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View Full Version : how much do/did you spend per voice lesson?


Levitate
11-06-2004, 11:54 PM
Hello, I am looking for voice lessons. I am also thinking about the mark baxter method (video lessons) as an alternative to live lessons. I live in Orange County California, so I am trying to find out what price is reasonable for voice lessons from a singing teacher. A few teachers are saying $30 per half-hour is average, I am thinking :confused: :angry:

I am looking to spend $30 for 1 hour!!!

How much do you spend on lessons? Do you find them reasonable? Do you like your teacher?

Thanks

~

Rats
11-07-2004, 12:08 AM
You're right, like 90% of teachers charge $30 for 30 minutes. Kinda outrageous if you ask me, because they aren't paying any taxes on it or anything. I'm trying to find one for $20 for 30 min or $40/hour

Merkaba
11-07-2004, 03:35 AM
You're right, like 90% of teachers charge $30 for 30 minutes. Kinda outrageous if you ask me, because they aren't paying any taxes on it or anything. I'm trying to find one for $20 for 30 min or $40/hour
How do you figure they're not paying any taxes on it?

$1 / minute is the average.

p.s. Mark Baxter kicks ***

neurotic_basket_case467
11-07-2004, 10:52 AM
I paid $30 for 45 minutes to this really weird russian teacher I barely understood a word she said
and another thing I have to add-
ya gotta remember that every teacher has a different method so you have to skip a lot of teachers to find the right one for you

Levitate
11-07-2004, 02:03 PM
good lord. :upset:

[I am venting here]

those prices are not enlightening, but thanks for letting me know.

I can't believe how high they are. I mean, if they are teaching out of their apartment or home, that is negligible overhead. I am looking for someone that is savy in the field with some sort of experience, not a phD, lol.

most of my friends with masters degrees in fields they work only make $16 an hour starting out in their career fields these days...

I am gonna keep looking. Baxter's book is good, he knows his stuff, and can help with damaged voices - as in speeding up the recovery. I guess he charges $1 a minute though...(can't tell from the website http://www.voicelesson.com/html/lessons/index.htm ...I might call to get more details..)

Rats
11-07-2004, 05:40 PM
Well I provide tech support thru an ad in the local paper for $30/hour, and all my income is "under the table" so I figured vocal teachers do the same.

morrissey
11-07-2004, 05:51 PM
good lord. :upset:

[I am venting here]

those prices are not enlightening, but thanks for letting me know.

I can't believe how high they are. I mean, if they are teaching out of their apartment or home, that is negligible overhead. I am looking for someone that is savy in the field with some sort of experience, not a phD, lol.

most of my friends with masters degrees in fields they work only make $16 an hour starting out in their career fields these days...

I am gonna keep looking. Baxter's book is good, he knows his stuff, and can help with damaged voices - as in speeding up the recovery. I guess he charges $1 a minute though...(can't tell from the website http://www.voicelesson.com/html/lessons/index.htm ...I might call to get more details..)

yes, but they don't work 40 hours a week, maybe only a couple hours every day

Levitate
11-08-2004, 10:45 PM
yes, but they don't work 40 hours a week, maybe only a couple hours every day

heh, in that case, it might be nice to waddle around all day in your socks smoking bud, waiting for your $60 for that 1 hour of work :smoke:

kriswrite
11-09-2004, 08:48 AM
Teacher *are* paying taxes on what they earn. In fact, all self employed people pay higher taxes than folks who are employed by others.

Other expenses for voice teachers include: advertising, piano tuning, piano players, music purchasing and copying, tapes, etc., not to mention lights, heating, etc. Working as a teacher isn't exactly the most profitable thing in the world. I teach for the pleasure of helping others, not for the hope of getting rich. There are troubles you can't even imagine--students who pay late, or can't pay at all; students who just don't show up; students who come late and expect to get their full hour, even though this means you'll be an hour behind for the rest of the day; and other kinds of behavior where the student is clearly forgetting that the teacher has bills to pay, too :)

Here in Oregon, lessons range between $15-40 an hour. The average is $30-35 and hour. In metropolitan areas of CA, prices would probably be higher.

The thing is, it's worth it. If you find a teacher who can impart good technique to you, it's completely worth it. You won't have to worry about loosing your voice, or getting hoarse before an important performance. If your voice starts cracking in the middle of a song, you'll know how to fix it. You won't have to spend worry, time, and money on "fixing" nodes or other vocal problems. My years of vocal training (which cost $45-55 for 45 minutes) were SO WELL WORTH IT. I never regret spending that money. And I hope that my students feel the same. (Although, incidentally, I charge low-end prices, because I want people who otherwise couldn't afford lessons to be able to take them. I even give lessons away for free, if I think the student is eager, a hard worker, and unable to pay.)

