What is the most you would pay for lessons?

May 29, 2010 at 05:58 PM ·

Just wondering what is the most per hour you would pay for lessons from an excellent teacher.....or what is the most you've paid for lessons in the past? Or, what is the highest rate a very good teacher should charge, in your opinion. Okay, so that is three questions.........! We were quoted a certain amount for lessons, and wondered if it was extrordinary, and how much more we can expect to pay as skill advances.........


Replies (25)

May 29, 2010 at 06:11 PM ·

 The most I have payed for an hour lesson was $50 from the concert mistress of our 50,000 people town's symphony.

May 29, 2010 at 08:17 PM ·

Up to at least $60.00 per hour  for a community wide acknowledged top teacher  in a large southern city would be expected.  We have paid a college age violinist and former student of current violin teacher $20 to $30 dollars per hour to tutor on scales ,specific pieces , etc  before specific performances.

May 29, 2010 at 11:02 PM ·

Big city - ~$60 for 'regular' lessons.  Lesson from a visiting prof - $125.  And no, it was not worth it.

However, I would pay twice the 'regular' rate, and perhaps more for lessons from a virtuoso...


May 30, 2010 at 01:26 AM ·

Here in NYC 1 hour lessons can range up to around $250. Of course, that is with a VERY good violinist haha.

For a conservatory-trained violinist in Manhattan with at least a graduate degree from another major conservatory, it is around $100-120/h

Price largely depends on the education of the teacher and what schools they attended, your location, and how good YOU are. If you're on a high level, getting a private teacher is like an applying to music schools. You have to play for them, get accepted, and possibly receive some sort of aid.

May 31, 2010 at 07:37 PM ·

Wow, we had no idea. Actually, when our son went into music and showed talent some  years ago, we had no clue what we were in for as far as the cost of lessons, instruments, accompanists, etc. So, the better you get, the more costlier it gets. And if you are really talented, lessons are incredibly expensive. So how does one do it.........I mean get to a super high level without being super rich? Do a lot of really talented people who have been working hard for years fall to the wayside because they can't afford lessons and everything  when it gets very expensive?

May 31, 2010 at 08:21 PM ·

I know one person paying $100 (CDN)/hr. for lessons with one of the top players in the top orch. in Montreal

May 31, 2010 at 10:40 PM ·

It probably depends a lot on location. Here in New York high school kids get away with charging $40/h.... Gotta love craigslist :/

June 1, 2010 at 04:49 AM ·

I suppose it depends on how devoted you are and how devoted a teacher you'd like to have!

June 1, 2010 at 05:06 AM ·

 Laurie brings up a good point.  If you find a teacher that charges very little compared to the others in your area, it probably means they do it as a side hobby and may not stick around for the the long run.

June 1, 2010 at 05:43 AM ·

I mean get to a super high level without being super rich?


you can, well I think you can :)

I have a great teacher with loads of experience who's been the concert master of 2 highly placed professional orchestras, has done masterclasses, studied with one of the greatest, etc etc  he loves teaching and charges different rates for different levels and requirements and he teaches full time now in his 'later part of life'.  So for 'ordinary people' like me, that I am only at about level 7 for asta or maybe 6 ABRSM and I attend lessons weekly, he will charge $50 per hour, but for a professional who wants a one off consultation it will be a lot more (not sure as I've not asked him).

I know with his help/teaching I can reach very high levels, alas because I am 40 and started learning at 37 (with a different teacher in the beginning) I will not make it rocket high to a soloist career or a professional orchestra, but if I had him as a teacher from a very young age I would have done, he would have been up to the job.

so no, you don't have to be rich to have a teacher who will take you 'high' but you do need 'word of mouth reccomendation' be in the right at the right time (so a bit of luck as well maybe), sometimes sacrificies (I know of teachers who themselves take lesson from my teacher and travel a long distance to see him for a lesson) and commitment etc etc, but rich is not necessarily a 'must'.

June 1, 2010 at 11:02 PM ·

I still like to take lessons, and the highest I've paid was close to $100.

The most expensive violin teacher I've heard about was $500, up in the Northeast.  And yes, if I had the plane ticket and this teacher deigned to hear me, I would gladly pay it.  I'm a big fan...







