Music Lessons: What Are You Actually Paying For?
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
By: Jennifer Blanton
FAME Alumni Amelia Beilke as Mrs. Mayor in "Seussical the Musical"
Have you ever wondered how lessons were priced?
I remember growing up taking 60 minute private piano AND voice lessons through High School. Of course, at the time I had no idea what my parents were providing for me. They were both public school teachers so they didn't have a lot of extra income for extra curricular activities for my brother, sister, and me. They managed to provide 2 lessons a week for each of us, for over 10 years. I am the only of the bunch that went on to be a professional musician, but both credit their training in music to be a big part of their success.
My brother is a Lieutenant in the Air Force with an MBA and father of two. My sister has two Master's Degrees, is a Public School Assistant Principal, and is about to have her third little girl! Music lessons gave us the drive and desire to be better in everything we do. Music helped all of us get into college and provided a lot of scholarship money.
If you're reading this, you already know the benefit of private lessons. That's why you called us! But, do you know what goes in to the 30-60 min lesson your child receives each week?
A lot of preparation goes in to lessons for a teacher, probably more than you think.
So here's a list compiled by friend and colleague of FAME, Michelle Markwart Derveaux.
- Repertoire research and development (this can take hours for 1 student)
- Continuing Education from: (often costing thousands a year for a teacher)
- Masterminds Groups
- Online courses
- Answering questions via email
- Answering questions via phone
- Answering questions via text
- Arranging songs
- Coordinating recitals, rehearsals, studio classes
- Cost associated with recitals, rehearsals, studio classes
- Research and writing up recital/class programs
- Providing materials and music
- Providing accompanists
- Providing and coordinating multiple performing opportunities (Coffee
House, Music Theater Troupe, Camps)
- Coordinating with make-ups
- Solving scheduling snafus
- Credit Card fees
- Printer Ink
- Hardware: computers, printers, microphones, recording equipment,
phones, internet, webcams, etc.
- Software: Voce Vista, Zoom, Editing software, Apps, etc.
- Setting up and executing recordings of college prescreens
- Prepping for last minute auditions
- Attending shows/recitals/concerts/gigs students are in
- Learning the repertoire students bring in
- Our own performing time (which gives us more experience, which in
turn creates empathy in the studio)
- Our previous degrees and energy put forth to being trained before we
- Being lovely when we are exhausted and we get an “I have an audition
tomorrow” text at 11:00 pm.
We are invested in the growth of each of our students and couldn't be happier to provide this service to you!
Jennifer Blanton is the founder of FAME Performing Arts, Inc. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Shenandoah University, studying with Soprano Aimé Sposato, she was invited to perform the role of Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, debuting at Chemnitz Stadhalle, and Mittelsächsische Theater at Theater Döbeln and Freiberg, Germany. Jennifer continued her Master of Music studies with Patricia Craig at New England Conservatory. Mrs. Blanton has been teaching private voice for over 10 years. Jennifer created the lesson program “Foundational Voice Lessons”© to suit all voice qualities, abilities, and levels. Every voice is like a house, a strong foundation is needed but the color is your choice! Mrs. Blanton teaches sight-reading, rhythmic dictation and solfège study with solid breathing and vowel production technique in classical, music theater, jazz and pop. Jennifer appears on stage and in concert in the Charleston area.