Cost of Piano Lessons

What should you pay for a private piano lesson?

Many times, the first question people ask a prospective teacher is, "What's the cost of piano lessons?"

Of course, how much lessons cost is important.

But really...

Unless it's the right teacher for you, lessons could be dirt cheap and it still wouldn't be a good value.

You want to find a great teacher at a fair price.

First, find out more about the studio, the teacher, and his/her methods.

Need more questions to ask?

Click over to find a piano teacher for a complete guide on interviewing prospective piano teachers.

That said...

The cost of piano lessons really depends on several factors:

  • the teacher's experience and education
  • where you live -- urban area or rural area
  • what piano method the teacher uses
  • whether the teacher uses his/her home or teaches out of a studio or music store

If you're seeking a piano teacher, you'll want to call several different studios to find the average rate in your area. You can use that as a baseline to evaluate further.

Cost of Piano Lessons

First, remember that while teaching piano usually comes out of a love for playing and sharing music and the piano, piano teachers do have to make a living. The cost of your piano lessons isn't only for the actual time you are with your teacher.

The amount of time I spend in lesson preparation, transposing or arranging songs, finding great music, preparing games and prizes -- is huge. All good teachers do the same.

Your teacher also spends time and resources on...

  • teaching tools, games, incentives, and music
  • tuning and repair of teaching instruments
  • evaluation of teaching books and methods
  • his/her own further education and training

Not to mention rent, heat, telephone and all the rest of the overhead of running a studio. At the end of the day, your teacher would actually like to take home a salary!

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now... :-)

Next, realize that this isn't the time for bargain-hunting. It's one thing to save a few bucks by searching for the lowest price on groceries or car tires, but price shouldn't be your first consideration in finding a teacher.

You want to find a teacher that's right for you -- in style, method, experience, and personality. You might find that in the less expensive range, of course! But let the teacher herself (or himself) be your first priority, and the cost a secondary one. A poor teacher is no bargain.

The cost of piano lessons depends on where you live.

I can tell you that in a smallish town of about 30,000 people, piano lessons range from $14.00 per half hour at the local piano store to over $30.00 per half hour from local professionals.

If you live in a large city, you can expect to pay more.

If you live in a very small town, you might find the cost of piano lessons is a bit less.


Other Costs of Private Piano Lessons

Be aware that the cost of piano lessons doesn't include lesson books and materials. Those will be extra. Piano music is a great investment, though -- like a book you keep forever. Even the simplest songs can be used again and again for different kinds of study.

Your teacher may also charge a fee to cover the costs of holding recitals, which can be pricey and take a great deal of time and organizational effort.

Some teachers also charge fees for late payment or missed lessons/late cancellations. Be sure to get clear on your teacher's studio policy when you start lessons.

You'll also need to factor in the costs of renting or buying a piano (or keyboard, to start), piano delivery, and pitching and tuning.

And, of course, you'll want to set up your piano practice room so that you can practice efficiently.

Crown upright piano

The real cost?  Priceless!  :-)

Music education is about so much more than simply playing an instrument!

Piano lessons teach long and short-term goal setting, responsibility, and focus. Not to mention motor skills and hand-eye coordination! And having a one-on-one relationship with a good teacher can be such a joy for kids and adults alike.

Who else gives you such detailed attention and encouragement every single week?

The appreciation of the world of music, the history of music, and other musicians is so beneficial. Even if you or your child eventually decide that playing piano isn't what you want to pursue, the time spent in lessons has such value!

Considering all the benefits...

...the cost of piano lessons really is a bargain. :-)

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