June 2, 2010 at 08:45 PM ·

I've been playing 3-1/2 years and have only had one teacher. He has a Masters Degree in music performance, has played in professional symphonies and opera companies for a couple of decades, and has been playing for over 35 years. I have a 45-minute lesson each week and pay $45 per lesson. (An hour-long lesson would be $57).

I'm very happy with my teacher, he's very patient and I've made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. But if I had a chance to have one lesson with Itzhak Perlman I would consider paying a lot more $$$$, though I'm not sure what my upper limit would be.

June 2, 2010 at 09:49 PM ·

As a rule of thumb I won't pay more than 1/100 of my monthly income for an hour lesson that can take you up to grade 8. In South Africa that works out to about $10 on the wage that an average artisan earns. I actually pay $9 an hour.

 Sorry to bother you with economics but that is a good way to budget.  Of course availability and desperation also comes into the equation.

June 2, 2010 at 09:58 PM ·

 Interesting Dion (the 1/100 theory/budgeting thing), it just happens by 'coincidence' that I do pay 1/100 of my salary on my one hour long violin lesson each week :) so without even trying/thinking of it I was 'budgeting  right' ;) 

June 3, 2010 at 04:26 AM ·

If you're interested in outside US rate, I pay 7$/h for my teacher. He's teaching at University grade in our City Conservatory of Music. He's not the most expensive one. The most expensive one charges 20$ per hour, but he was a one of my teacher's students.

June 3, 2010 at 07:12 AM ·

I pay $32 for a half an hour, the rate is the same for an hour, so if I were going for an hour, it would be $64.

June 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM ·

To give a perspective from a teacher's point of view, living in a big city (New York), I wrote an article that I have on my website called "How to Find and Choose a Musical Instrument Teacher". On the subject at hand I wrote:

"How much should I expect to pay a qualified teacher?

There is no formal price fixing among teachers. But you'd do well to be more wary of a fee that seems rather low, than one seemingly high, as you'll often tend to get what you pay for. Early into the first decade of the 21st century, most experienced professionals that you're likely to come across tend to charge anywhere from $60-$100 for a lesson, depending on the teacher's age, experience, and location. Some teachers charge different fees for different lengths of time, while others charge one fee for the lesson as such, and give the students as much time as they need.

If the above seems like a lot, consider the fees and salaries of such occupations as plumbers, electricians, sanitation workers etc. – all respectable and necessary work, but not requiring anywhere near the years of training, experience, sacrifice and dedication that a qualified teacher brings to every lesson. Now consider such fields as psychotherapy, law, massage, interior decorating, and the fees of those professions. Is the musical artist really asking too much?

In light of the above, it's really not proper to try to bargain with the prospective teacher, nor to ask for a lower fee for a child. In fact, more effort and patience is required to teach a young beginner."

BTW, I  charge for the lesson, not by the hour. With a qualified, well-prepared student, my lessons average about an hour and a half. I've kept my fee at $80 for the past several years. For the complete article, please visit my website http://rkviolin.com


June 4, 2010 at 12:35 AM ·

 When a local teacher started charging $80 an hour, her students started to quit, because most everyone else charges $40-50. This is Atlantic Canada, teachers with Bachelor's degrees mostly. I haven't asked what the Master's/symphony players charge.... I would charge $40, if I wasn't so busy with other teaching.

June 4, 2010 at 05:05 PM ·

I'm starting violin lessons next week (after about 5 months of trying to "teach" myself).  I'll be paying $12 for a half-hour lesson, which is all I can afford (I'm unemployed, so my husband's income has to cover all our expenses -- including my violin "habit").

