The Many Advantages of Utilizing a Flat Rate Tuition Policy for Private Music Studios


October 13, 2023

Kelly Riordan, Outside The Bachs

As a professional musician and private music teacher, I have dealt with various tuition policies throughout the years. After thorough experimentation, I have found that utilizing a flat rate tuition policy can be the best option for both the studio owner and the students. It’s one of the levers that we use in the Outside The Bachs community of private music studios to create sustainability in our practices. I will be going into more detail about “monthly flat rate” and the advantages of using this policy and how it can benefit both parties.

What is a monthly flat rate tuition policy?
The teacher charges the same amount of money for tuition on a monthly basis, often times as an automatic payments. Rates are based on the number of guaranteed lessons in the calendar year.

How do you calculate your monthly price?

Pick a number of weeks you will teach (52 minus - # of weeks off teaching)

Set an hourly rate price

Monthly flat rate tuition = ((52 - # of weeks off) x (hourly rate))/12

The advantages of a flat rate tuition policy for private music teachers:

Transparency: One of the main advantages of utilizing a flat rate tuition policy is the increased transparency for both the studio owner and students. With this type of policy, there are no hidden fees or additional costs that need to be accounted for. Everything is disclosed upfront, which ensures that there is no confusion or miscommunication between both parties. This helps to establish trust and strengthens the relationship between the studio owner and students.

Consistency: Another advantage of using a flat rate tuition policy is the consistency that it provides. When students know exactly how much they will need to pay each week or month, they can better plan and budget their expenses. Moreover, the studio owner can also establish a consistent income stream, which allows them to better manage their finances and invest in their business. This consistency also helps to establish a regular routine for students, which can aid in their learning.

Flexibility for clients, parents & students: There is the freedom to choose if the tuition will be paid weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. Moreover, there is also the option to offer makeup classes if a student is unable to attend their regular lesson. This flexibility can provide additional convenience and helps to accommodate various schedules.

Flexibility and more freedom for teachers: Since  I migrated to a flat rate tuition, I am able to travel more, take extended weekends and better plan for holidays. It’s a huge component of my life that makes teaching private lessons a sustainable income stream for me.

Recently, I was able to use my flat rate tuition policy to organize a trip to New Mexico with family!

Santa Fe Opera
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
National Park hiking in New Mexico

Focus on learning: When tuition payments are not an issue, students are free to focus on their learning and improving their skills. Classrooms with traditional hourly rates sometimes have students consistently checking the clock, worried that they will have to pay per minute. Using a flat rate tuition policy, students can dive into their coursework fully, knowing their learning is not contingent on finances.

Growth: Utilizing a flat rate tuition policy can also help to promote long-term growth for private music studios. A consistent income stream allows studio owners to better plan and invest in their business, whether that be in equipment, marketing, or even offering scholarships. Moreover, this consistency can help to attract students who are looking for a quality and reliable music education.

Giving a lecture to music major undergrads, February 2022

Conclusion: Overall, utilizing a flat rate tuition policy can provide numerous benefits for private music studios. Its transparency, consistency, flexibility, focus on learning, and potential for growth can strengthen the relationship between studio owners and students. As someone who has experienced the advantages of this policy first hand, I wholeheartedly suggest giving it a try!

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