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Music Teaching Rates of Pay

Updated: 26 January 2024 | 12:31 PM
Rates

The MU recommended teaching rates are concise, annual rates that we publish ahead of the start of the next academic year - the primary date in the education calendar. They cover music teaching (one-to-one and small group), workshop leading (one-off larger group sessions) and school concerts (one rehearsal plus performance).

Our rates factor in all the financial obligations of being self-employed, such as holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions and parental leave. They are recommended minimums and should be used as a starting point for negotiating where work involves additional travel, increased preparation time or greater responsibility. Rates do not reflect regional cost-of-living differences or experience level, which should be negotiated on top. Learn more about MU teaching rates.

Rates are for self-employed work and do not apply to employed teaching work. For advice on employed rates, or further advice on how to set self-employed rates, please contact the MU.

Rates for 2023-2024 academic year

Individual lessons and small-group teaching: £40.50 per hour

This minimum rate can be interpreted as follows:

  • Pro rata for lessons shorter than, or more than, one hour
  • Increase as appropriate for the number of students per lesson
  • Increase for whole-class, large-group or ensemble direction to reflect additional skill and any longer-than-usual preparation time
  • Increase if travel time is unusually long

Workshop leading: £250 per day, maximum 5 hours length

This minimum rate can be interpreted as follows:

  • Pro rata for workshops of less or more than five hours
  • Increase to reflect longer-than-usual preparation time
  • Increase to reflect any equipment or resources you are required to provide
  • Increase if you are leading or overseeing other musicians
  • Increase if travel time is unusually long

School concerts

We previously supplied a minimum rate for performing in school concerts. For the academic year 2023-24 onwards, we have decided to signpost to the MU’s agreement with Making Music instead of supplying a separate rate here.

This agreement covers self-employed musicians working for non-professional orchestras, which we view as comparable to performing in school concerts. It details a range of applicable rates and other considerations.

Please note that in the context of school concerts we are using the Making Music rates as recommendations only. The MU agreement with Making Music does not cover school concerts.

Other information

For rates relating to accompanying exams please see the MU Live Accompanist rates.

Members and engagers are advised to refer to and download our education template contracts, covering different types of work and settings.

The MU recommends a mileage rate of 56p per mile as part of our guidance on National Gig Rates.

How we set our rates

We are recommending an increase of approximately 5.25% to our hourly teaching rate, recognising that inflation and the cost of living have remained high, but also that inflation is predicted to fall later in 2023. We believe that 5.25% represents an increase that is achievable for members and reasonable for engagers.

We are resetting our workshop rate at £250 per day following feedback from members. We believe that this rate was previously pitched too low.

While we advise members and engagers to refer to our rates and guidance, members are free to use their discretion and set their rates according to their own criteria. Engagers should note that the freedom to negotiate rates is a marker of genuine self-employment.

The following table gives previous years’ rates for comparison with this year’s.

 

Individual & small groups 

Workshop leading 

School concert plus rehearsal

2023-2024 MU minimum

£40.50

£250

See Making Music rates

2022-2023 MU minimum

£38.50

£222

£95

2021-2023 MU minimum

£36

£208

£89

2020-2021 MU minimum

£35

£202

£86.50

2019-2020 MU minimum

£35

£202

£86.50

Downloads

The MU’s Education Committee discusses the rates as part of its remit, recommending any yearly increases to the Executive Committee. MU members can sign up to the Teachers Section to become eligible to stand for the Education Committee.