Meri’s Musical Musings

The benefits of a materials fee and a studio contract in music lessons

Posted on: January 25, 2011

The benefits of materials fees in music lessons

Many activities have additional fees that are beyond the cost of instruction themselves

Yet more and more places are eliminating these fees, especially cellphone companies and fitness clubs

But a teacher with a materials fee may be a good thing, especially if you don’t like being nickel and dimed for every new book for example, yet can’t afford an all-inclusive fee.

They help control the teacher’s costs—some teachers set a materials fee that not only covers the student’s materials, but also cover the costs of planning performances (eg: participation certificates, food, awards, door prizes) and practice rewards.

And they increase the level of commitment to students and their parents

The benefits of a studio contract

Several teachers I’ve noticed are saying in their ads that they don’t make you sign a contract to agree to lessons for a certain period of time on their terms. And some types of companies are also eliminating contracts. There are three reasons why I think a studio contact is beneficial to both parents and students.

First, a studio contract results in much fewer misunderstandings. Especially on attendance and sick days.

Second, it helps to know the expectations of students about things such as payment (how much, when it’s due, and the amount for any late charges), practicing, attendance at studio events

Third, it offers a way out for students and parents, because some teachers do have overly restrictive studio policy, such as no makeups for any reason or charging lesson fees by the term or semester.


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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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