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#3183248 01/07/22 07:55 PM
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If you teach multiple kids in the same family, do you give their parents a discount? If so, how much (percentage or so?)

I’m new to teaching on my own and not for a studio, and I haven’t had siblings yet, but someone asked if I could teach both of their kids.

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Tough call. Many teachers do this; I don't. My lesson fee is my lesson fee.

However, I believe siblings in general should not study with the same private music teacher at all.

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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Tough call. Many teachers do this; I don't. My lesson fee is my lesson fee.

However, I believe siblings in general should not study with the same private music teacher at all.

thumb my sister and I studied with the same teacher—- and it was a living nightmare for my family… and not from anything the teacher did or did not do. I would recommend only teaching one of them; If you must teach both, I would make the lessons very different, including different method books.

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Interesting question. I never give a discount for siblings.

One time, I taught six children from the same family. The mother thought I was very expensive, and after only five months, she decided to go with somebody from their church. They were also paying for all six children to take violin lessons. The simple solution for them would have been to pick only the most interested or most talented children for either instrument. If I would have charged 60% of my rate, I might have retained them longer. But, I think it's better to stick with your price.

Just explain it's not fair to your other students because you charge based on the time you teach.

Incidentally, I also don't give away many extra minutes. Otherwise, students who need 45 minutes will never bump up from 30 minutes.

Last edited by Candywoman; 01/10/22 01:21 AM.
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A discount for sibs has a kind of logic only if the teacher visits the family, so that teaching multiple people in one location would save the teacher travel time and expense.

When students come to the teacher, I don't see why there would be a discount. I don't think you need to explain anything. It's just your policy and the fee for your time.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
If you must teach both, I would make the lessons very different, including different method books.

Yes, this can work. Your goal is to keep comparisons between siblings out of it. Plus it's fun to teach from different methodologies: keeps you fresh.

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I do for a few, since I offered this when I was trying to get new students and it's a good "Promotional" draw....but in principal, no, and I don't anymore.

Your time is your time, no matter who is using it. An hour is not shorter or worth less just because you're teaching somebody's sister. Parents know when they have kids that having another one will equal twice the cost of having one, and should plan for this. Especially (at least in my case),as MOST of my private studio consists of siblings, if I did this I would effectively be lowering my hourly rate most of the time.

It also helps to realize -- in a certain perspective - piano teaching can actually be viewed as the lowest paid profession on earth in proportion to how many hours we have put into gaining our skills! Think about it -- a doctor, lawyer, accountant, private equity manager, etc --- they being their hardcore training (3-5 hours a day of study, etc) in grad school or college at the earliest. Pianists do this starting from high school, middle school (often earlier), and some of us continue up to a DMA. Which other profession requires this type of longevity in its training and only commands 40-70/hour, along with zero health or retirement benefits? Realize how much we are actually losing and much you are really worth, and it'll help you have guts to charge more smile It did for me.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 01/21/22 03:57 PM.
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Your time is your time, no matter who is using it...

Realize how much we are actually losing and much you are really worth, and it'll help you have guts to charge more smile It did for me.

I'm strictly a consumer of piano teacher services, and could not agree more!


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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Your time is your time, no matter who is using it...

Realize how much we are actually losing and much you are really worth, and it'll help you have guts to charge more smile It did for me.

I'm strictly a consumer of piano teacher services, and could not agree more!


Agreed! The way I view it, your Dr’s office doesn’t give you a discount for each additional member of your family—- until they do, piano teachers shouldn’t either


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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
If you teach multiple kids in the same family, do you give their parents a discount? If so, how much (percentage or so?)

I’m new to teaching on my own and not for a studio, and I haven’t had siblings yet, but someone asked if I could teach both of their kids.


I think if you know the family personally, you could give them like 2/5% discount. Teaching the kids should be your main objective here. But then again if they ( family) respect your work, they should pay you in full.

If you think giving them a discount would be financial devastation, Then I would suggest openly communicating with the parents or just saying you teach one at a time, keeps the lesson quality top noched.

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Originally Posted by Emily121
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
If you teach multiple kids in the same family, do you give their parents a discount? If so, how much (percentage or so?)

I’m new to teaching on my own and not for a studio, and I haven’t had siblings yet, but someone asked if I could teach both of their kids.


I think if you know the family personally, you could give them like 2/5% discount. Teaching the kids should be your main objective here. But then again if they ( family) respect your work, they should pay you in full.

If you think giving them a discount would be financial devastation, Then I would suggest openly communicating with the parents or just saying you teach one at a time, keeps the lesson quality top noched.


I think you’re suggesting a 40% discount? My math may be a little rusty. 😸. Personally , I don’t think most teachers are paid enough, even without a discount.


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I've never given sibling discounts. I've also been asked if I would give a military discount, and I declined to do that, as well.

That said, I have given certain discounts before. A number of years ago, when my studio was smaller, I had a loyal high school student taking 45-minute lessons who took a strong interest in both performing and composing. I asked her mom to consider upping her time to 75 minutes a week, and offered something like a 20% discount off what would have been the proportional tuition rate increase. I also told them they could lock in at that tuition level for the two years the student had left of high school.

