“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.” - Maria Cristina Mena

Perhaps you're interested in taking up the keyboard or piano but struggling with the first steps of finding the right piano tutor or calculating how much this all should cost.

Playing the piano is both soothing and a lot of fun! If you want to learn to play piano, you can find lots of advice here on enrolling in private tutorials, finding the right piano teacher, and achieving your musical dreams!

Budgeting for Piano Lessons

Nowadays, beginner pianists don't have to shell out for a grand piano or even an upright! There are so many different options on the market, and electronic pianos are getting better and coming down in price every year. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, purchasing a keyboard is cheaper and more accessible than ever.

take piano courses today
You don't need a baby grand to take your first steps to becoming a pianist! (Source: Sebastiano_Rizzardo)

Now there are keyboards and electronic piano available to suit any budget, which is great news for the budding pianist keen to start beginner piano lessons.

First up, there's the cost of buying your new instrument, then you'll need to factor in the price of lessons. There will be additional costs as well - such as purchasing a small practice diary (this can double as a notebook for writing down any music theory) and buying any sheet music.

Some students will prefer to take music lessons at a dedicated music school, or at their own school or university. Many others prefer to find teachers who will come to teach piano in the comfort of their own home.

There are two main benefits to private in-home piano lessons; you can go at a pace that suits your learning style, and you won't have to travel for lessons.

Lesson prices can vary due to several factors:

The type of lesson is one of the main factors influencing the price. There are many different types of lessons on offer through private tutors:

  • Group lessons
  • Weekly lessons
  • Occasional lessons
  • Intensive lessons

You should also expect to be charged a travel fee depending on how far the tutor needs to travel to get to you.

Here are a few criteria to help you understand the variations in price around private piano lessons.

How location influences the price of piano lessons

If you search for piano tutors on Superprof, you'll notice different average rates depending on the town or city.

learn piano in Sydney
Generally speaking, piano lessons will cost the more in Sydney. source: Colton Jones

For example, you can expect to pay more in Sydney than elsewhere in Australia, with average rates at their highest in the more affluent suburbs. However, there are many more tutors living in the capital cities than in the countryside, so you may benefit from a range of price options if you live in a capital.

In Sydney, a piano lesson will cost on average $50, but, again, prices will vary depending on the suburb.

Other cities and towns around Australia will be cheaper than Sydney. However, you may find some cost more.

Different instruments will cost different amounts as well...

InstrumentAverage Hourly Rate (private lessons)

The rates above are averaged out, and you can certainly find cheaper rates by shopping around. Piano lessons online will allow you to learn from tutors all over the world!

The Experience of your Private Piano Tutor

When looking for your ideal tutor, you're likely to come across a range of potential candidates with different education backgrounds, specializations and levels of experience.

What's the average price of a piano tutorial?
A piano tutor who has just begun their teaching journey will charge lower rates than an experienced professor! (Source: ArtsyBee)

Every tutor comes into the classroom with a different background and skills. Some music tutors will have a wealth of experience spanning many years, while others may be just starting.

No matter which instrument you're planning to learn (flute, piano, cello, electric guitar, banjo, singing, saxophone) there will be a tutor out there ready to help you hone your skills. There will usually be a tutor to suit your budget as well - less qualified tutors will charge less, whilst highly qualified performers or professors will cost more.

A tutor who had an informal education will likely charge less than an experienced jazz professor who graduated from a prestigious music school.

So, which kind of piano tutor is right for you?

Ultimately, it all comes down to your expectations. If you're in this for the long haul - perhaps you dream of auditioning for a conservatorium, joining an orchestra or becoming a professional pianist, you should opt for a tutor with many years experience.

However, if you're just looking to play the piano for fun, a highly-decorated professional piano tutor might not be necessary. You could still achieve your goals with a younger tutor, a family friend or someone who was informally trained and who charges less per hour.

How your level affects the price of piano tutorials

Each student comes into piano lessons with a unique set of skills, goals and expectations, as well a preference for certain genres of music and songs they wish to learn. If a student has been playing for years, teachers will need to adapt their courses to teach advanced technique. It follows that lessons for experienced pianists will cost more than those for beginners.

How can I find piano lessons on a budget?
Find piano tutorials to suit your budget. (Source: kstuttard)

Generally speaking, the more advanced the student, the more time spent preparing and planning the tutorials. If the student is undertaking exams or preparing for a performance, this will mean more work for the teacher. This can work out to higher fees for the student.

Certain styles of music (whether jazz or classical piano, chamber music, etc) will command higher prices as well. If the style of music is very obscure, it can be hard to find a tutor who teachers that genre.

Make sure you discuss your current level and musical objectives with any potential new tutors to see if you two will be a good fit.

Our best advice for learning the piano on a budget

Love the piano but worried you can't make weekly lessons work with your budget? We have lots of tips on how to save money on piano tutorials.

Often, piano tutors offer group lessons - where you learn with two or more other people and pay a lower total price. This could be at your tutor's house, or you could get a few friends together and inquire if a potential tutor might be open to coming to your house to teach a few of you at once.

This solution has many benefits beyond just saving money - the team atmosphere is great for helping you stay motivated. They're also a great choice for groups of friends or family members who want to do something creative together. You may even get the chance to play a piece as a duet or in a group, building your skills as musicians.

On the other hand, you'll receive less individualised attention from the piano instructor than you would in a classic one-on-one less scenario.

Group classes benefit everyone - you'll pay less per hour, while the tutor may actually make a little more per hour than they would make teaching one-on-one.

Taking video lessons online is another great way to save money! Many of our tutors on Superprof offer piano classes via webcam and may offer a special price for online students. You'll also avoid any travel fees and enjoy the convenience of learning from the comfort of your own home. All you need is an internet connection!

If you're searching for music teachers or private tutors on Superprof, there are even more ways to save money. Certain tutors offer the first hour of tuition free so prospective students can test out their methods and see if they like learning the piano. A free trial lesson is also a great way to see if the tutor is a good fit before committing to more lessons.

No matter if you're an advanced, intermediate or beginner player, there is a private tutor and tailored piano course out there for you. They can help you refine your piano playing, finally learn to read music or master your sight reading, improve your rhythm, practise improvisation or work on ear training.

Private tutors are especially beneficial to those with awkward schedules or specific goals.

Piano instruction is more accessible than ever thanks to Superprof! Now that you know what to expect and how to save money, you can learn the piano without breaking the bank or wasting your time.

So what are you waiting for? Time to sign up for lessons! Put your specific search - be it history of piano music, piano for beginners, children's piano lessons or online piano lessons - into our search bar and find your perfect tutor. Who knows... perhaps you're the next Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin or Bach!

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Erin is an Australian musician, writer and francophile living in France.