Cost of Music Lessons

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Going Rate for Piano Lessons

Aug 2013

I'd like to hear some current info on the cost of piano lessons. I know it can vary between whether the instructor comes to your home or you go their studio. Some of the older information indicated it's usually $1/min, i.e. 45 lesson is $45. Is that still the case? And I understand some teachers are charging a flat rate per month and if you can't make up lessons they must be forfeited. For example $250/month. Thanks for any current experiences you have. anon

I was just looking into this recently and here is what I found for three different settings for 30 minute lessons (please forgive any arithmetic errors):

1. Instructor comes to our house: $220/month, works out to $44-55/lesson depending on whether there are 4 or 5 lessons in any particular month

2. We go to piano studio: $180/month, works out to $36-45/lesson

3. We go to community music school/center: $592/semester (16 weeks), works out to $37/lesson Good luck! Please post what you learn, too - current comparisons would be helpful! Piano parent

Musically Minded academy worth the rates?

June 2011

Since our piano teacher dropped our child because of failure to practice sufficiently, I have been keeping an eye on music school recommendations. I've so far seen two posts here directly from the Musically Minded academy, whose physical location is quite convenient for us. I am looking for unbiased recommendations, because the previous posts have all been from the school itself. I looked at their website and was surprised by the lesson rates there, although perhaps I'm just behind the times. They charge $76 for a one-hour lesson, unless you commit to the year (sort of like a health club?), in which case it's still more than $300 per month. Our previous teacher charged $60 for an hour. Was he just cheap, or do this school's teachers really have some special sort of credentials that makes them worth upwards of eighty bucks an hour? We consider music lessons very important and are willing to pay sky high-ish rates if truly worth it, but don't want to commit to a year somewhere without being sure about it. Any (unbiased) input is greatly appreciated. (Almost forgot to mention: they have movie nights for kids, which if truly music-related, seem to bolster their website's claim that they have some sort of complete program. So looking for input on that as well. So far I don't see any music connection and these evenings look like they are offering babysitting, which seems unusual at a serious music school...) Anon

The price quoted for piano lessons seems over the top on any account. Especially in this economy, it seems out of line. Why don't you check the roster of the Music Teachers Association of California (Alameda Branch) that covers teachers in Berkeley, El Cerrito, Albany, Oakland, and Richmond. There's also a San Francisco branch, etc. or go to Teach and check Bay area listings. Shirley

I would advise going to the school and asking to observe some lessons, though of course an administrator can pick and choose which lessons a parent can observe. It also helps to talk directly to some parents, if that is at all possible. The other consideration is what you want for your child. Talk to someone at the school and listen to what the school stresses. Then say what YOU want and see if the school listens. Anon

I am a music teacher in the east bay with degrees in music and performing credits. I have not had any direct experience with Musically Minded Academy. But I would echo the previous comments that the rates there, which are listed as $76 for an hour lesson (and a whopping %51 for half hour) are warranted in very few circumstances, such as when the instructors have a very high degree of gravitas in the music community, which is the case, for example at the Jazzschool (some of the teachers there charge this much, but most are well-known musicians, and not a small number of them are actually internationally known). Contrary to Musically Minded's website claims that their teachers are well-known in the music community, this is not my experience (and I'm pretty well-connected). Their website claims to provide other benefits besides just the lessons, for example, recitals. But actually, every independent music teacher I know personally provides recital opportunities for their students. So I would echo the previous commenters that these rates are not reasonable. Without wanting to review the school negatively (which I can't do since I've had no direct experience there), I would venture the opinion that they seem to be trying to take advantage of their upscale Rockridge location. Oakland music teacher

Thank you for your interest in Musically Minded Academy. So many neighbors like yourself have been curious about what we offer here. Our programs are unique and we understand that many questions arise when comparing them to traditional music study. Here is a section that may clarify your questions about our full program and some other information to help you assess the value of our rates: One important thing to understand is that we are not only a music school, we are also a community center. In addition to offering our own programs, we also host many other organizations and community events, such as the Music Together program, Take My Word For It creative writing classes and camps, private parties, film viewings and movie nights, to name a few. We are a California 501(c)3 non-profit organization and our mission is to provide high quality music education, to host concerts and other arts-related education programs, and to act as a haven for musicians and music lovers in the greater East Bay Area.

Our family has been part of the Musically Minded Academy for the past 2.5 years. In our experience, the teachers have been worth every penny. My son, daughter and husband all take lessons with 3 different teachers (2 piano, 1 guitar). And, if you look at the rates of the most prestigious teachers in this area, the rates of the MMA are comparable for a one hour lesson. The main thing that separates MMA from other piano programs is that your children will have many opportunities to play their instruments with other children. The recitals are like fun family events where kids play solo, in duet with their friends, or in ensemble with their parent and a bunch of kids. The piano teachers especially encourage the kids to sing along with their playing...a skill that is often overlooked in most traditional piano programs. We have many friends who have taken violin lessons here too and are very happy. anon

Cost of Piano Lessons

Feb 2009

I'm wondering what a reasonable rate for Piano lessons is? We live in Piedmont and we are interested in starting piano lessons for my 7 year old son. The rates I've been quoted are all over the map. I am open to having someone come to our house (if they are willing to teach on a keyboard as opposed to a full size piano) or can drive him to Piedmont, Crocker Highlands, Montclair, Rockridge. any insight that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. anonymous

I pay $45/lesson to my son's piano teacher who comes to our home weekly. That is a wonderful convenience if you have other children. The lessons are 45 minutes. Jennifer

We pay $35/30 minutes, once/wk. anon

The going rate for music lessons

Feb 2008

I checked the archives but the latest advice was from 2002. Can anyone tell me what the going rate is for a music instruction? I have a 7 year old taking saxophone lessons in Oakland. Does it make a difference if they come to you or you go to them? Many thanks for the input. Denise

The going rate for piano and voice lessons is aprox. $75.00 per hour. Hope this helps. singing pianist

my 5-year old does 1/2 hour private violin lessons for $25, with the expectation of another 1/2 hour group lesson every week for $25. we go to the teacher's house. Virginia, mama to a violin (sort of) virtuoso!

We pay $30 for a weekly 1/2 hour saxophone lesson at our instructor's office in Lafayette. Claire

My son takes a 45 minute trumpet lessons in our home (in Moraga). The teacher charges $45 per lesson.

My daughter takes a 45 minute piano lesson once a week in the teacher's home (in Orinda). The teacher charges $195 per month, regardless of whether it is a 4- or 5-lesson month. I did the math, and it also works out to $45 per lesson.

It is expensive to live in the Bay area and it trickles down to music lessons too.

It also depends on if they are group or individual lessons, although lately it seems group lessons are not that much less expensive. If they come to your house you are responsible for their drive time and mileage over and above the lesson.

My daughter has taken piano lessons for about 9 years now and we pay $200. per month - for a one hour individual lesson per week. Before we were paying about $180. per month for a group lesson with 2 or 3 kids in the class. My daughter prefers the individual lesson. The previous piano teacher said that group lessons help develop the musical ear and beat better, hmmmm not sure I agree totally. love the music