June 4, 2010 at 10:38 PM ·

 The standard rate in Manhattan is $100 to $200 per hour for a good teacher. I charge $200 for a one and one-half hour lesson. But it's really a matter of what you want from a teacher. If a student is serious, and wants to be a first rate player, it's essential to study with a fine teacher. Great violinists can be excellent coaches, but they are rarely good instrumental teachers. As Heifetz said, the most important quality for being a fine player is self respect as a musician, so a good teacher must  build the student's self confidence. One single negative criticism can be devastating for a sensitive student. My approach to pedagogy is "reward of successive approximations" (B. F. Skinner).  That leads to a much faster learning rate.                                     All of my great teachers, whether at Yale or with Marvin Morgenstern, Lotte Bamberger, or David Nadien were students of D C. Dounis,  whose approach is based on how the body actually works (Dounis was a physician) and the necessity of a musical basis even when practicing technique. The Dounis  approach, combined with twenty years of Alexander Technique, enables me to diagnose pain problems quickly and show how to play without pain. This is almost always accomplished in the first lesson. "Why, then, would a student come back for more lessons?" you might ask. The answer is that once they discover the power of the Dounis approach, they want to learn more.   Charles Johnston

June 5, 2010 at 02:36 PM ·

I am happy that as a Full time Benefited University Employee I get 6-9 semester hours tuition free, which pays for my lessons.  In the past if someone pays out of their pocket for teachers here the rate is $40-$65 per lesson depending on what your level of playing is and your needs.........

PS: I still have to pay lab fees out of pocket.

June 5, 2010 at 08:55 PM ·

I get a lot of underprivelaged children for them I charge as little as 10 dollars depending on circumstance, on average I charge 25-35$ per hour, I feel that is a good price.

June 6, 2010 at 10:59 PM ·

I'd be reluctant to pay the kind of money quoted here for lessons. In fact, listening to the kind of dollars floating around here, I think I should give blues lessons. If I had more knowledge on how to teach technique, I would. But then again, It's looks like I've just stated a paradox.

Hmm, now I'm thinking. I wonder if it would be worth the investment to get some lessons on technique, and then start giving blues lessons. My biggest problem would be the basics. I could tell if a "student" was not holding the fiddle/bow correctly...or other basics, but wouldn't really know how to explain the mechanics of correcting it. Probably better off with fiddlers who could already play a bit but that would limit the market. Otherwise, sure, I could give blues lessons. I've been asked to give lessons several times, but have turned people down because of these reasons. There's obviously money in it, especially after reading this topic!

June 7, 2010 at 01:01 AM ·

I think that some teachers really work on the hour versus the lesson. The "lesson" can be short or long. In my opinion that is a better way to take lessons versus a parking meter concept. The teacher gets the student to a point that they have absorbed the learning objective so they can go home and practice without the teacher. Those types of teachers are better than those that charge by the hour and schedule students back to back. We find that even though these can be more expensive the students progress faster because the teacher doesn't end "the lesson" until the student knows what they are doing. The hourly deal is a big drag. The studnet walks out and they don't know what you are doing and you waste more money practicing incorrectly. We have lessons that last one hour some days and two hours other days. I pay extra for coaching and rehearsals. No rush ever though. No student waitiing outside the door. This is better for learning. I think the hourly teachers ultimately cost more because they are less productive in many cases. Our old teacher was really, on the clock and the kids hated it. People don't learn music like that in many cases. I warn parents to stay away from teachers with giant studios who run on the clock too strictly or schedule students too closely to maximize their hourly rate. That works in the beginning but not as the student progresses.

June 7, 2010 at 04:17 PM ·

I am in western Kentucky, have tried to find teachers, tried some in Evansville Indiana, and here in Kentucky too, one was in the area regularly but lived south of Nashville. All were $40, professionals in orchestras. Plenty of "fiddle" teachers around that want $20 an hour to teach you a tune since many of those don't read music and learn each song through repetition Quality of teaching has run from paying them for an hour of them talking about themselves to one who was amazingly focused on my playing and improvement, even when she was not well. I disagree with the statement about the teachers that have a strict schedule as my experience was that the best teacher I had did have students on a tight schedule. She did adjust here and there  Distance makes going to her impossible at this point. For me, it has been the quality issue. I absolutely love to play, am past the point of dreaming of every doing anything with it, other than for myself, but no matter what I pay, I think the time should be about teaching and learning about music and the violin. That has been hard to find, maybe it has just been bad luck that I have experienced so many teachers that are so ego driven that their main concern is telling a student all about them. Wish I had that money and time back for sure! As with everything in life, hard rules are not a good thing, you may come across someone with amazing credentials who doesn't really give a hoot about teaching someone, and some who teach five or six hours everyday, with students stacked up, who has that amazing love for playing AND generosity of spirit that makes a good teacher.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine