Parenting & Family

Piano Lessons - Budgeting

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  • Jul 21st, 2015 1:05 pm
[OP]
Newbie
May 1, 2007
92 posts
18 upvotes
North York

Piano Lessons - Budgeting

Hi everyone!
  1. Teacher fees
    What is a reasonable price for a kid starting piano lessons? I just got a quote for $30 for 30 minutes. We plan to go to her home studio.
  2. New/used piano cost
    I plan on buying from Robert Lowrey showroom on Eglinton East. Any reviews? I am thinking of buying a used one. Thoughts?
  3. Tuning/servicing piano cost
    How often do I need to do this? What is the cost that I should be budgeting?
  4. Books/Tapes/Royal Conservatory "all in" Exams cost
    No idea how much this will be. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
Any and all tips welcomed!

Bonus: The RC has a national registry for teachers that you can search by postal code and then email the teachers directly.
http://www.rcmusic.ca/teacher-directory
8 replies
Moderator
May 28, 2012
12044 posts
4667 upvotes
Saskatoon
How old is your child? If they are very young, like under five...I would consider group lessons. It's not as intensive as personalized lessons and they treat it like a social activity. We got a personal instructor after a couple years in group. We always paid upfront for the entire year but I think most would have monthly billing.

My children haven't been in lessons for a while, I think we paid around $20-22/half hour. Ask around, you want to find an instructor who is good with children and can motivate them to learn and I would trust a friend's recommendation over an advertisement. Make sure the child wants to take music lessons or it will be an uphill battle to get them to practice.

We bought a used upright from the local piano place which came with free delivery and one tuning...wished we hadn't because our children didn't continue with lessons and this thing is taking up space in a spare bedroom. I'm thinking one of the keyboards with the weighted keys might be a better idea...for storage and for resale.
Deal Fanatic
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May 25, 2009
9070 posts
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I haven't had piano lessons
tdotsaver wrote: Hi everyone!
Teacher fees
What is a reasonable price for a kid starting piano lessons? I just got a quote for $30 for 30 minutes. We plan to go to her home studio.
That is probably on the higher end, from what I've seen typical rates are anywhere from $40 to $60+ an hour, the more qualifications the teacher has the higher their going rate. $30 for 30 minutes probably isn't bad, just make sure they have the credentials to back up their rates.

tdotsaver wrote: New/used piano cost
I plan on buying from Robert Lowrey showroom on Eglinton East. Any reviews? I am thinking of buying a used one. Thoughts?
Nothing wrong with going used, you can save quite a bit of money with a used piano and there aren't issues as long as it's been well-maintained.

I actually prefer older pianos myself, my parents bought me a used upright for $1600 back in the day, it was a really old piano that was built in 1910 or something, that was the year of manufacture stamped on the inside. It sounded and played way better than any of the newer pianos I've played on and it had ivory keys. There's a world of difference between ivory and plastic keys, ivory has way better feel, texture and gripe. The downside is that it spoiled me and I hated playing on plastic pianos would often struggle on them since I was used to playing on ivory.

tdotsaver wrote: Tuning/servicing piano cost
How often do I need to do this? What is the cost that I should be budgeting?
Tuning it once a year is more than sufficient. I think my teacher had hers tuned every four or six months but then she had like 30 students and it got a lot of use. No idea how much tuning costs nowadays.

tdotsaver wrote: Books/Tapes/Royal Conservatory "all in" Exams cost
No idea how much this will be. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
Books aren't that expensive, I think they were ~$20 or less back in the day, can't imagine them being that much more expensive now. Exams were between $40 to $60, the higher the level/grade the more expensive it was but you typically only do an exam roughly once a year.

Good luck.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Deal Addict
Nov 6, 2007
1373 posts
664 upvotes
North York
1. $30 for 30min is the going rate if you want a good piano teacher. Word of mouth is better than just looking up the directory. Our teacher isn't on the directory. There are tons ppl with a music degrees but can't teach well. Our teacher also has Bachelor of Education and one of her student just received the gold medal from RCM for the highest mark in Ontario. Our teacher is fairly young and super enthusiastic about teaching and holds an annual recital...she is located in North York if you are interested.

2. We bought a brand new upright for $15000. I know many other parents who bought the same price used for $5000. It's really up to you to buy new or used.

3. Tuning is $150 and we do it once a year.

4. Exams are $100+ depending on the level. We don't take an exam for every grade but we do learn every single grades. Books are like less than $100 per year.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13306 posts
741 upvotes
Our middle took JMC (Yamaha) from 88 keys. 37 weeks is about 1000 for 1h a week group class.

Love the teacher.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
Buy used. Plenty of them out there people are trying to sell from fine homes.
Deal Fanatic
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May 25, 2009
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Wow, prices have gone up a fair bit since my piano-lesson days! But fair though.

Now that I think about it, $60/hr probably isn't that bad, the ads I've seen in my neighbourhood are all $60+ per hour.

I would shop for a used one, you can find some real gems. We actually bought a used upright for ourselves when we moved, we got a pretty good one for about $4400 all-in and it was practically new. Previously owner bought it new and then sold it back to the store about 6 months later for some reason and it was barely used. Came with free delivery and a free tuning.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Member
Jun 26, 2007
464 posts
97 upvotes
GTA
Hi there. I'm an avid piano player (ARCT-level) and my son is in piano lessons as well.

I agree with the above poster that if your child is under 5, get him enrolled in group lessons first to see if he is interested in playing. Yamaha Junior Music Course (at 88 keys in RH or at the centre in North York) or Music for Young Children are good programs to get started. For beginners, using a electronic keyboard is fine. If he is continue with individual lessons later, then invest in a piano. Used piano is fine. Robert Lowrey's mostly sell European brand pianos (my old Baldwin grand piano is from there). They are a reputable store and specialize in restoring pianos. If you want a Japanese piano, you'll have to go elsewhere.

Tuning once a year is fine. Cost is about $100-$150.

When I moved, my parents sold my grand piano to make more room and I bought a Yamaha Avantgard digital piano for myself. It is a digital piano but with real piano action hammers in them so the feel is exactly same as a grand piano. It cost me 6k but I don't have to tune it ever! It also just takes up the same room as an upright.
Newbie
Oct 4, 2019
1 posts
You can also check this studio, they offer piano classes for kids, teens and adults. Prices seem to be quite affordable as they also teach theory and provide books for kids http://torontopianolessons.tilda.ws/ They offer 3 programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced pianists. Prices are from $28 per 30 mins but they offer discounts and bundles in case you choose classes more than 2 times per week.

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