P Mauriat
Antigua Winds

View Poll Results: Is $20 high/low/good rate for my lessons

54. You may not vote on this poll
  • High

    20 37.04%
  • Low

    10 18.52%
  • Just Right

    21 38.89%
  • I have no clue, whats the question again

    3 5.56%
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Giving Private Lessons

  1. #1

    Default Giving Private Lessons

    I'm going to be a HS junior next year. I'm very knowledgable about music, playing, and saxophone technique, and (at least on the standards of Las Vegas) I'm a very advanced player. I'm going to start giving hour-long private lessons to other sax players at my school next year. (I'm the best at my school by a long shot , so I'm at least qualified to teach them) They will be real, structured lessons and based on experiences with former teachers of mine what I have to offer my students will be better than that of many so called "professionals". I'm thinking of charging $20 for an hour, which is nearly half of what ppl at the stores cost. I've got a pretty good idea worked out about what I will teach, but I am just starting so suggestions would be greatly appreciated. As well, I could use some advice on what to charge, if you guys think 20 is too high/low. Click the poll!! Thanks

  2. #2


    my bro is going to be a junior, and he started teaching beginners last year at $10 per lesson. $20 is what you'd expect from a pro teacher, not from a student. Try doing $11, $10, or $9.

  3. #3


    Maybe 20 is high. My thoughts were 1.my lessons will honestly be worth as much or more than what i pay my teacher now for an hour (35), and 2.charging 20 or more makes it clear to student as well as parent that this is something the need to give some attention to since its worth it. I dont know, maybe I'll go $10 like u said. Thanks for the advice

  4. #4


    I know little about this topic other than the cost of my weekly lessons, $17 for a half hour lesson with the retired head music honcho for an Omaha private school district.
    I recommend, however, that you charge more than minimum wage and maybe call the local college or university to see what student saxophone teachers make for private lessons. Then consider shaving a few bucks off that price to come up with your price.
    Another source of information is your band teacher at school. What does he or she think? Possibly the teacher could recommend you to other students needing a good saxophone teacher.

  5. #5
    SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2013
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    I believe $20 an hour is a good price. Around here, most professionals charge $15-$50 per half hour, depending on their experience and skill. I personally charge $15 for a half hour lesson.

    I think your rate of $10 per half hour is a good one. I would offer half hour lessons as well though. $10 per half hour, and let the student decide how long they want their lesson to be.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Blue Springs, Mo.


    My son started giving sax leesons when he was a junior in High School, which was two years ago. All of his lessons are 1/2 hour in length and he charges $10/30 minutes. So your proposed charges would be right in line with what my son is charging. He doing the same as you, by basing his lessons on the best of his past instructors.

  7. #7


    I give lessons, I'm in highschool. For the most part, I don't ask for money... for example... I have a young neighbor (11-12) that just took up the sax. His parents asked me if I could teach him how to play, and asked me how much I would charge for a half-hour lesson every week. My answer, "Does he mow lawn?" Yep, that's right. I don't have to mow my lawn anymore.

    I am also teaching a flute player my age to play. She is an extremely talented flutist, so when she asked me what I wanted her to pay me, I said, "Can you teach me how to play flute?" So I'm taking flute lessons from her, in exchange for my sax lessons.

    I'd say that $10/half hour; $20/hour is fair. Just make sure you give them their money's worth, and they will keep coming back.

  8. #8


    I think it is alittle high. My teacher charges 10$ for 45 minute sessons. Or you could just see what the students think is just right but set a limit of minium cost. Good Luck

    Sax Playa aka Matt

  9. #9
    Angel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Birmingham, AL


    You have to charge what your local market bears if you are interested in fair market value for your services. This is true for teachers, plumbers, baseball players, talk show hosts, everything. This idea has nothing to do with what you think you are worth, and everything to do with supply/demand and what consumers are generally willing to pay for a certain service.

    I charge anywhere from $30-40/hr based on family income in the Pittsburgh area. When I was living in an economically depressed area in Ohio, if I charged more than $20/hr, nobody could afford it, and I would have no students (and worse yet the students would have no teacher).

    If local music store teachers are charging $40/hr (small-time college professor earnings around these parts), then you can stand to charge a bit more than $20/hr, since that market in particular seems to allow that situation.

