Should I List Tuition Rates on My Website?
Do you list your tuition rates on your website?
How confident do you feel in your choice?
This is an endlessly-debated topic among teachers, and here’s the familiar bottom line: there’s not just one right answer.
So why should you keep reading?
In building websites for music studios, we’ve seen examples on both sides of the question.
As a piano teacher, I’ve listed my tuition rates on my website - and removed them - multiple times.
While no one can tell you whether to list your tuition rates on your website, here’s a helpful look at both sides. You’ll probably resonate with one of these stories, and you may see things differently after reading.
Meet two piano teachers with very different goals.
Julie has maintained a piano studio for 35 years. Her schedule is consistently full and she has a small wait list. When a student drops out of lessons, Julie is usually able to replace that student within a month.
Julie has 40 students and plans to let graduation, etc., reduce her numbers naturally to 25 for next fall. She wants to slow down a bit while also helping to care for her grandkids.
Julie’s passion lies in helping her high school students get ready for their future music path. The majority of her high schoolers are serious about music and will pursue it, in some capacity, in college. Her students are usually preparing for an upcoming competition, festival, or audition.
At this point, Julie only accepts students with several years of piano experience who place a high priority on their music. Julie’s studio website used to bring in half a dozen inquiries every month, as she’s a well-known teacher in town, but the vast majority of these were not a good fit for her studio.
Responding to inquiries used significant time that Julie wanted to spend elsewhere, so she needed a more efficient way of communicating with families who were interested in her studio.
Julie decided that, since these inquiries were coming through her website, she would update that and use her website as a more effective gate to her studio.
She started by updating her photos. Julie had offered a wider range of programming in the past, including summer camps and mommy-and-me classes. She removed photos of outdated offerings and replaced them with photos of her high school students in performance.
Next, Julie updated her colors to be more professional and less playful, removed outdated information and pages, and then added a new page called “What to Expect.”
On her new page, Julie included information about the audition process, requirements for students, the experience that her students can expect, and her tuition rates. Her rates were already on the high side for her area, and she raised them by 3% on her new page so that incoming students would expect the higher rate.
That was two months ago. Julie now receives one or two inquiries a month, and they are from families who are looking for specifically what she offers. These families are willing to wait for an opening in her studio.
These new families do not ask about her rates - or if they need a piano to begin lessons.
Julie is free to focus on teaching and has a short wait list of excellent students who hope to be lucky enough to study with her.
Josh graduated from his Master’s program a year ago and moved to a new city to begin his career as a musician and teacher. Josh started building his studio immediately while playing gigs and accompanying around his new community.
Josh figured out before graduating that he wanted to build a group studio for piano and guitar lessons, so he set up his teaching space accordingly. He built an attractive website that focused on the vibrant, fun experience that his group lessons offered and placed clear calls-to-action throughout his site.
Josh began the 2018-19 studio year with eight students in three different groups. It was a struggle to make the groups work out because of the difference in ages, and he realized that having a larger student enrollment would make group formation much simpler.
He set a goal of beginning the 2019-20 studio year with 24 students. To achieve this goal, he spent many hours connecting with school music teachers, offering enrichment classes to his local homeschool community, and building a strong referral program. Josh also made a priority of consistently posting photos and videos of his studio happenings on social media.
Josh wants to keep things simple while he’s learning as a beginning teacher. His policies are straightforward, much of his system is online and automated, and his lesson rates are average for his area.
Because he wants to have conversations with as many parents as possible while he’s growing, Josh opted to not list his rates on his website. His goal is to get as many families as possible in the door so that he can let them experience his engaging, energetic lesson approach. Josh offers a complimentary meet-and-greet to potential studio families and gets the kids on the piano or guitar, improvising with him and quickly experiencing the fun of playing music.
Only after playing music with a potential new student does Josh hand the parents a paper copy of his policy with his rates. By that time, the parents are usually excited and the kids are begging to play more. Josh enrolls about 75% of the families who meet with him.
The third teacher is you.
By now you’ve connected the dots. Does your studio situation more closely resemble Julie’s or Josh’s?
Does it make the most sense for you to list your tuition rates on your website? Did you have any new thoughts about it during this post? Do you feel confident in your previous choice, or does it seem like a good idea to try something new?
I’d love to hear your feedback.
Thanks for reading!
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