Tuition fees pay not only for the time spent teaching but for the non-contact work that is a necessary aspect of running a teaching practice. For example:

  • Time spent on lesson preparation.
  • Time spent on updating students’ records and marking.
  • Time spent on and cost of examination administration.
  • Time spent on accounting and audit fees.
  • Teaching resources, stationery, advertising.
  • Instrument maintenance, repair and insurance.
  • Telephone costs.
  • Lighting and heating.
  • Subscriptions to professional associations and periodicals.
  • Private pension contributions.
  • Income tax and national insurance contributions.

To cover student absences (fees for lessons which the student does not attend because of illness are not charged, providing the student has given sufficient notice. As each student is assigned a regular weekly lesson slot, the teacher is not able to fill the absent student’s lesson slot and so loses revenue that week).

For more up to date information, see this article published by ISM

Setting of Rates – Individual Tuition

Under the terms of the Competition Act 1998 the Incorporated Society of Musicians can no longer publish annual recommended fees. A new system for providing information on fees charged by freelance professional musicians that will comply with the Act is currently being developed. Meanwhile, information and guidance is given below on the fee recommendations for 2004, the last year for which the ISM was able to publish fees in this format. Fees are a matter of individual negotiation between the teacher and client. They have normally been increased annually by the rate of inflation – the Retail Price Index (RPI). The latest available RPI at the date of publication of this information sheet was 3.2%

Newly Qualified Teachers:

The Incorporated Society of Musicians recommended that those newly qualified and thereby entering the private teaching profession should set their fees within a range of rates as follows for September 2004 to August 2005:

(Outside London) £22.11 to £32.28 per hour

(London) £24.66 to £34.86 per hour

Therefore, the range of rates for September 2005 to August 2006 can be calculated by increasing the previous years rates by the rate of inflation (3.2%):

(Outside London) £22.82 to £33.31 per hour

(London) £25.45 to £35.98 per hour

(Fees for lessons of less than an hour should be calculated pro rata.)

Established Teachers:

Established teachers are expected to charge a higher rate than the above range, to take account of their experience. All teachers are advised to increase their fees annually. The increase should reflect their accumulating experience as well as the percentage by which the fee range has been increased.

Teachers who work in areas of high unemployment, and who are concerned to keep fee increases as low as possible, may consider reducing the length of lessons, and increasing their fees accordingly.