How Much Do Music Lessons Cost?


Unfortunately there isn’t just one simple answer to the question “How much do music lessons cost?” There are several factors that go into piano lesson pricing, and it’s on a teacher-by-teacher or studio-by-studio basis. Here’s a list of common factors to consider and questions asked.


Research competitive rates

Question: In which city do you plan to take lessons?

Teachers charge particular rates based on their competition in the area they live or work. In general you’ll find lessons priced according to cost of living. For example, a teacher in New York City charges $60 per 30-minute lesson, whereas a teacher of comparable skill who lives in Indiana charges only $30.


In what setting does the teacher work? Typically paying for lessons with a teacher through a school is more expensive, so if you’re looking for a more cost-effective route, checkout teachers who work in their own private studio or travel to your home. Note that travelling teachers may charge travel fees to compensate for time and mileage. Also be aware, though, that some school offer scholarships or financial aid, so check out what’s available in your area.


How old is the student? Some teachers charge more or less depending on the student’s age or level of playing. Beginner lessons can be cheaper than lessons for someone more advanced, so if you’re a beginner you’re in luck! If you’re an advanced student, then you’re probably ok with the investment, since you’re in it long term.


Length / Regularity    


How long do you want your lesson? Typically, the shorter the lesson, the less expensive it is. Average rates in the USA for a 30 minute lesson are $20 - $60, and 30 minute lessons are usually enough for beginners. Your teacher will recommend what’s best for you, but typically 45 and 60-minute lessons are for more advanced students.


How often will you take your lessons? Traditionally and most commonly music students take lessons weekly, but some teachers offer bi weekly, bi monthly, and one-time lessons. Note that one-time lessons are generally more pricey.


Teacher’s Credentials/Expertise


What academic credentials does your teacher have? Not everyone needs a degree in a music to be an expert music teacher, but usually a musician with a teaching degree puts him ahead of the others.


How many years of experience does your teacher have? Generally speaking, younger teachers tend to have lower rates, and teachers with decades of experience price their lessons higher.


Is your teacher a performer? The best music teachers play their instrument regularly - daily! So a teacher that doesn’t perform regularly tends to charge less, and  teacher with a long history of performing in a variety of venues will charge much more. It’s my guess, though, that if you’re researching this much into lessons, that you’ll want the best quality at the right price.


In conclusion…

There are several factors that go into lesson pricing. So my suggestion is to research what’s typical in your area of the country. Many teachers, schools and studios include their prices on their websites or brochures, so get in touch with several and see who fits your requirements.


Erika Gingery