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Thread: hourly rate for a guitar teacher

  1. #1
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    hourly rate for a guitar teacher

    Does anyone know what the going hourly rate for a guitar teacher in a music store is in the northeastern USA?

    If it makes any difference, I'm a professional level guitarist.

  2. #2
    www.jakehanlon.com Jakeweiser's Avatar
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    working in a Music Store if you're contracted by them, no more then 20-30 max an hr I think is probably what you're looking at. Meanwhile most professional level guys with degrees or copious experience make around 50 to higher depending on credentials if they teach out of their own homes/travel.
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  3. #3
    Guitarist JohnHorne's Avatar
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    Doug,

    I also saw your post at the acoustic guitar forum and neglected to reply. I charge $16.50 per half-hour, double that for an hour. I know many charge more, but I think that's about right for the local economy.

    I do give roughly a 10% discount for students willing to prepay for a semester at a time. My semesters vary with the year but roughly follow the school year and local school calendar. I also have a summer session but usually take July off.

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    I'd say the average is 20-25 a half hour.

  5. #5
    Guitarist, Brewer, Über Geek Scott Abene's Avatar
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    Here are my 2 cents...

    I have been a teacher through a store that taught 50-65 students a week and/or I have been a private teacher most of my adult life.

    While at the store I made $15 an hour (mind you that was 1983-1986). So I would figure $20/hr these days with the economy. Usually store lessons are 30 minutes and if the student does not show chances are you will not get paid.

    as far as private lessons go...

    If you have no experience I would stay in the $15-20/hr range.

    If you have experience teaching and can pick and choose your students... and you have what is considered a good reputation as an intermediate/advanced teacher I would imagine that you should be asking $30-35/hr

    I think that John Horne is right in line here.

    Now some other facts/considerations

    I studied from the late and great Alan Hanlon from about 1974 up until he passed away in 1986.

    Alan charged me $5 a lesson until 1983 and then raised my lesson price to $10 a lesson (he claimed that inflation was the cause ). Bill Connors charged me $35 dollars for a lesson that often ran 90 minutes during a time that he was getting $50-75 an hour.

    Alan once told me that teaching me was not a teacher/student experience but a passing of the torch and that He did not care about the money (man... Talk about serious pressure on a kids head).

    So you need to keep that in mind with some students. I have taught many kids for free because they were worth it and their families were broke.

    Sure teaching is about making money and earning a living but more over it is about passing on the knowledge that you have been given so that the next generation can understand and move on... Never forgetting the passion that got them to the point where they are able to teach and pass that torch.

    It is also important to always get one lessons fee up front.

    Make sure that the students know that there is a 24 hour cancellation policy and that the deposit is non refundable.

    Set the ground rules up front. That is the most important thing that you can learn as a teacher.



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  6. #6
    Registered User senorblues's Avatar
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    In a store I charge 20 a half hour and a bit more privately. Name jazz players are getting about 200 per hour. and the guy I see sometimes is worth it.

  7. #7
    bassist/jazz studies major
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    Man..

    In my hometown everyone charges like 10 bucks.. 12 if its their main income.. and one guy who has a degree and is like a music guy at a church.. he charges 15 and everyones like man thats expensive.

    Of course the cost of living in my hometown is really low. People are actually moving here cause of it.

  8. #8
    www.jakehanlon.com Jakeweiser's Avatar
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    Adam brings up a strong point. The market is very important. You have to be careful when calculating your costs.

    For me, my hourly lesson is $50 in my hand with lessons paid for 1 month in advance. There are reasons for this. Firstly, I don't want many students if any outside of my day job which is... well teaching students at the University level... thus I really don't want to be picking up students who while may be fun to teach will not be satisfying. 2ndly my Resume is strong enough for this area that I can demand that sort of money for a lesson. Given the average other guitar teacher has little or no Jazz experience save for about a half dozen qualified guys (qualified meaning imo can actually really play well)

    Now because of this I don't teach at home. But I have another $60 hr fee for 1 time lessons, must be paid in cash or cashier's cheque (because I've been screwed by people cancelling checks in the past). This is something that happens more often.

    Students however I won't charge them that much.

    This WAS my rate when or if I'm in a metro area where money is. In this town I wouldn't charge 40 an hour if I wanted students.

    You must also be careful of the inverse, not charging enough. It's not kosher to be undercutting the market by offering cheap lessons and then jacking up your prices after you've established a studio.
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    I think some students take you more seriously when you charge more.
    This reminds of story: back in the mid ‘80’s when all the LA producers just had to have the Toto guys on their sessions, Porcaro and gang decided to go to triple scale, hoping to thin out the work. Unfortunately this backfired because producers started thinking ‘these guys must be incredible…they’re triple scale, GET THEM!!!”

  10. #10
    Guitarist JohnHorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarjazz View Post
    I think some students take you more seriously when you charge more.
    This reminds of story: back in the mid ‘80’s when all the LA producers just had to have the Toto guys on their sessions, Porcaro and gang decided to go to triple scale, hoping to thin out the work. Unfortunately this backfired because producers started thinking ‘these guys must be incredible…they’re triple scale, GET THEM!!!”
    I heard the same story from Will Lee (about Will Lee!)

  11. #11
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    New York is at least 100 bucks an hour....

  12. #12
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    And that's just for parking!

  13. #13
    Guitarist, Brewer, Über Geek Scott Abene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarjazz View Post
    And that's just for parking!
    Who drives in Manhattan???



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  14. #14
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    I drive in Manhattan almost every day!!

  15. #15
    Guitarist, Brewer, Über Geek Scott Abene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic J View Post
    I drive in Manhattan almost every day!!
    I grew up there... I did not have a drivers lisc. until I was 30



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    "The numbered seats in empty rows
    It all belongs to me you know"
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