[Harp-L] Reality Check - teaching
Michael Rubin offered an excellent post regarding his teaching (as well as
his other real world experiences).
In my opinion, Michael is not charging enough for lessons - however, this is
always a reflection of the surrounding demographics and income level of the
$50/hr may be a fairer price for a competent teacher. It was hard for me to
raise my rates from $40 to $50 because of a personal mental block against
raising prices. I felt I would lose all my students and no one would be
interested. However, I was greatly surprised to find that most quality students
understood and didn't mind paying more for a worthwhile lesson.
One step I took in between to help soften the sticker shock was to suggest
that if the student pay for 4 weeks in advance, the lesson would be $45 - a
discount off the "list price". This helped encourage the student to put a little
more commitment into the program and many took their lessons more seriously.
The understanding was that, if a lesson was missed and I didn't receive 24
notice, the pre-paid lesson amount would be forfeit. It put a little better
professional spin on the whole arrangement and, much to my surprise, no one was
upset or complained about the new arrangement. It also eliminated those
students that tend to waste a teacher's time by not showing up and/or calling to
cancel or those not dedicated.
Responses to this query from those on the front line have been totally
enlightening. I love hearing the description of the paths taken over the years in
order to pursue a dream and hope these comments are as encouraging to
everyone else to follow their passions.
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