What is the average cost of piano lessons?

What should my piano teacher be charging me?

How much should a regular piano lesson cost?

Whats the average price and cost structure – by the week?, by the month?, by the term?
I wish that we could give you a better response to this question! We’ve surveyed and researched the internet to find the average prices as advertised, and we’ve really found that asking this question is a little bit like asking……….What is the average cost of a car?

A car can vary from a twenty year old beat up mini to a brand new Ferrari.. so asking the question is really quite pointless!

However, you can ask of course what is the average price of a two year old ford focus, and you’ll get a much more suitable response!

Therefore, when asking this question you need to take into account:

1) The experience and qualifications of the teacher
2) The success that the teacher has had with similar aged children to yours
3) What you want to get out of the lessons for your children.

Our research on the internet shows that in the United states (as well as many other places around the world) lessons range from $15 to $30 per half hour, and when offered hour long lessons can be $50 – $100 per hour. IN the UK we found that lessons were offered from 8GBP – 30 GBP.

My advice would always be to focus on point #3 above… what you want to get out of the lessons for your children.

If you know this before you start, then you can find an appropriate teacher that will be able to get your desired outcome.

For example, some piano teachers are excellent at preparing students for examination, and really know exactly how to get excellent results for their students in exams.

Other teachers are excellent with young children, and know how to communicate the fundamentals of music to them in a young child way.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you choose an exam teacher to teach your five year old who really prefers working with older children that you won’t get full value for money.. despite the fact that the teacher is extremely well qualified and a very gifted teacher.

The reverse is true – if you are trying to prepare for an exam with an inexperienced teacher in that area then you’ll find that your money is not as well spent as it could be

I suggest that you ASK the teacher when you start.. and take their advice. If their advice is not to start lessons before 8 years of age.. then follow their advice and don’t start them (with that teacher) at five!

If however you are lucky enough to find a teacher who teaches loads of five year olds.. then go to them for a few years, and then back to your preferred teacher at the age of eight!

Remember to focus on the child.. and what the child needs.

Music is a wonderful thing for children, and it has been proven to in numerous studies it has been shown to improve their thinking and reasoning skills.

So stop worrying about dollars.. save some money on other things and make sure that you put your child first!

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78 thoughts on “What is the average cost of piano lessons?”

  1. ALSO-
    If you love kids and love music, give your knowledge with a loving heart!! I am so excited to begin teaching and I am praying about it!! I have a friend who also teaches piano and I think she is just as excited as I am :)

  2. I live in the UK and charge £14/30 mins and drive out to my pupils in neighbouring towns which is a really good deal for them as most other teachers I know charge an additional £5 to drive out which I do not charge. £30/hr is average in the UK. I will be increasing to £15/30 mins beginnning of next year (or £28 for a full hour). I was getting a few people cancelling at the last minute or having a couple of weeks on and then missing lessons for a week or two, so now I waive the fee for a missed/cancelled lesson in any one 14 week period and any other lessons cancelled or missed during said 14 week period are chargeable or can be rescheduled subject to my availability. I do reduced rates for a couple of students who are strapped for cash but ask them not to divulge this to anyone else. Not sure if this helps anyone.

  3. If a lesson at a music store is $20 or $25 for a 1/2 hour lesson, how much does the teacher actually make?

  4. I don’t think Master of Music takes less than a 45- 50$ an hour. I lived in many places in Canada and USA. I am a classical pianist, teacher for 12 years. The less you charge, the worst your business will be since you are attracting very unreliable/unmotivated clients. Might as well start giving lessons for free instead of charging little. After all, this business is not for a poor people.Arts are always been supported by the rich and middle class. Mechanic charges 50-100$ per hour to fix something on your car. So let’s be real. $ 50 for a lessons with a Master is not that much.

  5. And consider this: a cleaner in a Toronto major hospital, or Food handler makes 20/hour starting salary without any education or experience. I consider all these people giving lessons for 10-15$ complete fools. 90% of the people I know who did similar “cheap” lessons are out of business after few short years. Needless to say that most of them had no qualifications to teach whatsoever. 100% of the parents that order such lessons will see their kids quit in a month or 2 or will be forced to look for another teacher. This my personal experience, I’ve worked for many schools seen many teachers and their business.

