Saturday, July 18, 2015

FAQ: What does my monthly tuition cover?

There are several questions that I frequently receive when prospective students are inquiring about private piano lessons. Today, I am going to answer and explain one of the biggest ones: What does my tuition cover? 

There is no set-in-stone business standard for private piano teachers. Each teacher has his/her own approach, so it is important to clearly explain exactly what your tuition will cover in my studio.

1. Tuition covers time spent in preparation for the student.

Some of the preparation can easily be seen in your weekly private lesson. I take the time to scope and sequence a learning plan for the individual needs of each of my students, and that includes choosing and purchasing a piano method that meets their needs and will lead them to their personal goal. I spend time creating supplementary lesson materials to enhance the lesson's concepts, and selecting additional repertoire for performance or for further work on technique and artistry. It is important to me that my students love music, and specifically, the piano, and I work hard to ensure that they remain engaged and motivated.

There is also a lot of unseen preparation. This includes bookkeeping, responding to any messages I receive from students, parents/guardians, trips to the music store, and continuing education and/or professional development that enables me to teach to the best of my ability. I am constantly searching for new and improved ideas to implement into my studio to augment the time-tested ones.

2. Tuition covers exclusive time spent with the student. 

When a student schedules weekly lessons with me, I save that time slot exclusively for them; I respect that he/she chose me as their teacher, and I want to make certain that their lessons are a time of growth and enrichment. 

3. Tuition covers recital costs and any related preparation.

Recitals are offered at no additional fee as a reward for hard work of regular practicing and as an opportunity to perform in front of friends and family. Your tuition enables me to create recital programs, rent a facility, provide refreshments, and purchase special awards. All of my students are welcome to participate in the bi-annual recitals. 

4. Tuition covers studio expenses.

This includes:

  • Copying
  • Computer software
  • Prizes
  • Piano tuning and/or repair
  • Music books and other resources
  • Professional development 
  • Clearances
  • Memberships
  • Games

5. Tuition covers increased self-employment costs.

Being a professional piano teacher is an extremely rewarding occupation; I am able to see growth in my students from week to week and I have the opportunity on a daily basis to share one of the world's greatest gifts with others. I could not picture myself doing anything else! That being said, self-employment often means that a higher tax percentage needs to be withdrawn from my annual salary and higher personal health insurance costs. I do my best to set reasonable rates that enable me to meet these legal requirements AND continue to provide the best resources and personal knowledge possible to my students. 

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