June 26th, 2017

How to Let Them Know Your Rate is Going Up, Part 1

The topic of money is never easy to discuss, especially with your students and parents. I consider your private lesson rates, lesson cancellation issues, and practice issues to be the top 3 challenges we have to deal with as private music teachers.

This was never easy for me. I’ve had to raise my private lesson rates several times through the years. No matter how many times you do it, it never gets easier. Rather than see it as a painful experience, here are some tips to help you do it professionally, smoothly and feel good about it.

  1. Schedule your rate increase on your marketing calendar. Exactly how far in the future should you schedule the increase? There is no right answer to this. I have found that my One-on-One Coaching clients get the best results when they schedule it a few months into the future. Regardless, be sure to write it in your calendar. When you write it down, it becomes real. Now you have something to look forward to.
  2. Let your students know that the rates are going up on a specific dates. Be sure to emphasize that you wanted them to know ahead of time. This way, they can plan for it. You’ll be surprised by how much they will appreciate your consideration.
  3. Let them know your reasons for the rate increase. Almost everyone can sympathize with an increase in the cost of living, price of gas, or an increase in rent. Other reasons can include a new certification or specialty.
  4. As the date gets closer, remind them about it. Usually, anyone who has an objection will have told you by now.
  5. Be prepared to handle objections. There is no right way to handle objections. I guarantee you that you will have them. In Part 2, I am going to address handling objections in great detail.

The important thing to remember is that you are worth it an increase in pay.

When was the last time you increased your private lesson rate?

About Mike Veny

Mike Veny has written 26 articles on this website.

Mike Veny is a professional drummer in New York City. He has been happy playing drums since 1989. He performs with Sean 360x & the universoul spiRitual Ankhestra alongside Ramsey Jones of the Wu-Tang Clan family. Sean 360x is a MySpace chartopping artist & has been #1 on the ReverbNation Electronica/Dance charts for over 16 weeks. He also performs with Kim Oler, an Emmy Award winning composer for ABC’s All My Children, As the World Turns,The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Guiding Light.

  • Kim

    I hate to say it but I have not raised my lesson rate in over 3 years. I had increased it when I finished my finished my masters degree and then increased again a few years ago using gas prices as the reason. In this economy it is difficult to think of raising fees but I know I should do it again eventually.

  • I think of rate increases as a good thing. 1. I now rent a studio & my students love being able to really sing their hearts out. 2. It increases the perceived value of the lessons I give & I seem to attract really serious singers now which in turn makes my job even more musically fun! 3. It buys me time to record more, write more & do all the creative stuff too…

    • Mike Veny

      Thanks Chip! Rate increases really are good for everyone involved. I checked out your site. Looks great!

  • I've raised my prices in the past. I agree, it is never a comfortable thing to do. However, I agree with you that giving my students advance notice that this is going to happen, really helps. I also tell them, "I'm raising the cost of lessons by $2.00, and that means an $8.00 increase per month for you." That helped because just saying, "I'm raising my prices" freaked some people out. But stating exactly how much the increase affects them made things better.

    • Mike Veny

      That's a really good point. It's better to be specific. Also, being that it is such an uncomfortable conversation, it's a good idea to rehearse it and get yourself comfortable. Thank you so much for your feedback.