How much do music lessons cost in 2023?

When parents first start looking for music lessons for their children, they want to know how much it will cost them. I often hear questions like “how much do private piano lessons cost?”, “How much are group violin lessons?” “Can I get a good singing teacher for $20 a lesson?”

How much music lessons should cost is a simple question to answer. Every year the NSW Music Teachers Association posts its recommended minimum rates for teachers/music schools to charge.  

The rates for 2023 are as follows;

(please note that your child may have anywhere between 36 to 48 lessons in a year depending on the structure of the studio/teachers program)

$96 ($105.60 with GST included) per hour for a private one-on-one lesson. This equates to $48 ($52.80 with GST Included) for the standard beginner one on one 30-minute private instrumental lesson

Or

$130 ($143 with GST included) for a group based 1-hour lesson. This equates to $32.5 ($35.75 with GST) per child for a 1-hour group class with 4 children in the class.

NSW Music teachers association 2023 rates

The NSW MTA rates are the minimum you can expect to pay for instrumental lessons for your child in 2023. Some teachers charge significantly more than the MTA minimum recommended rates(some charge as much as $250 per hour). Some teachers charge less. When budgeting for and researching music lessons, you should use the MTA as a guide.  

On top of the lesson fees, you will also need to set aside money for books. Music method books cost anywhere between $100 – $300 a year. You will also need to purchase an instrument; the initial cost will be between $200 – $10000 depending on the instrument your child will be learning. Set aside time in your child’s first lesson with their teacher to discuss the options for purchasing your child’s first instrument.

Beware of cheap rates.

As mentioned, there are teachers whose rates are significantly less than the MTA recommended rate. Be wary of these rates. Teachers may undercharge for lessons for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are listed below:

  • They are brand new to teaching, or they have limited skills in playing their instrument.  

  

  • They are new in the area. A seasoned teacher who has recently moved into an area may undercharge to build their profile. Once they have grown their reputation, they begin to raise their prices.
  • They teach as a hobby. Hobby teachers are often not interested in money. They usually have a small number of students that they work with on a casual basis. Some of these teachers take months off teaching to pursue other interests.

Getting a cheaper rate on lessons will not guarantee a bargain. If you are on a budget, consider getting your child into a high-quality group class program. These programs are a great way to start learning an instrument and often produce similar results to private lessons – particularly in the beginner stage.

Final Thoughts

There are often regional factors at play when teacher prices their lessons. Northern and inner suburbs of Sydney may charge much higher than the MTA rates. Western Sydney, South-West Sydney and regional areas can sometimes be slightly under the MTA rates.

Some teachers include extras in their rates. They may include books, extra classes (like theory classes) or online courses within their standard lesson rate. So these things need to be considered if you are comparing prices.  

As you begin your search for a piano, violin or guitar teacher in 2023 be aware that rates may vary. Teachers sometimes offer inclusions in their prices, including extra classes or books. 

Finally, when selecting a teacher for your child, the focus should be on finding a teacher that best fits your child and the musical outcomes that your desire for them. If you are currently looking for a piano, violin, singing, or guitar teacher for your child why not book a free trial at Hope Performing Arts Centre? Located in Prestons in South West Sydney. Click the button below to begin booking your free trial today.

Five Characteristics Kids Who Love Music Have In Common

Yesterday, Alison’s new piano books arrived at the studio, she was very excited. She joyfully turned each page, trying to pick the perfect piece to learn first. Alison, like many of the students who learn at Hope Performing Arts Centre fell in love with playing her instrument. Playing the piano regularly has become part of who she is and this brings great joy to her and her parents.

Alison possesses the five key characteristics of a child who will continue to play their instrument for their whole life. These five characteristics apply if your child is learning is piano, violin, guitar, singing or any other musical instrument. These five characteristics can be nurtured by teachers and parents and are the key to a child’s long term enjoyment of learning their instrument.

These five characteristics are:

 

Children who love playing music are driven by the Music.

Regardless of age, children who love music know what they want to learn to play. They regularly come to lessons with a list of pieces that they want to learn and this music inspires them to practice. Even when practice is difficult or repetitive, these musical children persevere and work on the activities set each week until they achieve the goals set for them. These students understand the link between practice and the joy they will feel when they can perform confidently for an audience. They are motivated by the joy that playing music for themselves and others brings them.

 

Children who love playing music explore or create new music regularly.

Students who love music are regularly exploring or creating new music. Many of them will have a growing library from which they can learn new pieces from.  They often choose to learn new music just for fun. (Many of these students try exploring music they are not quite technically ready for yet because they want to see if they can play it). For others, you will find a pile of handwritten manuscripts next to their instrument as they explore writing music and songs. These students are eager to share these treasured masterpieces with their teachers in lessons.

 

Children who love playing music listen to lots of music.

When children are allowed to immerse themselves in music, they begin to hear what is possible to play their instrument. Listening provides a platform for children to discover new styles of music, new pieces by a favourite composer or even a different way to interpret a piece that they are already learning. By listening widely to music children’s musical tastes grow, which motivates them to explore the wide variety of music that has been written for their instrument.

 

Children who love playing music attend live concerts.

Attending a live concert of a performer who is further along in their journey is a highly motivating experience for children. Children who love to play their instruments enjoy seeing performances of both their peers and professional musicians. Watching a musician play is often a child’s first experience of live music-making. It can lead to an interest in learning a particular instrument as a child gets to see, hear and feel music in a different way to just listening to music alone.  Live music provide a place where children can develop and emotional connection to a particular instrument.  This connection runs very deep and will drive children to work hard to achieve similar results when they are learning their instrument.

 

Children who love playing music seek out opportunities to play their instrument.

Kids who love playing their instruments, play their instruments regularly. They often seek out opportunities to play them outside of lessons and practice. For some children, this could be performing in studio concerts held by their instrumental teacher. For others, it could be joining a school/community band, orchestra or choir. It could even be taking part in community musical theatre. Some children – particularly those in their teen years form bands with other musicians just to have an opportunity to play their instrument. These shared musical experiences help children to grow their skills and confidence as musicians.

 

These five characteristics are crucial in developing young musicians who love playing their instruments. Good piano, violin, singing, or guitar teachers can help guide young students by providing a variety of musical resources and performing opportunities.   Supportive parents can help young children discover their musical passion through listening to music and attending live concerts together.  When children are provided with both of these resources, i.e. skilful teachers and supportive parents they tend to thrive and grow in their love for playing their instrument.

 

At HPAC our teachers who love teaching young children and passing on their musical skills to them. We also provide parents with resources to help them foster their child’s love of music at home. If you are interested in finding teachers who can help your child discover the joy of playing a musical instrument click on the button below.

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How to Choose an After-School Activity for your Child

As parents, we want them to thrive, find their passions and feel confident in who they are. As a mum of six, three of whom are now adults, after-school activities became a big part of helping them discover what they were good at and what they loved doing. Like many parents, I allowed my first two children to try lots of different activities, which led to my eldest child being over-committed as she never wanted to quit anything, and my second eldest wondered if he would be good at anything. Over time I discovered three principles that helped me as a parent guide our children into activities that they would be successful at and would love. 

Principle 1: Let your child’s natural curiosity guide you.

Children are great at telling us what they love. When we spend a little time in their world, it is easy to see who they are and their interests. Is your child constantly outside kicking a ball around? Do they prefer to pull out pencils and draw? Are they always singing and dancing? 

Even as young as two, I was able to see what my children were gravitating to most often. My eldest was fascinated by music. Her great grandfather would often play the violin for her; she was mesmerised by it. She graduated from university with a bachelor of performance and still sings regularly and derives great joy from music. At three, my second eldest was a fish, and he taught himself to swim across our backyard pool. Even though we didn’t immediately recognise his love of water, he thrived once he began formal swimming lessons. Eventually, he ended up in a swimming squad, training four days and week and competing on weekends. He still enjoys swimming and goes to the pool regularly to keep fit.  

Once I began observing my children, I started to see them and was able to help guide them towards activities that would help them grow their skills and grit.

Principle 2: Be part of their interests

In the movie Inside Out, there is a scene where Joy and Sadness are re-living one of Riley’s memories. In the scene, we see Riley in a tree crying; she wants to quit playing ice hockey because she missed the winning shot causing her team to lose the game. Her parents step in to comfort and support her, and they help her see the bigger picture and encourage her to remember all the good times she played ice hockey.

Throughout the movie, Riley’s parents put time and effort into helping her find and grow her love of ice hockey. We see them practising with her and cheering her on from the sidelines. This level of support and interest in their hobbies is what most children need from their parents to be successful. 

The younger a child is, the more motivated they are to stick at something when their parent invests in being part of that hobby. In practice, this could look like a parent being the coach of their child’s soccer team, or doing the make-up for a dance competition, or sitting with their child while practising the piano. I know that my sons continued playing soccer far longer than their interest level simply because their dad was the coach, and they wanted to hang out with dad.

Principle 3 – Consider the cost

Children who develop a passion for a particular sport, musical instrument or any other hobby will be spending the best part of 10 – 15 years learning and refining that skill. It will cost money and time for your child to reach their potential. Parents need to consider these costs and research their options before enrolling their child in an activity. 

When I started using these three principles to help guide my children into afterschool activities, the following happened;

  1. My children were less overloaded with activities and had more space and time to develop those skills there were learning in class at home. 
  2. My children continued these activities into adulthood and developed the skill of persevering past the hard stuff (Grit).
  3. We spent less money on activities for them to “try out” things which allowed us to find high-quality teachers and coaches for the things they did want to do.

Helping our children discover their talents and grow to reach their full potential is one of the most rewarding experiences as a parent. When we know our children well and can fully support who they are, we get to see them thrive. Choosing high-quality after-school activities for them at a young age can provide years of fulfilment for you and your child.

If you think that your child may have a passion for music and you want to get them started on developing their skills, Hope Performing Arts Centre has a range of music classes and private instrumental lessons (including piano, violin and voice lessons) that are age-appropriate and engaging. To find out how you can get your child started or for more information about our classes, fill in our contact form below and one of our team will be in contact with you within the next 48 hours.


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Oops, I forgot how to play that – How to help your child beat the forgetting curve.

Last week my nine year old forgot to pack his lunch box in his bag for school. It’s been a while since he has done that, so I quickly jumped in the car and drove it up to the school so that he would have something to eat for lunch.

It wasn’t always that rare for him; as a matter of fact, all my children forgot things during their early years of school. They forgot hats, lunch boxes, drink bottles, jumpers etc. and the result often meant lost items at school and money spent replacing things. Eventually, with our encouragement, our children developed routines and habits that meant less and less forgetting. Now it is infrequent in our house for something to be forgotten.

As teachers, we experience the same thing in lessons. “I forgot where my hands go Mrs, Collyer?” – “Let’s take a look at your music and work it out” is my reply, and together we begin to review our notes and finger numbers and to work out our hand position on the piano. Forgetting hand positions, forgetting notes on the stave, forgetting to hold minims and semibreves, forgetting what the dynamic means etc., are very common among beginner piano students. Forgetting things is very common for many children, and there is a huge reason why – the forgetting curve.

The forgetting curve, created by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus is a visual representation of how we forget learned information over time. It is interesting to note that within 24 hours of learning, we forget 70% of what we learned, and within 7 days, we have only retained about 10% of what we learned the week prior. It is no wonder young pianists can’t remember where middle C is, or the young violinist forgets how to hold the bow correctly.

But there is hope. Extending on his research Ebbinghaus discovered an essential key to remembering. If put in place, this key helps to maintain new knowledge learned, beating the forgetting curve.

The key to beating the forgetting curve is regularly reviewing newly learned material in regular intervals throughout the week. In doing this, students can retain 80 to 90% of the information learned in the previous week. Just three review sessions a week on days one, three and six after your child’s lesson will do wonders for helping them to retain and master material learned in their instrumental lessons.

One of the biggest reasons your child’s instrumental teacher is always talking about practice is because they know it is the biggest key to your child’s success. Outside of finding a great teacher and using age-appropriate engaging resources for your child, establishing a practice routine with your child at home from their very first lesson will bring your child many hours of joyful music-making and will help them to progress quickly and confidently through each stage of instrumental learning.