturdays and weekdays are different, it is the same concept as him.
We just called it differently.

You can charge whatever you want.

The 'business' type of sentiment is to charge more where more people want your service so that you can meet demands.

I.e. if you have too many people who want your product/service, then raise your prices to meet demands (sift out people who don't really want the product/service and give it to people who are willing to pay because they want it).

You can go either way because your service on Saturdays are technically the exact same as any other day, but you have a higher demand.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
Don't confuse LA with OC!

You know, as much as I enjoy visiting anywhere in California, most of it fits that description!
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 08:35 PM

Peter, I just booked a rental car for Thanksgiving week; double the usual rate. This is not uncommon. What's uncommon is for piano teachers to take a business-like approach to running their business. I suspect that the OP will do just fine charging a premium on Saturdays, but to keep customers happy, I would rephrase it some way so that it makes sense to the clients. Such as weekend rates; weekday after school rates, mid-day rates, or something along this line.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/09/12 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: malkin
Don't confuse LA with OC!

You know, as much as I enjoy visiting anywhere in California, most of it fits that description!


Well, if you are looking for common sense, I have found it in rather short supply in my home state.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/10/12 08:36 AM

When students ask about Saturdays, I tell them I don't teach on the weekend. I also have kept my Fridays free for personal days (which sometimes end up being make-up lesson days, but then that is my choice to do so). I have once in a while had a potential student inquire about Saturday lessons and when I told them I cannot do that, they did not sign up for lessons.

I don't feel bad about that, however, because I'm not going to please everyone, and over the years I've learned to preserve my weekends for family time. It's a personal choice, of course, but if the goal is to have your Saturdays free, I would ask your Saturday families if there is ANY other time during the week that is possible, even if that slot is currently filled with another student. If so, you may be able to reschedule that other student, as a favor to you (maybe offer them a free lesson to do it) so you can take that Saturday student then.

Once you do this, vow to not take a student that can only do Saturdays again. I think this is a better alternative to charging a different rate and will actually solve the problem (not wanting to teach on Saturdays) more directly.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/10/12 09:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
When students ask about Saturdays, I tell them I don't teach on the weekend. I also have kept my Fridays free for personal days (which sometimes end up being make-up lesson days, but then that is my choice to do so). I have once in a while had a potential student inquire about Saturday lessons and when I told them I cannot do that, they did not sign up for lessons.



This is similar to what I do. I keep Fridays and Saturdays clear (no lessons). This gives me enough freedom to go somewhere on a Friday for an overnight.

When I found that a few folks REALLY wanted a Saturday, I decided that Sunday afternoons would work for me, and it has turned out to be a suitable alternative for them. I like to be home on Sundays anyway. And often Sunday afternoons my husband decides we should all do yard work. But now that I'm teaching, I get out of it. laugh
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/10/12 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
When students ask about Saturdays, I tell them I don't teach on the weekend. I also have kept my Fridays free for personal days (which sometimes end up being make-up lesson days, but then that is my choice to do so). I have once in a while had a potential student inquire about Saturday lessons and when I told them I cannot do that, they did not sign up for lessons.



This is similar to what I do. I keep Fridays and Saturdays clear (no lessons). This gives me enough freedom to go somewhere on a Friday for an overnight.

When I found that a few folks REALLY wanted a Saturday, I decided that Sunday afternoons would work for me, and it has turned out to be a suitable alternative for them. I like to be home on Sundays anyway. And often Sunday afternoons my husband decides we should all do yard work. But now that I'm teaching, I get out of it. laugh

Thumbs up, I love breather days. smile
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/11/12 02:54 PM

If you don't want to teach on Saturdays, don't teach on Saturdays.

$2 (?) more per lesson is not going to make you want to give up your free time, is it? And the resentment for giving up your free day is going to show at some point, me thinks.

Or would charging more just be gouging for those that want lessons with you but just cannot do it on a weekday due to parents working, etc?
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/11/12 05:04 PM

I'm not really fond of the term "gouging" as it's emotionally laden and pejorative and more often than not, an evaluation totally dependent upon the one-sided viewpoint of the user, ie, the eye of the beholder. Generally speaking, home school students have only one working parent (the other is doing the home schooling) so have a lower disposable income. But the students are often highly motivated, directed and make great students. By discounting their fees with the caveat that lessons are held when other students are tied up in schools, seems to serve many purposes. Few complain about this arrangement. Families with two working parents often only have free time on weekends, so it's understood why they would want weekend lessons for their children. But if you elect to teach on weekends, you give up much flexibility and opportunities for yourself which are only available on weekends. Why shouldn't you charge a premium for this service? By charging a premium for weekends, you put the monkey back on the parent to weigh their priorities. If money is an issue, can they realign their schedule so as to take lessons during the week?

When you charge a higher premium for select lesson times, it's a win-win situation. The family gets the time they want, and as they've tacitly agreed that you're worth what they're paying, they should be satisfied. Likewise, you're rewarded for the inconvenience you put up with teaching when you'd rather not.

Alternatively, you could have a lottery. It would be a win for the families who won the lottery, but a loss for you and a loss for those who now cannot study with you, because they were denied the option of paying more for your services.

Perhaps there's another solution which would present itself???
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/11/12 07:20 PM

I think it is helpful to start your studio with a written schedule of what days and times are available. Then you don't end up with 15 kids on Saturdays. You'll have set a reasonable schedule for yourself from the start.

If you have no schedule in mind and allow each newcomer to pick whatever day and time suits them, you can end up overwhelmed.

I agree that a small fee increase will not deter parents from Saturday lessons.

If you want fewer Saturday students, first stop accepting new students for Saturdays. And once current ones leave, do not open that time again. If you want faster change, then shorten your Saturday hours. You could say that beginning January 1, you will no longer be available to teach after 3 pm. Those whose lessons are later than 3 pm would need to find a new lesson time.

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?
Posted by: Stanny

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/11/12 09:59 PM

John's response makes perfect sense. It's not a question of gouging or needing more money "that bad," it's simple economics. Some parents are happy to pay for the convenience of in-home lessons or Saturday lessons. Why is it bad to structure our business in such a way to maximize our income?

For the OP, I would wait until a semester or year end to implement a rate change, giving your customers 2 month notice. You can then discount your lesser used times, or times you want to fill.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 07:20 AM

I personally would raise all rates, or none. Seeing that many families require Saturdays and therefore raising Saturday fees seems predatory to me. But others obviously see it as just good business.

Yes, we are used to hotels doubling their rates over the holidays. Doesn't mean we think it's fair. And it's not a common practice for a teacher to double weekend rates. It could work. Or backfire. Surely if your weekend rates are significantly higher than others in your area, you will lose business.

I'm curious to find out how high ez raises rates and what the parent response is. With a 50% increase many will look for another teacher.

In other words, the parents require Saturday lessons, but they do not require YOU as a teacher.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 03:41 PM

Quote:
With a 50% increase many will look for another teacher.

Me too...
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 03:46 PM

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?
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 04:08 PM

"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.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 04:25 PM

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.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 04:44 PM

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.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 04:51 PM

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."
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 04:59 PM

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.
Posted by: Stanny

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 05:16 PM

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!
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 05:18 PM

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%....
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 05:33 PM

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.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 06:26 PM

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.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 06:31 PM

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?
Posted by: Theme&Variations

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 06:53 PM

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.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 10:36 PM

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."
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 11:25 PM

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).
Posted by: keystring

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/12/12 11:56 PM

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?
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/13/12 01:04 AM

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.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/13/12 01:17 AM

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.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/13/12 03:20 AM

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.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Charging more for Saturdays? - 11/13/12 09:08 AM

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.