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

The Incorporated Society of Musicians’ (ISM) annual survey of teaching and accompanying rates has revealed that music tuition fees are not increasing in line with the cost of living for a second year in a row.

57% of self-employed, part-time music teachers in schools have not had an increase in their rate since September 2016. Of those that did most received an increase of between 90 pence and £2 per hour – the midpoint was £1 per hour. Only 40% expect an increase in the next 12 months.

Only 35% of private music teachers reported that they had raised their private teaching rates over the previous twelve months. The majority of those who did increase their fees raised them by between £1 and £4 per hour, with the average raise being £2.

The survey also reported a significant difference between fees paid in independent schools, in state-funded schools and by music services and hubs. Fees in Inner London and Greater London remain significantly higher than those charged elsewhere in the UK.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said,

‘The results of our annual teacher’ fees survey have again painted a concerning picture of a workforce under pressure. It is essential that music teachers, like every other profession, are properly remunerated for the time, skill and hard work that goes into doing what they do.

Music should not be taken for granted. The current situation revealed by these results needs to change.’

You can read our tips on how to set your own fees, including how to assess where you yourself fit within the overall range of fees and how to negotiate with your pupils and parents, by visiting

On 26 March at 1-2pm, Derin Adebiyi, the ISM’s Public Affairs Officer will present a free webinar on how you can use our fees survey results to decide on your own fees. Go to to register.