Tuition fees

NeoNeo Posts: 35Member
edited March 2017 in Guitar Chat
I started this in this forum rather than the tuition forum because I don't want to denigrate the effort that members put into tuition, or indeed tutors in general.

*disclaimer* No malice is intended, just some jocular banter about the income required to keep tutors in spandex and hairspray

However the prices local tutors charge does tend to grate, and though I can be persuaded that there is no conspiratorial tutors cartel that fixes the prices between themselves it's no coincidence that in Hampshire the going rate is £25 per hour.

£25!! In these times of austerity where do these clock watchers get off?
Are they having a laugh, literally at other peoples expense!!?

Comments

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,085Member, Moderator
    I pay £20 an hour, but as I am the last pupil of the day I often get well over the hour. It seems a reasonable rate considering it is my tutors full time occupation.
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,315Member
    I have a saying (which I inflict daily upon my long-suffering wife): "A pound's nothing these days." frown

    What does it buy? A good newspaper. Or a couple of second-class stamps. Or half a cup of coffee. Or much less than a litre of diesel.

    Minimum wage is £6.19, for an unskilled job, so four times that seems pretty fair for a highly skilled job which involves years of learning and practice, not to mention musical and teaching ability.

    Put another way, if the tutor worked 8 hours a day (unlikely!), 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year, he'd earn £48,000 a year before taxes etc. But a self-employed person is unlikely to spend more than half their time on billable work (you don't get paid for admin, or travelling, or searching for new work, or preparation, or practising), so that would bring it down to £24,000 a year -- something near the median wage. From which has to come all his expenses!

    Having worked all that out, I think you're getting a bargain!

    Dave
  • LotusLotus Posts: 332Member
    I'm currently paying £12 per half hour so not far off your £25 per hour rate.

    I feel I get great value for money especially as, like Jocko, I'm the last student of the day and my 30 minutes frequently turns into 45 minutes or even 60!

    Graham
  • PinballPinball Posts: 30Member
    It all depends on quality!

    Also if your not feeling like it is worth it it probably isn't so look for another tutor.
  • NeoNeo Posts: 35Member
    I've got another tutor. I pay £15 an hour and it runs over until were both happy with where we're at. He's also really into what he's teaching (blues/rock) and gigs frequently. I was lucky to see him play and then through the local grapevine got in touch.

    However, I have paid £25 an hour with two different tutors and found the experience to be sterile and underwhelming which felt like a cheap date where I paid for the meal, got dumped after 1 hour, didn't even get to first base, and then promised the same again next week. laugh
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Posts: 355Member
    A great teacher is easily worth that much. I was paying £17 an hour for Sac lessons a decade ago, so for a really great teacher is happily pay £25
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,185Member
    I charge £15 ph but it's not my main job (£30ph)

    There's at least 20 min of preparation involved that the student doesn't see if the lessons are to be properly structured.

    A good teacher will be able to direct the student according to their natural abilities rather than trying to turn a Wilko Johnson into a Segovia. Guiding the student away from unrealistic expectations. To something do-able, worthwile and not limited to the teacher's ideals. That's a talent in itself.

    It bugs me when 'teachers' purport to be teachers but can't even sight read real music or haven't bothered to learn theory themselves. Regardless of whether or not you need it a £25ph rate should deliver this academic overview at a minimum.

    That said you must be master of your own studies. Get what you need from a teacher and then dump them. Don't stick around out of any misguided loyalties - they chose the freelance lifestyle after all. It will work out quite economic for you if you set definite objectives.

    In fact I'm more likely to dump my students than they are me. If I feel that they are not studying enough between lessons I will tell them that they are wasting their time. That's because I can afford to be honest.

    Remember.

    Even if you have a tutor they are only with you one hour a week. 90% of your learning is what you teach yourself. Perhaps you should charge yourself your hourly rate and then see how much lower you can get it !!!

    ***Footnote***

    If I were unemployed would I charge £25ph ?

    Probably not.

    Why don't you try haggling with these £25ph tutors ? I bet they'd do a deal with you. They'd rather earn money than not at all. From my experience they're no better than well motivated amateurs - often worse in fact.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 950Member
    So does this tutor come to you at their expense and time or do you get to sit in their nice warm equipped studio/home?

    If they can (a big if) get lessons for 40 hours a week back to back then they would be doing OK. But they need to prepare lessons and do all the other business admin things like bookings and advertising and sorting the tax man and going to the dentist and collecting the kids from school etc. So it is more likely they are netting below the national average for a wage from what they offer you.

    What would you want to earn from the job?
  • Any experience is worth what value you place on it.

    You may buy dinner at restaurant A) for £10 and B) for £100 so is it really worth the £90 difference?

    It all comes down what value you believe it brings you.

