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The ISM's fees survey finds music teachers rates failing to keep pace with rising cost of living

The Incorporated Society of Musicians, the professional body for musicians, today announces the results of its annual music teachers’ fees survey. Fees have shown little change over the 12 months to September 2013, whilst the cost of living continues to rise.

The ISM’s latest benchmarking survey covers instrumental/vocal music tuition fees for both private teachers and visiting music teachers in schools. Now in its fifth year this unique survey received nearly 1000 responses and captures the national picture providing essential information for teachers across the UK. The survey asked about fees charged in September 2013, with headline results as follows:

The survey results show that private teachers’ rates have been broadly unchanged since 2010, with most people charging between £25 - £36 per hour in September 2013.

Fees in Inner London and Greater London remain significantly higher than those charged elsewhere in the UK. Most Inner London private teachers charged between £30 -£50, outside London most private teachers surveyed charged a maximum of £34.

The mid-point of rates reported by self-employed visiting music teachers has not changed since 2009, the first year of the ISM’s survey in this current form.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive, ISM, comments:

“People have not been putting up their fees even though the cost of living continues to increase. It is striking that self-employed visiting music teachers in schools have seen very little overall change, though the range of fees has widened.”

Caroline Aldred, Business Support Officer, ISM, comments:

“We hope the survey data offers helpful information about the general level of music tuition fees. Freelance music teachers should use this resource and set their own tuition rates at a realistic level.”

Drawing on the survey results for employed visiting music teachers, the ISM has published its recommended fee ranges for 2014/15. These are now available in the Fees section at www.


About the ISM

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK’s professional body for musicians and largest subject association for music educators, representing the rights and views of its members and offering a distinctive range of vital services to all working in the music profession. The ISM promotes the art of music and champions the interests of the music profession with an independent voice. Members are protected with an unparalleled legal advice service and many other supporting professional benefits.

The ISM’s membership of 6,500 includes performers, composers, music educators and music industry professionals. The ISM has over 100 corporate members from across the sector including the Association of British Orchestras, Classic FM, the International Artist Managers’ Association, the Music Industries Association, NMC Recordings, the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Young Classical Artists Trust; publishers such as OUP and Schott Music; and, in the field of education, ABRSM, Trinity College London, Yamaha Music, numerous university music departments and all of the UK conservatoires.