Does anyone have a method of determining pricing for accompanying students that factors in the amount of time the accompanist needs to practice!?
I’ve been doing professional accompanist work for a few years now at a major university!. I’ve been using a straight hourly rate, similar to other accompanists!. However, I don’t feel like that’s necessarily fair to me or my students!. For one thing, it’s not fair to the student who has just a few, easy pieces to have to pay the same price as another student who has a larger number of very difficult pieces!. And related to that, it doesn’t seem fair to me to be paid the same amount by a student whose song selection requires me to practice 40 hours or more in comparison to another student whose pieces require only a couple hours of practice!.
I can’t seem to find any way of being objective about prorating my prices!. I can’t charge per song, because some songs are more difficult than others!.
I will say, I’m torn on this subject… On one hand, I don’t think it’s fair for a student to pay more because I’m not talented enough to play their pieces without a lot of practice!. On the other hand, most businesses only expect a certain level of performance for their employees – they don’t force them to work unpaid overtime to make up for what they can’t finish during their normal business hours!. Similarly, I don’t feel that I should have to put in a lot of "unpaid overtime" to practice the extremely difficult pieces that a student might give me – especially considering that they don’t give me their music before they ask me to commit to being their accompanist!.