Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

How Much For Organ Lessons?


innate
 Share

Recommended Posts

In the charging-for-organ-practice thread someone wrote: "The same applies to charging for the use of the organ for lessons: I've had three teachers in the last decade, none charging more than £10 a lesson. Two of them are FRCO, one of whom is an ex-Cambridge organ scholar. The suggested charge for use of the organ would double the price!"

 

I live in London and I suppose everything is more expensive here, but £10 a lesson seems remarkably cheap. My daughter's piano lessons are £24 and my wife charges £28 or £30 per hour pro rata. It's possible that these rates deter some from learning but music teachers should consider themselves professionals on a par with doctors and lawyers, in my opinion. As a performer I would be reluctant to work for less than £30 ph; £40 is what I would charge for coaching.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the charging-for-organ-practice thread someone wrote: "The same applies to charging for the use of the organ for lessons: I've had three teachers in the last decade, none charging more than £10 a lesson. Two of them are FRCO, one of whom is an ex-Cambridge organ scholar. The suggested charge for use of the organ would double the price!"

 

I live in London and I suppose everything is more expensive here, but £10 a lesson seems remarkably cheap. My daughter's piano lessons are £24 and my wife charges £28 or £30 per hour pro rata. It's possible that these rates deter some from learning but music teachers should consider themselves professionals on a par with doctors and lawyers, in my opinion. As a performer I would be reluctant to work for less than £30 ph; £40 is what I would charge for coaching.

 

 

I started off at school and we had a very good organist on the staff so that was part of my overall musical education. But I was paying £10.00 over twenty years ago in London. I was quoted £21.00 about fifteen years ago. I suppose an organist could feasibly charge for a lesson what he/she receives for a wedding, but pro-rata. Although a wedding ceremony only lasts about an hour, there is the before and after stuff to do which takes it to about two hours realistically. And then there is travel (fortunately I live in the my parish so this is not an issue). A wedding fee of £75.00 for this could thus be shaved down to about £40 for a lesson, assuming an hour's worth of teaching.

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the past year I have had three lessons from three teachers, all of whom are regarded as top organists. One of them teaches through the St Giles School.

 

Their rates were between £40 - £50 per hour.

 

Not an hour of the minute was wasted - they were really committed to teaching from first to last.

 

I regard these rates as entirely reasonable and would be surprised to learn of anyone decent charging much less than this.

 

M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the past year I have had three lessons from three teachers, all of whom are regarded as top organists. One of them teaches through the St Giles School.

 

Their rates were between £40 - £50 per hour.

 

Not an hour of the minute was wasted - they were really committed to teaching from first to last.

 

I regard these rates as entirely reasonable and would be surprised to learn of anyone decent charging much less than this.

 

M

 

I guess that it just depends what your motive for teaching is... making a living or something else. My organ teacher was superb and at least two of his pupils went on to be university lecturers in music - one in Bristol, the other in Cardiff. He had suffered a huge nervous breakdown in the 1960s and had to retire from teaching in a primary school. Following a lengthy spell in hospital with ECT and the horrors of that treatment, he was totally shattered and subject to hideous bouts of depression which could last for days or even weeks. When I started to learn the organ with him (1977), his fee was £1 a week. A lesson would start at 7.30pm (after homework was done) and I may get home by around 10-ish. This was not all however, because I could be "required" to show up for lessons several times a week - so the tuition was extremely intense. A day-off from a lesson was considered practice time. He would flatly refuse any more payment than the £1 per week - but his authority was absolute, and the teaching was as good as one could get. Until I started lessons with him I had no thoughts of going to university, no interest in schooling - if my school report was not good, I would have to face my parents - but worse still was accounting for myself in front of my organ teacher! I may have studied with good teachers since, but none were better.

 

Why did he do this? Love of teaching, desire to share his knowledge, delight in the success of pupils, no need for money, lonely and enjoying the company ... there could be all sorts of reasons. But I would say that there is a lot more to it than the money. I reckon that the gift he gave to me was priceless, and I really don't know if I shall see his likes again.

 

So M, you will forgive me if I take exception to your last sentence.

 

Q

Link to comment
Share on other sites

£10 for a lesson does seem remarkably cheap if this was an hourly rate. However for most organists a fee of £30-£40 an hour would be quite unrealistic.

