Setting Rates for Music Lessons.

Music Master Lab


One of the essential tasks when starting a private studio is to decide on the rate you will be charging for the lessons.

It will affect how fast you can attract new students. There is a significant number of parents and students looking for an affordable teacher. I have found that usually, people who are looking for the cheapest teacher are not very committed to lessons. Therefore, I always avoid giving discounts and lowering my rates. I feel that students and their parents need to be invested in lessons financially.

My rates currently are set at an average price for my local area. I know of several teachers who charge similar or higher rates than me.

Before deciding on your lesson rate, find out what students are willing to pay. Call local music stores and see what their prices are and what they pay their teachers. In my area, the stores charge about $30-35 for a 30-minute lesson. The teachers get paid about $7- $15 for the 30 minutes. I would suggest that a competitive rate would be right around $30 for 30 minutes.

You can also talk to local teachers and see what their current rates are. I find that the local teachers’ rates will vary depending on their reputation and how long they’ve had their studios. Some teachers are very successful at marketing themselves and charging high prices.

There will be teachers who charge negligible prices, but they usually lack formal education and necessary skills. You will need to explain to potential students the difference between you and untrained teachers.

I still get parents of new students who try to negotiate the prices down. I rarely agree unless there are some exceptional circumstances like financial distress. You will need to decide if you can afford to give a discount to a student. Out of the 30 students I have, there is only one student whom I teach at a discounted price. 

I teach almost half of my students at their homes. I charge an extra “gas fee” for driving to their locations. I try to instruct several families at once in the same area. That reduces my travel time substantially.

A few years ago, I raised my rates by five dollars. Most of my students did not have a hard time adjusting to the new price.  Currently, I am raising my rates on all new incoming students. Once there is a desirable amount of my students that will be paying a higher rate I will raise prices on my current students.

I hope you find this article helpful. Please leave your comments below.

Rudolf Ozolins

Rudolf Ozolins

Rudolf Ozolins holds a DMA in piano performance from Michigan State University. He has a well-established piano studio in Detroit Metro Area. Rudolf works as an accompanist at Oakland University with Flute studios of Sharon Sparrow, Jeff Zook, and Amanda Blaikie. He actively concertizes as a chamber musician.