recital fee/pass on to students?

Posted by: Barb860

recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 05:21 PM

Thank you for your suggestions and opinions on this issue. Perhaps I'm making too big of a deal about it but here goes anyway:

I have 2 recitals per year for my students. Our venue is our local piano store which has a magnificent piano on their stage in the recital hall and plenty of seating.
It's a perfect venue. No other place locally for me, this is it.
Until recently, the piano store has offered their recital hall to teachers free of charge. Now the fee is $150 per event.
As a teacher, do I:
1.absorb the cost myself, don't pass it along to students (tax deduction/business expense)
2. charge all students a fee per recital


3. ask for donations at the door or sell tickets (I don't like this idea really)
4. charge recital fee for students who plan to participate in the recital
5. any other suggestions

Thanks

typically 25 students play in a recital
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 05:42 PM

So, Barb, do you charge your students an "activities" fee at the beginning of the year (or registration, or whatever name?)

This works out to roughly $6/student, but then, there are other costs, such as printing programs, running to and fro to get supplies together, set up, etc., etc.

Slightly tangentially, does the store charge all users the same fee? That is, if a student wanted to give a recital, they'd be charged $150? Or some area musicians wanted to give a concert? If the answer is yes, then I'd also negotiate with the store manager/owner for a preferred teacher rate, perhaps $75 or $100, as you're purchasing music and supplies there all year long. A quid pro quo has to work both ways, not one way. When our local jobber eliminated teacher discounts, they suddenly discovered a huge drop in business. After reinstating the discount, they only recovered part of what they lost. Teachers discovered that music was still cheaper on line and delivered faster.

I would tactfully point out that you "love" supporting local businesses, but it has to be a two-way street, ie, they support you as well.
Posted by: rlinkt

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 05:51 PM

My daughter's piano teacher suggests a $20 donation per student to cover costs for each recital. I think its perfectly reasonable, unless you charge an activities fee as John asked above.
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 06:22 PM

I pay $40 for each piano recital (2x's a year). I thought it was very reasonable. I don't think parents would have a problem with a recital fee.
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 07:04 PM

I don't like the idea of charging parents a separate recital fee. They pay tuition, they pay music fees, festival fees, Guild, CM, etc... I've heard too many parents complain about how their kid's dance school sells tickets to recitals ($5 and up pp), costumes ($70 on up), etc....

I figure a fee (roughly $3 or so per student) that I include as part of the yearly enrollment fee parents pay each year. We do 2 recitals each year. So far it covers my expenses and parents are happy not to have to shell out more for yet one more thing.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 08:30 PM

Is there somewhere else you can take your recitals? $150 per event is such a rip-off. My branch charges $100 whole day and $50 half day. Recitals are definitely half day.

If you have nowhere else to turn, then I would charge everyone participating a recital fee. Don't absorb it as a business expense.
Posted by: Barb860

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
So, Barb, do you charge your students an "activities" fee at the beginning of the year (or registration, or whatever name?)

This works out to roughly $6/student, but then, there are other costs, such as printing programs, running to and fro to get supplies together, set up, etc., etc.

Slightly tangentially, does the store charge all users the same fee? That is, if a student wanted to give a recital, they'd be charged $150? Or some area musicians wanted to give a concert? If the answer is yes, then I'd also negotiate with the store manager/owner for a preferred teacher rate, perhaps $75 or $100, as you're purchasing music and supplies there all year long. A quid pro quo has to work both ways, not one way. When our local jobber eliminated teacher discounts, they suddenly discovered a huge drop in business. After reinstating the discount, they only recovered part of what they lost. Teachers discovered that music was still cheaper on line and delivered faster.

I would tactfully point out that you "love" supporting local businesses, but it has to be a two-way street, ie, they support you as well.



John, no, I don't charge an activities fee but after reading these posts so far and thinking further, I am considering that.
To clarify: the store that has the recital hall is a piano store, not a full-service music store. They sell and rent pianos, that's it. I have been told that the fee is a one-size-fits all, so even a student would pay this. If someone buys a piano from the store, the fee is waived. So far none of my students have purchased a piano from them but of course this is a possibility.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/10/12 11:51 PM

Barb, a minority point of view: just pay the fee yourself. It's not a lot of money, especially given how many students you have. You were lucky getting the place for free in the past. And it has a magnificent piano!

