In the Midwest, we have more students than teachers, but the question is what the students are willing to pay. Might be lower than people used to "coast" prices. OTOH, cost of doing business is a lot lower out here than in Boston, NYC, LA, etc.
I am charging the same price for my time here in the midwest as I charged in Boston. Not a single student has even questioned it. I find the teachers here to be undercutting themselves actually. They all seem afraid to drop to 45 minute lessons (from 50 with 10 minutes of dead unpaid time) or raise their price to the national average. But I am making just as much, if not even more than I made in the east.
And no, I don't find the price of doing business lower here. Food costs the same, gas costs the same, clothing is the same, I put more miles on my car here, office supplies at Staples are the same. So I don't buy the argument AT ALL that it is cheaper to live or do business here.... especially considering that people here make less. SO they actually spend MORE of their income on actual living expenses. The ONLY thing that is lower here is my house, which is almost 4 times larger than my Boston apartment for half the price. Yet if I have to drive 2.5 hours to get to the airport...instead of 20 minutes, So in the end I think it is a wash.
I seriously doubt the students in the midwest even know who I am except "someone who moved here from the east coast, she's kinda advanced" as someone described me recently. Titles don't mean much when people are barely aware of them.
People can theorize all they want how the industry has been affected by the recession. But until someone does a full blown study on it, all we are doing is providing anecdotal observations, which are highly personal, emotional, and unreliable. I myself have seen no decrease in lessons and I have 5 guys calling me to do pro-am right now. Yet I "feel" at one large major competition there were less people in the ballroom.
seems to me that just as many major comps have been larger as have been smaller...personally, I have noidea what to make of it...so I won't ....that is why I think a person just needs to consult who they know, land somewhere, see how it goes, offer a good product and, if that isn't enough, do some good research.
Actually I just got done judging with Perry this weekend. The rate he charges is below the national average of a regular teacher, far below other US Open Finalists and champions of his status. And he is still booking lessons on the hour.
So still, I think teachers, especially around MO and KS are undercutting themselves. This is the last pool of teachers that haven't changed their rates in probably 10 years.