Piano Camp – How Much Should I Charge?

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 in Logistics, Piano Camp

This question has come up a lot since I posted the 30 day plan for a summer piano camp. As I write this I understand that everyone’s situation will have different variations, however my intention is just to share a basic format for you to follow and apply to your own situation.

Feeling the Breeze – Music and Nature Camp

One of the most important things you will  need to keep in mind is  to cover all your expenses plus your salary. It seems silly to write that, but when I first started creating piano camps I never planned well enough for my expenses and ended up using all the income from tuition to pay for everything else. I learned the hard way and hope you won’t have to.

How much money do you want to make?

If you are running a 5 day camp that meets 2 hours each day you will be teaching for 10 hours.

What is your hourly rate?

How many hours will you spend preparing for the camp? Plan for at least twice as many hours that you will be teaching (20).

30 hours X $35 hourly rate = $1,050 salary for 1 camp

What is the minimum amount of students  you willing to teach for this one week of piano camp?

5 students with capacity for 10

What expenses will you incur during this week? These numbers are just examples…

snacks $35

rent $125

music books $100

games $50

teenage assistant $90

Total = $400

Your salary $1,050 plus expenses $400 = $1,450

Now divide by number of students and your tuition comes out to $290 per student for one week.

That’s a lot of money for just one week of piano camp!

It all depends on the economic health of the people you will offer your camp to.

Game time!



Here are some ideas to help keep costs down.

Only charge your hourly rate.

Students bring their own snack/lunch.

Do not hire outside help instead have assistants volunteer their time.

Use music for which you have a studio liscence and make studio copies which the students will not take home.

I hope this will get you started as to what will work best for your summer piano camp.  Keep in mind that this plan is based on my experience at my independent studio. Like many of you, I do all the work myself. Larger studios with multiple teachers will work from a quite different perspective.

Let me know about your camp!


  1. Mary
    January 23, 2019

    maybe revisit your calculations? Because somehow 10 hours of camp went to 30 hours of camp…. if your hourly rate is $35 and you are teaching 10 hours… that is only $350 for your hours during camp – even if you double that to 20 hours for the prep involved… that is only $700…. realistically, if you do the prep, it will be done for many camps to come. I’ve done camps and many of the games etc I’ve ended up reusing, as well as the planning strategies. So charging for all that initial planning is a little unfair to parents – just my thoughts on that. I actually don’t charge for the “planning” at all in my rate. And I consider that offering a camp is a huge advertisement for my studio – and may result in more people being interested in what I do… so I consider my investment in making a camp, my time for advertising. My rate this year is $90 for 5 days from 9am – 12 noon. $180 for 9 am – 3 pm. Might not really make a lot of $ but it works for me. 🙂

    • Dorla
      January 23, 2019

      Mary, thanks for the rework! I appreciate your point of view when it comes to charging for planning and that is the beauty of being independent piano teachers. We can make those executive decisions! Do your piano camps have a theme this year?

  2. Linda Poelzer
    April 2, 2019

    Piano camps or piano lessons during summer are not common or, received with much enthusiasm in our area.

    This will be my third summer of camp and I anticipate more participants.
    I also do not count my prep time, my goal is to have current students spend sometime at the piano and to bring in a bit of income—very little!

    I charge about 50% of my usual hourly rate! But it’s worth it to me.

    • Dorla
      April 2, 2019

      So glad to hear that you are persevering with piano camps! I have been offering them for many years and it still seems like a struggle but it is always rewarding! Keep going strong!

  3. Thinking About Piano Camp? -
    April 17, 2019

    […] Do you have a BUDGET? What is piano camp going to cost you? Will you offer snacks? do you have extra music to purchase? Will you have to pay extra rent? Think about the logistics listed here. […]


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