Kristina
www.geocities.com/kristinasvocalstudio

KKKKKocaine
11-09-2004, 09:40 AM
Teacher *are* paying taxes on what they earn. In fact, all self employed people pay higher taxes than folks who are employed by others.

Other expenses for voice teachers include: advertising, piano tuning, piano players, music purchasing and copying, tapes, etc., not to mention lights, heating, etc. Working as a teacher isn't exactly the most profitable thing in the world. I teach for the pleasure of helping others, not for the hope of getting rich. There are troubles you can't even imagine--students who pay late, or can't pay at all; students who just don't show up; students who come late and expect to get their full hour, even though this means you'll be an hour behind for the rest of the day; and other kinds of behavior where the student is clearly forgetting that the teacher has bills to pay, too :)


That is a valid argument, However, $30 is about 16.
Now I don't think that Levitate meant to suggest that vocal teachers are leeches and roll in their profits.
However, what I think he means, Is that subjectively, Vocal lessons are much more costly than other instrumental lessons, for example, an hour drum lesson will cost me 20 ($37), wheras an hours vocal lesson would cost 32 ($60), Now, we cannot connotate from this the conclusion that drums are easier than vocals, as they are both completely different matters, they are both hard to master and have their own techniques and skills that need to be mastered and held in mind.
Now the drum teachers and guitar teachers e.t.c. all have to pay for the same heating, the same music to buy e.t.c.
They have to deal with late students e.t.c.

In short, they do the same things as the vocal teacher, yet other instrument teachers tend to charge less, than the $1 a minute rate, This does raise some questions, and is probably the main motivation behind Levitates rant, as compared to other instruments, vocal teachers seem to be charging more.

kriswrite
11-09-2004, 11:46 AM
Interesting point about voice lessons vs. other music lessons. I don't have a definitive answer, except to point out that instrument lessons are far more in demand than voice lessons. If there's high demand, but many teachers, prices will be lower. If there's less demand, prices tend to go up (cuz teachers gotta pay the bills).

In addition, while any musician should be able to teach someone else to play "his instrument," teaching voice may require a bit more finesse. You can't just teach what works for you on a personal level. There's a lot of psychology involved, a lot of careful listening to hear problems and their underlying cause, and a lot of figuring out how to convey the best way to correct the problem. (It would be nice if I could just say, lower your larynx, but that doesn't work 99.9% of the time. I have to come up with "tricks" or psychological techniques to help the student achieve this.)

Not excuses here. Just trying to address your interesting--and valid--point.

Kristina
www.geocities.com/kristinasvocalstudio

Rats
11-09-2004, 04:15 PM
If more demand results in lower prices, should prices here in L.A. be pretty low? Prices here seem to be much higher than the average. Teachers here charge between $50-80 an hour

morrissey
11-09-2004, 04:44 PM
Interesting point about voice lessons vs. other music lessons. I don't have a definitive answer, except to point out that instrument lessons are far more in demand than voice lessons. If there's high demand, but many teachers, prices will be lower. If there's less demand, prices tend to go up (cuz teachers gotta pay the bills).

In addition, while any musician should be able to teach someone else to play "his instrument," teaching voice may require a bit more finesse. You can't just teach what works for you on a personal level. There's a lot of psychology involved, a lot of careful listening to hear problems and their underlying cause, and a lot of figuring out how to convey the best way to correct the problem. (It would be nice if I could just say, lower your larynx, but that doesn't work 99.9% of the time. I have to come up with "tricks" or psychological techniques to help the student achieve this.)

Not excuses here. Just trying to address your interesting--and valid--point.

Kristina
www.geocities.com/kristinasvocalstudio

Not trying to disprove your argument or anything... but that is like the complete opposition to fundamental economics... The more demand, the higher the prices (if people are willing to pay $100 from something worth $5, all the better, right?) but if there is no demand, prices plummet (down to a certain point -- if no one is willing to pay $100, they aren't selling anything, so they lower the price to a point that will attract the most customers for teh most money)...

I guess in this industry it is different, but in every other business...