    It is more than possible to find someone charging £10 to a 1 hour lesson - that is their prerogative but they won't make a living from it.

    They may be fantastic too - in which case take advantage!

    By the same token if someone else is charging £25 or £30 - then if they are in demand then that makes their fee totally justified.

    I remember I used to be very proud of teaching "tools" to help people build their knowledge - now I believe what I taught say over 10 lessons would give that person more knowledge than years and years of guitar lessons with a teacher that knocked out a new riff each week - so which is better value? £30 an hour for 10 hours or £10 an hour for 3 years.

    Its called horses for courses.
  • Or maybe put another way...

    £10 for a riff you could pick up off Youtube for free.

    OR one "tool" that you will use and benefit from for a lifetime for £30.

    Thats an easier way of looking at it.

    Also - like at school - you get people who can communicate a message and people who can't.

    A good communicator will find ways of helping you understand using various methods until it hits home.

    You can get great players who cannot communicate what they are doing or what you should be doing.
  • Options
    Originally Posted By: Richard - Richards Guitars
    You may buy dinner at restaurant A) for £10 and B) for £100 so is it really worth the £90 difference?

    Overwhelmingly no if it’s The Ritz, and you're not a poser or culinary mong wink
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Posts: 355Member
    Sod the Ritz- that's a tourist attraction these days. Le Manoir is where it's at. But I'm not going to tell anyone that's worth their money; it's not something you can decide for someone else!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,085Member, Moderator
    My tutor prepares print outs for me in advance of lessons. He does not charge me on the odd occasions I have had to cancel at short notice. He is, as Richard says, giving me the tools to build future progress on and I feel that my £20 per hour is more than reasonable. The podiatrist comes in on Monday and she charges me the same for a half hour to cut my toenails! And the answer is, no, I cannot reach, and my wife refuses!!
  • Options
    Originally Posted By: stickyfiddle
    it's not something you can decide for someone else!

    Quite right, hit and miss unless people at least know each other’s tastes and preferences. crazy However, should I be NW of town I’d be very happy to try Ray White’s gaff smile
  • WolfyWolfy Posts: 25Member
    i will be honest, id rather spend that £25 on a book on how to play and teach myself (which is what i am doing)

    someone teaching you is ok, but you have to be a certain type of person to be able to learn that way, im not, so i put my money into something that benefits me...

    im not saying that you shouldnt get lessons, by all means do, but work out whether they are right for you
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,185Member
    Wolfy - If you're grading you need a teacher for at least up until grade 5.

    I've taught myself to grade 8 but it's taken an age.
  • WolfyWolfy Posts: 25Member
    im not intending to take any grades, i can understand why some people would, but its not for me...
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Originally Posted By: Wolfy
    im not intending to take any grades, i can understand why some people would, but its not for me...

    I can identify with it not being for you. When I was going to guitar teacher for classical guitar lessons the teacher kept banging on about my doing grade exams, and didn't seem able to understand why it was of no interest to me, no matter how often I said no.
  • WolfyWolfy Posts: 25Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    Originally Posted By: Wolfy
    im not intending to take any grades, i can understand why some people would, but its not for me...

    I can identify with it not being for you. When I was going to guitar teacher for classical guitar lessons the teacher kept banging on about my doing grade exams, and didn't seem able to understand why it was of no interest to me, no matter how often I said no.


    good to know theres someone else smile i know what i need/want to learn, and ill structure it how i want, because im a 'dive right in' type
  • Originally Posted By: Wolfy
    i will be honest, id rather spend that £25 on a book on how to play and teach myself (which is what i am doing)

    someone teaching you is ok, but you have to be a certain type of person to be able to learn that way, im not, so i put my money into something that benefits me...

    im not saying that you shouldnt get lessons, by all means do, but work out whether they are right for you


    You have a point on one level there...

    Here is the advice I give every beginner starting out and it applies even in advanced levels too...

    BUY A BOOK THAT GETS YOU STARTED - they usually have a dvd or cd with them.

    That will cost you about £15 and will get you holding the guitar, knowing the strings, first few chords, a bit of scales etc .etc.

    Now then - ONCE you hit "walls" you make notes and then when you have a few issues that need tackling you take a trip to a tutor who can give you some wonderful insight into what you are doing right and wrong and put you on the right path again - That £20 is a wonderful investment and you MAY not need to go again for several weeks until you have built up more problems to tackle.

    I suggest this approach can be fantastic for the advanced player too.

    You can buy a book on modes, get a grip with the theory, listen to the CD rom and IF you get it and don't need a tutor then great but the chances are you WILL need someone to give you a helping hand - and that again is where the £20 really benefits you.

    So that is a little like what you are saying - you save your £20 buy a book, get as far as you can and IF you don't need a teacher to help you at times then well done - then you can buy another book!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,185Member
    Always buy a book with a CD.

