I am increasing my rates (which I have not done in a long time...)
As of January 1st, 2015 (and beyond) for any NEW students (start of Spring semester);
and as of Monday, June 1st 2015 for all EXISTING students (start of Summer semester).
In-studio lessons will be billed at the rate of $40 per hour of instruction
(e.g., $20 for 30-minute lessons, $30 for 45-minute lessons, etc.);
Lessons where I must travel will be billed at $50 per hour of instruction
(e.g., $25 for 30-minute lessons;
Note: I will NOT teach 45-minute lessons unless they are back-to-back = 1.5 hours of instruction.
Therefore, 30-minute travel lessons must be scheduled at least 2 in a row).
Please keep in mind that I am always flexible:
If you currently take lessons with me twice a week,
perhaps you may want to consider just weekly lessons;
and if you normally take lessons once a week then you may consider meeting every other week.
Don't forget about consultations:
These 2-hour sessions are for students who are not novices ('beginners')
but rather at the intermediate level...
think of these as a workshop custom-tailored to your needs
(e.g., a 'diagnosis' is done to evaluate your current musical skills
in order to analyze what areas you are lacking and need the most help with...
I then 'prescribe' a thorough practice regiment and provide/recommend which exercises,
song material, etc. to add to your repertoire in order to make measurable progress).
These sessions are more like a 'check-up':
You can request quarterly or semi-annual visits at the rate of $100 (or $75 for returning students).
I am reducing my fee to $40 annually--Yes, this is charged once a year for EACH student,
as it includes the prepared folder with reference materials in addition to weekly material
(e.g., custom-tailored warm-up exercises, select songs from methods books,
other material as requested, etc.) which not only costs me $0.10 per printed page
(which adds up over 3 semesters in a year) but also MY TIME.
Many reasons: Annual inflation, rising healthcare costs
(as you know we have no control over), my baby daughter, etc.
But the #1 reason BY FAR is...
TO MAKE EACH LESSON COUNT!!
Simply put, I prepare MUCH more for these lessons than a vast majority of my students do
(e.g., By creating material for lessons, practicing,
planning in order to reach YOUR goals, evaluations, etc.).
Going forward, my students need to take this as serious as I do by...
Practicing...Yes! If you only practiced the warm-up exercises and select songs I suggest,
then I personally guarantee the worst that will happen is you will maintain your current skill level...
However, if you do apply this knowledge and these skills towards your goals and material,
then you will make measurable progress and reach your goals!
Too many of my students do not take notes, practice,
or even ask questions which begs the question,
"Why are you continuing to take lessons?" or better yet,
"What did you imagine my role here to be?!"
The simple answer is I want you to enjoy playing your instrument
(this CAN be fun when you know what you are doing)
but my role is to teach you HOW to practice so you can do what I do WITHOUT needing me.
I usually enjoy what I do because I am passionate about the music and enthusiastic about your learning,
and that energy and excitement should motivate you to be engaged and to do what it takes...
I repeat: Lessons are for instruction--NOT the only time for you to practice or to observe me perform
(this is, after all, about YOU--not me).
In order for that to happen, you have to WANT this...that is my cardinal rule.
If for some reason this is not the case, then I am ready to discontinue lessons effective immediately,
and if you ever wish to resume taking lessons, you are, of course, welcome to continue.
But just remember that in order to maintain current skills let alone build on them
requires practice outside of lessons at a minimum of 3-4 times a week (at least every other day).
A word about my rates vs. other instructors:
While my rates may not be the cheapest out there,
they are still far from what those of similar levels of expertise
(e.g., a combination of the number of years as a musician in addition to
the number of years teaching as well as level of education).
I am aware that there are some kids in high school providing lessons at the rate of $10-15+ per lesson,
but literally all they have is a few years of experience as a musician--they have NO qualifications
or credible experience TEACHING you how to play your instrument.
There may be some college students offering lessons who are music majors at the university level,
charging $15-20+ per lesson; so they may have several years of experience at playing their instrument
but still NO credible experience teaching.
FYI: Not to be rude, but good luck finding someone of this age or younger
whom you can truly depend on being available EACH scheduled time for lessons that is trustworthy,
and who does not fidget with their mobile device far more than they give you or your child attention.
Music major graduates?
Bare minimum--expect to pay $25-30+ per lesson only at their location...
Do they even have any teaching credentials? Are they background checked? Do they have any references yet?
Watch out for quality vs. quantity (e.g., 'You get what you pay for...')
For all other instructors, whatever degree they have + experience...their rates only go up from here.
I have 100% confidence in knowing NO one in the greater San Antonio metro area
provides the level of materials, enthusiasm, necessary attention and consideration,
research for students with special needs, etc. than I do for my lessons.
Thus, my rates are pathetic considering all that I do.
(How do I know?)
Please find me a school administrator, doctor, lawyer,
or an executive at any one of the well-known corporations in San Antonio
who charges what I earn in a given hour for painstakingly pouring over your musical needs...
and I don't know of any band directors who are willing to work with your child
on an individual basis no matter what their rate is!
If $40 or $50 per lesson makes you think twice about paying it,
then perhaps you will take lessons as seriously as I do by MAKING EACH LESSON COUNT!
Once my new rate goes into effect, you will need to sign a new policy sheet
(updates are in fact made each semester...)