How much piano lessons cost varies around the world. However, we have provided as much information as possible, trying to answer all of your questions on what you might expect to pay to learn to play the piano.
As well as how much piano lessons in-person cost, we’re evaluating some of the other methods of learning how to play, such as one-to-one tuition over the internet, or following piano courses and academies.
Playing the piano is not always a cheap hobby, but there are ways in which you can make it flex to your budget. Though we’ve given a good overview of roughly how much piano lessons are likely to cost in this guide, there are ways to learn on a shoestring budget if you need to.
Lessons In Person
Firstly, we’re going to talk about getting piano lessons in person. How much piano lessons cost when you are actually in the room with a teacher. Later in this post, we’re exploring some alternatives which may be cheaper, but a lot of people still like to learn with another human in the room.
How Much Piano Lessons Cost in Your Area
If you are looking to get lessons in person then there is some research to be done regarding the cost in your local area. We would love to be able to put an exact dollar figure on the cost of piano lessons, but as all teachers and tutors set their own rates, it will be a case of looking into what is available in your area.
As a rough price range, the blog at Take Lessons suggests that $40-60 should get you a lesson of around 30-60 minutes in most parts of America. If you are in the UK, the figure of around £25-35 is roughly what you should expect for a 30-minute lesson. However, even within different states and regions, the prices can vary significantly.
The prices tend to go up or down depending on where you are based, and fluctuate based on the cost of living and how expensive things are in that area. For example, the most expensive places to get 1-to-1 lessons in the USA are New York and California. This makes sense. If you look at how much piano lessons cost in cheaper areas, you’ll find that there are teachers available for far less than $60 an hour.
Think of learning how to play the piano a little bit like finding a good mechanic. You need them to know what they are doing, but some will charge less for their time than others. The best option is to look at what is available locally.
Some useful searches to help you find this information include:
- “Piano lessons” + “your location”.
- “Piano lesson cost” + “your location”.
- “Piano lessons near me” (this will bring up Google places results).
- “Piano teacher” + “your location”.
The most valuable results are the teachers’ pages that have specific pricing structures listed. These will let you compare and contrast. If you live in a big city, you will probably get a lot of results for these searches, so make sure you look at five or six of them to see how much teachers are charging.
Even if you don’t live in the USA, this same search can help you to find the right tutors in your area. Don’t just go for the first one you see.
There are some websites like TutorHunt in the UK, and TakeLessons in the USA. These allow multiple tutors to list their services, and you can easily compare how much tutors in your area cost if you live somewhere popular.
Group Lessons – A Viable Cheaper Option?
If you’re worried about how much piano lessons cost then a group session could be a good way to save money. Naturally, there being more people in the group, the teacher is able to charge a lot less. A lot of local community colleges or other learning establishments will offer group lessons and courses you can get involved in.
There are pros and cons to this method of learning. Obviously, you don’t get the same 1-to-1 attention. On top of that, you need to consider whether you live in an area where these kinds of courses exist. If you live in a big city then you will probably be able to find some group lessons. In less built-up areas, it is very unlikely that you will find group sessions.
Consider your personality before you sign up for any group lessons. It doesn’t matter that they cost less if you are not likely to stick to them. If you enjoy learning in a group environment and want to socialize as part of your piano playing then this could be a fantastic solution. If not, steer clear of group lessons.
The video below discusses how group lessons can work and talks about the mixed success they may have. This type of learning is especially popular among teachers who work with children.
Do Qualifications and Exams Impact The Price?
There is no standardized way of setting prices for learning to play the piano. Basically, a teacher can set their own prices. Their website, or profile on a tutoring site, will probably mention whether they have piano or teaching qualifications, but they don’t always.
Both experience and piano examinations will come into play when someone becomes a piano teacher, but it is a good idea to check what their background is. People who are doing it for a living are likely to have these qualifications and to charge more because of it. However, if you are looking to save money, you might be able to find people who are just getting started.
Why not contact people who are studying at university and see if they are willing to provide lessons part-time. Or, if you know someone who plays the piano beautifully but doesn’t teach, ask if they would consider giving you lessons. If someone is doing it alongside another career, they may be able to charge a lot less and be grateful for the chance to earn this money on the side.
