Drum Lesson Fee? How much is "high"?

OrangeAgent27

Silver Member
Hello all,

So today I signed up for lessons at my local music shop and was a little put-off by the cost. I was just curious of what you thought of these particular rates, as I have no experience with it.

http://www.rocketeria.biz/instructors.aspx

The cost was $35 for a half hour. I've supplied the Bio's of the teachers at the store and they look pretty good, and admittedly, I don't know which one I'll be practicing with. However, I seem to recall over the summer seeing rates more like $35 for an hour. Either way, just curious about your thoughts on this. Thanks!
 

OrangeAgent27

Silver Member
Not sure what happened, but part of my post was deleted. Anyhow, the link is the instructors Bio's.

Your rates seem more reasonable to me. I wish I could go there, but it's a little ways away.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Depends on the part of town, whether it's through a school or music shop, and the credentials of the teacher. Lessons "downtown" are usually higher, as are with teachers who have to "rent" a space, and also with instructors who are famous or have degrees. The reality, though, is that teachers can charge whatever they want, and it's up to you as the consumer to decide whether or not the price is too steep to be worth it.
 

bigd

Silver Member
Seriously those teachers are worth maybe $20 per hour. I wouldn't pay $35 for them. I pay less per hour for my son to study with a full professor with a doctorate and degrees from North Texas and Eastman as well as a full time professional orchestral player with degrees from Oregon and Indiana. Keep looking.
 

OrangeAgent27

Silver Member
@bigd , thanks for the response! Yeah, I paid for one lesson (which is tomorrow) to get a feel for the guy, but I doubt I will be sticking around. The convenience factor is a huge plus for me though. This area is extremely overpopulated (Montgomery County, MD) so parking, travel, slow east coast drivers, can all be difficult. This place is right up the road from me, so it's worth a couple bucks extra but definitely nothing more than that.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
35 for a half hour wow..I remember paying $5 a half off the drummer for the Philadelphia Jazz Ensemble...of course that was the late '70's...
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i pay $20 per half hour for advanced lessons. my teacher has a music degree and is one of the top players in the area. the lessons are in a studio inside of a drum specialty store.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Seriously those teachers are worth maybe $20 per hour. I wouldn't pay $35 for them. I pay less per hour for my son to study with a full professor with a doctorate and degrees from North Texas and Eastman as well as a full time professional orchestral player with degrees from Oregon and Indiana. Keep looking.
It's great that you've found such a deal, bigd! But $20/hour is very low, to the point of being insulting. $20 per half-hour is the cheapest around here (near Detroit), most places start around $25 per half-hour. The studio I work for starts well above that.

We all know that it's very difficult to make decent money teaching drums, when at least 75% of music students gravitate toward guitar, which is cheaper, requires less space, and has a volume knob.

The professor bigd mentions may be able to charge less because he owns a share of the teaching facility, or does not need the income but teaches for the pleasure of it, or sees a great deal of potential in the son, or a combination of these.

$35 per half hour is up there, but you'll know right away if it's worth it. A half-hour is not a lot of time, but it's been opinion that a good teacher can easily assign a week's practice in 15 minutes. Most of the time, you're going to want the teacher who is gigging regularly. Also, a location you can get to easily is a huge consideration, because your commitment to the lessons will drive your progress more than any other thing. Bear in mind that there are plenty of bad teachers with great credentials, and plenty of good teachers with none.
 

OrangeAgent27

Silver Member
@brentcn, great points! I fear I might not be able to recognize his talents or ability as I have none myself. However, I just got off the phone with takelessons.com and they wanted $40/30 mins for their guy, so I think it just might be this area. It has like the 3rd highest cost of living in the country. Either way, I think I might just stick with this dude until I can find some dude on campus or on craigslist who can offer it for less. Either way, I'm pumped about finally getting lessons!
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
It's not outrageous- that's what drum lessons should cost, college degree or no- but you could probably do better. You could probably get hour lessons with a decent younger guy for that kind of money. I think you should avoid places like that. The "Rocketeria" probably takes at least half the money, and the teachers tend to be a little more on auto-pilot. Craigslist is an ok place to look, but I'd really talk to someone who's judgement you trust and get a recommendation.
 