Screamin_Demon_Auz
11-09-2004, 05:45 PM
I think the more demand, the more competition which will result in people trying to give the most for the least amount of money. With less demand and competition for vocal trainers, they are free to charge what they want. I also think vocals are the hardest instrument to learn. In lessons with any other instruments, say guitar, your 50% there just by having your instrument. All you have to do is learn to play it, which im not saying is easy, you just have a head start. With your voice, you first have to build it, by strengthing it and the systems used in vocal production, then after you finally get the instrument prepared for singing, you have to learn how to use it. Also, the voice is the only instrument you cannot see, which leads to many problems.

Merkaba
11-10-2004, 01:32 AM
Yea, teaching vocals is a whole different thing. Its like Screamin said. You have a lot out of the way by showing up with other instruments. With vocals youre learning to play your body, but some people dont have a clue as to where the cords are at, look like, work like, etc. Plus, many are learning a new thing without seeing it, just feeling it...and hearing it. Imagine learning to play the piano or a guitar with a blindfold on. And as we have all seen , just because you can talk doesnt mean that you know how to sing.

KKKKKocaine
11-10-2004, 07:50 AM
In lessons with any other instruments, say guitar, your 50% there just by having your instrument. All you have to do is learn to play it, which im not saying is easy, you just have a head start. With your voice, you first have to build it, by strengthing it and the systems used in vocal production, then after you finally get the instrument prepared for singing, you have to learn how to use it. Also, the voice is the only instrument you cannot see, which leads to many problems.

You are most definately not halfway to being a good drummer by having a kit, You are showing a lack of knowledge on the techniques required for other instruments, you do not simply pick up a drum stick with it in the correct grip at the fulcrum with the required speed to play, Nor does it grant you the 4 way co-ordination required to play beats on the drums.
In fact, the notion that you are halfway there by having the instrument is simply ridiculous, I'm sure if I sat a random person on a drumkit they would be nowhere closer to being a drummer, they would still lack the knowledge of grip, speed, endurance, co-ordination e.t.c.
Nevermind the more advanced stick techniques such as the moeller technique, buzz rolls, double stroke rolls.
The same with guitar, I have a guitar in my room, and I am definately not 50% of the way to being a guitarist, because I don't know the most basic guitar techniques, in fact, I know next to nothing about guitar techniques.

You have to build your wrist strength for drumming, the same way you need to build your voice for vocals, You have to build your bodys internal timing and co-ordination before you are ready to play the drums.
I am sorry, but your lack of knowledge on other instruments is verging on the astounding, If you honestly believe that you can sit on a drumkit, of sit an acoustic on your lap and play then you are severly misguided in the matter.

just because you can talk doesnt mean that you know how to sing.

And just because you have a drumkit does not mean you know how to play 4 way co-ordination, or even three way.

In addition, while any musician should be able to teach someone else to play "his instrument," teaching voice may require a bit more finesse. You can't just teach what works for you on a personal level. There's a lot of psychology involved, a lot of careful listening to hear problems and their underlying cause, and a lot of figuring out how to convey the best way to correct the problem. (It would be nice if I could just say, lower your larynx, but that doesn't work 99.9% of the time. I have to come up with "tricks" or psychological techniques to help the student achieve this.)

This is the same for any instrument, to be a teacher of anything requires certain skills, there are musicians who may have been playing for decades but lack the teaching abilities, If you sit in on any musical lesson, you will most likely find the teacher using these psychological tricks with their students, getting them to think about the piece they are playing in a completely different light.
I know my drum teacher does it all the time, last night we worked on 3's over 2's, we stepped it up as complex as we could get, the three's using both hands on the floor tom and snare creating a 2 feel rather than 3, the 2's being played on the bass drum and hi-hat pedal, the result was when being played you could not hear the rythmn, you had to instead feel what was going on, and then we looked into the methods of breaking this done.
The same with vocals, being a good player is not enough to be a good teacher you need to have the teaching skills to help the students understand more complex concepts or techniques that they struggle on.

I think a problem here among the people who are only vocalists, is that you see the musical world in two lights, vocals and other, hard and easy, Drumming is just as hard as vocals, they are merely on different planes of technique, whilst in drumming you do not need to build your voice, you need to learn how to co-ordinate your limbs. Vocals are no more harder than drums, and drums are no more harder than vocals, any notion to the otherwise is simply preposterous and would indicate that the speaker has not tried to learn the instrument they speak down on, trust me, Sit on a drumkit and try to play a simple rock beat with a fill across the kit, it isn't as easy as you think because you need to train your body.

luciferchrist
11-10-2004, 07:56 AM
I am starting for $45 an hour next saturday

thats about average around here

sliver
11-10-2004, 09:13 AM
it depends on the teacher... sometimes you can spend a little money and find a great teacher, sometimes you can't. But it's a waste of time sticking with a crappy teacher just because they have low rates.

