Humans have been teaching music to each other for millenia, but one of the earliest economic models for teaching music to everyday people in America was known as “Singing Schools”. In the 1700s, music teachers would actually roam the land, bringing their services to each community they came upon. Private lessons have come a long way since music teachers roamed the countryside putting on Singing Schools. These days, you have a wealth of options from in-home, group and even online lessons in the instrument of your choice. However, the economic models for private music lessons have also changed and become much more complex.
Many factors affect the affordability of music lessons, and it’s not always clear for parents and students how much lessons will cost compared to other offerings. That’s why Forbes Music Company wants to help you make sense of the pricing structures and break down the average cost of private music lessons. Every company will do things a little differently, but there are a few standards for the industry you should be aware of when choosing your provider.
Should You Take In-home or Online Private Music Lessons?
It may surprise you that many private music lesson providers don’t differentiate between in-home and online lessons when it comes to cost. This is despite them being very different in practice.
In-home lessons have some obvious advantages. You get in-person, face-to-face time with your teacher, allowing you to clearly see everything they’re instructing you to do. It’s also much easier to play along with your teacher if you don’t have to worry about a delay over a video call. And, you never have to worry about video and audio quality.
In-home lessons also have a number of scheduling and traveling logistics that must be considered. Music teachers need to factor in driving times when scheduling classes (even if the teacher lives in the same city, they likely still need to dedicate significant time to commuting), and you’ll find that many companies will charge you by the distance they must drive to your location. With Forbes Music, whether you live down the street from your teacher or at the edge of their region, the price for in-home lessons will be the same.
If you choose to pay for private in-home music lessons, you may find it hard to book the lesson time you want with a teacher in a region with limited availability. This means altering your own schedule in order to make something work.
Online lessons have the advantage of convenience on all sides. They’re more flexible, easier to schedule and you usually have a wider array of classes and teachers to choose from. When they’re done well, online lessons can be both accessible and affordable.Teachers may need to do some preparation beforehand, such as finding the best software and equipment to facilitate lessons. For students though, it can be as simple as turning on a camera without the need to invest in any additional software or hardware.
In-home and online classes are clearly not the same thing, which is why Forbes Music doesn’t treat them as if they are. When you choose online instead of in-home with us, you’ll find the average cost of private music lessons will be lower overall. This is one of the ways we make music lessons more affordable for families while giving our teachers as many opportunities as possible.
To ensure that our teachers are prepared to teach in this format, we provide many resources and tools to help them help you. These include a Repertoire Tracker, a Performance Capture platform, internal lesson notes, lesson reminders and more.
What Other Factors Affect Your Average Cost of Private Music Lessons?
Beyond your choice between in-home or virtual private lessons, there are several other determinants of cost.
You’ll find that some private music lesson companies will charge different rates for different teachers. Teachers who have more experience, are in higher demand or who have seniority at the company may cost a premium. This creates an unfair system where only wealthier students can afford these teachers, while everyone else has the impression that they are working with “second rate” instructors.
Forbes Music chooses not to do this. Our thinking is that rather than creating these different tiers for teachers, all of our teachers should be amazing, and all of our students should have the opportunity to work with the instructor of their choice. No matter which teacher you choose, it won’t change the cost of your lesson package.
Advancement of the Student
A very common – and infuriating – practice in this industry is to charge more for classes as a student progresses to more advanced levels. The reasoning behind this is obvious; the more advanced the student is, the more advanced the teacher and the lesson plans need to be. However, we feel it is counterintuitive to our mission. Forbes Music aims to inspire people of all ages to play music and reach their fullest potential. To then turn around and charge you more for improving and progressing through your music education doesn’t sit right with us. Therefore, our classes will always cost the same regardless of a student’s level of advancement.
When you take classes with Forbes Music, lessons will get proportionately less expensive the longer they become. In other words, one hour long lesson will cost less than two thirty minute lessons. This is a practice that many other companies will do as well in an effort to encourage people to opt for longer lessons by providing more value.
If you want to lower your average cost of private music lessons over time, choosing longer lessons over short lessons will have the best value. Not only is there a monetary incentive to booking a longer lesson, you’ll usually find it to be more substantial, giving teachers the time needed to fully articulate a concept and for students to run through all of their questions.
As with many other subscription services, the more you commit to in the beginning, the lower the average cost will be over time. Of course, your level of commitment should depend on whether you want more value in the short term or in the long term. If all you need is a short lesson to cover something specific and you don’t need to sit through a longer lesson, you’ll find Forbes Music’s short “office hour” sessions to be the best value. However, if you anticipate paying for music lessons for some time to come, choosing a quarterly or annual subscription will make more sense for you.
To help you make the best choice, we give you several options including individual lessons, lesson packages and our previously mentioned quarterly and annual subscriptions. And, if those short office hour sessions piqued your interest, they also come free with the longer subscription plans.
The Best Value by Any Measure
There are many ways to lower the average cost of private music lessons when you book classes with Forbes Music Company. If you can, pick an online class, dedicate more time in your day to a lesson and commit yourself to taking a series or package of classes in advance. There are many plans to choose from to help you pick the schedule that works best for you.
And, if you’re still feeling a bit hesitant, start by trying out our group classes. Our online group classes are heavily discounted – sometimes as little as $10 for an hour long class or totally free with a promo code. This will give you the opportunity to check out a teacher and see if online music classes are for you. You’re welcome to check out our online group classes, or take the plunge and book your private lesson today.