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How much to charge as an accompanist? (Read 4298 times)

Offline yohankwon

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How much to charge as an accompanist?
« on: August 02, 2016, 12:50:45 AM »
Hi,

I haven't been on this forum for so long so I have no idea what I'm doing. These days I get asked to accompany singers for lessons, but I have no idea how much to charge because I can't judge my skill for myself. But, I do know (and have been told) that I'm a quick learner and a good sightreader. Recently I've been charging only $20/hour, but I've heard of others charging as much as $40.

Any suggestions, advice, jokes, etc. would help a lot. Thanks so much!

Offline georgey

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 01:26:43 AM »
I also have no idea what I am doing, but here is an idea anyway:  Tell all clients going forward that you are raising your rates to $25 an hour.  If someone who was a past client at $20 says this is too much, tell them you can keep at $20/hour but please keep this quiet.  Keep track of these names.  Set a final target at $30 an hour starting August 1, 2017 and announce this price change at that time, saying prices will remain steady.  Again if a prior client says "too much", keep them at $25, but all $20 people will have to go to $25 starting 8/1/17.  If you find business is dying off, go back to $20.

Please pay $.06 Zimbabwe $ for advise please.  ;)

EDIT VARIATION: If you were hoping for more $ and you have confidence in the market in your area for your services and your skills, use $30/$40 instead of $25/$30.  I would not jump to $40 immediately.

Offline quantum

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 01:46:47 PM »
Research what local accompanists are charging.  Look at a whole range, from established collaborators to those just starting out.  It will give you an idea of the local market, and what people are willing to pay. 

IMO, set your charge somewhere in the range of fees you have turned up in your research of local accompanists.  Don't start low, start in the range and adjust as you gain experience and get a feel for the market. 

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Here are some funnies to start with  ;D
http://classicalmusichumor.tumblr.com/post/43036526797/accompanist-abuse-list-of-fines
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline visitor

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 02:04:30 PM »
Research what local accompanists are charging.  Look at a whole range, from established collaborators to those just starting out.  It will give you an idea of the local market, and what people are willing to pay. 

IMO, set your charge somewhere in the range of fees you have turned up in your research of local accompanists.  Don't start low, start in the range and adjust as you gain experience and get a feel for the market. 

***

Here are some funnies to start with  ;D
http://classicalmusichumor.tumblr.com/post/43036526797/accompanist-abuse-list-of-fines

agreed. a CMA (competitive market analysis) will let you understand what the local target  is willing and able to pay. then you base it on  your skill, experience, and how competitive you want to be. also consider the target , if they are broke college students you 'll be closer to the low end of the scale unless it's a rich kid school, or if a community academy and parents pay and are well to do , then you get the idea.

charge what you are actually worth if, not what you think or hope you are. if you are easy to work with, perform well, are available, and fair, then little by little you'll build a rep that allows you to move higher in the pay scale.

Online ahinton

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 03:58:05 PM »
Much should also depend upon the extent to which the "accompaniments" that you're paid to provide are challenging to the pianist. An "accompanist" capable of managing the piano parts of Joseph Marx's violin sonata and the most elaborate of the songs of Rakhmaninov and Medtner merits rather more than does another who isn't, for example.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline richard black

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 08:52:09 PM »
pianoaccompanists.com will give you a fair idea of the spread of fees, at least in the UK and USA. Incidentally I recommend paying for a professional membership of that site - I bought one several years ago and have never failed to recoup several times its modest cost in new business that it has brought in.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline visitor

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 10:17:22 AM »
Also you can vary your rate which is what i dis some in the past
 
Similar to how airlines price seats where the price increases as more seats on that flight are booked and drops if people cancel or reschedule to other flights.

early in the term for school at slow time like summer, i would charge less, also if i didnt have a lot of other academic or piano lesson rep demands.

but as people asked for what few slots i had or if a hectic semester or i had a big piano perfomance  coming up or lots of difficult music to learn, my price would be higher just due to basic supply and demand pricing.

i also used in past a repeat or existing  collaboration parter or referral rate.  If they used me again later they get a deal.  Or if  a exusting or former colab partner or a professor sourced me out for a colleague or their own studio they get a deal.  Or if rate stayed same, i might offer more rehearsals i
or get them a thank you item like little coffee shop gift.card  or similar.

lots of ways to go at it and be competitive and provide value.  8)

Offline ajlongspiano

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 01:23:18 AM »
$40 an hour, usually. Wishing you the best of luck in getting work!

Best,

AJ

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: How much to charge as an accompanist?
«Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 08:41:34 PM »
Well there's more nuance than that, methinks.
Depends on where you live, what style, and what repertoire (as well as how much you can market yourself).

If I'm accompanying a singer playing some jazz standards, it won't be nearly the price as accompanying Schubert lieder; mostly because I find the former easier. For many, however, the opposite would be true; the lieder would be their area of expertise and the jazz standards nearly impossible.
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