    Remember that you are a non-union, free-market, private-sector entity now. Take advantage.


  10. #10


    I've taught lessons for 5 years. I charge $12 for an hour lesson, or $9 for a half-hour. This is a pretty fair price, and fairly average from talking to others.

  11. #11


    I honestly think it's a little high for a high schooler to charge $20/hr. I charged $10/hr through high school and then $15/hr through college.

    I found that even in my 3 years since graduating college, it's still hard to convince 40-50 year old non-musician parents that you're worth much more than $20/hr...I usually explain that I've been practicing music since I was 5 years old and I have a degree in saxophone. This usually does the trick with most parents, but some would probably feel more comfortable with an older player that isn't as good a player or teacher just b/c they are closer to their age.

    It probably just depends on what market you're in, but the fact that you don't have a whole bunch of experience or a method down, it's probably fair to charge $10-15/hr.

    just my two cents.



  12. #12


    I think it's important your students (and their parents, if they have any say) respect what you are doing and pay a significant fee. It is D&*#ED hard to raise your fee later on, a year or 2 (or more) down the road. In turn, you'd better be ready to "deliver the goods" and be an excellent teacher. No small part of that is keeping everybody happy. It's hard work if you want to make any significant $$, and keep everybody happy, and actually help your students in the process.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much cash parents will continually, repeatedly shell out for dance lessons (including all of their gear the kids grow out of in 1 season and costumes they use once at the recital then throw away -- this stuff ain't cheap!), for example -- but just TRY to raise YOUR rate from $13 to $15 per half hour AFTER 5 YEARS at the lower rate -- fageddaboudit! It's like they have a contract with you for life. It is possible though, to charge your new students more from the get-go -- if anybody finds out and asks, you are not hiding this fact -- your policy is that your long-term students pay lower "loyal customer" rates and that all new students pay the same rate (as each other). If you're serious about this, don't forget you're really operating a small business and should expect to deal with all the related issues -- competition and price pressures, bad debts/late or cancellation penalty fees (they'll just cancel out on you all the time, with no notice, if you let them), collections, etc.

    It IS possible to avoid all that negative stuff about running your new "small business" -- by building it slowly, by word-of-mouth, accepting students acquainted closely with people you know (or have come to know) and trust. Trust that is, in their initial committment, interest, and value they place on your time and efforts you invest in the services you are providing to them or their child (i.e. THEY trust YOU). That's how this is done as a side job, building a small studio over 5-10 years, if you can and want to keep it going that long. It has its ups and downs, and is very sensitive to things like moving, changing day jobs -- so then sometimes you just have to start up again (sometimes from scratch) after everything settles down at your new address/new job/whatever.

    $20 per half hour would seem to be a little too high in my area -- but this depends upon your area's supply and demand, the perceived value of what you have to offer, the local going rates for similar services(what does your competition charge?), and how serious a committment your students (parents?) are making with their time, effort and $$ put toward lessons with you.

  13. #13


    $10 a half an hour or $20 per hour is a very fair and affordable price...I definitely would give the students the option of whether or not they want to do an hour lesson, especially for middle school students and even some high school students. You have to keep in mind that everyone is different and that the attention spans of students will vary. If you are charging $20 an hour lesson, you sure want the students to be retaining the information you teach them, as will the parents dishing out the money!

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Syracuse, NY


    A very successful private teacher in the Syracuse area charges by the month. If a kid misses a lesson - he's already paid. This seems to help him keep students coming back weekly. This also makes parents really think hard before cancelling lessons for questionable reasons. The down side is that some months there's 4 lessons and other months there's 5. It all works out very well for him.

    Welcome to the world of saxophone education. I wish you well.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Hartford, CT


    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarkowitzStudio
    I definitely would give the students the option of whether or not they want to do an hour lesson, especially for middle school students and even some high school students. You have to keep in mind that everyone is different and that the attention spans of students will vary. If you are charging $20 an hour lesson, you sure want the students to be retaining the information you teach them, as will the parents dishing out the money!
    Keep in mind also the amount of free time that High School and Middle School students have to prepare music for an hour lesson. Nonetheless your abilities to make that hour a truly productive lesson from start to finish.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts