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Oct 09 2008

The other side of the music stand

J started up violin lessons again this week. He’s so cute with his little violin tucked up under his chin. He’s only four, so we’re taking it pretty slow. My goal is for him to not quit when it gets harder, so making it fun is important. He has a fantastic teacher, so I know it’ll be ok. I know what it’s like on both sides of the music stand, as both student and as teacher.

But I’ve never been the mom of a music student. And holy heck, is it different! I have to force myself to keep my mouth shut during lessons. Part of that is because I was a music teacher for so long. But ay yi yi…so hard.

Not nearly as hard as finding out how much lessons cost. Now, I taught flute lessons forever and a day, so I know it is so important to pay a good teacher what he/she is worth. They do more behind the scenes than you see during a weekly lesson. A lot more. And if you find a teacher who is charging a great deal less than other teachers, please, don’t fall for it. That person is undermining the other teachers in the area.

But I digress.

I know teachers need to be paid. I know they work really hard for what they get (uh, hello? Keeping the attention of a four year old for 30 minutes? Amazing.). That said, I nearly swallowed my tongue when I found out that J’s lessons are going to be $27/half hour. And then group lessons twice a month on top of that, no idea what those are going to cost.

So being the music student mom is going to be quite the change for me. Because instead of getting the checks, I’m now the one writing them.

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  1. melissaz

    Tell me about it! Especially since I’m a string player and both of my guys are taking strings it’s all I can do not to micro manage them during practice! But I’m getting better. Although your rate seems about right to me. Usually here in Austin it’s about $30 for a half-hour.

  2. Mama Zen

    Yikes! And I thought karate lessons were steep!

  3. Michelle

    Does your husband play an instrument? How about your older son…I can’t remember. I wish so much that I had musical talent!

  4. jennie

    wow violin that is so impressive. the boy is interested in piano. do you know any piano teachers?

  5. momumo

    as a musician / former music teacher — 1. the rate is right on, sounds great — and 2. You have no idea, it just gets worse, in fact I thought it would be easier if the younger two chose instruments that I was unable to play — WRONG — it’s almost worse, because while they practice and you are cooking dinner, you can’t help but make audible noises in reaction to some of the sounds, and even though they are playing loudly in another room, they somehow hear you — it’s just another opportunity for arguments. There is also the ongoing (I’m sure you had it with your mom) you must practice every day discussion… to which they reply, “I’m never going to make a living being a musician, I’m doing this FOR you, so I don’t want to be that good” — They have all quit all of their instruments, DAMMIT

  6. momumo

    wow that was a downer, sorry about that, my evil twin wrote that. How awesome that he knows what he wants to play and is having fun with it!

  7. Christina Shaver

    I’m with you on this one. I don’t think I’d be able to keep the trap shut either! The last time I taught anybody (five years ago), I charged $20/half hour.

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