IF the teacher is decent, $30 an hour is a great deal.


I think a problem here among the people who are only vocalists, is that you see the musical world in two lights, vocals and other, hard and easy, Drumming is just as hard as vocals, they are merely on different planes of technique, whilst in drumming you do not need to build your voice, you need to learn how to co-ordinate your limbs. Vocals are no more harder than drums, and drums are no more harder than vocals, any notion to the otherwise is simply preposterous and would indicate that the speaker has not tried to learn the instrument they speak down on, trust me, Sit on a drumkit and try to play a simple rock beat with a fill across the kit, it isn't as easy as you think because you need to train your body.

To me a vocalist who has no musical theory whatsoever, will never become a great vocalist. I've never actualy heard of a well known vocalist who doesn't at least know 1 instrument.

The difference is though, you can strum a chord on the guitar, you can hit the snare on the drum... and it will sound like a snare, and it will sound like that chord. I don't know that much about drums as I've only played about a year, but I have played guitar for about 6 years and I've sung just about as long and I find the singing to be much more of a challenge.

Here is why:

You can sit down with a guitar piece, and play it at a slow pace... let's say 60 bpm and then everyday slowly increase it to its normal speed, let's say 153 bpm. It's a gradual learning curve, eventually with enough practise you can get it!

But hearing and understanding melody is different, it's not something tangible that you can touch... it's not co-ordination of you hands, it's something you can't explain. Sometimes, with certain people, it's really "You get it, or you don't."

Also because everyone's vocal range is different, there are limitations on what we can and can't sing. For example I will never be an operatic tenor... I simply cannot reach some of those high notes, no matter how hard I try. But if I really wanted to, I could sit down everyday and practise a speed metal solo.

Obviously you could argue and say, "Well not everyone can grow to be an amazing drummer." This is true, but the fact is, most people if they practised could become decent studio drummers...

i.e. take the song Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

A person who has very poor co-ordination could probably practise many many hours and eventually learn to play it. But a person could spend years and never be able to sing the song.

It's not that singing is "harder" than drumming, it's just that a really good male rock singer is more of a scarce resource. :)

sliver
11-10-2004, 09:15 AM
In short, they do the same things as the vocal teacher, yet other instrument teachers tend to charge less, than the $1 a minute rate, This does raise some questions, and is probably the main motivation behind Levitates rant, as compared to other instruments, vocal teachers seem to be charging more.

it's cause they are elitest jerks ;)

Merkaba
11-10-2004, 10:35 AM
It all boils down to simple economics. You will charge what you can or go out of business. If you get 40 people a week at 100 bucks an hour each. why would you stop?
If you only get one person a week at 100 bucks. Then you might have to rearrange some things. It depends on how good you are and where you live. period.

If you go on tour and usually make 10 thousand a show, why lower your pay until you have to. You wont. The world is tough, and unless youre filthy rich you do what you can while you can before you can't. point blank.

Priscilla Hernandez
11-10-2004, 11:20 AM
i cannot help you , i've never gone to classes, i'm self taught and in fact i've not been singing for long. I manage, I guess.
I found some free online lessons if you want to have a look check my resources directory at "instruments and singing tutorials" ---then to free singing lessons. Though in text it could help you to learn the bassics of warming up

kriswrite
11-10-2004, 12:29 PM
I was trying to say that teachers charge what the market will demand. In CA, where there are a great many singers who are trying to go pro, singing lessons will be more expensive. In an area where few singers want to go pro, they will be less expensive.

Kristina
www.geocities.com/kristinasvocalstudio

Screamin_Demon_Auz
11-10-2004, 05:30 PM
I do stand by what ive said. By having the instruments I play(guitar(rhythm, lead and bass), harmonica, drums, and keyboard all which I play at different levels with different amount of knowledge), I have the advantage of having the instrument in hand. Then I have the journey of learning how to play it. Yes you do have to build up strength in different parts of your body for all instruments, but voice you have to learn support, build your whole vocal anatomy strength, and just learn several other things before you can even begin singing well. Im not naive about it and I do read music and I do play other instruments, I just know with everything but voice you have an advantage of having the instrument already made performance quality, then you have to learn to play it. You dont have the advantage with voice.

morrissey
11-10-2004, 08:17 PM
It all boils down to simple economics. You will charge what you can or go out of business. If you get 40 people a week at 100 bucks an hour each. why would you stop?
If you only get one person a week at 100 bucks. Then you might have to rearrange some things. It depends on how good you are and where you live. period.

