BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Cost of Music Lessons
Berkeley Parents Network >
Classes & Lessons >
Cost of Music Lessons
I'd like to hear some current info on the cost of piano lessons. I know it can
vary between whether the instructor comes to your home or you go their studio. Some of
the older information indicated it's usually $1/min, i.e. 45 lesson is
$45. Is that still the case? And I understand some teachers are charging a flat
rate per month and if you can't make up lessons they must be forfeited. For
example $250/month. Thanks for any current experiences you have.
I was just looking into this recently and here is what I found for three different
settings for 30 minute lessons (please forgive any arithmetic errors):
1. Instructor comes to our house: $220/month, works out to $44-55/lesson depending
on whether there are 4 or 5 lessons in any particular month
2. We go to piano studio: $180/month, works out to $36-45/lesson
3. We go to community music school/center: $592/semester (16 weeks), works out to
Good luck! Please post what you learn, too - current comparisons would be helpful!
Since our piano teacher dropped our child because of failure to practice
sufficiently, I have been keeping an eye on music school recommendations.
I've so far seen two posts here directly from the Musically Minded
academy, whose physical location is quite convenient for us. I am looking
for unbiased recommendations, because the previous posts have all been
from the school itself. I looked at their website and was surprised by
the lesson rates there, although perhaps I'm just behind the times. They
charge $76 for a one-hour lesson, unless you commit to the year (sort of
like a health club?), in which case it's still more than $300 per month.
Our previous teacher charged $60 for an hour. Was he just cheap, or do
this school's teachers really have some special sort of credentials that
makes them worth upwards of eighty bucks an hour? We consider music
lessons very important and are willing to pay sky high-ish rates if truly
worth it, but don't want to commit to a year somewhere without being sure
about it. Any (unbiased) input is greatly appreciated. (Almost forgot to
mention: they have movie nights for kids, which if truly music-related,
seem to bolster their website's claim that they have some sort of
complete program. So looking for input on that as well. So far I don't
see any music connection and these evenings look like they are offering
babysitting, which seems unusual at a serious music school...)
The price quoted for piano lessons seems over the top on any
account. Especially in this economy, it seems out of line.
Why don't you check the roster of the Music Teachers
Association of California (Alameda Branch) that covers
teachers in Berkeley, El Cerrito, Albany, Oakland, and
Richmond. There's also a San Francisco branch, etc. or go to
Teach Street.com and check Bay area listings.
I would advise going
to the school and asking to observe some lessons, though of course an
administrator can pick and choose which lessons a parent can observe.
It also helps to talk directly to some parents, if that is at all
The other consideration is what you want for your child. Talk to
someone at the school and listen to what the school stresses. Then
say what YOU want and see if the school listens.
I am a music teacher in the east bay with degrees in music and
performing credits. I have not had any direct experience with Musically
Minded Academy. But I would echo the previous comments that the rates
there, which are listed as $76 for an hour lesson (and a whopping %51
for half hour) are warranted in very few circumstances, such as when
the instructors have a very high degree of gravitas in the music
community, which is the case, for example at the Jazzschool (some of
the teachers there charge this much, but most are well-known musicians,
and not a small number of them are actually internationally known).
Contrary to Musically Minded's website claims that their teachers are
well-known in the music community, this is not my experience (and I'm
pretty well-connected). Their website claims to provide other benefits
besides just the lessons, for example, recitals. But actually, every
independent music teacher I know personally provides recital
opportunities for their students. So I would echo the previous
commenters that these rates are not reasonable. Without wanting to
review the school negatively (which I can't do since I've had no direct
experience there), I would venture the opinion that they seem to be
trying to take advantage of their upscale Rockridge location.
Oakland music teacher
Thank you for your interest in Musically Minded Academy. So many
neighbors like yourself have been curious about what we offer here.
Our programs are unique and we understand that many questions arise
when comparing them to traditional music study.
Here is a section that may clarify your questions about our full
program and some other information to help you assess the value of
One important thing to understand is that we are not only a music
school, we are also a community center. In addition to offering our
own programs, we also host many other organizations and community
events, such as the "Music Together" program, "Take My Word For It"
creative writing classes and camps, private parties, film viewings
and movie nights, to name a few. We are a California 501(c)3
non-profit organization and our mission is to provide high quality
music education, to host concerts and other arts-related education
programs, and to act as a haven for musicians and music lovers in
the greater East Bay Area.
Our family has been part of the Musically Minded Academy for
the past 2.5 years. In our experience, the teachers have
been worth every penny. My son, daughter and husband all
take lessons with 3 different teachers (2 piano, 1 guitar).
And, if you look at the rates of the most prestigious
teachers in this area, the rates of the MMA are comparable
for a one hour lesson. The main thing that separates MMA
from other piano programs is that your children will have
many opportunities to play their instruments with other
children. The recitals are like fun family events where kids
play solo, in duet with their friends, or in ensemble with
their parent and a bunch of kids. The piano teachers
especially encourage the kids to sing along with their
playing...a skill that is often overlooked in most
traditional piano programs. We have many friends who have
taken violin lessons here too and are very happy. anon
I'm wondering what a reasonable rate for Piano lessons is? We
live in Piedmont and we are interested in starting piano lessons
for my 7 year old son. The rates I've been quoted are all over
the map. I am open to having someone come to our house (if they
are willing to teach on a keyboard as opposed to a full size
piano) or can drive him to Piedmont, Crocker Highlands,
Montclair, Rockridge. any insight that you can provide would be
I pay $45/lesson to my son's piano teacher who comes to our home
weekly. That is a wonderful convenience if you have other
children. The lessons are 45 minutes.
We pay $35/30 minutes, once/wk.
I checked the archives but the latest advice was from 2002. Can anyone
tell me what the going rate is for a music instruction? I have a 7
year old taking saxophone lessons in Oakland. Does it make a
difference if they come to you or you go to them?
Many thanks for the input.
The going rate for piano and voice lessons is aprox. $75.00
per hour. Hope this helps.
my 5-year old does 1/2 hour private violin lessons for $25,
with the expectation of another 1/2 hour group lesson every
week for $25. we go to the teacher's house.
Virginia, mama to a violin (sort of) virtuoso!
We pay $30 for a weekly 1/2 hour saxophone lesson at our
instructor's office in Lafayette.
My son takes a 45 minute trumpet lessons in our home (in
Moraga). The teacher charges $45 per lesson.
My daughter takes a 45 minute piano lesson once a week in
the teacher's home (in Orinda). The teacher charges $195 per
month, regardless of whether it is a 4- or 5-lesson month. I
did the math, and it also works out to $45 per lesson.
It is expensive to live in the Bay area and it trickles down
to music lessons too.
It also depends on if they are group or individual lessons,
although lately it seems group lessons are not that much
less expensive. If they come to your house you are
responsible for their drive time and mileage over and above
My daughter has taken piano lessons for about 9 years now
and we pay $200. per month - for a one hour individual
lesson per week. Before we were paying about $180. per
month for a group lesson with 2 or 3 kids in the class. My
daughter prefers the individual lesson. The previous piano
teacher said that group lessons help develop the musical ear
and beat better, hmmmm not sure I agree totally.
love the music
this page was last updated: Dec 7, 2013
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network