Congratulations on choosing to participate in music lessons! Music has been found to enrich the lives of all who participate in its creation or in its enjoyment. When you choose to take music lessons, you are choosing to learn a skill that will benefit you and bring you joy your entire life! No price can be put on such a beautiful art as music. Yet, obtaining the skill will certainly require assistance from a professional—your music teacher.
Your teacher has chosen to make music their business and their occupation. As with any business, costs are calculated to both ensure that the highest quality product is given and that the business makes enough profit to continue providing their services.
What does my yearly tuition cover?
All independent music teachers (IMTs) differ in methods of operation. However, the tuition of nearly all teachers covers the following:
- Time spent with the student: lessons, performance classes and group lessons.
- Time spent in preparation for the student: trips to the music store, lesson planning, bookkeeping, development of curriculum, researching materials, etc. It has been cited by professional music journals that for every hour enrolled in piano lessons, you are investing in at least 2 hours of the teacher’s time!
- Your teacher’s many years of training and experience.
- Professional organization memberships: memberships are maintained by the teacher to enhance their teaching skills and provide the student with opportunities for festivals, competitions, and performance events.
- Professional journals: publications to assist the teacher in keeping current on new teaching materials and trends.
- Studio expenses: copying/printing, computer software and Piano Maestro subscriptions for students, incentive programs and prizes, piano tunings and repairs, music games, method books and other music purchased for the student, mp3s to study and send, waiting room materials and books.
- Property taxes, self-employment taxes, insurance, business licenses, retirement: the IMT has no corporation to assist in providing health and life insurance by matching funds. Tuition helps cover the increased living costs of your self-employed teacher.
- Continuing education: lessons and classes that keep the teacher current on methods and techniques.
How do I know if music lessons are worth the price?
Shop around! Not every teacher is right for every student. You will want to be sure that your music teacher provides that things that are important to you as well as the things that are important to student’s musical developments.
Start by interviewing several music teachers to learn more about their education goals and expectations, philosophies of music education, teaching experience, curriculum, and studio policy.
Above all, find out how they demonstrate commitment to excellence in music education. No price can be put on such a beautiful art as music, but by investing in your child’s music education, you can provide them with a skill they will enjoy for a lifetime!