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Organists and Ceremonies Rates

Updated: 29 June 2022 | 13:48 PM

Recommended minimum rates of pay for organists and ceremonies, April 2022.

Casual engagements

Regular services

  • A maximum of 1,5 hours: £75.50
  • After which overtime payable at £11.50 per 15 minutes or part thereof.

Special services

Special services include weddings, funerals, carol and memorial services, festivals etc.

  • A maximum of 1,5 hours: £123.50
  • After which overtime payable at £20.58 per 15 minutes or part thereof.


  • Minimum fee: £75.00
  • Per additional service: £38.25
  • For playing at the funeral service and at the crematorium - double fee.


  • A maximum of 1,5 hours: £63.00
  • After which overtime payable at £10.50 per 15 minutes or part thereof.

Resident organists

3 hours per week £7,845.291 per annum
(£150.88 per week)
4 hours per week £10,304.82 per annum
(£196.16 per week)
5 hours per week £12,808.85 per annum (£246.32 per week)
Overtime pro rata in 15-minute units: £12.50

Holiday pay

The musician is entitled to 28 days holiday in line with Working Time Regulations.

Bank holidays when worked are payable at double time.

Video recording

A video recording for private purposes of a wedding or other ‘special service’ may be made subject to:

  1. the organist giving his/her permission
  2. a fee of £70.75 being paid.

Distance fees and travel expenses


  • Group A - £31.45 – Electric Guitar (inc’ Amp); Bass Guitar (inc’ Amp); Double Bass.
  • Group B - £27.16 – Bass Sax, Tuba.
  • Group C - £21.64 – Contra Bassoon; Baritone Sax; French Horn + 1 other brass instrument; Trombone + 1 other brass instrument or bag of mutes: Two Saxes; Cello; Bass Clarinet: Pedalboards.
  • Group D – subject to individual negotiation – Drum Kit; Percussion; Harps: Keyboards: P.A.


15% of fee for each additional instrument


Minimum of 15 mins per 2 hours playing

Late fees

Payable when time of return is between midnight and 2:00 am: £28.40

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00 am: £110.00


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses: £50.00


Guidance notes

The MU’s live rates are based on an hourly rate which a self-employed musician needs to charge in order to earn an income, relative to their training, experience and expertise. Individual negotiations can be made based on these minimum rates.

  • If you’re self-employed, you do not have a contract of employment with an employer. You’re more likely to be contracted to provide services over a certain period of time for a fee and be in business in your own right.
  • You’ll also pay your own tax and National Insurance contributions.
  • You don't have employment rights as such if you're self-employed as you are your own boss and can therefore decide how much to charge for your work and how much holiday to give yourself.
  • You do have some legal protection.
  • You must not be discriminated against and you're entitled to a safe and healthy working environment on your client's premises.
  • Self-employed women who have recently left their jobs may be entitled to Maternity Allowance.


Live rates