What Will My Lessons Cost?
I have long been concerned about the "taxicab meter" approach to billing for lessons. Frankly, I have never taught lessons "by the minute" in my life, and don't really want to start down that road.
Teaching studio voice has never been an empirically driven process for me. The learning environment in studio is a multi-dimensional space in which two individuals attempt to communicate on the subject of singing, a very personal artistic expression. There's very little about that process that is empirical in nature. For instance, although I can empirically describe the process of breath control to a student, in attempting to implement that process, a student has to first grasp it intellectually, then incorporate it physically, then commit to it personally. This process requires constant repetition that often exceeds the number of minutes left on the ticking meter. Paradoxically, it's the beginning student, the one who is likely to opt for a 30-minute lesson, who needs the most time, and all but the most advanced students who require regular weekly lessons to ensure that repetition is controlled and actually takes place.
How long a lesson should a student take? The answer to that question seems to depend upon the student. A beginning student will lose concentration more quickly than an advanced student whose need is more focused and whose motivation to learn is better grounded. Notwithstanding the fact that scheduling multiple students during the week will place certain practical constraints on the length of lessons, I'm proposing that duration reflect motivation to learn.
I assign each of my students to one of three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced, with cost pegged at $30, $40, and $50 respectively, regardless of the length of the lesson. All students, irrespective of background and preparation start at a "beginning" level. If a student is making progress that warrants assignment to a longer lesson slot, I will still bill you, not according to the number of scheduled minutes, but according to the level I have assigned.
For example: a "beginning" student may be taking a 45-minute lesson, the cost of which is still $30. Should an "intermediate" student be scheduled for a 75-minute lesson, I will still only bill you $40.
More importantly, should re-assignment to a more advanced level break your budget for music lessons, I will include a "discount" that will reduce the cost to a level that your budget can sustain throughout the year. Remember that I can assign a discount at any level if needed, so if you have concerns about cost, please let me know and I will be happy to create a discount that will work within your budget.