do put price tags on art and feel they get what they pay for.
As much as you enjoy teaching, it is important that the love
of your music does not blind you to the business aspects of
the profession. People judge you objectively according to your
education, experience, and track record, as well as by how much
you charge: and some people do equate rate with excellence.
Because teaching can be an isolated profession you may not be
in touch with what your colleagues are charging for lessons.
You may actually be shortchanging yourself and working harder
than necessary to make ends meet by teaching too many students
at too low a rate. Underselling yourself can drain you emotionally
and make you less effective as a teacher. In the long run the
Many teachers are concerned that students might drop out if
they raise their rates. In fact the opposite can occur. Some
teachers found that their students started working harder, perhaps
as a result of pressure from parents anxious to get their money's
worth. Consider these figures: teaching 12 students at $7.00
per half hour brings in $84.00, but teaching 9 students at $10.00
per half hour brings in more and leaves 1 ½ hours of free time
for practice and study.
Consider the amount of time, effort, and expense that you invest
as a teacher: the cost of one or two college degrees, attendance
at workshops and seminars, membership in teacher's organizations,
subscriptions to professional periodicals, instrument maintenance
and tuning, and the amount of time spent planning lessons and
recitals, teaching extra emergency lessons at no charge before
a recital or competition, and the list goes on and on. The student
is not just paying for the half-hour of your teaching time one
day a week. He is also paying for your preparation time, experience
Your teaching isn't appreciated if you give it away for nothing.
People seem to appreciate you more when you value yourself highly.
People who teach as a hobby and don't need the money should
think of their colleagues whose only source of income is from
lessons. If you're keeping your rates low because the money
doesn't matter, it's owed to fellow teachers to charge a fair
The beginning of the new school year is the best time to inform
parents of an increase in rates. You may want to include recent
lectures, training courses or seminars you have attended. You
can also take time to outline the goals and study plans you
have for each student.
In determining your rate for the upcoming school year, remember
that you're the one who has improved with experience and are
worth more that you were 10 years or even 2 years ago. You've
become a better teacher in that time.
Shouldn't your salary reflect that improvement?