#1
I'm starting up guitar lessons and don't know how to charge the pupils.
Keep in mind, I'm not professional, but I have taken music classes and
have been playing for nearly 3 years. I have studied theory, so I'm
familiar with the fundamentals.

One music store that gives lessons charges $80 a month and they
only teach 2 hours a month (weekly 30 minute lessons). That seems
pretty expensive to me. I was planning to teach 3-5 times a week
with 1 hour lessons.

The students will be the kids of my parents' friends and family members.
Last edited by blakeg14 at Jun 2, 2011,
#2
I thought a reasonable price to charge would be around £10 (that's what i pay for half an hour lessons weekly) so maybe £15-£20 for 1 hour ones. £20 roughly equates to $32 dollars so, $30 dollars seems like a bargin for them and good money for you if you're not a professional!
#3
That music stores prices are pretty universal. 20$, half hour, once a week. With you not being professional, and only teaching people you know, I'd charge 10$ per half hour lesson. More than that and I'd feel guilty for not being a professional.
#4
I charge $20 an hour
Every time one of my students friends starts up I give my student a free lesson for helping my business



Quote by Gunpowder
Thrashturbating? Most metal of all ways to pleasure oneself.
#5
So approx. $10 per half hour. Wow, that is good money. I was thinking more
minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour.

@Macabre_Turtle: Yeah, that's how I was feeling at first. The parent
of 3 students wanted to pay me and I said I would rather teach for free. It's
more of an experience thing, but the money will help me become a better
teacher (once I get that Seagull S6).
#6
3-5 Times a week is alot for kids. Work out a whole schedule. You can be teaching every day, but not be teaching the same kids every day. 2 times a week should be good. And not back to back days. Are you going to teach them separately? I suggest you do.
Spread Hope Like Fire


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#7
A pretty common rate for lesson out of your house is like $15 for 30 min, or $25 for an hour. Somewhere in that area, anyway.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#8
Quote by jakesc8
3-5 Times a week is alot for kids. Work out a whole schedule. You can be teaching every day, but not be teaching the same kids every day. 2 times a week should be good. And not back to back days. Are you going to teach them separately? I suggest you do.


Yeah, ok. 2 times a week sounds good. 3 of the students live together (yes, I'll have
to teach them separately), 1 lives out of town, and 1 lives in town. 3 of 5 so far are
older, ages 15-16.

Quote by jpatan
A pretty common rate for lesson out of your house is like $15 for 30 min, or $25 for an hour. Somewhere in that area, anyway.


Nah, I don't want to jip them. But $15 an hour sounds reasonable.
Last edited by blakeg14 at Jun 2, 2011,
#9
My teacher charges me 10$ a lesson. Which is half an hour the lesson, the rest jamming. Guess thats fair.
#11
Quote by Dan Acheron
$15 an hour is pretty good if you are a beginning teacher. I know a lot of teachers that charge around $30 an hour but they have been teaching for a while. Plus giving guitar lessons beats working at a job where you get paid minimum wage!


That is a lot. Yeah, minimum wage here is $7.25/hr, so $15 is double that. Plus,
there aren't many jobs around here (especially for people under 18) AND I'd be
doing something that I enjoy. Not sure about how the money's going to go.
People 'round here aren't willing to shell out cash that easily.
#12
When I teach, I charge AUD$25 a half hour. That's currently USD$26.68 or GBP$16.30.

Bear in mind though, this is Australia, and our economy may be in better condition than yours at the time of reading.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#13
$20/hour is a good rate. Thats how I much I payed for 2 weeks worth of lessons from some idiot. He didnt show half the time, and he was always late, sometimes 30 mins, and still charged full hours money. Dont do that
Spread Hope Like Fire


Angels and Airwaves


Et Ducit Mundum Per Lucem
#14
I asked this on here once, and got $15/€10 (that is the euro sign right?)
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#15
Minimum wage jobs pay minimum wage because anyone can do them. That's why it's okay to have some pimply fifteen year old flipping your burgers and taking your money at the McDonald's, but not okay to have the same kid wiring your house. The electrician makes more because he/she has specific knowledge and skill.

So do you.

Now, the more experienced/educated/whatever person has more, so will charge more, and that's fine too.

