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Old 08-20-2005, 08:58 PM
bepos bepos is offline
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Pricing for private art lessons?

Hi

I was just asked by a neighbor's friend if I would give her private art lessons.

She asked to meet me so that I can look at her work. We discussed her interest in art and painting in particular. I told her that I would be happy to give her painting lessons. We agreed on meeting once a week at my house for one hour sessions. We did not discuss price. I have no idea what to charge. If there is anyone here living in the U.S.(preferrably Florida or the southeast) who teaches private painting lessons and is willing to share their pricing structure I would greatly appreciate the help?

I have never done private lessons before. However, I am an experienced artist and art teacher. I have a BA in Fine Art(concentration in painting) and an MS in Education. I have a permanent New York State teaching certification in art K-12. I have six years art teaching experience in the New York public schools. (I'm currently not teaching in the public schools) I work professionally as a mural artist. I do commissioned artwork and sell many of my paintings. Should my experience and education be considered when figuring out pricing?

I would appreciate any advice.
Thank you,
Cindy
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:36 PM
bepos bepos is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

After checking this whole forum for some good advice I found a great response to my question from jazzadellic in another thread:

"I don't teach visual art, but I do give private music lessons. One thing I just thought I would mention is don't ever undervalue your work. If your wondering what to charge, there at least a few important things to consider.

How much do you think you are worth (per hour), based on your experience, education, and most importantly: skill in art, and skill at teaching? I believe you will find skill always outweighs 'theoretical' knowledge. I have a friend with 2 degrees in art, and yet I can still draw and paint 10x better than him, who do you think a parent will hire for private art lessons? After all parents are not trying to get their 8 year olds a degree in art, they are trying to get results. So you may actually be able to charge as much or more than someone who has degrees.

take into consideration things like the fact that a masseuse may charge you $75 an hour, a plumber $50, and kiss $200 goodbye for a mechanic to work for a few hours on your car. So don't feel guilty for charging $50 an hour, or feel like you are not worth it. Parents pay me $55 per hour for private guitar lessons, and nobody ever complains about the price, and they even frequently miss lessons (which they still pay for). The funny thing is that just 2 blocks down the road, they can take private guitar lessons at another music store, at a cheaper rate, and yet they still keep coming in and signing up --- why? Because parents who have the means, and desire quality education for their children have no problem paying what to them just seems like a normal hourly rate. Most of my clientele (doctors, business owners, lawyers etc.) probably make much more than $55 an hour themselves, and so it doesn't even cross their mind that they are paying too much, they may even think it is a bargain! (some of my young students also have dance, gymnastics, sports, etc... so to their parents obviously money is not an issue)

The bottom line is: don't ever undervalue your work, you are a professional, even if you don't believe this, charge professional rates. If you ask people to pay you $10 an hour, this shows that you don't have confidence in your skills and your worth, people who seek out quality and are willing to pay for it, will probably pass you by --- they will be thinking "hmmmm.... that's a pretty low rate, that person must be an amateur."

So take the actual hours you will be teaching, for example if you are doing 1 hour lessons once a week for 10 weeks, that is 10 hours. If you decide you are worth $50 per hour, then the minimum amount you should make for the 10 week course is $500. This doesn't include the cost of materials, now figure out a reasonable estimate of how much you will spend on cost of materials, let's say that for a 10 student class, you decide on $500 to cover materials costs, now add that to your hourly salary, you now are at $1000 as the minimum you need to collect to make it worth your while. So the minimum you need to collect for a 10 week, hour per week, 10 student class is $1000. So that would be $100 per student. If we do the math, however, you will find that at those rates you are only charging each student $5 per hour, and $5 materials fee per class. So even though you are making $50 per hour, all combined, you still may be undercharging them!

Now consider that when teaching group classes two things happen:

1. Students benefit by being able to pay less than a private lesson.
2. You benefit by actually making more per hour. It is kind of like the 'Walmart' method --- you actually earn more money by selling mass quantities at cheaper prices.

Look at it this way, for 10 one hour private lessons at $50 per hour, one student pays $500, you make $500.

For 10 one hour group lessons @ $25 per student, per lesson (that is to say, the students are now paying only $25 per hour), with 10 students signed up, each student ends up paying $250 for the 10 week course (thus saving %50 over private lessons). Guess what? You make $2500. Divide that by 10, and you are making $250 per hour. Now before you start feeling guilty, and like you overcharged them, consider they are paying %50 of the price of a typical 1 hour private lesson, they are actually saving money!!

And we didn't even factor in materials costs. Tell me, who would not consider paying %50 of your normal hourly rate (for private lessons), a bargain????
You could even pay the material costs of $500 out of your pocket and still come out at $200 per hour!! Or just redo the math, and tell the parents the cost of each lesson is $20, plus $5 for materials. Now they are only paying
%40 of your theoretical $50 per hour rate!!

