Whether facing a long summer break or simply trying to improve a child’s musical instrument skill level during the school year—many parents receive recommendations from a child’s band or orchestra teacher that it is time to consider private music lessons. If you have not yet inquired about private music instruction for your child—the initial sticker shock is a rapid eye opener. With the many other economic stressors facing families, “luxuries” such as private music lessons are often seen as out of the question. Before immediately vetoing cello lessons—or individual clarinet instruction, there are a few tips to find low cost private music lessons in Columbus Ohio.
Use your child’s school for private music lesson resources. Check with your child’s music teacher or current band or orchestra teacher. They often give lessons outside of school—or offer free “non-publicized” group lessons. Many high school teachers also have lists of budget friendly, qualified private lesson teachers in your area.
Hire an older student. Check with your high school’s band or orchestra director and get recommendations for an older, talented student who may be willing to mentor your child at a fraction of the cost of a professional music teacher. Local college music departments often do the same. Remember too that most high schools require volunteer service for graduation—and older music students frequently offer free music mentoring to fulfill those service points!
Make the trek to the music studio—and be flexible. Private lesson teachers, especially those working for larger local music shops and schools, charge more for in-home lessons than for in-studio lessons. In order to obtain a reasonable price, you may need to adjust schedules to fit in a lower cost instructor as she or he is likely to be busier than more expensive teachers. Often, group lessons are discounted, so sacrificing the private lesson for a small group may yield big savings with little change to results.
Checks prices of private lesson teachers—and compare notes. Find out where other children are going for lessons—and don’t be afraid to ask about rates. If you do not have recommendations from a teacher or another family, check with local music shops such as The Loft Violin Shop in Clintonville. The Loft frequently posts lists of private lesson teachers online as do many other local instrument shops and studios. Start early before busy seasons like school breaks and long holidays so that you can shop around before making a decision.
Pre-Screen and interview all prospective teachers. There are often legitimate private lesson teachers posting ads in online sites such as Craigslist or in local newspapers. Use common sense and be diligent in checking out the poster before leaving your child in his or her care for even a half hour session. Even lesson providers on lists at places like The Loft—or those offered by your child’s teacher—should be pre-screened to ensure that the teacher-student match is good both the teacher and your child.
Evaluate your child’s individual needs. Does your child need in-depth, professional instruction—or simply a peer mentor to keep him or her playing during pool season? Remember, being an adult does not necessarily make that prospective teacher the best choice for your child.
With a little creativity and lots of local research, even tight, one income budgets often have room for extras such as art and music instructions.
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Disclosure: The author is not compensated by the manufacturer, venue or service featured in this article. The information provided is done so as a service to readers and should not be viewed as an endorsement by the author.