I haven’t given myself a raise in 3 years.
I deserve more… I have a degree.
I need to keep up with inflation
I am underpaid.
Raise your hand if you agree with one of the above statements. Raise your hand if you agree with all of the above statements. Raise your hand if raising your piano lesson rates based on one, or all, of these statements is a good idea.
Is my hand the only one that isn’t raised? Are you shocked?
My hand isn’t raised because I don’t want to lead piano teachers astray in their pursuit of higher wages. Do I think piano teachers are worth more than their current salaries? Absolutely!
But that doesn’t mean that they should raise lesson rates because of statements that begin with “I haven’t”, “I deserve”, or “I need”.
Remember Your Customers
The statements that started this post all completely ignore the fact that piano lesson rates are ultimately decided by the consumer. Sure you can determine your own worth, but if it doesn’t match your customer’s perceived value in your piano lessons, you will ultimately be led down one of two paths:
Discover Your Financial Harmony
The key to financial success in piano teaching is to find that sweet spot where your perceived value is equal to your consumer’s perceived value.
If your consumer’s perceived value is greater than your own perceived value, you’ve got it made… raise your rates and reap the rewards.
If your consumer’s perceived value is less than your perceived value… well, this is the interesting part… isn’t it? My bet is that as you read that you were assuming I would say, “lower your rates to match expectations”. But, that’s not the case!
An Alternative to Lowering Your Piano Teaching Rates
So, what do you do if your consumer’s perceived value for piano lessons is less than your perceived value? Well, you could lower your rates, but who wants to do that? Not me!
The simple answer is…
This is an area that piano teachers, and the industry as a whole, need to work on. And who can blame teachers for letting this slide… after all, piano teachers are teachers not marketers! But if fair wages are what piano teachers are after, then a little bragging to the public (so to speak) may be in order.
Raising the Perceived Value of Piano Lessons
Below are a few pointers that we can all adopt to raise the perceived value of piano lessons:
1. Get your students performing in public… a lot
2. Write piano articles for your local newspaper
3. Have a “Bring a Friend Day” at your piano studio
4. Invite the general public to your piano recitals
5. Give a bursary to local high school students pursuing music education
6. With permission, share student performances on Facebook, Youtube, etc.
7. Offer group classes for parents so they can experience all that piano lessons have to offer
8. Have a “Grandparents Day” at your studio… nobody likes to brag more than Grandparents
And, Most Importantly…
9. Make your own piano parents VERY aware of all the benefits their children reap due to their involvement piano lessons. There is lots of supporting research out there. Find it and use it!