• Percussion IQ

How to pay for Drum Corps and WGI - Vol. 1

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

It’s no secret that the cost to be a member in a WGI or DCI group has become astronomical over the years.  Much like the cost of college tuition, it’s outpacing inflation and there seems to be no end in sight. Some people are fortunate enough to have financial backing from family and friends, while others must self-fund their entire tour fee. Don’t let the financing be the reason you aren’t able to fulfill your dreams.  The hard part should be making the group, not paying for it. You have the ability to turn this obstacle in to an advantage. In this 3 part blog series we’ll give you ideas on how to not only pay for your tour fees, but how to use this process to your advantage and get better along the way.


Vol. 1 - Teach Lessons


If you’ve read our plus, minus, equal blog you’ll know about the benefit you can receive from teaching people who’s skill level is under yours.  Giving lessons is a great way to not only get better as a player, but also earn income to help finance your drumming endeavors.


No matter what your skill level, there is probably someone who would be willing to pay to learn from you.  If you’re in high school, under class men or incoming middle school students who want to make the line would be willing to pay for feedback and pointers  If you feel like you don’t have enough experience you can start by charging $10 for a half an hour. If you had 4 weekly students at that rate you could make $40 a week...multiply that by 52 weeks and you’re looking at $2,080!  That’s just 4 students and 2 hours of your time per week. As your resume grows you can begin to charge more. At $15 dollars a half hour you can earn $3,120 and at $20 per half hour you can earn $4,160!


Be thoughtful and deliberate when setting your price.  If you set your price too high you’ll have trouble finding students.  If you set your price too low you’re leaving money on the table and potentially wasting your time.  FInd out what the going rate for drum lessons is in your area so you can benchmark your price appropriately. Also find out who else is  giving drum lessons in your area and compare their resume and teaching credentials to your own. It’s always easier to lower your price than to raise it once you start giving lessons.


In addition to the additional income, you’ll have 2 hours each week where you are analyzing, deconstructing and forcing yourself to explain things in multiple ways, ultimately giving you a better understanding of the concept you're working on with your student.

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