  6. many people suffer for common misconceptions: Art must be cheap. Becoming a pro musician is easy. It takes very little time to learn a instrument. Art is for everyone. Everyone can become musician/artist.
    The truth is: it takes very long time, effort and a lots of money to grow a pro musician/artist. Only select group of very intelligent and hard working people will succeed. Art is not for everyone. Art will never be cheap or will not be art. Art is for whoever values it the most. Art is not a dollar store merchandise.

  7. I agree with Cori (#17)(See 18 and 19 also.) It has nothing to do with being a good speller or not. Everyone knows how to look up a word. It has to do with conscientiousness. That is what I would want from my child’s teacher.

  8. To daivd, I don’t think that everyone who seeks out piano lessons is looking to become a professional musician. Yes, sometimes cheaper lessons can also be “cheaper” instruction, as well, sometimes it can be great! In certain parts of the country, $10 – $15 is the going rate for a lesson, it doesn’t make the teacher a “fool”! I have been a piano teacher for 14 years and a musician all my life. I understand the work and dedication that goes into reaching this level. I do my best to instill in my students that same knowledge of the work it takes to have continuous growth. What I have discovered is that it doesn’t matter what I charge when it comes to the dedication of a student to practice and “succeed”. You are right to say that art isn’t for everyone, however who are you to measure the success of another?

  9. I used to get lessons from age 8-14, and back in the 80s they were $10 a half hour. These were the neighborhood/lady down the street type teachers. It was OK and it taught me an appreciation for music, but the teaching wasn’t very focused and I wasn’t challenged very much. The pieces they teach are expected to be learned in a couple weeks (with very little practicing), and then you move on to something else. Even when I was 14 I was learning simplied versions of everything.

    I picked it back up now in my 30s. No lessons, but I just print out sheet music and self-learn stuff that I find interesting. Some of the easier Chopin waltzes/nocturnes(non-simplified) and some of the non-Entertainer Joplin rags. All of which are way harder than anything I learned at 14 after six years of lessons.

  10. I teach in the Chicago area and at one point I was charging as little as $10/half hr lesson and people were basically bringing me kids to babysit. So now I charge double that for students who come to my apartment and a travel fee of $5 – $20 to travel to a student’s home depending on distance. When you charge more, you tend to attract more students who have respect for the arts. Growing up, we never had much money so I struggled to teach myself by learning to read music and watching people on the internet. I was practicing 4 hours a day and playing Chopin Scherzi before my parents were willing to buy me a real piano and pay for a teacher so in order for me to offer someone a lower rate, they have to show they are worthy (practice a minimum of 2 hrs/day). So far, I haven’t met anyone deserving of a scholarship….

  11. I charge $30 for a half hour lesson and am actually considering raising it. In fact, I was told by one of my parents that my rate is really cheap and that I should consider raising it to $35 for a half hour lesson. I have a music ed degree and have been teaching in the DC area for 3 years now.

  12. It seems piano teachers are charging far too much these days, especially with the economy in this condition. $10-15 seems reasonable, but with the time I spend in a piano lesson, I could be working, or begging. I think a reasonable solution would be to have the piano teacher reimburse me for my lost time. With that in mind, a good $5-6 every half-hour seems reasonable.

  13. I entirely agree with daivd that many people do not appreciate the commitment that an experienced teacher has made to his/her craft. I have been playing piano for 30 yrs, perform professionally on occasion, and have released several CDs of original music. Yet when I tell people that I charge $35 for a lesson (50 min), many of them are shocked at how high that is! Wait a minute… isn’t that comparable (or even less) than you would pay a personal trainer? One can become a licensed personal trainer in a matter of months, but one cannot adequately teach an instrument without many, many years of work. One can go to law school for 3 yrs and then make 3 to 5 times the rate that a private music teacher makes. Personally I think many of us undercharge for lessons, but this is what the market will bear. It is important for the public to recognize the true worth of a qualified music teacher. (P.S. I do support a sliding scale for lower-income students).

  14. Cost should be based on the teacher’s merit, music degrees, and the teacher’s full dedication and responsibility.
    I, too, agree that we should be empathetic. Times are tough financially-for musicians too. However, some of the most gifted students might be from poor families. There are more possibilities that should be considered (often at the first interview,) and if the student truly wants to learn (not pushed to make a decision by a parent,) custom make the $ according to many ideas- not available until actually meeting a student. Get to know them as well as is possible; custom make lessons to each student’s temperament, skill, passion,etc. There are, however, people with money who feel like they aren’t getting their money’s worth if the $ isn’t high enough. The point is-size up parents, and pay special attention to the desires of the pupil.
    Money is needed, of course, but feeding the soul is as important (or more so) as feeding the wallet. If we wanted to be businessmen, we wouldn’t have gone to music school, in most cases.
    Don’t charge too little; for those who can afford it, a fair price if $50/hour…perhaps less in dire cases.

