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lbus1229's avatar

My wife just got offered an accompanist job at a high school. She has a college degree in Music and the school wants to negotiate her pay. How much should she charge for her services?

Asked by lbus1229 (338points) May 20th, 2008

She will only be working 1 hour a day. She will also be doing extra work for musicals throughout the year.

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4 Answers

chaddq's avatar

I’ve negotiated salary in the past and I think it’s important to put the ball in the employer’s court—the hiring officer should suggest a salary first, and then your wife will be more informed while negotiating. Otherwise, she risks asking for too little.

In the meanwhile, she could do some online research to find out what the going rate is for her services. It’s great that her degree is in music. Was there a job description? Did she meet all of the minimum/preferred qualifications? If so, she should feel entitled to request above the going rate.

Tell her congrats from fluther!

NVOldGuy's avatar

My suggestion -
Look at the teacher salary schedule
Where is she ? BA – BA + 15 MA etc
How much experience does she have?
This tells her where she is on the pay scale.
How many periods does a teacher have or how many hours is the teaching day?
Figure her percent of that and you should have a per hour rate.
There should be a scale for after school activities unless you are in a strange school district. Full time or not that should apply.
This should give you a good idea what to ask. See a teacher about looking at a teacher’s contract. That should give you all the info you need.
Yes I have done this a few times

marinelife's avatar

Here are a few data points from Choranet Resources:

My district in southern California pays $1155 per year for a HS choral accompanist. 126 hrs. according to union contract.

Here in ********* we pay $10 a class for Dress rehearsal, and then 30 or 40 for the concert. Two vists (sic) to each class, and the concert nets our accompanist anywhere between 120 and 150 per concert.

Ditto. Our fees are dismal as well. We are currently paying 5.75/hr in
*******(university town with very strong programs). I’ll be anxious for this
info as we prepare to fight for a raise. Thanks in advance.

Just to give you an idea: I paid for accompanists for two of my choirs
this past year at a Secondary School. The grade 10 choir accompanist was a
college student in the area(not a music student) and was an average player.
I paid her $15.00/hour Canadian. Our senior choir accompanist is a piano
teacher in the area and a piano performance University grad. We paid him
$30.00/hour and it was well worth it!

Our school system presently pays $15/hr., not great by any stretch of the imagination.
My budget at ****** HS is close to $10,000 /year for accompanist.

Last season I received about $2200 for all events; scale depending on complexity and duration of event. Simple play song or two $25–50, depending how long I had to sit before/afterward, or whether I played a little extra up front. Holiday shows $300 each,
talent shows $600. I do a lot of transposing, either at piano or by computer
to accommodate youthful voice ranges, and there are enough reruns over the
years to get value for the time spent. My involvement includes dress rehearsals after school (several) for larger events, clustered rehearsals during school as an event approaches.

There were more too if you would like to read the whole thing:

Also, these numbers are form 1999 and should be adjusted for inflation.

bethanski's avatar

I accompanied for the school district where I work last year, and they gave me $10/hr. The music department considered an hour to be equal to the vocal lesson I was accompanying, which was in reality about 30 minutes, as well as giving me 1 hour per week of paid practice time per song. I’ve been playing piano for 20 years, but have no formal degrees in music.

Of course, bear in mind that I work for one of the lowest paid districts around… But you should be offered $10/hour at the absolute minimum. And, really, if they aren’t paying you more than that, start looking elsewhere!

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