Nobody here can really give you a number. Basic economics says that you have to consider what other competitors are charging and then price yourself accordingly.

If the going rate in your area is $20 for a half hour with an instructor with a degree or whatever, then maybe you should consider $15 for a half hour. That sort of thing. There is also name recognition too. I know one person who teaches voice and has virtually NO "formal" qualifications and charges $20 for a half hour. He has a jam packed teaching schedule - something like 60 students. How does he get so many students? He's priced *very* reasonably, has excellent training and technique, and has a string of gold and platinum albums to his name.

It really is "whatever the market will bear" with consideration given to how many students you want.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
Quote by jakesc8
$20/hour is a good rate. Thats how I much I payed for 2 weeks worth of lessons from some idiot. He didnt show half the time, and he was always late, sometimes 30 mins, and still charged full hours money. Dont do that


Definitely won't do that. I'm the type that shows up 15 minutes early for anything.

AlanHB, you're right. The US is supposedly recovering from a reccession, even though
GOOD teachers are getting 'laid-off". Jobs here are scarce, so this looks like an opportnity
for me to do something I love and get paid to do so. There are no guitar teachers in my town,
I'll be the only one, so there's virtually no competition.

I don't want many students, just enough to occupy my summer vacation. Marketing isn't hard with
The technology we have today. Facebook, newspaper, leaflets, buisness cards...all those could aid
In the gain of more potential customers.
Axeman, I guess you're talking about the market as the economy? As of now, the prices of lessons
Must stay low, unless I teach a kid with generous, rich parents. The less money I get from the students
Means I'll need more students to compensate.

The hardest part will be getting the students to practice while I'm gone. Should I develop a practice
Sheet where they write the date and time they spent as well as what they have been practicing on?
This was a plan my old band directors had. If you didn't turn them in, you got 0's.
Last edited by blakeg14 at Jun 3, 2011,
#17
A great guitar teacher never asks much.
My guitar teacher charges me €30 per hour, he learns me all the good stuff and everything that I want.
My friend's teacher charges him €50 per hour, he only learns to sight read and jazz which he doesn't like.
I learn songs I like, we do theory on request so not that I don't want it.
In the first lesson he even asked me where I wanted to focus on, tapping, playing songs,writing songs, theory and a bunch of other options.
#18
Quote by vampirelazarus
I asked this on here once, and got $15/€10 (that is the euro sign right?)

Yes it is an euro sign.
#19
Well you really can't compare the price you'll charge for lessons to minimum wage. Minimum wage exists so that 40 hour a week workers can make a certain standard of living. You'll be hard pressed to fill 40 hours every week with lesson time, so your hourly rate has to be adjusted to compensate for that. Even if you manage to do 20 hours a week of lessons (which is still a lot, unless you know a LOT of beginner guitar players that want to take lessons from you already), at an hourly rate double the minimum wage, you're still only making the same as a kid flipping burgers at wendy's 40 hours a week. And I guarantee he learned to flip burgers a lot faster than you learned to play guitar.

$25 for an hour of guitar instruction is not ripping anyone off if you're a good teacher. But charge how much (or little) you want. Though I think after a while you'll find that $15 for an hour of trying to teach someone to play the same scale over, and over, and over is just not worth your time.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
Last edited by jpatan at Jun 3, 2011,
#20
Quote by blakeg14
The US is supposedly recovering from a reccession, even though
GOOD teachers are getting 'laid-off".


That's partly the economy, but here is the bigger picture. I know this because I'm a teacher on our union executive. Teachers, in their collective agreements, typically have a policy that says layoffs are done by seniority. The less seniority you have, the more likely you are to get chopped. So, it doesn't really matter how good you are. It's not personal. It's just numbers. Now, across North America, birth rates are declining. This is significant, because that means fewer students. As a result, some schools are even closing, with their students being absorbed by other nearby schools when their catchment boundaries get redrawn. Fewer kids and fewer schools means fewer teachers and fewer principals, etc.

Compound that with the economy now. When the auto market crashed there a while ago, people in automotive towns got laid off and had to find work. Because they live in an auto town, there is none. Their major employer just laid a whack of people off. So what do they do? They move away to a new town where there is a job. So that school and board get double-hit - by the declining enrollment due to birth rates, AND due to people moving out.

