Money is a result of time, focus and hard labour. And so I thought today’s blog post would mainly cover the financial cost of guitar lessons per term.
This is particularly for those that want a short description of the options available in the music education landscape, particularly first-timers!
There is no right or wrong answer, but I will justify why Leaders of Rock has delivered private lessons at-home.
We will use a template of 30 minute lesson when differentiating each case. All table values are based on average contractor price, which is based on experience, profit margin to cover lease and overhead expenses, and most importantly, your willingness to pay.
Case 1: Take time outside of school to learn guitar
If Alexandra goes to primary school, she may be offered to take instrumental lessons at school, often offered in group sessions.
A group lesson usually costs around $17/head/ 30-min lesson, with lessons delivered in groups of 2 or more.*
Content covered in each lesson is usually derived from the AMEB or ANZCA curriculum. Alex, along with her classmates, will learn a set amount of material in order to perform at the end of term concert. She may be exposed to opportunities within the school such as singing and playing in a band with no extra charge.
What Alex may not receive, on the other hand, is one-to-one face-time developing her technique. Time taken out of her lunchtime to complete lessons may make her weary, and want to switch off straight after school. She may not like what she’s playing, and so her passion for music diminishes slowly.
I used to complete guitar lessons at secondary school, and there were definitely times where I wasn’t present with the music I was playing; I wanted to play metal instead of classical music – but it wasn’t on the list for VCE!
Being socially awkward, I enjoyed being one-to-one with my teacher instead of group lessons. I could ask more questions, and laugh a bit more.
Funny story: the last guitar teacher I had ate curry in front of me whilst we had lunchtime lessons. Ew, never again!
Case 2: Take guitar lessons at music store / music school
Alexandra may be tempted by all the music instruments at her local music store, and discover she can have lessons with that rock chick behind the counter.
Having guitar lessons at a physical location (music school) can have some serious benefits.
It gives the student the chance to dream, as they are surrounded by all things music. Music teachers at a physical school tends to be more relaxed, and have more of a live music-style of teaching: only learn what is necessary, and perform as much as possible!
At the music school, Alexandra may learn in three ways: she may learn guitar in tablature, sheet music or both. Before she takes her lesson, she has to sit with Mum at reception to wait, which brings me to my next point: waiting time.
When I took lessons at my first guitar school, I often had to wait overtime for my lessons in reception. At the time, there was no wi-fi, and the rooms were not completely soundproofed. I also noticed Mum’s frustrations as we waited in traffic along the way to music class, and she was less inclined to cook me Chicken Rice, and instead got KFC for dinner. Aiyo!
The price you pay for lesson quality can vary from $35-$65 a 30 min lesson.
Case 3: Take guitar lessons at home
The last option is favourable if Alexandra does too many after-school activities. She wants some time to be at home, whilst being more engaged in learning.
This is usually a great option if your child is slightly sensitive, i.e if too many loud noises or group involvement leaves her a bit lost, and retracting into her own privacy.
I find that students who choose this option have more intention in learning an instrument. It was them that said to Mum: ‘I want guitar lessons’. You may have noticed this in your children if they sing incessantly in the car to Flashlight, or jamming to Smoke On The Water.
Music is such a strong form of art and play, and I find that I laugh with students a lot more when we play music, and not work it.
The majority of guitar students I teach span for 45 minutes. The reason behind this, is the receptiveness of students to large amounts of content, and the keen nature of their learning. It is also based on consultation with the parent in regards to the child’s attention span, bed times, homework times, and interest in playing music. I really enjoy the one-to-one style of teaching, and plan to continue doing this; however, I am considering different options to scale this passion – such as lessons at my home studio, and online guitar lessons.
This leads me to introduce one of the cons of teaching at someone else’s home: distractions.
As a guitar teacher, I’ve needed to be aware when Alexandra is on her iPad, and be firm in drawing her back into the lesson. Previously I’ve also noticed a change in body language when a student is not fully present in the lesson, and this wastes my time as well as theirs. In this case, I’ll consult you in possibly shortening the lesson, coming to my house instead, or express that she doesn’t want to learn guitar anymore.
Prices that competitors charge may vary: from $17-$45. There is also a large discrepancy in curriculum, as many guitar teachers choose one of the two approaches: ‘play songs and learn tab’, or ‘play sheet music and be classically trained’.
I incorporate multiple approaches in my teaching through weekly testing, and seeing what students are receptive to.
- Buy a guitar if you want to take guitar lessons. Instead of hiring, try at the music store, and let the store-person choose the right guitar for you.
- If you want to trade time for money, take guitar lessons at school. This is the most affordable option in music education; however, group learning is not always the best way to learn technique.
- If you want to trade money for quality, take guitar lessons at a private studio or music store. Kids learn best when it is one-to-one tuition, but may be impatient in waiting.
- If you want to trade money for quality and time, take guitar lessons at home – Kids get a more intimate learning experience, but are susceptible to distractions and the loose nature of the learning environment.
- Keep your teacher accountable by expressing your interest about what your child is learning at school.
Has this article helped you make better decisions about your child’s musical education?
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