Are you raising your rates for your piano lessons this year? Are you concerned about the reaction? Most of us can’t help but be a bit wary of changing up the status quo. If you’re increasing piano lesson fees, check out the 4 tips below for how to break the news to your piano studio families.
A Stress-Free Strategy For Announcing Piano Lesson Rate Increases
1. Make an announcement, but not a big deal – the worst thing you can do is to make a big deal about the change. Yes, you need to let your piano families know, but no… you don’t need to compose an oscar-worthy speech or a John Grisham novel. The bigger deal you make about piano lesson rates (by apologizing, justifying, comparing etc.) the bigger deal your piano families will make of it.
A simple sentence (on your re-registration form or in an email with updates about the coming year) saying “Please note: The lesson rates for the 2013/2014 lesson year will be $?) is all you really need. You can justify if needed on an individual basis. You may be surprised at how few people actually care!
2. Pad your announcement with some “extras” – we’ve talked a lot about adding perceived value to your piano lessons. If you clearly show 2-3 things your studio will be adding in the coming year that are different, unique, exciting and valuable then your piano families will tend to accept changes in piano lesson rates more easily. We can tell our clients all we want about inflation, keeping up with the going rate, increased cost of supplies etc. etc. but in all honesty… all they really see is their own bottom line. If they think they’re gaining something along with this increase they’ll be less concerned and their focus will be shifted to the excitement of the new offerings instead.
“Extras” don’t need to mean reinventing the wheel. Rather think about what you could add to your lessons that makes you stand out from the rest. Will you start use game-based materials to teach theory? Announce this! Will you begin offering “sing and play” lessons where your students learn chording techniques? Include this info! Will you hold bi-monthly piano parties? This is something to include.
3. Justify Simply – if parents do contact you with concerns about the increase be prepared to justify the change in a simple way. Avoid lengthy comparisons, discussions on economics, touting your personal value… all you need to say is “I’ve adjusted my lesson rates to be in harmony with the other music studios in the area and to better reflect what I offer as a teacher.” As long as your increase has been fair, it’s difficult for people to get their back up with this kind of explanation.
As piano teachers we often need to “think like business people”. Instances like increases to your piano lesson fees are much better accepted if your business practices are consistently professional and organized.