Children's choir compensation
Date: July 10, 2012
To make a long story short, I've been given the opportunity to pilot a children's choir at my church. I was asked by the church's music director to submit a budget proposal for the ensemble, including my stipend. I can figure out some costs easily. The cost for my services, however, is harder to figure out. I would like to know what you all think should be a fair price to ask. While I don't want to overcharge my church, I feel like I have a lot to offer, and I don't want to make an offer that is significantly below what would be comparable for the amount of work I'm doing. Further, our priest is interested in making this happen. Here is the information on the ensemble, the church, and me. If I left out any important criteria that would help you give a realistic answer, let me know.
Training: BME choral music education, MA- Differentiated Instruction
# of years teaching music to children: 7
# of years directing children's choirs: 6
Location: Minneapolis, MN. For those unfamiliar with the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, it is a major urban area with a population of about 3 million people
Church size: unsure, but pretty big. I've heard it said that the church sees about 5 thousand people at mass each week
# of singers: 10-15 (This is based on participation in a similar group I directed at church last year)
age of singers: 8-13
# of rehearsals: 9
Length of rehearsals: 8 will be 60 minutes. One will be 2-3 hours and will involve other groups in the parish
# of performances: 3. Each "performance" is two masses on Sunday mornings
I know that compensation is a sticky issue for people and that churches offer different compensation depending on various factors. Rather than asking people to tell me what they make, I would ask you this: if you have experience as a church choir director, and you were in my position, what would you ask for in terms of your own compensation? Also, do you have any suggestions on negotiation strategies that would be effective? I need to make enough money to make this worth my time and feel good about my pay, but at the end of the day, this is still my church. I want to be able to look the priests and the music director (who is a dear friend) in the eye at the end of this without anyone growling. Any thoughts you have would be helpful. If you think you could help me with this, but don't want to post anything on the message board, please feel free to email me. I would appreciate any insights you are generous enough to share.
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