Every teacher has to increase tuition at some point. If not, we would still be charging $2.50 a lesson like I did when I first started teaching. If you are a new teacher, have you given any thought to how you plan to raise your tuition when the time comes? Here is an example of what not to write:

 Parents, as you know my husband lost his second job when he fell off the bull at the rodeo last month. With the economy like it is, this has caused a hardship to our family, especially since Grandpa is missing again and not sending checks for Judy’s kick boxing lessons. Plus, Johnny has been selected for the select polo team and while we’re excited, it’s not cheap!!! So please, if you don’t mind, be sure to give me $5.00 extra in lesson money starting next week. I know it’s going to be a hardship for you, but my husband said if I don’t bring in some extra money soon, I’ll have to give up my iphone and go back to greeting at Walmart. Thanks!!!  🙂  –Suzie

The above letter is a humorous attempt to break  every rule of professional business communication. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional piano instructor, get in the habit of using the word “tuition”. When it is time to raise your rates, do it in a business-like manner. Even with the cost of postage going up, send your letter through the mail.  Don’t hand it to the student or the big sister because it will probably never reach its destination. Email is fine for notices and reminders, but a tuition increase is one of the few things that  should be snail mailed.

Here are some more pointers.

Keep your letter short and to the point.  You should not give a reason to raise your rates, even “the current economy”.  Keep your personal life out of your business.  Don’t be apologetic; this is your business.  Give parents plenty of notice and do not make a sudden decision to raise rates at the last minute. Never give more information than is needed. If you teach by semesters, then it is best to inform parents that tuition will raise the next semester, or the next fall.

Tuition increase exampleThis is an example of a professional letter to increase piano tuition. 

Dear Parents,

 Effective September 1, 20– monthly tuition will be $xx.00 or $xx.00 per semester for 45-minute lessons.

 Monthly tuition for 30 minute lessons will be $xx.00 or $xx.00 per semester.

 Sincerely,

Piano Teacher

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3 thoughts to “Increasing Tuition

  • Heidi

    Thanks so much! I’m one of those piano teachers that start out charging less than the going rate, though not as low as you did! I’ll definetly use this info for when I need to up my income. Thanks again!

  • Music Teaching Tips

    Thanks for the pointers. I know that these tips can be very helpful to those music teachers who are planning to raise their charges.

  • Wendy

    Great advice, Susan! “Keep the letter short and to the point” is what we all need to hear. It’s so easy to try to overexplain and to allow our personal life to be entangled with our business!

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