Many students and parents may ask about the difference in having lessons at the Music School and with private piano instructors.This article is meant to offer an objective comparison based on most school’s system vs that of private piano teacher’s policies.

Fees/Deposit & No of lessons per year

Piano Lesson Fees – Music schools

  • Most piano music school includes deposit (refundable upon giving 1 month notice when terminating) which ranges from $50 to $100 usually
  • Most piano music schools charges upfront by per term. Some school charges the fees upfront by per month though.
  • There are fifty-two (52) complete weeks in a given year (plus the extra day, or two). Some schools offer 11 lessons a term (3 monthly), so in a year, that is 44 lessons. There are 8 weeks when there is no lessons. However, different schools have different policies and some schools may offer a couple of lessons more or less.

Piano Lesson Fees – Private PianoTeachers

There is generally no deposits for private piano teachers.
Most private piano teachers collect payment every monthly or per 4 lessons.
There are generally 2 types of fee structures for Private Piano Teachers.
Some private teachers collect payment on the first lesson of the cycle while some collect payment on last lesson of the cycle. Most of our teachers require payment on the first lesson of the cycle.

4- Lessons cycle:

For most piano teachers, their fees are for 4 Delivered lessons. So long as 4 lessons are delivered, that is a cycle. This is very fair and transparent to the students.

Monthly Lessons cycle:

For some piano teachers, they do not conduct lessons if there is a 5th week. The 5th weeks could be used for make-up lessons. Minority of the private teachers follow a calendar similar to the schools.

Missing of lessons, Flexibility of make up lessons

Music Schools For many schools, make up lessons are out. If your child cannot make it for the piano lesson, there is usually No make up lessons. Of course there are some exceptions. Some schools allow the teachers to practise discretions, especially if there is an MC (medical Certificates) and it is a one to one class (instead of a group).

Private Piano Teachers For private piano teachers, they have different policies. Of course when there is an MC, it is straightforward. Some teachers are very kind and understand the commitments the children have in school, especially where there are unforeseen supplementary classes or CCAs in academic schools.

They generally require the students to let them know a day before hand. They will usually try to do make up lessons for the students. But of course, some teachers who are very packed will subject the make up lessons to availability of their slots. Some could teacher teach longer for a few lessons to make up for 1 missed lesson.That being said, there are a minority of teachers who generally do not do make up lessons. Group lessons

Schools have many pianos and can do group lessons, especially for the young ones where one of your objectives of sending your little one is to meet the others and socialise. Most private teachers do not teach in a group as it is more efficient and effective to do individual coaching. It is workable if 2 kids or students are of similar learning speed to go for lessons together though.

Ownership & Change of Teachers

When you are learning under a private piano teacher, a teacher’s sense of ownership of the students is naturally stronger than compared to teaching in the schools where the teachers for a class could be changed due to teacher’s resignation, leave and so on. The curriculum of the piano lessons at schools is usually structured and set, whereas that of private piano teachers may be customized and tailored to that of the student’s learning style and ability, though it may be less defined on paper.

Venue Private piano teachers do house visits, they could go to students’ place for lessons especially when it is convenient or near their place. This makes piano lessons very feasible for children who have busy parents. Parents need not send children to music schools.
In Schools, all students have to go to school, which may offer better learning environment then when you have other children whom may be a source of distraction, other than things like TV.

Timing Schools have limited slots as the school area is fixed. Students may not have the ideal timing, especially the more popular slots would be quite filled. This is especially so when parents have to fetch children to the schools after work or during weekends.

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