Playing for Students’ Weddings

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Q: A former student asked me to play for her wedding. Should I charge? If so, should it be my normal fee?

"Honored and privileged: two words I’d use to describe my feelings of being asked to provide the music for the most important day in anyone’s life," says Penny Howk Beavers.

“Honored and privileged: two words I’d use to describe my feelings of being asked to provide the music for the most important day in anyone’s life,” says Penny Howk Beavers.

Honored and privileged: two words I’d use to describe my feelings of being asked to provide the music for the most important day in anyone’s life. And to be able to do this for a former student is a gift to us both.

My references are, for the most part, students who have studied with me for years and years—in many cases since they were very young right through high school or college. So I was not only a harp teacher to them, but a mentor in life as well, and eventually a family friend too. To these students, I could never charge a fee for my services. I always said, “Please consider this my wedding gift to you.”

We’ve all had many, many students throughout the years of teaching. Some continued for years and others fell by the wayside after a few lessons, a few months, or a year or so. Had I ever been asked by one of these students, I’m sure I would not hesitate to charge my regular fee.

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