Learning an instrument is something everyone may aspire to do at one point of their lifetime. Whether you want to pick up a new skill, or become the next Mozart, learning an instrument is an investment – of both your time and your money. To learn to play the piano fluently, here is how much you may need to pay.
#1 Buying a Piano
Buying a piano would be the first thing you may want to invest in if you are serious in mastering the instrument. Owning a piano is a huge investment, so it is important to buy one that suits you. There are many different types of pianos which you can choose from – which vary in price range. A brand-new digital piano can start from $400 while a brand-new acoustic piano can start from $5,000.
While a new piano may be costly, you can also think about renting or buying a second-hand piano. If you are not sure if you want to pursue playing the piano long term, renting a piano may be an ideal choice. You should also keep in mind that the cost of piano rentals will also add up over time.
Let’s say you decide to rent an Essex EUP-108C piano. Monthly rental for this piano will cost $158, of which you will need to rent for a minimum of 12 months. Renting this piano for a year would cost you $1,896, excluding the three-month advance deposit of $474.
On the other hand, buying a brand-new piano, of the same model, would cost $8,800. Supposing that it takes a year for you to progress up a grade, it may take you up to 8 years to attain a grade 8 (the highest grade in piano according to ABRSM). The cost of renting this model of piano would be:
$158 x 12 months = $1,896/year
$1,896 x 8 years = $15,168
The logic here is that learning the piano requires practising and beyond a certain period, you would need to buy your own piano to practise at home.
#2 Piano Lessons
The cost of taking piano lessons range depending on the grade you are at. For beginner grades, the cost of piano lessons can range from $50 to $70 per hour. As your grade increases, the cost of lessons increases as well from $70 to $110 per hour.
The cost for lessons also varies depending on the qualifications of the teacher. Suppose that you take a year to advance a grade, with an hour of piano lessons once a week, and the average cost of lessons to be $60. Your total average cost for piano lessons could add up to:
$60 x 52 x 8 = $24,960
#3 Exam Costs
If you are committed to playing the piano and advancing to a grade 8, exam costs will also add up. The cost to take an ABRSM piano exam increases as you advance in your grade. An ABRSM Music Theory exam costs from $115 at grade 1 to $210 at grade 8, while ABRSM Practical exams cost from $210 at grade 1 to $525 at grade 8.
Assuming that you don’t skip any grades, the total cost for both Music Theory and Practical exams from grade 1 to grade 8 will add up to $3,993.
#4 Sheet Music
To prepare for piano exams, buying exam pieces to practice is essential. An ABRSM exam piece book costs from $23 to $55, depending on which grade you are at. Also keep in mind that exam pieces change yearly and so, you may need to buy new books if you miss the exam date that year. The cost of buying exam pieces can add to an average of $250.
Pianos should be tuned at least once a year. Depending on the condition of your piano, the cost may range from $70-80. Whereas a full servicing for a piano may cost up to $130. This would include inspections and adjustments as well as minor repairs.
The amount of maintenance required for your piano will depend on its quality. Digital pianos and keyboards have a shorter life span in general, as compared to acoustics and grand pianos. Depending on your piano needs, the cost for maintaining a piano can vary to up to $500.
On the calculations above, the cost of learning the piano till grade 8 for a period of 8 years can range from about $30,000 to $38,000. This is of course just an estimate.
|Buying a Piano||$500 to $8,800|
|Piano Lessons||$24,960||$60 per hour, 1-hour per week over a period of 8 years|
|Exam Costs||$3,993||Until Grade 8|
|Sheet Music||$250||Until Grade 8|
|Maintenance||$500||For 8 years|
|Total Cost||$30,203 to $38,503|
Learning the piano is a long-term commitment and is also a hefty investment. However, don’t let the high price tag scare you into not learning the piano. If you are not one to aspire to attain a grade 8 certificate, you can also self-teach yourself – cutting the cost of piano lessons as well as exam costs.
It’s also possible that you may spend less if you can find ways to learn on your own, skip the exams or simply for a shorter period.