Charges, Scholarships, Freebies...
Most people here know my choice to provide free lessons to aspiring young musicians largely because I could not get lessons as a young person due to financial issues.
I fully realize that the professionals here make their living exclusively or in part by teaching; it got me to thinking: "Do the any professionals give scholarships, reduced charges or outright free lessons?"
If not, why not?
If you do, how do you make your decision as to who gets lower rates, scholarships or even free lessons?
I had a teacher whose answer was, "Based on how annoying the mother of the student is."
In a few situations in the past, I've offered scholarships, but with the stipulation that a significant effort must be put in on their part. It still had to be a trade, where they would receive cheap lessons and I would receive a very good student in return who would increase my reputation as a teacher.
Well, no student knows if they're gonna be *that* serious when they just start out. I certainly didn't. I probably would have turned down free lessons as well, if the teacher said I had to practise three hours a day and perform and impress people.
That's the thing, Cotton. Beggars can't be choosers. If you're going to ask for free lessons, you'd better be willing to trade something in return. My guess is that you pay for lessons. That gives you the luxury of choice, in terms of how much you wanted to practice when you started.
My daughter's teacher has a couple of kids she teaches pro bono. Not sure how they are vetted. I would think that something like free/reduced lunch program at school would be something measurable. But I like the idea of setting a practice standard.
I read somewhere that Franz Liszt, at the end of his career, being already wealthy, would not charge for lessons! If you were accepted to his studio, and worked hard, you would have instruction from the best technician in the world.
The private music school where my teacher is employed has scholarships for poor kids. I think it comes from the overhead so the teacher still gets paid.
I have one "just happened that way" scholarship student. Without going into details, there came a time when, knowing what I did, I had to say: I understand you may or may not want to continue, but we don't have to let [tragic circumstances] force a decision; if you want to be here, let me know when you're ready and we'll work something out. (Had they chosen to move on, it would have been goodbye with sympathies, but I was not willing to be the initiator.)
Generally no - the calibre of students I get as a student myself tend not to be good enough to warrant anything merit-based.
Our local youth center provides music lessons to children in need. The instructors are paid their regular rates. The center pays them from funding and sponsors they seek. I think this is a win win situation since the instructors still earn their pay and the students are given a wonderful opportunity.