  15. Could someone help me out? I am a primary school teacher and music is my specialist subject. I used to teach piano 10 years ago and now I am planning on starting this again. I haven’t put any children through grades and I have taught both children and adults. I would be teaching from home. What should I charge for a half hour lesson?

  16. The humanity, compassion, and the love of music displayed by piano lesson givers herein range from 2 to 10 on a scale of 10 in my opinion. I would select lessons on this basis and just totally forget the price.

  17. I teach piano in a small town in central IL. The going rate for piano lessons around here is $12-$15 for a 1/2 hour lesson. I currently charge $12.50, partly because I teach in a school part time and that’s what the previous 2 teachers there charged, and partly because I was fresh out of college and wanted to get a solid base of students.

    For families with 3 or more taking lessons from me, I only charge $10/student. I remember my parents struggling to pay for lessons for just 2 kids, so I realize that many parents need a break on the expense. I would rather let these kids have the opportunity to learn music at a discounted rate than deprive them of the chance because their parents can’t afford it.

    Now that I’ve been here for 2-1/2 years and have built up that solid base of students, I’m thinking of raising my rates a little, maybe to $14 right now and up to $15 or $16 in another year or 2. In our small town, everything moves slowly, so I have to take baby steps to increase my rates to more than people are “used to.”

  18. I was looking for current pricing ideas since it’s been about 18 years since I taught. I’m a certified elem/jr high teacher, but not in music – self taught there w/ some lessons along the way. I teach to give children a basis in music in a relaxed, fun, non threatening environment. I won’t charge high prices because I do this on the side for extra while providing nursing care for my husband. I think all children should have opportunity for a few years experience in music – if they like it & are talented & committed THEN they can go on to the Master Teachers. I dropped out of some music because of criticism instead of encouragement from one of those Masters who believed all should be able to play by ear.

  19. I teach in the upstate NY area. I teach piano, theory and jazz improvisation. I charge 70. per hour, however I don’t insist on weekly lessons. My lessons are dense and are designed to be worked, expanded and reworked (i.e. in all keys). If someone has the time and money to practice that frequently then they will go with weekly lessons. Otherwise, bi-weekly or whenever. It depends on the need of the student. Right now I do have to travel to the student’s home since I don’t have a studio at the moment but will probably keep the same rate when I do acquire a studio.
    I also agree with many above about the quality of instruction and the fact that we as teachers must also make a living like everyone else and do not get medical insurance, retirement and many other things paid for including materials, such as a public school teacher would get.
    It is a business. And a very dedicated business / specialty.
    I can’t tell you how many people and students I meet that had a teacher that taught them how to play the piano but can’t do anything without music in front of them and don’t understand what is happening with the music except what their fingers should do.
    It should be worth something to teach the student MUSIC and keep it with them with the rest of their lives whether they are a professional, semi-professional or amateur.

  20. Unfortunately there is no regulation or even requirements for setting up a business to teach piano. Ultimately there are hundreds of people teaching who have NO business doing so. They are not trained and should better leave teaching to those who actually know how to play and how to teach. In the NY metro area the going rate for lessons from a TRAINED professional is $75 – $100 and much higher for the truly serious student.

    I have taught for many years and have taken students who began lessons with the local neighborhood Mom/teacher. These teachers are doing a great dis-service to the children. These kids are crippled because they have been given NO foundation or tools to continue, with irreparable bad habits and eventually they become frustrated and quit.

    Anyone who charges low fees is OBVIOUSLY not qualified and should seek other employment.
    Teaching is a serious responsibility!

  21. Dear teacher

    I want to learn piano lesson,my level is beginner,and every weekend I have free time,could you help me to find a teacher and tell me how about charge,thanks a lot


  22. I’ve found this website because I’m researching prices on piano lessons. I must say at being a little dismayed that some professionals think that if they charged less for their services that the clientele would be thought of more as riffraff then honest, hard working people but on limited income.

