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Playing in a Seniors' Residence (Read 868 times)

Offline dinulip

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Playing in a Seniors' Residence
« on: May 02, 2017, 03:20:32 AM »
I have been asked to play in a private Seniors' Residence on a Sunday afternoon, in June.  My 60-minute-program will consist of 6 pieces by Gurlitt (from opus 140), 6 pieces by Schumann (from opus 68), one piece by Mendelssohn, to be followed in a second part by various old American songs from around 1900 (ballads, waltzes and comic songs from silent movies), and, possibly, two short "encores".  

Of course, I have to learn and 'maintain' this program everyday till the 'big day'.  So, I just wondering what fee a professionally-trained pianist can ask for this type of program - which involves preparation and daily practice.


Offline iansinclair

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 08:36:27 PM »
I'm not sure it's that helpful, but I get $200 US for a funeral or wedding, which involves roughly the same amount of music. 
Ian

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 12:14:56 PM »
And allow me to add a morning thought: you are not -- or if you are professonaly trained, should not be -- expecting to be paid for the practice and prep time for a gig of that sort.  Part of being a pro. is that you have a catalogue of music for all occasions which you have learned, and you spend -- as part of your routine -- some time each week keeping it at least in some kind of decent shape (not necessarily playable in public) so you can get it up to speed very quickly.

To go back to my note on funerals for a rather extreme example.  They are usually a little difficult to predict (unless, perhaps, you are working for the Mafia ;D), but you are expected to have at least an hour of appropriate music -- plus whatever specials the bereaved might want (and they may have odd choices!) -- and it all has to be up and running in a week or two.
Ian

Offline kristina22250

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #3 on: May 06, 2017, 01:58:00 AM »
I have been asked to play in a private Seniors' Residence on a Sunday afternoon, in June.  My 60-minute-program will consist of 6 pieces by Gurlitt (from opus 140), 6 pieces by Schumann (from opus 68), one piece by Mendelssohn, to be followed in a second part by various old American songs from around 1900 (ballads, waltzes and comic songs from silent movies), and, possibly, two short "encores".  

Of course, I have to learn and 'maintain' this program everyday till the 'big day'.  So, I just wondering what fee a professionally-trained pianist can ask for this type of program - which involves preparation and daily practice.



Offline kristina22250

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #4 on: May 06, 2017, 02:10:59 AM »
Good evening, I also have played in a senior center, and have not expected any payment except that which is enjoyed, and appreciated by the elderly who are shut in, your reward will be 100 fold if you do this with no personal monetary gain in mind. God who is the keeper of all music will reward you abundantly more than 200$.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #5 on: May 06, 2017, 11:56:59 AM »
In my area, the fee for that kind of performance would be $150 to $300.

Senior centers generally do not pay, so you get zero.  I only play these as part of an ensemble.  Ensembles do this as part of public service, and soloists do it for the educational experience. 

Now, weddings, funerals, dinner parties -different story.  I won't leave home for less than $200.  Or, I'll play free if the group is fun and the music challenging (like a musical pit).  Nothing in between though. 
Tim

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 03:51:34 PM »
Good evening, I also have played in a senior center, and have not expected any payment except that which is enjoyed, and appreciated by the elderly who are shut in, your reward will be 100 fold if you do this with no personal monetary gain in mind. God who is the keeper of all music will reward you abundantly more than 200$.
This sort of thing can get complicated and a little sticky quickly.  The OP asked what a reasonable fee for a professional musician would be for that sort of gig -- which is the question I answered.  An organization -- such as a senior centre, but it could be any one of a number of others similar in character -- should be aware that that is what is reasonable for the musician.

Now.  If the musician chooses, for whatever reason, to waive the fee, well and good and more power to them.  That is admirable -- so long as all concerned are aware that they should be paid for honest work, and that the organization should pay for honest work.

Thus where it gets a bit sticky is where the organization finds that they can get the entertainment free from someone and does so, shutting someone else who might be trying to earn a bit of money by being a musician out of the picture.

The way I have solved this conundrum -- and it has come up for me -- is to ask for and accept the fee.  Then return it as a charitable gift but never making the gift an expectation.  I haven't always done that, for various reasons.  I haven't always given the organization the same amount as the fee (sometimes less, sometimes more).  I have played casually -- without prior engagement -- at many senior centres and other such organizations for free, whatever I had handy.  But I am, or was until I retired, a professional musician.

I hope this helps.
Ian

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 03:01:00 AM »
I have been asked to play in a private Seniors' Residence on a Sunday afternoon, in June.  My 60-minute-program will consist of 6 pieces by Gurlitt (from opus 140), 6 pieces by Schumann (from opus 68), one piece by Mendelssohn, to be followed in a second part by various old American songs from around 1900 (ballads, waltzes and comic songs from silent movies), and, possibly, two short "encores".  

Of course, I have to learn and 'maintain' this program everyday till the 'big day'.  So, I just wondering what fee a professionally-trained pianist can ask for this type of program - which involves preparation and daily practice.



I occasionally play in a band at a Senior Center for an hour every month or so. We play alot of standards between 1900 -1970 and it all goes over well enough. If you play good enough you will get invited back or to another gig because someone knows someone. Dont count on maintaining until the day - you will need to continue to maintain some sets and alternate sets of music if you want to continue playing for people and for pay. As for pay, I start with "How much money do I have to pay to do this gig"
My band gets 200 USD for the hour we play at the Senior Center, so I get $50. At least that covers gas and equipment for the gig.  More often I get $100.00 at other gigs. One I got paid $120 for a 2 minute perfomance for the bride/groom procession. Another time I got paid $1200 at a corporate gig.
Today we played 5 different sets over a 5 hour period and I only walked away with $80 but I already know 5 hours of music so no special practice needed. All that said, dont feel guilty for taking the pay. But dont let them know you had to practice extra - that just goes with the territory.
PS: You are on the right track with your setlist in my opinion. It is good that you are organizing it ahead of time.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 12:21:08 PM »
Now.  If the musician chooses, for whatever reason, to waive the fee, well and good and more power to them.  That is admirable -- so long as all concerned are aware that they should be paid for honest work, and that the organization should pay for honest work.


I haven't been a union member since the Green Sheet gigs died, so apologies if this is no longer true, but I believe a union member is prohibited from waiving a fee.  In some areas you won't work if you're not a union member. 
Tim

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Playing in a Seniors' Residence
«Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 01:08:18 PM »
I haven't been a union member since the Green Sheet gigs died, so apologies if this is no longer true, but I believe a union member is prohibited from waiving a fee.  In some areas you won't work if you're not a union member. 
That is getting really complicated.  AGMA still tries to enforce that, but the Feds came in and said that unless you have a contract for a band or a continuing engagement of some kind, you are an independent contractor and the guilds and unions can't enforce anything.  The Guild to which I belong got threatened with all kinds of lawsuits and Federal penalties for even having a scale of suggested (not required, mind you) fees for things.

I would never waive a fee for something planned.  A casual gig (you go into a nursing home to see your Aunt Millie and sit at the parlour piano (out of tune) and play for half an hour -- that's casual), no.  But engaged to come and entertain the troops for an hour?  A fee.  As I say, sometimes I will give it back as a charitable gift.
Ian