Private music lessons should not be only for the privileged! Unfortunately, music lessons, buying an instrument and taking music exams are often viewed as too expensive for many people. This is why it is important to have alternative payment plans, scholarship and subsidies in place. Over recent years, it has been great to see many discount schemes coming up that have enabled those from less privileged backgrounds to also learn to play music.
Many of us teachers would like to offer discounted lessons to at least some students. However, most often it comes down to what we have time for. In the end of the day, we have to prioritise those paying full fees in order to make ends meet. I have been able to offer some discounted lessons to those who would not have been able learn to play music otherwise. Unfortunately, what happened was that the word spread around about cheap lessons and those who could afford to pay the full fee started asking for discounts. This can be tricky for teachers to negotiate; however, we must stay firm and only offer discounts to those who actually need it.
Luckily the ABRSM examination centre has started offering discounted exam fees for those who can’t afford the full fee. This is most definitely going to enable many students to do their grade exams, which can in turn open doors to them to other place, such as scholarship opportunities to secondary schools. Let’s hope that this discount scheme takes off and is a success!