    I am a single mother of 2 daughters and work in an Emergency Room as a Tech. My first, a 16 year old (Trumpet player) has started my 3 1/2 year old daughter getting interested in the Piano. My little one truly wants to learn. Sooooooo….Even tho I’m a hard working mom but I am a ‘Poor person’, is my child less desirable to teach. And well…the arts have always been supported by the Middle and Upper Class (yes that is quoted from someone else, and yes I say it dripping with sarcasm). To the other professionals using this site that have more compassion for families who are struggling, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Going now to watch my 3 1/2 actually get notes out of a clarinet.

  23. Everyone has their good points. I pay £16 for 30mins term time lessons. I believe my piano teacher is an extremely good teacher and music has always been a passion of mine. Unfortunantly the price of art such as music and paintings etc. Are being increasingly undervalued by the general public. To some paying £16 instead of £8 is excesive, I beg to differ. Only those who truly appreciate these art forms will pay more but I agree that the goals of your lessons do need to determine wheree you go and how much you pay. For those who wish to take exams and write music £120 a lesson from a professional would be worth it, for others who just want to be able to play a well known song, £8 is more reasonable.

    There’s no reason why teachers shouldn’t offer lowered rates to certain families. I can completely agree that it may be slightly unfair however if a teacher is happy to do it then why shouldn’t they? Just because one family can afford £30-120 lessons doesn’t mean they appreciate it on the same level that a person who has to be given free/discounted lessons. The person who gets lowered rates may have more potential and in todays society money has a nasty habit of preventing individuals from reaching goals and fufilling their dreams and if a teacher gives a free lesson then I applaud them because its more than just about money for them.

    I also understand that for those who teach piano as a business freebies and discounts simply aren’t an option and may feel offended by those offering lower rates and free lessons. To those who see teachin piano as a business, you have bills to pay, food to put on the table etc. Just like the rest of us and don’t see why you should give out free lessons. I agree with that too as when you walk into a shop and can’t afford something you don’t pay the shops half rate or get the item for free but don’t criticise those who choose to give out free lessons because for them it could be a means of extra cash or they may see potential in a child and feel its their duty to give that child a chance. You both have different aims but both want the best for your students. As long as the parent/student understands why a particular rate is charged, I don’t see an issue with a lesson costing £8-200 for every 30mins. The student payin more may be payin for ur expertise and believe you are the best of the best and advanced enough to really push them to the top. For others, making music their careers is not their goal, simply knowing a few bits of music is all they want and a cheaper rate does the job. In saying that, a cheaper rate does NOT mean a less advanced teacher.

  24. When I started teaching piano lessons after earning my college degrees (Bus. Edu & Music Edu) 22 years ago, I mainly targeted lower income families that not only the parent, but also the child showed an interest in learning music. This was my 2nd income and my way of giving back (charity). I started at $10.00 an hr for 1 day a wk. However, I could not get enough students until I raised my prices. I kept my trend of helping those less fortunate, but I found myself needing students WHO WILL PAY! Now, I charge $30/hr and additional $10 if I travel to them. I have a “no-call” fee which is the cost of the lesson which must be paid at the next lesson when a student does not show and did not call to cancel. When teaching music from my home becomes my only income, I will charge $30 for half hr & $50 per hr just to cover my overhead expenses and my time.

  25. I came looking because some of my pupils’ parents have asked me if I shouldn’t be raising my price, and friends have relatives in other states paying much more for their children’s lessons. I live in Alabama. When we moved here 14 years ago from PA, the teachers there were charging $5.00/30 min. in the school system, so I charged the same. Over the years I raised it to 6, then 7, then 8, then 9, and now have been charging 10 for the past 3 years. We paid $12.00 for violin lessons, but am paying $40.00 an hour now, for a professional teacher from the Mobile Symphony. My daughter is just starting with her first violin pupils now, and is planning to charge $12.00/30 minutes. I am shocked to see what some teachers are getting. I even drive to some of their homes.

  26. I think the moral of these comments is that teachers who want to know what to charge should find other teachers IN THEIR AREA and find out what their rates and experience are. I have a BA in Piano Pedagogy and live in a small town in central IL where the going rate is $15-$20/half hour lesson. My MIL teaches in northern VA (think Washington DC area) and charges $30, which I think is low for the area, but it’s just a side hobby for her, not her main job like it is for me.

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