    For fast stuff it's useful to have a trainer device such as those produced by Tascam. I have the CD version but you can only get digital now (I think)You can slow down pieces without changing pitch.

    There are plenty of free lessons on You Tube. Try to go for those without too much chit-chat or flim-flam.

    A teacher is useful for giving you live feedback and correcting faults which you may not see or hear. Teachers are pretty essential for at least the first five grades of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams. Once a good grounding is achieved you'll be able to teach yourself but it will take a lot longer to reach grade 8 if you do it without a teacher.

    PS, I've yet to find a teacher that is any good at helping with sight reading.
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,315Member
    Although I'm self-taught in most of what I know, I couldn't resist posting this quotation:

    "Learn of the skillful; he that teaches himself, has a fool for his master."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

    Dave
  • WolfyWolfy Posts: 25Member
    Originally Posted By: Richard - Richards Guitars
    Originally Posted By: Wolfy
    i will be honest, id rather spend that £25 on a book on how to play and teach myself (which is what i am doing)

    someone teaching you is ok, but you have to be a certain type of person to be able to learn that way, im not, so i put my money into something that benefits me...

    im not saying that you shouldnt get lessons, by all means do, but work out whether they are right for you


    You have a point on one level there...

    Here is the advice I give every beginner starting out and it applies even in advanced levels too...

    BUY A BOOK THAT GETS YOU STARTED - they usually have a dvd or cd with them.

    That will cost you about £15 and will get you holding the guitar, knowing the strings, first few chords, a bit of scales etc .etc.

    Now then - ONCE you hit "walls" you make notes and then when you have a few issues that need tackling you take a trip to a tutor who can give you some wonderful insight into what you are doing right and wrong and put you on the right path again - That £20 is a wonderful investment and you MAY not need to go again for several weeks until you have built up more problems to tackle.

    I suggest this approach can be fantastic for the advanced player too.

    You can buy a book on modes, get a grip with the theory, listen to the CD rom and IF you get it and don't need a tutor then great but the chances are you WILL need someone to give you a helping hand - and that again is where the £20 really benefits you.

    So that is a little like what you are saying - you save your £20 buy a book, get as far as you can and IF you don't need a teacher to help you at times then well done - then you can buy another book!


    Thanks for that suggestion, i have a friend who i jam with who answers any queries i have, which is why i go straight to books smile
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,185Member
    No-one's mentioned getting together with mates and trading ideas.

    That's how we learned as kids.
  • WolfyWolfy Posts: 25Member
    Originally Posted By: Kevin Peat
    No-one's mentioned getting together with mates and trading ideas.

    That's how we learned as kids.


    thats partly what i was saying, ok i dont actually meet the person (but using video is as damned close as we live far apart) but we share ideas
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,085Member, Moderator
    My original tuition was from a mate who had been playing two weeks longer than me. Some people say it shows!
  • Originally Posted By: Wolfy
    Originally Posted By: Kevin Peat
    No-one's mentioned getting together with mates and trading ideas.

    That's how we learned as kids.


    thats partly what i was saying, ok i dont actually meet the person (but using video is as damned close as we live far apart) but we share ideas


    Many moons ago I used to have lessons with a chap called Shaun Baxter - principal tutor at the guitar institute. I used to travel 3 hours round trip (1.5 hours there) for a 1 hour lesson which cost me £35 - that was about 20 years ago.

    So thats one vote for investing and dedicating yourself to tuition - but on the flip side...

    I was learning jazz and he mentioned that it was fundemenatal to my improvement that I play / improvise with other musicians.

    I never did as there was literally nobody to jam with SO I ended up PAYING a local tutor (who I still recommend) to jam with me - BETWEEN lessons!!!!

    So thats kind of a vote for jamming with friends - even if you have to pay them to be your friend!!!!!!!!!

    Oh those were the days - before children... when I had some money to blow on guitar lessons. I was actually teaching at the time too!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,185Member
    I was paying £20 about fifteen years ago. My teacher was a complete cock but was the only one available around my shift patterns.
  • Originally Posted By: Kevin Peat
    I was paying £20 about fifteen years ago. My teacher was a complete cock but was the only one available around my shift patterns.


    I don't quite know why I find that statement as funny as I do...
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,185Member
    He was Venezualen (spelling ?) a 'professor' dressed top-to-toe in black with bushy eyebrows, a shock of jet black hair and was the most arrogant man I've ever met.

    A very good, if messy, classical guitarist with a bent towards Latin. His one and only was a battered old Yamaha G-50A which he used to concert with. He got such a great sound out of it that I tracked one down. It only cost £30. (My boy has it now.)

    He used to operate from the grottiest little flat which stank of fish and cat's piss. I began one lesson by sitting in a plate of Whiskas.
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