Quote by blakeg14

There are no guitar teachers in my town,
I'll be the only one, so there's virtually no competition.


Okay, so you've got the market cornered. Seriously, though.... if somebody in your town wanted to take guitar lessons, what would they do? They'd find the closest guitar instructors near them - maybe in the next town then - and inquire. That will give them a sense of what they think they should be paying for guitar lessons. I guess on a more philosophical level, it's not so much that you have to price yourself competitively based on rates in your area, it's that you have to price yourself to give the consumer a sense that they are getting good value for their money.

Quote by blakeg14

Axeman, I guess you're talking about the market as the economy? As of now, the prices of lessons
Must stay low, unless I teach a kid with generous, rich parents.


How do you know? And what do you mean by "low?" I mean, you just said that nobody in your town teaches guitar. I made the same kind assumption before I started teaching privately too. "Who the heck is going to pay $20 for a half hour lesson?" (put into today's numbers... I started back in '89) The answer to that question was, "people who expect to pay for guitar lessons." You need to find out what people who ARE paying for lessons EXPECT to pay for lessons.

It's easy to make the mistake of under-charging. If the going rate today was $20 for a half-hour lesson, and person 'X' was charging $45, what would you assume? You'd assume he must be pretty damned good and pretty damned qualified. You would not assume that he's just an angry soul who doesn't want students, right. Similarly, what if person 'Y' was charging $10. Would you assume he was just a nice guy who wanted to teach? No. You would assume that he must be pretty damned crappy and decidedly under-qualified.

Quote by blakeg14

The hardest part will be getting the students to practice while I'm gone.


Which, TBH, is why I no longer teach guitar privately. Hardly anyone ever did. I'd hold their hand for a half hour every week while they practiced what we did last week.

Quote by blakeg14

Should I develop a practice
Sheet where they write the date and time they spent as well as what they have been practicing on?


That is a good idea. It gives them some impetus to be accountable for their practicing.

Quote by blakeg14

This was a plan my old band directors had. If you didn't turn them in, you got 0's.


Problem is, there is no consequence you can levy against them if they don't practice. If you were a bigger "name" or whatever, you could say, "if you're not practicing, I'm going to drop you as a student" but be careful what you threaten. You just might have to do it, or look silly for making such a threat when you know you won't do it.

What I did - not that it worked that often - was tell whoever was paying the bill that their money is best spent learning new things. Practicing can be done at home without me, and without having to pay for it. It comes down to "what do you want to pay me to do - teach you, or hold your hand while you practice?"

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Quote by jpatan
Minimum wage exists so that 40 hour a week workers can make a certain standard of living.


Except in most places, there is a difference between minimum wage and what is referred to as a "living wage."

For instance, our minimum wage is about $10/hr. Factored out over an entire year of full-time work minus two week's holidays, that's $20 000.

Consider the poverty line for large cities of over 500 000 people, which represents where I live.

For a single person, the poverty line is set at just under $19 000. So, that minimum wage full-time job puts you *just* over the poverty line.

For a family of two - let's say a single parent with one child - the poverty line is just under $24 000. That minimum wage job.... still puts you measurably under the poverty line. Mind you, once you pay for day-care for your kid while you're at work, you're considerably under the poverty line.

In fact, I believe welfare rates for a single employable person with a child is about $13000. It's easy to see why the person slugging away working some crap job full time on minimum wage with their kid in day care, bringing home $20 000 a year, and paying $5 000 a year (that's only $20/working day per year) for day care steps back and says.... "So, if I stay home and do nothing all day and collect welfare, I'll only be down about $2000?" Mind you, if minimum wage was $12/hr, that extra $2/hr almost covers their daycare, and they are now $6 000 above the welfare rate... now there's a little more incentive.

(... and don't get me started on welfare rates... I've been on welfare, and that was *before* it got slashed in the mid-'90's, and even then, it was just about impossible to live on....)

To use that number as a "living wage", the minimum wage *should* be at least $12/hr.

Fifteen-year-old kids aren't the ones by whom minimum wage should be defined. They only work a few hours a week anyways. Minimum wage should be defined by what it takes to raise a child and stay above the poverty line.

