How Much Are Piano Lessons
When someone asks me how much piano lessons cost, I usually tell them that piano lessons in general across the whole industry can range between $30 to $250 for an hour lesson. But shopping for a piano teacher solely based on cost can get you into a lot of trouble. Just as prices have a range, the quality of piano teachers also varies. Not every piano lesson or piano teacher is equal.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a teacher.
The Difference Between A $30 Piano Lesson
I had a client once who came to me with some prior experience but was wearing a wrist brace because of pain in her fingers and arm. Her previous teacher had not charged her very much for lessons and had not educated her on how to use proper form so she did not know how to move her wrist or fingers on the keyboard without tension. Invariably, the wrong form resulted in so much pain she had to wear a wrist brace. These are the kinds of results that can come from paying low prices for cheap lessons. A student might learn a few things about the piano but can also develop painfully bad habits that hinder them in the long run.
Once she came to study with me, I was able to teach her how to practice. I started by training her left hand (the good hand) and on our first day, we worked for an hour just focusing on the little things. Things that had been overlooked by her “cheaper” teacher. We spent a whole lesson retraining her on how to move her fingers, how to keep her wrists loose, and how to lift her hand off the keys. I showed her how to move her elbow in a way that would move the entire arm, thus, taking pressure off her fingers and wrists. I did all this with just her left hand, knowing that if she perfected the technique in one hand then the other hand would intuitively copy the correct form. This is exactly what happened. She regained full mobility of her injured wrist/hand and was able to play without tension.
The $100 Piano Lesson
Choosing a teacher solely based on price is like buying a car because it’s $400. Sure it’s cheap but it won’t make it off the lot. Or like buying an overpriced Ferrari when your only goal is simple transportation to and from work.
Don’t choose a teacher based on your price but rather someone who can help you reach your goals. In order to do this, it’s important to do some serious thinking about what you want to get out of piano lessons. You need a teacher that will understand their students intuitively. When holding an initial consult, pay attention to the piano teacher who can answer all your questions. Questions such as how do I read notes? How long will it take me to play chords? Or what experience do you have teaching music from the (insert favorite time-period here) era?
How To Choose The Best Piano Teacher
Pricing depends on what you are looking for. There are multiple types of skill sets amongst piano teachers. You might want advanced concert piano lessons or you may be a beginner who wants to learn a few pop songs.
Here are things to look for in a teacher:
Experience: have they worked with children/adults before and for how long?
What expectations will the teacher have for the student to practice every day? If the teacher doesn’t give a specific amount of time to practice then it means they don’t have a goal for the student and don’t know how much work it takes to grow.
Can the teacher adapt to a person that has unique needs? (like shyness, or hyperactivity)
Will the piano student have performance opportunities if they desire to and what type?
Piano Lesson Trial Period
I normally recommend a trial period before committing to lessons. Not only does this give teacher and student a chance to get to know each other, it can also answer some vitally important questions students may have. Such as:
How does this teacher make me feel when learning piano?
Do they create a balance between helping me to have fun and be challenged at the same time?
Do I feel satisfied with my growth?
Do I feel like the piano lessons are actually taking me to the desired destination in my music adventure?
Am I receiving the proper balance of music theory, form, reading music, and so on?
How Much Are Piano Lessons?
Students who select their teacher solely based on price run the risk that they will be getting cheap info; watered-down education that isn't specific to their needs or doesn’t cover music comprehensively. Cheap lessons will, unfortunately, leave holes in their understanding of music theory, or the nuances of how to move your body at the piano without tension.
Invest in yourself. You’re worth it.