Now Offering Violin Lessons in NYC, Any Takers?
August 26, 2010 12:12 PM   Subscribe

How much can I charge for violin lessons in NYC?

I have B.A. in music and have studied violin for 20+ years. I play professionally in a chamber music group, orchestras, and occasional recording studio work.

I am considering teaching private violin lessons in the NYC area, and I am wondering how much I can charge. I'm only really interested (qualified) to teach beginner and intermediate students.

I'd like to take a few students at first to test the waters, but if I like it I would consider pursuing it further. I haven't taught private lessons before, but I have experience working with elementary and middle school aged children.

Most likely I would ask students to travel to my studio in Brooklyn, but should I consider traveling to my students? Can I charge more if I do that?

What would be reasonable to charge for 30 minute or 60 minute private lessons in NYC? Should I consider teaching a class with multiple students and is pricing typically different for that?
posted by mythicalbyrd to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can definitely charge more if you are willing to go to your students homes.

You should check the newspapers, craigslist, etc to see how much others are charging. Adjust the price if you feel your more or less qualified.

Also, try asking some of the other musicians you perform with? I'm sure someone has done private lessons on the side before.
posted by Funky Claude at 12:33 PM on August 26, 2010

Academic tutoring in NYC is reportedly reaching a ceiling of $45 to $60 an hour right about now. Private violin lessons here in Ohio vary from $30 to $60 an hour, while live academic tutoring rates are suppressed due to too many laborers in the market (I got calculus help from a retired adjunct for $22 as long as we used the university library; last I saw his rates have remained steady.) I would be therefore surprised if people would be willing to pay much outside of this range, especially if they come to you. I mean, maybe up to $100 - but your competition will get a lot stiffer, and "let's just do Suzuki" will be way less expensive.
posted by SMPA at 1:02 PM on August 26, 2010

Just something to keep in mind: Here in MN, it seems like a few violin teachers (at least the ones I've met) charge upfront for a block of 10 lessons or so. It made it easier than having to get paid each session. I think I paid $200 for a block of 10 30-minute lessons a few years ago, but the teacher was pretty inexperienced.
posted by cabingirl at 1:15 PM on August 26, 2010

Data point: I paid $50/hour for violin and viola lessons in NYC suburbs five years ago. The market could probably bear up to $75, especially if you get yourself involved with the "selective kindergarten" types.
posted by telegraph at 4:24 PM on August 26, 2010

The standard pretty-much-upper rate for a quality professional string teacher in most places I've lived is $60/hour, and has been for years. Really great teachers with a extremely full studio may charge a small premium over that.

You should certainly attempt to charge more than your usual rate if you go to lessons at students' houses (I'm sure there would be a market for this).

I would suggest talking to people you know who do give private lessons and asking for suggestions, as they probably know the market best. Private students can be flaky, so charging up front for a block and having a standard make-up lesson slot for kids who miss is definitely a smart idea.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:35 PM on August 26, 2010

I'm in DC, not NYC, but I imagine violin lesson pricing is relatively similar. Around here, you could expect to pay about $60/hr for a beginner/intermediate string teacher with some teaching experience. The low end of the range is $45/hr, and obviously you can pay a good bit more for an upper level teacher with decades of experience and a good reputation.
posted by drlith at 5:50 AM on August 27, 2010

I was paying $120 for professional violin lessons before I started college, and $30/hour for lessons with a 5th-year doctoral student after I dropped my music performance major. That was at Rice University in Houston, TX.
posted by halogen at 7:48 AM on August 27, 2010

Yeah, you can get more if you go to them.

Have you considered finding an agency and contracting with them? Yes, they take a cut of your pay, but they do all the leg work and get you students.

As far as rates go, it really varies. A teacher at a conservatory on the east coast often charge in the 150-200 an hour range. For you, I would say that starting at around $60 is quite reasonable.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:46 AM on August 27, 2010

« Older Once my lover, now my friend. Possible, or just a...   |   Getting things done while you're getting things... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.