Have you recently purchased a new instrument? Want to pick back up an old music habit? You’re going to need some music lessons to get the ball rolling. No matter what kind of system or teacher you want to buy into, these lessons almost always cost money. So how much should you spend on music lessons? The answer may depend on a number of qualifications, varying from what level of instruction you are seeking to how intensive you want your lessons to be. Let’s look at a few factors to keep in mind.
What Skill Level Are You? Where Do You Want to Be?
One of the most important things to consider when looking for music lessons is your current skill level. The good news for beginners is that there are so many people out there who can help you. In addition to other benefits, this means you can find any number of teachers who fit your budget. In fact, there are a lot of free sites out there that can help you in this stage of the process. Even YouTube can be a good place for beginner musicians to find free music lessons. When you’re in the early stages of learning an instrument, especially if it’s your first one, it’s all about mastering the basics.
For intermediate players and better, the cost of music lessons will probably be higher. You’re talking about more specialized teachers whose knowledge and skills are harder to come by, thus they can charge more. If it really means that much to you, though, you might be willing to fork over a bit more of your cash. Look for a teacher who fits your skill level because it doesn’t always help a beginner to learn from a master musician who will teach beyond their understanding (unless they have extensive experience with new players). At the same time, advanced musicians shouldn’t settle for a very basic teacher who is just going to tell them what they already know.
Regardless of where you are now, it’s also good to visualize where you want to be. Some music lessons, be they software or actual teachers, are limited in how far they can help you progress. A beginner may not care about decisions having to be made further down the road, though. Who has time for thinking about barre chords when you’re still learning the proper posture of holding a guitar? Still, when a musician is looking for a personal instructor or subscribing to a teaching service, they should inquire whether the music lessons come in different skill sets. It can be a real bummer to have to find a whole new teacher each time you feel like you’ve moved one rung up the ladder.
The Hidden Cost of Free Music Lessons
In today’s world of video technology and smartphone apps, the draw toward free music lessons can be quite enticing. Are these opportunities a great value? Free music lessons can be extraordinarily helpful for supplementing one’s music education, but they rarely beat the consistent learning tracks provided by actual instructors and video tutorial services. Think of it this way: Could you get a solid education on American history simply by watching YouTube videos and reading free ebooks? You might be able to pick up a lot of the basics and some fun facts to share at parties, but your learning would be fragmented and difficult to plot out for yourself in most cases. We aren’t all Matt Damon’s character in “Good Will Hunting.”
Getting a Good Deal from a Teacher
How much should you spend on music lessons? Somewhere between what you can afford and what the instructor is worth. If you’re a beginner at something like piano or guitar, you should expect to pay somewhere between $20 and $50 per session. Piano lessons can sometimes run a bit higher than those involving a portable instrument like a guitar, but both instruments would fall in this range.
Don’t be scared to shop around while you’re looking for the right teacher. It pays to look at competing companies/instructors because you can compare prices, hours of availability, types of classes, and more. Some people opt for group lessons, as these can run a little cheaper. What you’re missing out on with one-to-one lessons you’ll make up with a few more dollars staying in your pocket.
An industrious person with solid ambition can undoubtedly teach themselves, though it doesn’t hurt for him or her to employ a few online tools to make the process run smoother. If you want to bypass instruction and go your own way, know you may still pay for some resources to help you along. Be smart about where you throw your money because the online marketplace is full of options and not all of them will be suited for what you need. There are no free lunches when it comes to music lessons.
Finding What You Can Afford and What You Can Live Without
The answer to “How much should I spend on music lessons?” depends on your personal situation. A guy in his 40s will have more finances to pour into his guitar lessons than a preteen might. Whatever your place in life and whatever resources you have, set a budget for what you can afford and start looking for the right instructor or subscription service.
If money is an obstacle, think of ways to lower the price of your lessons. The answer could be to attend bi-monthly sessions rather than weekly or you could look for an instructor who isn’t much further advanced from yourself. Finding the right instructor isn’t that different from purchasing a new car or looking for the next game console you wish to buy. There are certain trade-offs between the cost and other factors.
Know When to Make a Change
Lastly, don’t be scared to change instructors or cancel a service when you feel it is no longer beneficial to you. Life is too short to waste time and money on something that doesn’t fit its price point. Whether you have progressed from a beginner to intermediate or feel a teacher is teaching a different style than you wish to play, there’s no shame in beginning the search once again.
We hope this information has helped you in your quest to find the right music lessons for your budget. At Camp Electric, we want to empower the next generation of Christian musicians to become the creative people we hear on the radio for years to come. From classroom sessions with teachers from today’s biggest bands to important workshops about the industry, Camp Electric has what you need for a fun-filled and educational week of music. Find out how you can join us by clicking on the link below.