How Much do Piano Lessons Cost?
The Complete Guide to Piano Lesson Pricing
Marc Levesque 12/28/20 updated 10/21/21 • 4 min read
The Average Piano Lesson Cost:
Our piano lessons cost only $55 per hour while piano lessons generally cost between $40-$90 per hour, depending on the level of the teacher, the location, and whether the lessons are in-person or online. Some piano teachers without a music degree will charge as little as $30 an hour, and concert pianists with prizes from top music competitions might charge as much as $400!
We surveyed over 100 qualified piano teachers and found that the average price for a one-hour lesson is $72, although there are some sites such as Lesson With You that offer consistently lower prices while still having excellent piano teachers.
What Determines Piano Lesson Costs?
- Teacher Level
To determine how much to pay for piano lessons, it is important to figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
The most basic question is if you want your teacher to have a music degree or not. Teachers without music degrees tend to charge between $30-$40 per hour but they do not offer professional instruction.
Teachers who have a music degree that is not piano related, such as ones with a Bachelor’s in vocal/singing who have some piano skills, will often charge $30-$50 per hour. They generally have a solid understanding of music, but they do not have advanced piano performing abilities and are very limited in the technical instruction that they can provide. This increases the risk that they will teach beginners bad habits that will be harmful over time.
Ideally, the teacher will have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Piano, and lessons with those teachers range from $40-$90 on average, with teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate in piano typically charging $60-$90 per hour. It might seem like these teachers are only for advanced students, but it is best for beginners to learn to play piano the correct way from the beginning, so it is important to have a teacher who knows how to take you smoothly from a beginning to an advanced level without building any bad habits.
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- In-Person vs Online
Another factor in lesson costs is whether the piano lessons are in-person or online. Online lessons are generally the most affordable, with an average increase of about $10 for in-person lessons at a teacher’s studio, and a small additional increase to have the teacher visit your home.
In-person prices can vary widely though depending on the number of qualified teachers in your area. In order to find highly-qualified teachers at reasonable prices, online lessons will be your best bet.
- Recorded vs Live Lessons
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible piano lessons, there is the option of pre-recorded lessons. These are typically video or app-based lessons that aim to teach you basic piano abilities for a monthly fee. Unfortunately, the lessons cannot compare to the quality of live one-on-one lessons where the teacher can customize the material for you, give you live feedback on your playing in real time, and help you become better at practicing and performing.
Any student who is interested in becoming a capable pianist is better off looking for live one-on-one lessons, such as the $30 half hour lessons offered through Lesson With You.
What does a Professional Piano Teacher teach?
A teacher with formal, certified degrees in piano performance and piano pedagogy can provide detailed instructions on the technical and artistic aspects of music.
Professional teachers are able to give a precise live feedback on the student’s sitting position, arm and wrist position, and the shape of their hand and fingers on the keyboard. It is essential for the student to find the most comfortable yet stable position to play and practice piano in order to avoid muscle tension of your body.
Fingering is a basic technical element in piano playing which helps pianists to navigate smoothly between different notes. If you ever want to play fast or evenly, you will need great fingering.
Professional teachers are well trained in finding out the best fingering and are able to give the student live feedback to not only give them better fingering, but help students learn how to find great fingering on their own.
A good teacher can guide the student to read music thoroughly without missing the important details of the music.
There are countless musical details that contribute to a high-level performance, and it is essential for the teachers to remind pianists of tempo markings, dynamics, pedal markings, harmonies and the structure of the music in addition to learning how to read the notes on the page.
Backgrounds of music and composer
Professional pianists have immense knowledge in music and keyboard history and explain the backgrounds of composer and music to the student.
Having the historical knowledge of music makes a huge difference in piano performance interpretations, and various playing styles should adjust to match the various styles of the pieces themselves.
How to Find the Most Affordable Piano Lessons
To find the price of piano lessons, we surveyed over 100 teachers across our own site, Lesson With You, and two other major sites, Takelessons.com and Thumbtack.com, using a random zip code as the location. We specifically looked for teachers who have a degree in piano and teach lessons online.
Lesson With You has a set price of $55 per hour and is a far better deal than the two alternatives mentioned, and indeed the value is better than any other site we have found. Each piano teacher at Lesson With You has either a Master’s or Doctorate in piano, but the lessons are only $55 per hour, making the online piano lessons an incredible value.
Thumbtack had the highest average price among qualified teachers, at $83 per hour. Even finding a teacher who didn’t major in piano, such as one with a flute or violin degree, did not do much to lower the price. Sorting through the options, it quickly became apparent that many of the top teachers did not have formal education in music, and even those who had a music degree often did not have it for piano, despite charging high prices for music lessons.
Takelessons has a lower average price, at $64 among the teachers we surveyed. But like Thumbtack, many of the piano teachers listed either did not have a music degree or did not major in piano. Takelessons and Thumbtack both have a very large number of teachers, so surely there are some good deals, but finding teachers who’s education and prices matched that of the teachers at Lesson With You is difficult and time consuming.
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