May 22, 2015

Where does my tuition go?




Your tuition covers much more than just your lesson time with your teacher.

The following is shared courtesy of Wendy Stevens.

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, group lessons.
  • Time spent in preparation for the student
  • Trips to the music store, lesson planning, bookkeeping, development of curriculum, 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 teachers time!
  • Your teacher’s training and experience
  • Recital costs and preparations
  • Programs, refreshments, facility rental.
  • Professional organization membershipsMemberships 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, computer software, incentive programs, instruments, tunings, repairs, newsletters.
  • Music books and CDs
  • Materials purchased by the teacher to keep costs low for students.
  • 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
  • Certification costs
  • Professional IMTs pay to be re-certified every five years provided they have met all the continuing education and studio requirements.  This keeps the teacher accountable to a professional organization.
  • Book and music club memberships
  • This enables many discounts to be passed to students.

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
  • 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!