Lesson Rates and Size of Groups
Stephen R. California
Can any other teachers offer any thoughts for integrating shared lessons and how to structure pricing? First of all, I’m in a small studio in a music store so space is the biggest issue! I could accommodate two or three students at most! I currently have two sets of siblings sharing (to see how it works for me) but the rest are private. I understand the benefits of shared lessons (observatory and participatory learning). For me it’s logistical. I do 30 and 45 minute lesson slots! If students share do teachers charge the same private lesson rate per student, discount or split the rate! Obviously, this is my source of income so I need to do what makes the most financial sense to me! Any advice?
Amy L. AU
I also have very small studio space. I can only hold two students at most and this year I’ll have nine different groups and the rest private (this is going to be interesting!) I used to just charge $5 less but this year I’m upping all my prices. The difference is now $7.50 (which adds up over 10 lessons) between the private and group lessons and I teach privately for 25 minutes or groups for 30-35. I find this is all they need. Don’t bother about trying to spilt the cost between the two people – I find my parents are all very understanding and they are fine with whatever I charge, provided their kids are having fun and learning.
That’s just how I run it but I know lots of teachers do different things. I hope this helps!
I’d be really interested to hear how other teachers handle this too!
Carrie L. Michigan
We charge more for private than we do shared. If a student is in a private lesson briefly (a month or two) we’re okay with charging them shared lesson rate, but if they WANT private we charge more.
We have on average twos and threes and we do them in 30-minute time slots. If there are four we do 45 minutes. It’s worth the switch!
Jo D. AU
I charge $25 for shared and $35 private. I have currently no more than two (siblings ) in shared lessons.
Terah W. Kansas
I think I am doing what I perceive as the general idea. This would be most/more expensive for private (shortest lesson–30-ish min); group–meaning two or more and they pay less than the private because this is what you really want. Shared lesson environment is simply better. No real discounts per se except the see it as incentive to ‘try out’ the group idea. The blessing is that you discover that this method taught in shared lessons gets magical and better yet, fun and excellent results. They get a break on cost while figuring out it is fun, dynamic and successful and you have the opportunity for a decent wage. Everybody wins.
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
Our shared lesson rate is $90/month, and private rate is $150/month for weekly lessons or $90/month for bi-weekly lessons. The rate difference is meant to be a discouragement, and we don’t really even offer private lessons as an option unless there are special circumstances. If we have someone who insists that they will only do it if it’s private (which is rare), even after talking to them about it and encouraging them to try, then they enroll with the understanding that their lesson time will remain flexible, as we give preference to studio availability for shared lessons.
Knowing how much more they get from the program in a shared lesson environment, I have no problem at all enforcing this!
Shanta R. Minnesota
I charge a monthly rate for a shared lesson and a higher monthly rate for private lessons. I don’t give a discount for multi-student lessons unless the students are in one family. I have discounts for siblings and for parents. I think it’s somewhere in the Teacher Training Program (TTP) materials that each students is getting the same curriculum in each lesson so it makes sense for them all to be charged the same. You don’t pay less for a movie ticket if the theater is full, do you? It becomes a way that you can maximize your income without having to raise your rates all the time.
Kathy K. Texas
My shared lesson rate is $112 per month and I quote people $175 for privates. I make it clear that Simply Music is designed to be taught in groups and I only offer private lessons in special needs situations where the student just can’t function in the group environment. I actually have no private students right now. Through mentoring with Laurie Richards and repeated listening to the shared lesson info from the Teacher Training, I have learned to speak powerfully about shared lessons and am able to steer people in that direction most of the time. I have had one or two privates here and there for people who really needed them, but I find that the groups are better for the students. Plus they make my teaching time more financially efficient. And teaching groups is just more fun.