Keep in mind that the $50 per (private) hour rate is not a fantasy rate which parents will not pay, as I mentioned, I get paid $55 per hour for private music lessons. If I did group lessons, I would still want to make a minimum of $55 per hour, otherwise, what would be the point? Considering the above example however, I could easily charge $100-$200 per hour, for group lessons, divided up amongst the participants of course. If I only get 3 students to sign up for the group lessons, then I would have to bite the bullet and reduce my ideal group fee, but I would still be able to make a minimum of $55 an hour, so I'm still getting paid what I'm worth.

Hope that helps. One other thing to consider if you are not sure what to charge: make phone calls, call up the music stores, karate lessons, yoga, etc... and see what they charge per month / per hour. You will find that $35 a month is way too low to be charging, at least in the area I live in, where everything starts at about $60 per month. Good luck"
__________________Thank you Jazz for your words of wisdom. I confronted the dreaded question of "how much do you charge?" and have given my new student a price that I am confident with. I am confident as to what I am worth.
We start her first lesson on Thursday. I am very excited!

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Old 08-24-2005, 01:33 PM
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Jakeally Jakeally is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

Thanks so much for passing on your research I am sure it will help a lot of folks.
Good luck on Thursday .... I am excited for you too
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:00 AM
bepos bepos is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

Thank you Chris-

I gave the first lesson today. I think it was a success. She wants to come back next week-yay
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Old 08-26-2005, 05:27 AM
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

Congratulations
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:37 PM
CandlestickFlame CandlestickFlame is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

Cindy,

I was excited to read a blog by someone with a similar background to mine. I have a BS degree in Fashion Design and an MA in Education. I taught art for the past five years and I am a licensed Visual Arts Specialist. My next ventures are teaching private art lessons and decorative interior painting in the SW Ohio area.

My abstract paintings are very bold in color, and approach fabric designs. My floorcloths have always sold well because they showcase my strength in pattern design. My concentration will be in faux finishes, stenciling, and children's murals. As I become more proficient and confident in painting, I may add trompe l'oeil to my repertoire.

Would you share any information for pricing murals. Do you charge an hourly rate, charge by square foot, or by some other rate? Any info you may have is appreciated.

Thanks,

Christine



Quote:
Originally Posted by bepos
Hi

I was just asked by a neighbor's friend if I would give her private art lessons.

She asked to meet me so that I can look at her work. We discussed her interest in art and painting in particular. I told her that I would be happy to give her painting lessons. We agreed on meeting once a week at my house for one hour sessions. We did not discuss price. I have no idea what to charge. If there is anyone here living in the U.S.(preferrably Florida or the southeast) who teaches private painting lessons and is willing to share their pricing structure I would greatly appreciate the help?

I have never done private lessons before. However, I am an experienced artist and art teacher. I have a BA in Fine Art(concentration in painting) and an MS in Education. I have a permanent New York State teaching certification in art K-12. I have six years art teaching experience in the New York public schools. (I'm currently not teaching in the public schools) I work professionally as a mural artist. I do commissioned artwork and sell many of my paintings. Should my experience and education be considered when figuring out pricing?

I would appreciate any advice.
Thank you,
Cindy
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:34 AM
bepos bepos is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

Hi Christine,

You may wanted to look over in the decorative arts forum. There is a lot of excellent advice and info about mural/decorative painting pricing by some great decorative arts pros. Pricing is always the hardest part. We all seem to struggle with it. Just remember don't sell yourself short. Underpricing seems to be the most common problem for most of us.( and the funny thing is we usually feel like we're overcharging because we're getting paid to do something we love to do-very confusing)

Cindy
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:30 PM
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DesertBreeze DesertBreeze is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

I gave private art lessons for years. I copied the formula that I was given at the fine art gallery where I took lessons. Now these lessons were in Oil paint, so one hour didn't work for that!! They were 3 hour lessons at $20 per lesson, and they had to pay for 4 at a time. No refunds if they didn't show!! If I did this now, the price would go up! But they would pay in advance for 4 lessons. My classes were always full! No one ever "flaked."

There was tea and coffee provided by me, but they brought their own supplies, and they always would buy exactly what I told them they needed!

If you look at the studio forum, under easels, you will see the easels we used!

Good luck!! Great way to make money and have fun too! Also, you will learn more than your student!!
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:17 AM
alibean alibean is offline
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Re: Pricing for private art lessons?

I taught art to kids for about a year and a half. I charged $180 for 10 classes. I did it in my home, and that is what made me stop doing it. I had a room in my basement (not bright and a bit dingy). I wasn't happy there. Where do you all teach these classes? Do you rent a space, or at the library or at the person's home? I'd love to start up again, or do adult classes, but I don't know where to go and I don't have the right space to do it in my home.

thanks!

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