 

What you can charge depends on two things: 1) who you are and 2) where you are. Perhaps such rates are possible in London, but elsewhere I would suggest that, unless you are of sufficient repute to attract pupils from a very wide area, you will be unable to charge significantly more than other instrumental teachers in your area. Where I live, £25 an hour would be pushing it, though it would be comparable to what I have paid for osteopathy and physiotherapy and other forlorn attempts to keep my body functioning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

£10 for a lesson does seem remarkably cheap if this was an hourly rate. However for most organists a fee of £30-£40 an hour would be quite unrealistic.

 

What you can charge depends on two things: 1) who you are and 2) where you are. Perhaps such rates are possible in London, but elsewhere I would suggest that, unless you are of sufficient repute to attract pupils from a very wide area, you will be unable to charge significantly more than other instrumental teachers in your area. Where I live, £25 an hour would be pushing it, though it would be comparable to what I have paid for osteopathy and physiotherapy and other forlorn attempts to keep my body functioning.

Recently I paid £60 for a first session with a cranial osteopath in London. Were I to return the rate would be £50 an hour. I think some top-rank instrumental and singing teachers charge at least £60; for some singing teachers you may have to pay for the pianist as well. I suspect for musicians that don't derive most of their income from teaching, setting a high rate will discourage the less-motivated; on the other hand, the poor student might well be taught on a pro bono basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

setting a high rate will discourage the less-motivated

Well, as far as potential organists go that's everyone down here. A recent attempt to interest people in taking up the organ with some fairly extensive advertising which included all schools and churches in the area produced precisely two new pupils. There were undoubtedly things wrong with the marketing and the lack of any truly exciting organ in the city may be partly to blame too, but the main problem is that the organ is seen as seriously "uncool".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Barry Williams

Perhaps other reasons are that the church is seen as a bad employer and, when trained, organists are often asked to play seriously defective music to tawdry lyrics, rather than quality compositions.

 

Barry Williams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps other reasons are that the church is seen as a bad employer and, when trained, organists are often asked to play seriously defective music to tawdry lyrics, rather than quality compositions.

 

Barry Williams

 

...........and on occasions on instruments in serious need of money spent on them or unworthy immitations.

 

AJJ

 

PS Where I work - the largest uptake for instrumental tuition next term by a long way is for Guitar, closely followed by Singing and then Piano/Keyboard - the orchestral instruments (despite encouragement etc.) are less popular. Organ I am afraid does not figure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Barry Williams

My experience has been that the drive to get an synthetic organ often comes from the organist, who desires a large number of superficially impressive stops. When he or she moves on, others are markedly reluctant to take up a post with an artificial instrument, often not voiced properly and carelessly installed.

 

A good pipe organ, in working order, is always an attraction to organists, as is a parochial desire for good music, with a supportive cleric.

 

Barry Williams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps other reasons are that the church is seen as a bad employer

I doubt it very much. People these days have very little concept of what the church actually does or is like - though of course everyone is an expert on religion while knowing sod all about it. I think a large part of the problem is that the organ is seen as being inextricably bound to the church and therefore wholly irrelevant - even slightly loony.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

£10 for a lesson does seem remarkably cheap if this was an hourly rate. However for most organists a fee of £30-£40 an hour would be quite unrealistic.

 

What you can charge depends on two things: 1) who you are and 2) where you are. Perhaps such rates are possible in London, but elsewhere I would suggest that, unless you are of sufficient repute to attract pupils from a very wide area, you will be unable to charge significantly more than other instrumental teachers in your area. Where I live, £25 an hour would be pushing it, though it would be comparable to what I have paid for osteopathy and physiotherapy and other forlorn attempts to keep my body functioning.

Vox,

 

I think you've correctly reflected widely held views. To those that truly hold them I have two questions:

 

1 How much do you pay per hour for a mechanic or a plumber?

 

2 Many threads here indirectly bemoan that the world doesn't take us seriously. If we believe we aren't worth at least as much as a mechanic or plumber why should anyone else??

 

Our current 'home' teaching rate is £32/hr due to go up to £33 in January and we have a waiting list. Mind you dental hygenists/podiatrists etc are £50-60/hr.....

 

Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...