The mom accepted, and we all happily stayed with that plan for my student's remaining time in piano/composition lessons until she went to college. It was beneficial for all of us -- the student got the extended lesson time she needed, the parents got a tuition break, and I had a delightfully ample amount of time to go in-depth with this young lady's studies; the time flew and was so enjoyable to me!

Other discounts I've given include one month's tuition reduction (by 50%) for referring a student to me who subsequently signs on. That's a one-time discount per referral, not ongoing. That's a good way to build up your studio numbers when you're first starting out, if you can afford that.

Bottom line: be very intentional in what, if any, discounts you offer; think through why to offer them.

Consider how long any discount you offer would be in effect. A sibling discount would affect your income for as long as a family has multiple siblings studying with you. That could be years.

On the other hand, if you have, say, a materials fee and you really want to offer families some sort of discount, maybe you could give a certain percentage off the cost of new books when a student or family first enrolls in your studio.

A one-time reduction in fee would be recouped after a family has been with you a fairly short time. An ongoing fee reduction for multiple siblings, however, would result in monetary loss for you for as long as two or more children from the family stay with you. The timetable is out of your hands in that scenario.

You don't want to set up something like that and then later find out you can't afford it. Analyze and plan ahead as much as possible to determine how generous you can afford to be.

Good luck!

Last edited by Andamento; 01/22/22 09:05 PM.
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Originally Posted by Emily121
I think if you know the family personally, you could give them like 2/5% discount. Teaching the kids should be your main objective here. But then again if they ( family) respect your work, they should pay you in full.

If you think giving them a discount would be financial devastation, Then I would suggest openly communicating with the parents or just saying you teach one at a time, keeps the lesson quality top noched.

I disagree with the discount. It is an equal amount of work. The lesson quality should always be "top notch" in any case, because anything less is to the detriment to the student. Whether the teacher is hard up financially, or doing well financially, should not play a role. This is how this person makes their living. If the family is known personally, this can make professional relationships awkward, esp. around money, but the teacher should stay with regular fees.

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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
If you teach multiple kids in the same family, do you give their parents a discount? If so, how much (percentage or so?)

I’m new to teaching on my own and not for a studio, and I haven’t had siblings yet, but someone asked if I could teach both of their kids.

Even paying for one child can be expensive for a family so here’s a suggestion:

Teach the children (I’m assuming two here) alternate weeks — you’re not discounting but it makes it easier for the parents. Yes, the kids need to practice but don’t they anyway?

If they are really young it may be enough at first to teach each one for 15 minutes.

The advantage for you: honestly able to say you never give discounts.

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Originally Posted by Emily121
I think if you know the family personally, you could give them like 2/5% discount

I have reread Emily's post a few times, and I have a hunch what she was suggesting was to offer a two percent to a five percent discount. If so, that's not a bad idea: just a slight discount as a gesture to a family already established with your studio, but not enough to hurt your income.

I.e., it would represent just a couple of dollars off of a lesson, and perhaps just on child #2, not on both children.

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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted by Emily121
I think if you know the family personally, you could give them like 2/5% discount

I have reread Emily's post a few times, and I have a hunch what she was suggesting was to offer a two percent to a five percent discount. If so, that's not a bad idea: just a slight discount as a gesture to a family already established with your studio, but not enough to hurt your income.

I.e., it would represent just a couple of dollars off of a lesson, and perhaps just on child #2, not on both children.


On as $50 lesson, that would be $1-$2.50
I would not want think offering a $1 discount would be appropriate— couldn’t that seem insulting ?


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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Emily121
I think if you know the family personally, you could give them like 2/5% discount. Teaching the kids should be your main objective here. But then again if they ( family) respect your work, they should pay you in full.

If you think giving them a discount would be financial devastation, Then I would suggest openly communicating with the parents or just saying you teach one at a time, keeps the lesson quality top noched.

I disagree with the discount. It is an equal amount of work. The lesson quality should always be "top notch" in any case, because anything less is to the detriment to the student. Whether the teacher is hard up financially, or doing well financially, should not play a role. This is how this person makes their living. If the family is known personally, this can make professional relationships awkward, esp. around money, but the teacher should stay with regular fees.

I agree with keystring.
Of course you could always teach for free, but it wouldn't pay the bills.


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My long-time families have ended up with a "discount" because the older sibling became more advanced and got more lesson time which I charged for but did not increase the longer lesson time tuition at the same pace as shorter lesson time tuition. I also haven't had any families exceed 1 hour and 15 minutes or 3 children. By the time a family needs 1 hour and 30 minutes, I'll have to decide whether to charge as three 30's or two 45's.

Also, my students get considerable value outside their direct "lesson time" (review and feedback of their practice videos, recorded demos from me, ensemble groups, performance events), so I don't actually want my rate scaled proportionally by face lesson time. They pay for the extras/bundle whether or not they take active advantage of my expertise.

If asked about a sibling discount by a new family, I'd explain that I don't start two beginner siblings both at full lesson schedule but they will get there as their practice and skills allow. They can consider that a "discount" if they like because more time isn't necessarily useful at that stage and therefore I don't want to charge for full time and be obligated to fill up the time with "filler teaching".


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