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What to charge for online lessons?

 
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:07 am    Post subject: What to charge for online lessons? Reply with quote

I can't believe I had the last post on this forum on May 12th!

I got a question for you guys who may know more about this than I do. Maybe it's kind of a survey question. I'm working on a website for guitar instruction, primarily jazz, I would hope. I'm pretty excited about it. It might be a little different, maybe a little unique. But I don't know. I've never aken online lessons.

Here's my question: what is the range of prices for lessons. I need to hunt this down myself, and will. I've only seen Bruno's who has a quarterly subscription of $60.

I'll have a lot more than videos. I'm sure they all do. It won't be Skype or live, at least not yet. I might add that as an option. The students will have their own password and will be given individual instruction. They won't have absolute free range if the site like a subscription could be. But it will be courses following my method, step by step.

What?
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trotsky



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 438
Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a friend of mine suggest this for me as well and I have been tossing it around a bit in my head.
I am in no way trying to compare myself to you btw Embarassed
..but in this day and age it is a great way to share.

One of the things I really love about participating here is connecting so easily with people from all over the world.

How much to charge is a good question.

Problem is there is so much knowledge out there for free anymore it would be a tough draw for people if the price was any less than a bargain Rolling Eyes

..unless of course the draw was 'the name'... I dont have that luxury Wink

If I was going to do it I would keep the price lower than what I would obviously charge in person...keep the lessons kind of generic...topical...then answer specific questions..
Then hope for high number of customers to justify the effort.

Good luck man
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. I agree on all points. The problem is how MUCH less than my regular in person students? My in person price is a little steep. I charge $50 a half hour and $75 for an hour. Often you get an audio recording of the lesson, professionally done. It sounds great.

For online I'd love to charge half that, but that's maybe still too steep. I don't have a name like Jimmy Bruno -- BUT I WILL!! LOL. I want to charge $25 per lesson or $100 for a package of 5. But it may be more like $100 for an entire course and $10-15 per lesson. Probably looking at more like $5 per which I don't like. Obviously the more students I have the less I feel I have to charge. BUT THIS IS A LOT OF WORK the way I'm trying to do it. Hey, if I have 300 online students, that's great. I can start thinking about doing this full time, which would be awesome. But I don't know how realistic that is. Honestly this is the first time I thought about how much money I could make. I just don't want to undercut myself TOO MUCH.

My hope is it's my METHOD that sells the thing and word of mouth, and organization and me.
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trotsky



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 438
Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its a good idea regardless....good luck and keep us posted.

Now back to the yard work...AAHHHHH!!!!!!!
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Gorecki
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to be totally discouraging but many are doing or have tried to do what you’re describing to a greater or lesser degree. And I can say fairly securely that none of them (including those who do have ‘names’) are truly making ‘a living’ from doing it. Some manage to diversify into related (or in some cases unrelated) areas to help make ends meet but even then would likely be far better off financially with a desk job.

So in avoidance of being too dictatorial, I would strongly suggest you do what all businesses would/should do. Create, flush out, and fully detail a proper business plan. Then confirm/validate through outside sources (friends, interests, consultants) the validity of that business plan. MANY businesses (whatever the market) do not do this properly (or at all) and fail as a result. Many causes of failure can be totally seen in advance but there is still the infinite ‘what will get you, you won’t see coming’ variable.

I'm a strong believer in
* Ideas are cheap!
* Realization is priceless!
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well no worries there! I have many diverse money making plans. I teach at two colleges, own two recording studios and have many students who have been asking me for continued lessons for years. I just mentioned this on Facebook and have had about 25 people ask to sign up and 75 likes already from a posting this morning. I'm not looking for a career at this. I have a lot of contacts and networks of people who want to join with me teaching. My bassist has several very successful online business -- a music store for bass players and he does FANTASTICALLY well. Thats all he does. He wants to launch a lessons site with me and I can piggyback on his eBay store.

The main impetus is schools whose budgets are drying up over here. I have tons of former students and present students at college, many of whom want to continue, but I don't teach privately any more! I have literally hundreds of students I can get the word out to. I'm actually a very known quantity around these parts, so it shouldn't be to hard!

So I've been thinking this through with him for a little while. My band can do those play-a-long things for students. The videos are great - excellent found and good cameras, but they're very time consuming. I just have one camera set up here at my home studio and my bass player has another two, high end cameras. Two there guys want to piggyback as well Another one who is successful teaching online and a great bassist I used to play with.

The guys I play with are mostly jazz college professors and some are fairly well known. I'm sure I can get some cooperation, tips, get them to do some tracks, get the word out, etc..

But bottom line -- I'm interested in knowing what the going rate is.
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorecki wrote:

So in avoidance of being too dictatorial, I would strongly suggest you do what all businesses would/should do. Create, flush out, and fully detail a proper business plan. Then confirm/validate through outside sources (friends, interests, consultants) the validity of that business plan. MANY businesses (whatever the market) do not do this properly (or at all) and fail as a result. Many causes of failure can be totally seen in advance but there is still the infinite ‘what will get you, you won’t see coming’ variable.

