An annual enrollment fee is standard for most children's extra curricular activities. Piano/music lessons should be no exception.
What does this fee cover?
- Music costs. The bulk of the fee is for music. One song on Music.Notes.com is almost $6. Multiple this times four songs throughout the year and you're almost at $25. A theory book is about $8, a lesson book is about $8, Christmas books are probably $12-15 if they have popular music in them and then you have printed music such as from PianoPronto.com that has paper, ink and time involved. The assignment binder is probably $20 annually with all of the assignment sheets and colorful copies of materials. Our students on average, use approximately $75-90 on music each year alone. It goes quickly!
- Recitals. The cost for venue rental is usually pretty high. We typically pay $100 per performance anywhere we go, unless it's the local university, which is almost $1000.
- Online Scheduling Access. Our Content Management System (CMS) is StudioHelper, which I have found to be a great program. It's also an investment each month that I find to be useful and very much "worth it." Each parent can log in at any time to view schedule, or pay their invoice. It's peace of mind.
- Apps. It's important to stay up-to-date. We pay for a monthly subscription to PianoMaestro for children who use this, this app alone is $20/month per month.
- Materials. It's important to have visually appealing materials (in my opinion.) The cost of each binder per year is about $15 because we use full color in many of our documents. For each student, we use:
- a binder which includes a front cover
- beautiful practice card in full color
- a Bingo card in full color
- repertoire list for each student in full color
- new assignment sheet each week
- printed programs for recitals.
Ultimately, by charging an annual fee, you are accounting for materials costs and some of your time. It's far more enjoyable to NOT have to create a new line item and keep track of sales tax.
Determining Your Fee:
Step 1: Add up the expenses you incurred for your most advanced student.
Step 2: Add up the expenses you incurred for your most beginning student.
Step 3: Find the difference, and add 20%. This will account for an average of your expenses per student.
Another suggestion would be raising your AE fee for advanced students, or if they need an expensive Beethoven Sonata book, simply ask the parent to purchase the one book. Anything over $40 and I make it clear to the parents it's not included in their fee. We can look at a less expensive alternative, but it's not going to be as good.
Try it and see how it goes!