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!