Quote by jpatan

$25 for an hour of guitar instruction is not ripping anyone off if you're a good teacher. But charge how much (or little) you want. Though I think after a while you'll find that $15 for an hour of trying to teach someone to play the same scale over, and over, and over is just not worth your time.


Personally, I think lessons should be a half hour. Charging more for a full hour IS ripping people off. All of my instructors have been able to give me enough to work on in a half-hour lesson to keep me going for many weeks. What do you do in the other half hour? Hold their hand while they practice, I guess.....

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#22
Probably been answered to a good degree.

But.

I teach a couple of people, and as someone who isn't fully qualified or anything (and living in a town where there are at least 3 real good guitar teachers, one of which was in a fairly popular band in the 70s) I never charge the amount that the other guys do, as it's not fair on the student to pay for something which they could do better on.

So I charge £5 an hour, but I think if I get any more students it'll be £5 for half an hour, because that's half the price for exactly the same as other private lessons costs and is fairly easy to fill. I've found that an hour overloads beginner students a bit.

Though my two students have shown insane progress so I think I might be onto something
#23
I didn't really post the minimum wage thing to have anything to do with actual cost of living. I was just saying that you can't really say "minimum wage is $X.XX per hour, so I'll charge that", because you're not going to log 40 hours of instruction time every week. If you're trying to make a living doing it, then you need to charge a lot more to compensate for that.

The guy that I take lessons from does $15 for 30 min and $25 for an hour session. Beginners he usually only does 30 minute sessions, but I go for an hour and we work on songs that I'm trying to learn, etc. He leaves it up to the student though, so if you want an extra half hour then he'll accomodate that. I've played for several years being a self taught guitarist, and a year ago when I started taking lessons it was pretty amazing how many bad habits I had picked up on my own.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#25
Quote by axemanchris

it's that you have to price yourself to give the consumer a sense that they are getting good value for their money.

You need to find out what people who ARE paying for lessons EXPECT to pay for lessons.

It's easy to make the mistake of under-charging. Similarly, what if person 'Y' was charging $10. Would you assume he was just a nice guy who wanted to teach? No. You would assume that he must be pretty damned crappy and decidedly under-qualified.

That is a good idea. It gives them some impetus to be accountable for their practicing.

Problem is, there is no consequence you can levy against them if they don't practice. If you were a bigger "name" or whatever, you could say, "if you're not practicing, I'm going to drop you as a student" but be careful what you threaten. You just might have to do it, or look silly for making such a threat when you know you won't do it.

What I did - not that it worked that often - was tell whoever was paying the bill that their money is best spent learning new things. Practicing can be done at home without me, and without having to pay for it. It comes down to "what do you want to pay me to do - teach you, or hold your hand while you practice?"

CT


Exactly.

Don't know anyone paying for guitar lessons, the people that will be paying me probly
don't expect much like my mom. My mom told me "$10/hr is too much, you're not
professional". The only logic I can make out of that is, it's more than she makes an hour. She doesn't realize I'm not working 40 hour weeks (as stated in the next few posts) like she is.
She DID come up with the idea of being paid by the month, which seems great. I'd be less likely to spend the cash as soon as I get it.

I see your point. It isn't hard to Google what professional guitar teachers make.
It's just going to be hard arguing with MY parents because we know they ALWAYS win.

Exactly, I would be able to talk to the students' parents, because the parents are paying
the bill. If the student is not practicing, then I can't teach them anything new. Hopefully, the parents would tell their kids that, "we aren't going to pay the teacher if you aren't practicing." They know I won't drop their kids as students, because it is the only job I have and I have very few students. It's more principle, "no practicing = no more lessons".

Quote by jpatan
I didn't really post the minimum wage thing to have anything to do with actual cost of living. I was just saying that you can't really say "minimum wage is $X.XX per hour, so I'll charge that", because you're not going to log 40 hours of instruction time every week. If you're trying to make a living doing it, then you need to charge a lot more to compensate for that.

The guy that I take lessons from does $15 for 30 min and $25 for an hour session.


That's what I tried explaining to my mom. But you also have to keep in mind
I'm not trying to make a living, just want to save up for a new guitar or something.
$15 for half hour seems perfectly reasonable.
I will be limited to teaching only to those in my town, since I don't have a car or
the money to pay my parents for gas..
Last edited by blakeg14 at Jun 3, 2011,