What Are Hidden Costs of Music Lessons?

Know the Real Cost of Music Lessons

Just recently, one of the parents at our academy half-jokingly posted the following comment on her Facebook page. “I need a GoFundMe just for school supplies.” When we mentioned it to other parents at our studio, we got a lot of sighs and “knowingly” looks. It seems these days that one of the more significant sources of stress for parents when it comes to their children’s activities is the non-stop hidden expenses that come with having their child actively involved.

As a parent, you want to encourage your child to be active and have lots of experiences as they grow and learn. Many of these activities are ideal for self esteem, social maturity and education growth. Soccer, cheerleading, karate, dance, and yes, music lessons are great….but they CAN become an unexpected drain on your budget.

Here are some potential costs you will want to be aware of before you sign up for lessons, so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised down the line.


Registration Fees/Annual Membership Fees

This is a personal quibble of mine. Most music academies will charge you a registration fee, often every year. This can be $70 or more! Even if they wave it the first year, usually as an incentive to get you to sign up, you can be subject to the charges in the future, without any notice.

I believe you should never be charged by a business for the privilege of having you as a customer, which is why we never charge registration fees at JHMA.


Books and Supplies

Years ago, I worked as a teacher in a music academy. We were under constant pressure to sell books (at full retail) to students and parents, even if it was just for one song.

The sale of materials is often an extra profit center for music schools. Even more inconvenient for parents (and expensive) is when you are responsible for finding and purchasing all books and materials the teacher wants the student to have.

At JHMA, we do things differently: ALL books and materials are provided to you as part of your monthly tuition. Also, if the teacher wants a special book for the student, we will go out and purchase it – at no additional cost to you.

At JHMA, you will never have to worry about students having their books and supplies. And, as the Director of the Coaching Staff, I want my Coaches focused on teaching your child during their lesson….not distracted by a monthly sales quota.


Recitals and Performances

Recital time is exciting for everyone, but can also be very expensive. I know of academies that claim to have free performances but then put parents and students on the hook for selling hundreds of dollars of tickets or advertising. If those sales budgets aren’t met, guess who’s on the hook for the balance – that’s right, YOU!

You are also often charged not only to participate, but also for rehearsals. This can add up fast!

At JHMA, participation in our performances, as well as all rehearsals are free to our members. Each student also gets 4 free tickets to our recital. We don’t even charge for the refreshments served!


Testing and Trophies

We are one of the few music academies to offer a reward system of certificates, wrist bands and trophies for our students. This helps keep students motivated and moving up our Musical Ladder.

Unlike karate studios and others that charge for the testing, belts and trophies, our reward system is also completely free for our members.

That’s right, you will never be charged for our custom certificates, wrist bands or trophies – even though the trophies get as big as 4 feet tall! It’s all included.


State of the Art Studio Assets: Recording Studio and Stage Room

We have a fully equipped stage room and a demo recording studio with Pro Tools HD.

All of our members have the choice to do a recording project as part of their lessons. Most academies do not have these facilities, so recording is not an option. Of the few that do, they often charge over $100 to access their recording studio. Our members get to record as part of their membership, there is no extra charge for this.

Bottom line, when signing up for lessons, be sure to ask about all potential future expenses. No one likes surprises, and your wallet will thank you.