I'm a strong believer in
* Ideas are cheap!
* Realization is priceless!
This is part of what I'm doing here. I HAVE been working on a business plan, to a degree, for several months. Posting here is part of a survey to see about prices. It's certainly not my only one. But jazz play players, students who see this site might have some idea what others charge for this.

The outlay is minimal, except i terms of time, which is considerable. I bought a camera and have the studios already and the band/musicians. So it's not a risky business venture, but rather one of expansion for my band and studio cohorts. Hopefully a way to give my musicians a little extra money.

My bass player makes a killing selling gear around the world and knows a lot of folks who do well with instructional videos. Even no name musicians. There's a no very good drummer here in town who probably makes $1,200 a month -- not a killing, but that's extra change.

So I'm not actually asking for a lecture, though I don't mind advice given. I just wanted to know what people have seen others charge for this type of thing.
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Gorecki
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henryrobinett wrote:

So I'm not actually asking for a lecture, though I don't mind advice given. I just wanted to know what people have seen others charge for this type of thing.


My apologies, wasn’t meaning to lecture, only to instill thought of the total process which it appears you are farther along in than I assumed.

Example regarding the reference to ‘people doing well with instructional videos’ my first thoughts are how well? Once the effort has gone into content creation followed by product preparation, distribution and marketing, how well are they really doing? Often, clearing $5 a copy of whatever it is pretty good! Level of effort to get things to that point is entirely subjective and unless a person gets lucky or is/has a marketing wizard it’s questionably worth the effort.

So as what to charge goes, unfortunately I have no useful contribution. Embarassed
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No offense taken. I've glanced at a few video sites for guitar instruction and I haven't seen any real instruction. I see a lot of videos that are show me type stuff. And I know that's primarily what people want, but that's not what I want to teach. I haven't looked REAL carefully, but I haven't seen step by step instruction. I think a lot of that was missing in the real world, or I gather some of that from some of my students.

So either I'll be able to get a few students who will enjoy the feel of personal lessons, and a lot of the lesson will be, feedback, email, specific needs, etc. I'm seeing this as an extension of what I used to do as a teacher. Obviously with enough hours logged I'll have enough material, like in real life, to sift through and give a new student exactly what he wants. Even if there's a tiny boot of tweaking.

It is a lot of work, but I can time manage that.
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PaulD



Joined: 18 Sep 2004
Posts: 1129
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Henry,

Cool, I wish you much success!

I subscribe to Martin Taylor's Guitar Academy, which is geared towards fingerstyle jazz guitar. It's $90 for 3 months or $20/month if you pay annually. There's lots of content in the form of pre-taped video lessons, plus students can submit videos to Martin and he replies with a video response. Those are available for all members to watch, which are great lessons. There are also performances by Martin, forums, interviews & jams with lots of great players (Klugh, Lage, Emmanuel...), online chats, and lots of other stuff.

A couple of other sites I know are Mike's Master Classes, which are single video lessons by various players, and run around $25-$30 each, I think, and Truefire, which has a one-on-one lesson plan called the Sherpa Student Plan, which runs around $99/month for lessons with Sheryl Bailey.

How will your site work? If not live, then will students submit videos/audio to you?

Paul
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Paul! That's very helpful.

I'm still formulating it. But I'm trying to set it up like a faux real lesson. It's kind of my step by step method I've been teaching and formulating for many years. Through email, video, web feedback, perhaps Skype I want the student to give me feedback so I can prepare lessons directly, and answer questions for them. But the road is pretty much taped ahead of time, as I've been doing this for 25 years or so. For local students who come for lessons I'll record the lesson and post it to their personal page.

The idea is not to have a subscription where you have access to the entire contents, but rather to your own folder. There will be some common info, but your folder will be a gradient lesson plan. Videos, guest, hopefully. Play alongs. Online chats is a good idea. But each student will have their own user name and password. The site will be open to them except they'll have their own stuff that no one else will be privy to.

What messes students up is jumping around from subject to subject, rather than focusing on a step by step methodology. And the teacher who allows the student to dictate, run the lesson, isn't a good teacher. Obviously there'll be SOME of that, but the road is taped.

I'm going to have to formulate a test or something to let me know when the student is ready for the next lesson and/or course. If the student can record and upload playing of a tune or the lesson, plus answering questions on a little quiz, that would be best. I'm still trying to figure that out.

As I said earlier, I haven't seen a lot of real LESSONS going on. I see tips and videos of guys playing and "show me how to" stuff, but no real lessons.

I like the course idea, where you start with the baseline course that would serve as the prerequisite, then have other courses of comping, chord melody, be bop lines, soloing, blues, ii-Vs, standards, rhythm changes, modes, advanced modal playing, reading- beginning through advanced, all the way to rock, funk, pop and a series of studio guitarist courses. Plus smaller, shorter course like how to achieve right hand technique or how to transcribe solos. Or more than likely those topics will be incorporated in the lessons. But it'd be nice to be able to separate them out.

I've pretty much finished with the prerequisite, which covers the fretboard scales and chords comprehensively; exercises, arpeggios and understanding of the neck with plenty of application on simple standards.

Also I'm almost done with my beginner course.

I figure once I've finished those two I can launch it and keep it growing, if I get some peeps.

I love Martin Taylor!
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://henryguitar.com/
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