What are you paying for when you take lessons?

You’ve been curious about music lessons for a long time so you decide to call A Noteworthy Music Studio to get more information about lessons, yay for you! But then, you’re told the price of lessons and hang up thinking, “How on earth do piano or voice lessons cost THAT MUCH? How hard can it be? Seems like easy money.” 

Come to the dark side, I have some splainin’ to do. 

After reading a fabulous blog for voice teachers by Michelle Markwart Deveaux, I decided to pop the top off our studio and invite you behind the scenes to see exactly what your monthly tuition pays for. 

Your first lesson

Here’s what goes into getting your bum in the door:

  • 5 minutes: Listening to voicemail or reading the email/text message
  • 10-15 minutes: In person conversation in Baldwin Park if that’s how we met
  • 10-15 minutes: Responding to initial inquiry and scheduling a phone call
  • 15-30 minutes: Phone conversation to establish your needs, find out what kind of teacher you’re looking for, and making sure we can serve you well. 
  • 5 minutes: Choosing a time for your first lesson and getting you scheduled in My Music Staff.
  • 15 minutes: Talking with your teacher to make sure they know everything we’ve discussed so they can prepare for your first session!
  • 5 minutes: Sending address to the studio and making sure your Siri can find us. 
  • 30-45 minutes: Initial lesson time, finally we get to meet you! 
  • 90+ minutes: Making sure all your questions are answered which includes:
    • Discussing policies and tuition plans so you know how the studio runs
    • Training on how to schedule/cancel lessons using My Music Staff
    • Enrolling in our automatic payment system so you can set it and forget it
    • Discussing why we don’t worry about makeup lessons (who needs one more thing to schedule anyway?).
    • Collaborating with other teachers and sharing skills to ensure your needs are met and expectations are exceeded. 
    • Establishing a short term and long term plan for your goals
    • Generally making sure music lessons are the most convenient activity on your weekly calendar.

We invest several hours into making sure your very first lesson with us is as amazing as possible. Teaching is our passion, and every single lesson should be a sparkling, glittery example of that! And just think, your first lesson is totally FREE. We work to serve you even if we ultimately don’t make the best possible fit for your needs. 

All the other stuff tuition pays for:

When you’re enjoying your favorite latte from the Starbucks next door, it can be easy to forget why that coffee in your hand is $5 or more. Having a business is expensive, so here’s a few (and I use that term loosely) things you might not realize your tuition is paying for. 

  • Rent for our funky, fun, colorful studio space
  • Insurance and business licenses 
  • Advertising and Marketing materials like:
    • Your favorite color mood pencil
    • Stickers, birthday cards, and your “Welcome to the studio” postcard
    • The car magnet you get to sport because you’re in the cool kids club
    • The music bag you haul your books around in
    • That super cool backpack button
    • Emails and text messages so you don’t ever forget an event
    • Website management so the info you need is always up to date
  • Wifi
  • Up to date iPads for studio use
  • The music library students and teachers have access to at all times
  • Studio licenses for music books and songs
  • Continuing Education from: 
    • Conferences
    • Workshops
    • Books
    • Mastermind Groups
    • Online Courses
    • Masterlasses
    • Professional organization dues
  • Answering questions via email
  • Answering questions via text or phone
  • Arranging songs 
  • Scheduling and coordinating recitals, rehearsals, and studio classes
  • Costs associated with recitals
  • Arranging “tribe vibe” events in the studio like:
    • Jam Sessions
    • Movie Nights
    • Game Nights
    • Karaoke Nights
  • Creating recital programs
  • Providing materials and music
  • Providing professional grade audio equipment
  • Providing accompanists (Rebekah provides this service for the studio)
  • Coordinating schedule changes
  • Solving scheduling and payment snafus
  • Credit Card and bank fees
  • Computers, printers, paper, ink 
  • Software: My Music Staff, Converge, Apps, Zoom for online lessons
  • Connecting with a network of other resources like:
    • Bodywork specialists like ENT’s/SLP’s, massage and trigger point therapists, yogi, dance instructors and acting coaches
    • Collaborative pianists (still Rebekah)
    • Audition opportunities 
  • Setting up and recording audition packages
  • Learning repertoire students bring to lessons
  • Attending shows, concerts, gigs student perform in
  • Taking lessons to sharpen our skills and learn new ones 
  • Performing on our own time so we can speak from first hand experience about what it’s like to be “up there”.
  • Paying for our previous educations (we all have music degrees, you know, those snazzy bits of paper nobody cares about? Those). 

Good grief! That’s a LOT of stuff your tuition pays for! So thanks for that! Without you, we couldn’t create such a spiffy lesson experience and cultivate our beautiful community of weirdos. Teaching is what we live for, and being able to serve your needs every week keeps the inspired fire burning for us. 

See you in lessons.