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How much is a 60 minute piano lesson?

By Scott Houston
This is a super popular question that anyone interested in piano has wondered, and the answer is… well, it depends! What do you want to be able to play? 

Do you wish to perform or do you want to play for personal enjoyment? What’s your experience level? What type of learner are you? 

Finding the right lessons to meet your needs and skill level can be difficult—there are so many options out there, each claiming to be the best! Plus, setting the right expectations and goals can be daunting… I can help. In this blog post, I’ll break down:
  •  
    • lesson types
    • piano lesson rates 
    • hidden fees
 I’ll also help you set expectations so you can find the best bang for your buck.

Table of Contents

  • Setting goal-based expectations
  • Setting time-based expectations
  • In-person lessons (costs, pros, cons)
  • Online lessons (costs, pros, cons)
  • The bottom line

Step 1: Setting your goal-based expectations

Before you start taking music lessons, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve.

Do you want to learn Mozart, or are you more interested in music from the last century? Do you just want to be able to play a few songs, or do you want to have a larger repertoire? Do you want to play with a band, accompany a singer, or do you just want to play for fun?

Determining what your personal growth factors are will help you select the right instructor or lesson plan. Keep them in mind when reading below.

Step 2: Setting your time-based expectations

Learning to play advanced classical pieces with ease involves reading two lines of music and perfecting your fine motor function—at least a decade of intense training.

On the other hand, if your goal is to play modern songs as a fun hobby or low-stakes entertainment—you’ll spend just a fraction of the time practicing before you’re able to play with ease and even improvise. Plus, you’ll get to use sheet music with only one line instead of two.

If you want to play modern tunes on the piano rather than classical music, you'll spend a fraction of time practicing before you're able to play with ease.

two men at piano with sheet music

Step 3: Explore and compare

Once you’ve got your goals and expectations set, you can use the information below to see what type of piano lessons are best suited for your personal needs and budget.

In-person individual piano lessons

Lesson structure and cost:
In-person instructors usually charge “per lesson,” which runs about $30 – $70 an hour.
Private lessons are typically given on a weekly basis, but the frequency can vary depending on your goals and the teacher’s typical schedule.

Pros:
  • First meetings or consultations are usually free. This is a great opportunity to see if your goals align with their teaching style.
  • Some will create custom curriculums to best suit your needs and goals.
  • Hands-on instruction will help you address and overcome difficulties in real-time.
  • Scheduled lesson appointments force you to stay diligent about practicing.

Cons:

  • Piano lesson costs vary greatly based on city size and local demand.
  • Can be difficult to find a specialized instructor for your needs.
  • Not all instructors come to you. Hourly rates generally do not include necessary sheet music, books, or “getting there” costs.
  • Since they have other piano students, you may need to work around their schedule.

Online piano lessons

Lesson structure and cost:

While many online lesson environments offer subscription models for payments as low as $20 a month, there are several that offer a lifetime membership to take you from beginner to advanced for less than $1000.  

Online lessons offer flexibility to “meet you where you are” in terms of experience level and preferred learning style. Most platforms include libraries full of content—you can choose how often you use them. 

Pros:
  • You have the ability to take lessons from home or anywhere with a wifi connection.
  • You can set your own pace.
  • You can go back to lessons as many times as you want, making it a great value.
  • It’s easy to track progress through clear, interactive online curriculums. 
  • Information is transparent and easy to find.
  • Free lessons are often offered so you can try before you buy.
  • Books and materials are often included with membership.
Cons:
  • You’ll have to spend some time researching to find the right fit.
  • Lessons are usually pre-recorded. 

The bottom line

Three years of weekly individual lessons will typically cost you anywhere from $5040 – $11,760 plus out of pocket expenses for materials and transportation to lessons. Three years of online lessons will rarely exceed $1000, making it the most affordable option to learn to play non-classical piano. 

Plus, with the explosion of online learning, you have a wide variety of lesson platforms to choose from. Just remember, let your goals guide you, and don’t be afraid to shop around before taking the plunge!

If you’re ready to start this phase of your journey, I would absolutely love for you to join me in a free Piano in a Flash class. In this free piano lesson for adults, I’ll show you how my online method works while teaching you to play “Joy to the World” without any complicated sheet music! Simply click the button below to get started.