This is just part of the cost of being a professional piano teacher, while it also brings you some community visibility.
Posted by: Stanny

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/11/12 02:28 PM

I budget $200 per year for recitals (and include that in my registration fee) One year I did have a recital fee when I hadn't had to pay anything, but as I grew larger I did. After that first year, I just included the recital fee in their registration.

Most dance recitals charge a recital fee AND sell tickets at the door, so you aren't out-of-line by asking for the fee.
Posted by: Beth_Frances

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/11/12 07:38 PM

I definitely don't think you should pay for it yourself. The registration fee idea is a good one because it's one hit at the start of the year, and it means the cost is absorbed by all of your students, not just the ones who want to participate in the recitals, which lowers it for everyone.

I don't think $150 is too outlandish for the rental of the space - if you have 25 students playing that's only $6 each which is quite low for the experience you are providing, and the music store gets some business, so I see it as win-win.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/15/12 01:28 PM

If you have not charge the activities fees for this year, you can charge a fee for recital and call it recital fee. My recital fee is equal to one lesson, I used the money to rent the recital hall, print program, order trophies, prepare some incentive for some outstanding students, renting chair, hiring photographer/videographer ......To be serious, after all of these expanses, I have almost nothing left from the fees that I collect. I hope parents realize that I am not earning money from doing recital.....(PS: I do earn money when I teach regular lesson, but not recital)
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/16/12 09:18 AM

This thread has got me thinking about that. We have our own recital space in our studio now, but we do not own enough chairs for an audience so we will have to rent them. Should we charge a recital fee? Perhaps it's too late to even ask for something since the recital is at the end of Nov. What do you think?
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/16/12 11:07 AM

I think it's niggling to suddenly charge students for chair rentals. If they knew that was what was going on, I'm sure they would rather bring pillows and save the few bucks you ding them.

Maybe there's a church you can borrow chairs from gratis, or a kindly neighbor who plays canasta in her living room.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/16/12 08:32 PM

You can also pay for some foods and drinks if you want to...
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/17/12 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
I think it's niggling to suddenly charge students for chair rentals. If they knew that was what was going on, I'm sure they would rather bring pillows and save the few bucks you ding them.

Maybe there's a church you can borrow chairs from gratis, or a kindly neighbor who plays canasta in her living room.


Those are some good ideas. So is your objection more about charging "suddenly" or charging at all? For the Spring Recital, for example, if we charged would that be OK with the advance notice?
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/17/12 12:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
So is your objection more about charging "suddenly" or charging at all? For the Spring Recital, for example, if we charged would that be OK with the advance notice?


Morodiene, my objection is to both, but that's me and my minority view on that matter. Charging for your spring recital would seem better than doing it now, because there would be reasonable advance notice. If I were you, I'd actually hold off on this fee until the fall of 2013, since most people view piano study on an academic year basis and this year is already underway. If your teaching is year-round, then implementing a fee this coming spring would be fine in my book.

But in the bigger picture as a piano teacher, I don't want to look cheap. Many years ago I was auditioning for a prominent piano teacher in California. In her elegant living room studio. She was having a little master class right afterwards on Schumann, and wanted me to stick around for it and meet some of her students. But then when the doorbell rang she suddenly asked me to please vacate the chair I had been invited to sit in, and move to one of the few metal folding chairs set up in back instead. The upholdstered chairs, she explained, were for her paying customers, and I had not paid her for my audition.

Of all the goofy things we remember.....!
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/17/12 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
So is your objection more about charging "suddenly" or charging at all? For the Spring Recital, for example, if we charged would that be OK with the advance notice?


Morodiene, my objection is to both, but that's me and my minority view on that matter. Charging for your spring recital would seem better than doing it now, because there would be reasonable advance notice. If I were you, I'd actually hold off on this fee until the fall of 2013, since most people view piano study on an academic year basis and this year is already underway. If your teaching is year-round, then implementing a fee this coming spring would be fine in my book.