OrangeAgent27

Silver Member
That's good stuff, Bishop. I appreciate that. I did just come across a fellow who was educated at Berkley and is offering $40 for one hour. I think it is out of his home and for some reason that gives it a more organic feel to me. At least more than some guy who's only making $10 bucks because the store is ripping him off.
 

birks10

Senior Member
Well, i guess the question as to "how much is too much" for drum lessons, can be kind of a relative thing. I suppose one might be more inclined to pay $35 or more if one was to study with Joe Morello or a "name" drummer. I don't think many people would wince at that. But, for taking lessons from a "music store teacher", where the store takes its percentage from the student, and then, to not know "which" teacher you're getting, i'd go... Hhhhhhmmmmmmm..... I live in Omaha and teach drums and charge $20 per hour per student. I have another job so it's not my total living... Would i pay $35 to some "guy"?? ...Not a chance. On the other hand, i think a teacher should charge what he believes his knowledge and time is worth. The teacher should feel good about what he's getting without the student feeling that he is being raked over the financial coals.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Well, i guess the question as to "how much is too much" for drum lessons, can be kind of a relative thing. I suppose one might be more inclined to pay $35 or more if one was to study with Joe Morello or a "name" drummer. I don't think many people would wince at that. But, for taking lessons from a "music store teacher", where the store takes its percentage from the student, and then, to not know "which" teacher you're getting, i'd go... Hhhhhhmmmmmmm..... I live in Omaha and teach drums and charge $20 per hour per student. I have another job so it's not my total living... Would i pay $35 to some "guy"?? ...Not a chance. On the other hand, i think a teacher should charge what he believes his knowledge and time is worth. The teacher should feel good about what he's getting without the student feeling that he is being raked over the financial coals.
I studied with Joe Morello In the early 90's at Percussion Paradise at 50 an hour to start.I learned more with him in just a few lessons than in my whole experience playing drums.You usually get what you pay for,and having the opportunity to study with Joe or Harry Chapin at the same studio was priceless.Context and content have more to do with it than just dollars.Just my 2 cents.

Steve B
 

birks10

Senior Member
Steve B. says, "you usually get what you pay for." ... I couldn't agree more. Well, i guess that means that i'm "upping" my prices per hour. :>) You know, there are always more things to learn and if I had a local guy that could teach me those things, i'd go out of my way to budget more money to get it. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then this "beholder" wouldn't mind paying for it. So i suppose it all comes down to, "How important is learning and leaning right, to you?"
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
Well, i guess the question as to "how much is too much" for drum lessons, can be kind of a relative thing. I suppose one might be more inclined to pay $35 or more if one was to study with Joe Morello or a "name" drummer. I don't think many people would wince at that.
If Joe and other top pros were $35 per hour, I would be taking a lesson EVERY DAY. Even when I started studying with Morello years ago, he was already well past that rate. Most pros are $100 or so. And guys like Morello are worth every penny.



It's great that you've found such a deal, bigd! But $20/hour is very low, to the point of being insulting. $20 per half-hour is the cheapest around here (near Detroit), most places start around $25 per half-hour. The studio I work for starts well above that.

...The professor bigd mentions may be able to charge less because he owns a share of the teaching facility, or does not need the income but teaches for the pleasure of it, or sees a great deal of potential in the son, or a combination of these.
Yes - $20 per hour is extremely low. Most people around here that charge that are in high school and looking to make some gas money (if they are old enough to drive).

I have studied with university professors for a low rate. Sometimes they will charge a lower rate so the student with the hopes that the student will attend the college they teach at.

Jeff
 

OrangeAgent27

Silver Member
You get what you pay for!
This is my philosophy as well. However, and as we all know, just because somebody charges a certain rate, doesn't mean it's worth it. But I haven't even been to one practice so I'll give it a chance and try him out. Haha, and it'll probably take a pretty penny to undo all this "self-educating" I've imposed on myself. Thanks again for all the help!
 
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