Saving Money on Piano Lessons In Person
After you find out how much piano lessons cost in your local area, you might find that you can’t afford a lot of time with a teacher. It is a good idea to try and save some money, and use your teacher’s valuable time in the most efficient way you can in order to avoid spending more than you would otherwise have to.
How can you save some money on your piano lessons?
- Ask if you can pay for some in bulk. Some teachers may have a promotion running or be willing to discuss one. For instance, if you buy 10-20 hours worth of lessons they may provide a discount. This is good for them as they know they will have a student for relatively long-term.
- Find a cheaper tutor. As we’ve already discussed briefly, there might be multiple options and it is a good idea to find the tutor or teacher who provides the best value.
- Learn some information first. It helps if you understand the basics. Why not take an online course first such as running through the Pianu academy? This way, when you do take lessons in person, you will know a fair amount already and you can hone your technique.
- Combine online with in-person. It might be a good idea to have your lessons less frequently, but in the time between work hard on your technique and refer to an online course. Your teacher might be happy with you having lessons every couple of weeks rather than weekly, for example.
- Consider some lessons over the internet. Some people love this and some hate it. We go more into online learning below. If you are willing to take your lessons online then you can work with someone with a cheaper pricing structure. If you live in New York and all the teachers are $100 or more per lesson, learning online can allow you to work with a tutor from a more affordable area. Plus, it reduces any transport costs.
- Longer lessons. It might make sense to have fewer lessons, but these to be longer. The pricing structure of some teachers means that this works out better value for money and it also means less travelling around. However, be aware that your attention span needs to be up to the task.
Most piano teachers know that their services are not that cheap and that some people do have to save to be able to afford them. Discuss this with them to see if there is a plan that you can utilize that saves some money.
How Many Lessons Do I Need?
This is a logical next question. It is useful to know if lessons will cost you $20 or $50 but it is also useful to know how many you are likely to need to get to a good level of knowledge.
Unfortunately, we can’t give a specific answer to this, but it will help a great deal if you learn some of the basics before you go to your first piano lesson. Otherwise, you could spend 5-6 hours on learning things it is possible to learn at home on your own by using our academy or another online piano lesson system.
We have created a full guide on how to learn piano from home, so if you are worried about how much piano lessons are going to cost, you can explore this guide. Plenty of people are able to teach themselves a lot of the basics of playing the piano.
The video below is proof that there are some extremely valuable resources in bite-sized chunks that you can find online:
If you utilize your own spare time as well as lessons, it is possible that you can learn to be playing rock and pop songs, and simple melodies to a good level after 20-40 hours of lessons. If you want to be playing to a classical standard, it might take years to get there. Be prepared to put in the hard work in your own time and spend a lot of time in lessons with a teacher if you are serious about becoming one of the world’s best.
If you start to calculate how much this is going to cost you in total, it can be a little bit of a worry. $50 a lesson for 52 weeks in a year will be $2,600. That’s a lot of money to spend on lessons. You can see why people are looking to get the best value possible.
Don’t see it as a permanent thing. If you need to take a break between lessons, you can. The good thing about learning how to play the piano is that for large periods of time, learning on your own is fine. Eventually, you may need a little help from a teacher to get to grips with certain techniques, but taking on piano lessons is not an endless expense you will need to deal with. If you feel like you’ve reached a good level, stop for a while, and then you can always take on lessons again if your ability level seems to plateau.
How Much Piano Lessons Cost Online – Online Courses
The methods of learning how to play the piano online fall into a couple of different categories:
- Online lessons involving a tutor or teacher. These will be conducted over a video platform such as Zoom or Skype and can be tailored to your specific needs. Some people find these lessons quite difficult to carry out, as you will need to have a camera that can include a piano, or MIDI capabilities to play via software online.
- An online course. You don’t deal directly with a teacher in an online course. Instead, you will follow a set of lessons that have been created to help you to learn the basics of playing the piano or even more advanced methods.
If money is tight and you want to find a way to learn how to play the piano, keep in mind the fact that a course will usually work out much cheaper than lessons. Pianu offers a number of different subscriptions that you can pay monthly, or even lifetime membership for under $300. Compare this to some of the tutors and teachers charging $60-100 per lesson and you will see that it is a far more affordable way to do things.