But in the bigger picture as a piano teacher, I don't want to look cheap. Many years ago I was auditioning for a prominent piano teacher in California. In her elegant living room studio. She was having a little master class right afterwards on Schumann, and wanted me to stick around for it and meet some of her students. But then when the doorbell rang she suddenly asked me to please vacate the chair I had been invited to sit in, and move to one of the few metal folding chairs set up in back instead. The upholdstered chairs, she explained, were for her paying customers, and I had not paid her for my audition.

Of all the goofy things we remember.....!



Wow, that is just rude. In our policy it's very clear that tuition covers the cost for lessons only - not accompanying, not recitals, etc. But I will try to ask my church if I can borrow some chairs. I'm also keeping an eye out on craigslist for cheap folding chairs for sale, since we will be needing them in the future.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/17/12 05:16 PM

I personally wouldn't charge for student recitals held in my studio but the chair issue is interesting. I began collecting folding chairs from Costco, until I had enough to seat all my students. Consider getting a dozen now, having students sit on the floor or pillows, and adding another dozen chairs in the spring. BTW, I notice you have quite a few Costco warehouses nearby.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/18/12 12:14 AM

Yesterday I asked one of my adult students about this concept of a teacher instituting a recital fee to cover costs. She thought for a moment and then chuckled: she said she didn't think piano students would want to willingly pay extra money to do something that is so nerve-wracking as play in a recital!

That's another amusing angle.

Posted by: keystring

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/18/12 02:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Yesterday I asked one of my adult students about this concept of a teacher instituting a recital fee to cover costs. She thought for a moment and then chuckled: she said she didn't think piano students would want to willingly pay extra money to do something that is so nerve-wracking as play in a recital!

How about the students who look forward to recitals?
Posted by: Barb860

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/18/12 09:48 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I personally wouldn't charge for student recitals held in my studio but the chair issue is interesting. I began collecting folding chairs from Costco, until I had enough to seat all my students. Consider getting a dozen now, having students sit on the floor or pillows, and adding another dozen chairs in the spring. BTW, I notice you have quite a few Costco warehouses nearby.


You can also tell parents that you need additional chairs and ask if they could bring a couple extra folding chairs. I did that a couple of years ago, when I had a Christmas recital for students in a family home. One parent had 24 chairs and brought them all.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/19/12 08:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I personally wouldn't charge for student recitals held in my studio but the chair issue is interesting. I began collecting folding chairs from Costco, until I had enough to seat all my students. Consider getting a dozen now, having students sit on the floor or pillows, and adding another dozen chairs in the spring. BTW, I notice you have quite a few Costco warehouses nearby.


You can also tell parents that you need additional chairs and ask if they could bring a couple extra folding chairs. I did that a couple of years ago, when I had a Christmas recital for students in a family home. One parent had 24 chairs and brought them all.


Great ideas, guys! Although I think Walmart has the cheapest chairs at $8 a piece.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/28/12 08:13 AM

Just an update: My husband found some chairs on craigslist - the guy was a storage facility owner who had evicted someone who rented party supplies, and lo-and-behold, he had 40 folding chairs, a dolly, and white chair covers! I got the whole thing for $200!

I did ask parents to bring folding chairs if they have them, but I'd rather have too much seating than not enough. wink
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/28/12 09:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Just an update: My husband found some chairs on craigslist - the guy was a storage facility owner who had evicted someone who rented party supplies, and lo-and-behold, he had 40 folding chairs, a dolly, and white chair covers! I got the whole thing for $200!

I did ask parents to bring folding chairs if they have them, but I'd rather have too much seating than not enough. wink


That's great! Congratulations!
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/28/12 11:01 AM

Bravo to M's husband, no longer an unsung hero!
Posted by: malkin

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/28/12 06:45 PM

M is a singer; my guess is that she has sung him before this.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: recital fee/pass on to students? - 11/28/12 09:47 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
M is a singer; my guess is that she has sung him before this.


LOL! Hubby is a great guy and makes himself useful on several occasions. :P