How Much Are Piano Lessons? (2021)


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The cost of piano lessons varies widely!  There is a lot to consider as to why the price is all over the place. On a rough average, the national average is $30 for one half hour lesson, but there are a ton of reasons why that may not be the best option for you.  The price can go as low as $20 per lesson for a teenage student-teacher just beginning to teach, to over $150 for a collegiate level professional!

No matter what level of learning you are aiming for, remember this: playing the piano is one of the most fulfilling, joyful and satisfying things you will ever do for yourself or for a loved one.  As a teacher, I hear almost daily “I wish my mom didn’t let me quit piano!”  or “I wish I knew how to play the piano.”

 

Here’s what you need to consider for how much are piano lessons :

Professional performing musicians

  • The most expensive lessons are going to be from professional pianists who have decades of learning, advanced degrees or renown public performing in their history. The more widely renowned the artist, the more they will charge for lessons.  You will be paying for prestige here.  Whether or not those individuals are actually good at teaching may not even be a factor!  The average price for this category is $75 – $125  per one half-hour lesson.

How in demand the teacher is

  • A stellar teacher will have a packed schedule with limited openings.   Once you find a great teacher stick with them like glue! You may lose your spot in their calendar if you try to shop around and leave.  An in-demand teacher will typically ask $45 – $60 per half-hour lesson.

 

In-home lessons

  • Some teachers come to your home.  They will most likely charge more because of their overhead in gas, car insurance and time lost to travel to and from their studio or home. These lessons start at $25 and go as high as $50 per lesson.

 

Group lessons

  • Another option is to enroll in a group lesson class.  This is a very formulaic way to learn piano wherein a group of digital pianos are connected to headphones for room quiet and either the teacher gives a demo and instruction or the students learn from a program on a device and learn self-paced.  The price for group lessons is quite a bit lower, but there is very little individual attention and the curriculum is not tailor-made for each individual’s learning styles and quirks. Often the group is pulled away from the keyboard for music theory lessons or group games for variety.  Coming in at the lowest price point, group lessons are usually bundled in units of 6 weeks to a three-month term.  Prices start at $20 per lesson.
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Group lessons are in a classroom setting with electric keyboards

In-studio private lessons

In-studio private lessons are the most common way to learn piano. There’s good reasons for that!  One-on-one attention from a good teacher means that you are (hopefully) getting the best instruction based on your own learning abilities and challenges.  A great piano teacher will pull from multiple learning books, methods and options to try and reach you the very best way possible for YOU.  That kind of custom learning is only possible with private lessons and a good working relationship together takes a number of months to kick into high gear.

It takes time for a teacher to ‘figure out’ their student.  In-studio private lessons start at $20 per lesson, but typically average $25- 45 per lesson.  Often teachers bundle lessons for the entire school year and may give a slight discount if the year is paid in advance, or divided into a fixed monthly rate that ranges from $100 – $175.

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 Private online lessons are a convenient and exciting way to learn the piano

Online lesson

  • Online lessons.  I have converted to strictly online teaching now.  The benefits are many.  You don’t get that warm fuzzy personal relationship with your teacher like you would in the same room, but if you are serious about learning, online lesson LEARNING is just as effective as in person!

Don’t expect to get a price cut for online lessons though!  The teacher is still giving you their undivided attention and the benefit of their years and decades of experience and knowledge, not to mention the custom created lesson.  You wouldn’t expect your employer to cut your salary if you switch to working from home, so don’t expect it from self-employed musicians either!  Online lessons are often bundled into a 9 month, 10 month or 12 month year and are divided into a fixed monthly rate. This monthly fixed rate starts at $110 a month and runs as high as $175 a month for a one half-hour lesson per week.

Professional performing musicians

  • The most expensive lessons are going to be from professional pianists who have decades of learning, advanced degrees or renown public performing in their history. The more widely renowned the artist, the more they will charge for lessons.  You will be paying for prestige here.  Whether or not those individuals are actually good at teaching may not even be a factor!  The average price for this category is $75 – $125  per one half-hour lesson.

Conservatory style teachers

  • Conservatory style teachers may be more costly because they are going to train you for a career in music, or at a very intense rate of learning.  You can plan on participating in competitions and adjudicated events, but if you are striving for a career in music, those two features are a MUST DO.  That is because music is a highly, highly competitive and very cut-throat business!  In order for a music career to be viable, learning and participating in these high-stress events is something you just have to get used to.

A good teacher will coach you through being able to do your best in these high-stress conditions and toughen you up for later events when it may make the difference between getting the gig, getting admitted to a prestigious conservatory, university, or getting a scholarship or not.  Expect to fork out extra money for competitions, festivals and adjudicated events.

Additional information

  • While you are paying for a weekly time slot in your teacher’s workday, please remember that your tuition also contributes to his/her overhead like: studio rental fees, instrument upkeep and tuning, professional memberships and continuing education, online business and teaching apps and programs that are costly, additional teaching materials, programs, apps and subscriptions, training on digital devices, music mixing, producing, writing programs, cost of living increases, costs of a health insurance policy and a whole lot of other things that a self-employed person has to pay out of pocket… including no sick days paid and no vacation days paid. Sort of makes you appreciate why the tuition is what it is, right?
  • Some teachers, especially of youth, do more ‘entertainment’ based learning wherein they play lots of games, use puppets, studio props and have a more playful curriculum. These lessons are going to be priced lower than a dense one-on-one lesson, but may be ideal for special needs students, very young children or kids who have trouble paying attention and sitting still for 30 minutes.  The average price for these light-hearted lessons range from $20 to $45 per half-hour lesson.

Final note

Don’t hesitate to switch piano teachers if you find you just don’t click together, or if you are learning too slow, if it is boring or if you are overwhelmed.  Sometimes it is just a personality conflict or your teacher does not know how to teach the genre that you want (jazz, rock, pop, gospel worship, improve, etc.).

Additional Information

I’ve got more informative articles you will find useful as you explore piano lessons.  Here’s an article on selecting a beginner digital piano.  This article is about my best recommendations for beginner books.  And lastly, here’s my take on how easy/hard it is to learn piano.

 

Good luck and go get those lessons! You’ll be forever glad you did!

Anita HC

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