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September 14, 2023

2023 Guide: What Kind of Music School is Best? In-Home or Private Teacher?

2023 Guide: Music Teacher vs. Music School - What's Better in 2023?


Choosing a music school or a music teacher is a significant decision on your musical journey, and it's essential to explore the different options available. Traditionally, aspiring musicians have considered three primary paths: enrolling in a traditional music school, hiring a private teacher, or opting for the convenience of an in-home music school. In this article, we'll delve into the pros and cons of each choice and see which one is the best fit for many students.

✏️ Private Teachers

What is a private teacher?

Private teachers are teachers who are not part of a larger music school. They often teach out of their home or in students' homes. They usually specailize in one instrument, like piano, though some teachers may also teach a second instrument. Private teachers may vary in quality, so it's best to check with friends or family to see if they have any experience with the teacher.


Usually the cheapest option: because private music teachers often teach from their home, they do not have to pay for a studio or other business costs, like marketing and background checks. Be aware that a very low price may indicate that a teacher does not have a lot of experience in business. It is a good idea to call multiple private teachers to get a range of pricing. See our article on how to choose the right teacher for you here.

Convenience of Location: Private teachers can either come to your home or host lessons in their own space, offering flexibility in terms of location.

Personalized Attention: With one-on-one instruction, students often receive more personalized attention tailored to their unique needs.


Variable Quality: Private teachers vary widely in terms of qualifications and teaching abilities. Finding a skilled and reliable teacher may require word-of-mouth recommendations or trial and error.

Difficult to verify: when you're going to be sending your child to a teacher's home or inviting a teacher into your home, you want to make sure that person is safe and accedited. Private teachers may list impressive creditentials and no criminal background, but it is difficult to verify if they have the education, skill and background they claim.

Fluctuating billing: Private teachers often charge by the lesson, meaning you may be charged extra in months that have a 5th regularly schedule lesson or be forced to skip a lesson to avoid the extra charge.

Limited Extracurriculars: Not all private teachers offer additional benefits like recitals, which can enhance the overall learning experience and provide a positive experience for musicians.

👨‍🏫 Traditional Music Schools

What is a traditional music school?

A traditional music school is a brick and mortar retail location where students go to learn music. These are often established business in the community. They will have teachers on multiple instruments, and they may also offer options like sheet music or books for purchase or instrument rentals.


Structured Environment: Traditional music schools offer a structured and formal learning environment, which can be ideal for students seeking a comprehensive musical education.

Professional Teachers: They often have a roster of experienced and vetted music instructors, ensuring a high level of musical expertise.

Established Reputation: Many traditional music schools have worked with numerous students over the years, meaning they have earned a good reputation in order to stay in business.

Usually easy to reschedule: Most traditional music schools make it easy to reschedule lessons with another staff member available if your teacher isn't

Recitals: traditional music schools may offer recitals, though they may charge extra to participate.


Usually more expensive: Traditional music schools, unlike in-home music schools, have to pay rent for a physical studio space. This cost is usually passed onto students in the form of higher tuition.

Complex billing: Many traditional music schools package lessons to try to get you to book a semester or a year in advance. This approach means that you may end up paying for lessons even during holidays, and can make understanding the cost of lessons difficult. Plus, if you decide lessons aren't for you, you're stuck with what you've already paid for.

Commute and Waiting: A significant drawback is the need to commute to the school, which can be time-consuming. Additionally, you may find yourself waiting during lessons in a busy and uncomfortable lobby, as instructors often have multiple students.

Noise and Distractions: The classroom setting can sometimes be noisy, with other lessons happening simultaneously. This may not be conducive to focused learning, especially for beginners.

Small and Uncomfortable Rooms: Many traditional music schools rent out a storefront, which means they are often about as big as a coffee shop. Because that space needs to be divided between as many students as possible to maximize hourly revenue, this often leads to rooms that are cramped and stuffy, taking away from students' ability to learn and focus.

🤔 What other options are there?

It may seem like there are only two options to learning music, hiring a private teacher or going to a traditional music school. While both options have merits, they also have several detracting flaws. However, there are other options to consider that many people aren't aware of.

🎹🏠 In-Home Music Schools

What is an in-home music school?

An in-home music school is a relatively new player in the music education space. In-home music schools blend the convenience of private teachers who come to you with the professional standards and vetting of a traditional music school. In-home music schools like Doorstep Music Lessons have a variety of teachers specalizing in different instruments, who can work with students are casual learners or current/future musicians.


The Best of Both Worlds: In-home music schools combine the advantages of traditional music schools and private teachers while minimizing their drawbacks.

Vetted Teachers: Instructors are carefully vetted for their musical proficiency and teaching skills, ensuring a high-quality learning experience.

Background checked: all teachers are background checked for any criminal history.

Simple billing: an in-home music school like Doorstep Music Lessons has a flat, monthly rate, so you aren't charged more from month to month, and your tuition is simple to understand.

Easy rescheduling: many in-home music schools make rescheduling easy. Doorstep Music Lessons offers four convenient ways of rescheduling, including teaching at a different day/time, virtual lessons, adding time to future lessons, or creating a personalized lesson video for the student.

Convenience: Learning in the comfort of your own home eliminates the hassles of commuting, waiting in a lobby, and adapting to unfamiliar environments.

Parental involvement: Parents can be a part of younger students' lessons while accomplishing tasks around the house.

Familiar Setting: The familiar surroundings of home can help students feel more relaxed and focused during lessons.

Recitals: In-home music schools like Doorstep Music Lessons offer the added benefits of recitals at no extra charge, enriching the overall musical journey.

⚠️ A Word of Caution: (Too) Low Pricing

Is Price Everything?

At the end of the day, it's important to consider your budget when it comes to finding a music teacher or school for your students. However, not all music lessons and teachers are comparable.

A low price may be a sign of an inexperienced teacher. Ask yourself, what results would you expect if you hired the cheapest professional in any industry, a painter for your house, a tutor for your child, the cheapest attorney you can find? What benefits or experience might they be missing that is preventing them from charging more? Is it any different when looking for a music teacher?

Ask questions before making a decision based on price.

  • Has my teacher been background checked and verified?

  • Why is this price lower than other teachers or schools?

  • What is this teacher's skill level and compatibility with my student?

  • Will my student be able to play recitals and get other benefits, like 1:1 lessons?

  • How much will recitals cost?

  • Does this teacher/school make it easy to reschedule?

  • What condition/quality is this teacher's equipment?

  • If I don't like this teacher, what other options do I have?

While budget is an important component of finding the right music school for you, it's crucial to consider all factors before making a decision about which school is the best fit for your student.

✅ Conclusion: In-Home Music Schools are the Best of Both Worlds

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best way to learn music, it's very important to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully. While traditional music schools and private teachers have their merits, an in-home music school like Doorstep Music Lessons offers the best of both worlds.

With background-checked and verified instructors, convenience, a familiar setting, and the bonus of enriching activities like recitals at no extra charge, it's a choice that prioritizes your musical growth and overall experience. So, if you're looking for the perfect harmony of convenience and quality, consider exploring the options offered by an in-home music school like Doorstep Music Lessons in your area.

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