Online lessons with tutors are often a little bit cheaper than in-person lessons. However, you are still having to pay for that tutor’s time, and this means that they might only be around 20% less. It is a good saving, but not the same kind of saving you can make by following a course rather than taking lessons directly in person.
There is a lot of information online regarding how to play the piano. You can learn a lot for free if you are happy to scour YouTube and piano websites, but it is also a good idea to stick to one specific course to make sure there aren’t important gaps in your knowledge. Different teachers, both online and in-person, have different methods, and trying to switch between different teachers can quickly become convoluted if you are not careful.
When you consider how much piano lessons cost, you may look to learn as much as you can without having to pay a teacher for their time. Online courses have become extremely popular. You can access information from your phone or from a laptop with ease and with our courses, you can effectively learn within a browser, using a MIDI keyboard.
With an online course, not only will you pay a lot less than having lessons in person, you can also go at your own pace and discover new techniques in your own time. Plus, if you want to learn late at night or early in the morning, or even on the weekends, you can do so without having to find a teacher who is available.
Courses can be structured in a way that provides you with knowledge from the ground up. Even if you are an absolute beginner, you can get started with a set of lessons that takes you from piano newbie to intermediate player. Spend as much time (or as little) as you can learning to play the piano for a flat monthly (or lifetime) fee.
Considering How Much Piano Lessons Cost, Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Online Courses?
We definitely like to sing the praises of online courses, and we’re proud of the Pianu academy. There are pros and cons to learning via a course, and we also recommend that, at some point, you play with other pianists in the room. Whether this means lessons or practice sessions with bands or friends, having a piano teacher or pianist in the room with you ensures:
- You haven’t misunderstood anything. When learning on your own, there is nobody to correct you.
- You can play in time with others. This is an important skill that you need to test with other musicians there.
- You can get feedback on your playing. This is one of the most difficult things when you are just getting started. Someone to tell you what you are doing well, and what areas you might want to improve. If you have piano lessons then this is simple. Learning alone, it can be more difficult.
How much piano lessons cost shouldn’t be the only consideration when you are thinking about the method you are going to use to learn piano. It is about what is most effective, too. Consider how much piano lessons are worth to you. If this is your lifelong ambition, there’s nothing wrong with spending some money on becoming a pianist. On the flip side of this, if knowing how much piano lessons cost is the cause of stress and financial worry, avoid the lessons and find another way to learn. There is a wealth of information out there.
The reality is that you will probably need a combination of online lessons and research and in-person lessons or practice sessions to become an accomplished player. You don’t have to make a binary decision. You can combine online learning with in-person learning.
Playing the Piano – An Investment in Yourself?
When you are looking into how much piano lessons will set you back, you might be wondering if it is worth it. We all have to manage our finances carefully.
One consideration is what you will get out of learning the piano, whether you choose to learn via an online course, self-taught or in a room with a teacher. Is it worth it? Why learn how to play the piano if it is going to be expensive?
There are multiple reasons for the piano to be seen as an investment, not just a frivolous hobby, for people of all ages:
- Piano has been shown to help the brain and sharpen up ageing brains.
- Learning to play the piano can be relaxing, and help with unwinding after a stressful day.
- Playing the piano can improve the performance of children within a school environment, and make young people smarter.
- Piano can provide you with social opportunities such as joining bands and music groups.
There are so many other benefits of playing the piano, which means that it is likely that you will get a lot out of learning, no matter how much piano lessons set you back.
If you have professional ambitions with your piano playing, the lessons might even be a financial investment, too. It may be that you are aiming for a career that involves playing the piano, such as an event musician. If this is the case then learning how to play the piano to a high standard is essential, and can even be lucrative once you are doing it for a living.
Conclusion – How Much Piano Lessons Are Likely to Cost
Though we can provide rough estimates, finding out how much piano lessons cost can be difficult. You will need to do a little research for the area in which you are based, but for much of America, $40-60 per lesson is pretty standard.
Lessons won’t go on forever, and you can stop them at any time, plus, you can combine any in-person lessons with online courses to help you to gain more knowledge and speed up the learning, hence saving money on the cost of learning.
Whatever method you choose, playing the piano can be an investment in your own abilities and even a future career path for some.