Have you ever wondered exactly what your monthly tuition buys? Most parents aren’t sure exactly what the tuition covers. Private music instruction seems expensive, but lesson fees include much more than my music expertise and your actual lesson time.
Planning and Preparation
Time spent preparing lessons, evaluating new music, and studying the most current interpretations and editions. Time is also spent planning recitals and festivals, and scheduling lessons and annual events.
Studio Supplies and Maintenance
It takes a lot of equipment and supplies to run two piano studios. These costs include: printing, student awards and certificates, recital expenses, tuning, and maintenance of (4) pianos, music publications, website fees, computer equipment upgrades, music theory and composition software, sheet music, and music or software subscriptions. Providing monthly workshops for my students is a unique benefit for my students which requires extra time and an increased monthly budget.
I am able to provide many performance opportunities for all of my students, in every level. My students can participate in a range of events, including evaluations, auditions, local, regional, state, or national competitions. I can give this opportunity to all of my students because of my qualifications to join each group. I pay an annual professional association dues to each group.
It’s important for teachers to continue their own growth as a teacher and performer. I find that taking private coaching lessons, and attending music conferences inspire me as a teacher and a performer. I attend state and national conferences each year. Traveling to conferences is an investment that help to bring new ideas to my teaching and studio. I also pay fees to maintain my national certification. In 2012, I received my Permanent Professional Certification from MTNA for 15 years of national certification.
I have business licenses for each location, liability insurance, special insurance on the pianos. After my studio expenses are cleared, I pay and additional 15.3% self- employment tax in addition to my regular tax payments, just under 50%.
Time is also spent keeping students and parents informed of studio activities through the studio newsletters, the Wenjen Piano Studios website, e-mail reminders, and texting. Choosing repertoire and filling out applications take time outside of the lesson. I also volunteer many hours to every organization that provides these student opportunities.
Volunteering in Music Organizations
I am currently on the CAPMT State Board as President and have served as President-Elect, Recording Secretary, Piano Auditions and Ensemble Auditions chair, and Southern Festival Chair. I held the Board office of 1st Vice President for MTAC Long Beach for ten years, Webmaster, and Directory committee for the Music Teacher’s Association of Long Beach and was the Piano Auditions Chair and Ensemble Auditions Chair for the California Association of Professional Music Teachers. I have been the Senior Medallion Chair and previously, the Co-Chair for the MTAC South Bay Branch for five years. I brought the Music Student Service League to MTACSB and served as chair for four years. These are all unpaid positions in which I volunteer my time. I also serve as an adjudicator for several events, which requires a full day of evaluating and minimal compensation. . I believe in professionalism and the highest standards in my studios.
Lifelong Educational benefits
Music education is expensive, but it is a lifetime investment. Studies have shown that students who practice a keyboard instrument at least 15 minutes daily have scored up to 47% higher on tests than those who do not play an instrument. It is also said that keyboard engages all parts of the brain.
Most importantly, music is a universal language that we can all share, as audience or performers. Music is diverse and can unify people and cultures. It can help to heal sadness, express emotions, and can even tell a joke. I’ve never come across an adult who regretted taking piano lessons. Some wish that they had practiced more. Many have humorous or fond memories of studying piano with their first music teacher. However, they all feel fortunate that they got to experience a little bit of the magic of music.
You have provided a special gift for yourself or a loved one that can be enjoyed over a lifetime—music. I am privileged to be the piano teacher that you’ve chosen to help bring music into your lives.
Noreen Wenjen, N.C.T.M. Wenjen Piano Studios Copyright © 1999-2016 Noreen Wenjen, Wenjen Piano Studios. All rights reserved. All materials contained in the Wenjenpiano.com website are protected by copyright and trademark laws and may not be used, retransmitted, reproduced, republished, or altered in any way for any purpose. For use, please contact Noreen Wenjen. Reproduction of this Web Site in whole or in part is prohibited without express written permission from Noreen Wenjen. Please contact Noreen Wenjen if you wish to republish this article. Copying for sale, resale, or public distribution of any samples from the Wenjenpiano.com website is strictly prohibited.