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Author Topic: Group Rates - how do you calculate what to charge?  (Read 3405 times)
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« on: February 10, 2015, 03:25:09 PM »

I have a new student (9 year old) starting lessons next week, her mother wants her to have a piano lesson, then a singing lesson with her friend from next door. I teach at student's homes, 35USD/30min, 45/45min, 55/hour. I want to present a rate which seems fair, and would prefer to tell her a percentage based on the number of students in the group. It also seems reasonable to me to just charge a 50/50 rate for two students since my rates are on the high side for my area already, but I can see that they would probably then ask if I could teach piano for that rate with her friend as well. How do folks here calculate group rates?

Thanks
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Bob
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 02:36:16 AM »

Just thinking...
Less than a regular lesson.
But not half.  Then you don't make anything more.  Not much incentive for you.

And it's more of a pain to juggle everything with two students (or more) vs. one.  Lower quality for them, more stress/overload for you.

I'd lean toward 75% of the normal lesson.  And they have to be aware it's a group lesson than, not as tailored to the individual.
Just thinking of what that is...
Half of the top 50%.

1 student is 100%, 100% total.
2 students would be 75%, 150% total.
3 students would be 67%, 201% total.
4 students would be 63%, 250% total.

The bigger the group, the more it's structured, the less individual attention is possible.  But the price is cheaper.

So.. $55/hr if it's individual vs. $35/hr but sharing that with three other students.

I could kind of see that.  I don't think I'd want that as a student though, to be sitting around for part of the lesson.  Observation is great, but still...

A mix could be good.  I like the idea of complementing lessons with group lessons/projects.
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 05:17:35 PM »

Thanks, for 2 students I decided on 25usd/30min, 30/45min, 35/60min per student. Which comes to 50/30min, 60/45min, 70/60min. That seems reasonable, if its more then parents think they might as well just have private lessons, if less, then there is no point in teaching groups.

I thought the teacher of this simply music website has her marketing scheme well set up: http://simplegiftspiano.com/services. She advocates that group lessons are the best way to learn 95% of the time, and that she rarely teaches private lessons. Which may be so, but you are then just teaching to the masses so to speak, learning to play a few songs by rote, which in most cases is exactly what parents want to see! Both my brother and sister's kids learn simply music and they love it. When I listen to them play, I see nothing but problems, but my bro and sis think simply music is the greatest gift to mankind. So anyways, at 190usd for 6 weeks of lessons, lets say she has 5 kids in a group, thats about 1000usd, or 200usd/session (I think about 45min classes). Not bad indeed, and everyone goes home happy...

And the flat rate is the way to go I am seeing. I teach to expat families in SE asia, so I travel to their homes, and I think its expensive for most, people always pay late, cancel unexpectedly, about 4 months of the year go to holidays. So when I return to Canada, I think a whole new set up is needed. I have discovered the pleasure of teaching pre-schoolers, which in addition to homeschoolers, fills up your days, and then afternoons to groups or private lessons. I am looking into doing a 'music together' teacher certification course, or something similar to that for young learners. Then simply music and play a story for groups and homeschoolers, and of course Toronto conservatory exams and private tuition for more serious students. Also theory classes, and Dj'ing classes and Garageband which is used in most schools now.

So enough of this 50usd/45min, and tearing your hair out over missed lessons or no practice, classes are much easier to teach in many regards. You can do less and students are motivated by peers and probably do in fact have more 'fun' in a group setting.

 
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Bob
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2015, 05:15:18 PM »

I can see group lessons for a Piano 101/method book teaching type of situation.  Pay in advance, by the semester.  If the kid doesn't show up, fine.  When a student is working on their own individual pieces though, I'd lean toward the master-apprentice type of teaching.  Unless.... If you add in something like a monthly group lesson in place of a traditional lesson I could see that working and benefiting the student. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 09:26:37 PM »

sure, and as a skilled teacher you acknowledge the limitations and possible advantages to working with  groups, with clearly defined goals, expectations, and what will be accomplished in each course - for many family's that type of setting seems to be a way to make it fun for their child and for which their is not a great deal of commitment required outside of lessons, it's enough for them!

I don't have kids but I see the sort of strain that practice puts on family relationships, I do sympathize with parents who really just want to keep it going, and keep it fun for the kids without a whole lot of pressure.

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