If you go on tour and usually make 10 thousand a show, why lower your pay until you have to. You wont. The world is tough, and unless youre filthy rich you do what you can while you can before you can't. point blank.

exactly my point (see my previous post)

Rats
11-10-2004, 08:32 PM
It all boils down to simple economics. You will charge what you can or go out of business. If you get 40 people a week at 100 bucks an hour each. why would you stop?
If you only get one person a week at 100 bucks. Then you might have to rearrange some things. It depends on how good you are and where you live. period.

If you go on tour and usually make 10 thousand a show, why lower your pay until you have to. You wont. The world is tough, and unless youre filthy rich you do what you can while you can before you can't. point blank.

Thats what I thought was going on here in LA as well.

Plus, if all vocal teachers are charging $60 an hour, and you are charging $40 an hour, people are going to think, whats wrong with this guy? Is he charging only $40 an hour because he isn't as good as the more expensive guys? Even though that may not be the case.

Levitate
11-10-2004, 10:38 PM
heheh, thanks for the input. Everyone has good points & insight on such an intractable issue like billings.

I have had 15 or so guitar lessons; they were helpful. One cannot see carpal tunnel syndrome, and has to learn one's limits as to finger acrobatics (for metal shredders...). Lessons (in LA) were cheap compared to singing lessons over here in LA.

I have taken 5 or so singing lessons that were very good. However, I wish I would have gotten more of the basics (like for instance, on what singing like your favorite hard rock/metal vocalist will do to your voice & how much damage). I mean, I am looking for someone to help me, not someone light years ahead (maybe a few steps ahead) of me. So there has got to be someone steps ahead of me that can charge a reasonable fee :confused: , as I am not looking for a full time music professional, just a weekend warrior that is well read/has taken some lessons/has singing skills/has worked with people.

That being said, I just got an email back from a nice guy that had advertized online. :smoke: He says that he may be able to direct me to someone affordable and assess the type of damage done to my vocal folds (my ENT says they are 100% fine - they have improved from all day sore throat conditions, but I have minor sore throats in the morning...getting better though). I hope he follows through, he has a PH D...otherwise I plan to continue my search. Maybe I will advertize online that I am looking for a teacher and just check references. I am not in a hurry, maybe my chords will heal up to what I think is like 85% and I will be on my way. Maybe I have acid reflux (?) who knows...I mean, I like the way my voice sounds, I just am now weary of vocal health and want to pursue additional knowledge in this area.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the input & tolerating to my rant. :chug:

Merkaba
11-11-2004, 04:16 AM
well lev, is this a sore throat like you get when you usually get a cold, like when you swallow? it hurts more? if so then its probably not your cords. It could come from the extra air scraping your throat. I would recommend you keep washing your mouth out with antiseptics. If your doc says your cords are fine, then work em. its the only way to build strength and gain. warm up , and keep the throat relaxed.

Levitate
11-11-2004, 09:17 PM
well lev, is this a sore throat like you get when you usually get a cold, like when you swallow? it hurts more? if so then its probably not your cords. It could come from the extra air scraping your throat. I would recommend you keep washing your mouth out with antiseptics. If your doc says your cords are fine, then work em. its the only way to build strength and gain. warm up , and keep the throat relaxed.


hey bro,

thanks much for the advice :D

It is like a light sore throat one would get from a cold - in the morning. When I practice singing, my throat feels somewhat worse the next day. I am sure my vocal folds are fine, just some sort of problem with my throat. Thanks much for this advice (and other posts as well). I will try and keep the throat relaxed & practice the excercises I was shown in previous voice lessons I took. I tried spraying anticeptic in my mouth for a few weeks straight; it did not do much except numb everything. I will try this again, and use mouthwash. Couldn't hurt, I mean the ENT said I was 100% fine. Thanks a ton though, best to ya :chug:

Merkaba
11-11-2004, 11:10 PM
hey bro,

thanks much for the advice :D

It is like a light sore throat one would get from a cold - in the morning. When I practice singing, my throat feels somewhat worse the next day. I am sure my vocal folds are fine, just some sort of problem with my throat. Thanks much for this advice (and other posts as well). I will try and keep the throat relaxed & practice the excercises I was shown in previous voice lessons I took. I tried spraying anticeptic in my mouth for a few weeks straight; it did not do much except numb everything. I will try this again, and use mouthwash. Couldn't hurt, I mean the ENT said I was 100% fine. Thanks a ton though, best to ya :chug:
:lol:
antiseptic...not chloroseptic. for me its Listerine and hydrogen peroxide.
yea, mouthwash at least.