Do you try to avoid keeping up with the proverbial music teacher Jones’s?
Putting the blinders on and ignoring what other teachers are doing could be a big mistake.
Each year at around this time, we launch a survey to find out:
- What teachers are charging
- Where teachers are teaching
- How teachers are teaching
…plus other important details about all of you and, therefore, about our industry as a whole.
It’s important for us to have this data so that we can understand how to serve you. If we know what needs you have, we can provide the resources you crave.
But what’s in it for YOU? (Apart from helping make our resources better!)
Knowing what your local and global community of teachers is doing is actually really important for every music teacher to know.
If you’re already convinced, you’re welcome to fill out the survey right now. 🙂 Otherwise, keep reading...
Why should I care what other music teachers are doing?
Why Other Teachers’ Rates Matter
Locally, it matters what other teachers are charging because your potential students and families are going to compare your rates to theirs.
Hopefully they won’t make their choice based on rates alone. But it does matter.
It matters globally, too.
If we got every single music teacher to raise their rates by $1/€1/£1 (or the equivalent) at the exact same time, our industry as a whole would be a whole lot richer.
I’m not suggesting we do that – I think it would probably, maybe, break some laws – but if it did happen, almost all students would just accept that music lessons cost a little bit more.
It would affect their perception of what music lessons cost and what they’re worth.
Prices are emotional more than they are rational, and people come to expect certain prices based on what they’re used to.
This is why it matters if teachers undercut the local rates. And this is why you need to know what others are charging in similar areas around the world.
In this survey, we’ll break those fees down not just by country and state, but also by type of area. This way you can compare your rural community (or suburb or town) with other more similar communities. And if your area is particularly low across the board, maybe you’ll be empowered to raise it up.
Why Other Teachers’ Policies Matter
Let’s repeat the thought experiment from above, but this time, imagine that every teacher, all over the world, at the same time, changed their policies to stop offering make-up lessons under any circumstances. What do you think would happen?
No one would expect make-up lessons anymore. You would never again have to grit your teeth through that conversation.
This holds true for paying electronically, equal monthly fees, charging for recitals, etc.
I’m not here to make a judgement call on whether each of those things is good or bad. All I’m saying is that it’s good for everyone if we know what the norms are and what the trends are.
Why Other Teachers’ Backgrounds Matter
By background, I mean:
- Do they have a degree, diploma or certificate in teaching?
- Did their parents study music?
The data from both these questions will help us all make music education more inclusive.
The first question is an important one to tackle for all those who are experiencing a bit of imposter syndrome. Sometimes, they are too afraid to participate in professional development for fear of being called out.
Music teachers often have a winding journey which leads them into teaching, and that’s a-ok. We need to invite everyone to come out and learn with us if we want our industry to get stronger.
The answer to the second question (if it is, in fact, the answer I’m expecting) will make us all sit up and take note of how exclusive our community is. We need people from “non-musical” families to come join us. We need to develop lessons and studio setups which help us achieve that.
The first step to fixing our lack of diversity, though, is diagnosing just how homogeneous we really are.
Why it Matters What Other Teachers are Teaching
It might feel like everyone is a star improviser or amazing composition teacher. You might think everyone else feels super confident about how they teach rhythm (or reading, or chords, or…)
They aren’t. And they don’t.
On our survey, we make sure to also ask about the nitty-gritty of teaching. We want to know what people are teaching, how they’re teaching it and how they feel about teaching it.
Seeing the big picture of how other teachers are tracking in this area will help you step back and see your own teaching with less bias or insecurities.
It might also help you identify areas of teaching you haven’t yet explored, giving you an exciting new path of learning.
How You Can Help Us Find Out What Matters
I hope you see yourself as part of a global teaching community – not just an industry.
And I hope you see that, as a member of that community, YOU can make a difference. Please fill out the 2020 Instrument & Voice Teacher Survey by October 31, and pass it along to all your music teacher friends and colleagues. Our community will be stronger for it.