2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments. Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
72 members (Carey, anotherscott, brdwyguy, Abdol, accordeur, Beowulf, 16 invisible), 908 guests, and 553 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 2 1 2
Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2372357 01/11/15 01:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
D
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
The more professional you conduct yourself and treat piano teaching as a business, not a hobby, the more parents will view you as a business person.

If they know your policy about when tuition is due, that they must pay a late fee when it's late, that you don't do makeups for no-shows (or whatever), that they must provide a 2-week, 30-day, or whatever notice to quit lessons, etc... then they will think twice before cheating (uh... or 'testing' you and those policies).

I've had to send a half dozen or more parents over the years to my local collection agency for not paying their monthly or quarterly tuition payment. Usually, just the threat of their account being sent there is enough for the parent to pay. I don't worry about those parents talking bad about me to others; they are typically flaky people anyhow. In your case, if you are out only a lesson's tuition for 2 kids, you might let it slide. If it's over $100 then send a formal letter and threaten with collections. I wouldn't do small claims because that requires time on your part to show up. Collections means that the agency keeps 40% or so of whatever they can collect as their fee.

And consider the whole situation a lesson learned and move on.


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2372503 01/11/15 08:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,149
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,149
I would follow the suggestion to ask for payment in advance, and I would consider billing monthly or by a certain fixed term. Also, send each family a statement (a pdf by email, for instance) before the bill is due. This will establish a paper trail and will formalize the arrangement. If you are collecting a check from each family each week, you are setting yourself up for periodic problems of this sort.

As others have said, spending more time on this one scofflaw is a waste of your valuable time and will cause more acid reflux in your future.

Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2372534 01/12/15 12:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 586
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 586
In thirty years of teaching. I don't believe I've ever had a single unpaid bill. I did have one which extended for four months unpaid. I liked the child and just sent the bill at the end of each month. Ironically the father was a wealthy contractor. But eventually he paid with nothing more than that monthly ( accumulating) bill as a reminder.

On the contrary, I have sometimes awarded "scholarships" to children whose parents were going through a struggle ... reducing their bills. Not often, but occasionally.

I do however from day one, assume a position of a master teacher. I do not teach in the student's homes and make that clear from the first contact. I do not "make up" lessons and I make that clear as well. ( I do offer that fifth lesson in some months as a "bonus" ... or a make up if they've missed any in the previous two months. Everyone seems satisfied with that)

I also bill a month in advance. In Hawaii some teachers ask for an incredible "three month" advance but I think that punitive and greedy. I think perhaps I can impose theses rules because of my credentials and the fact I "choose" my students. But I do not think any teacher who is not a "hobby'' teacher should ever consent to teach in the student's home. That is unprofessional from the start. If you drop professionalism, you risk being treated shabbily. Don't do it. frown

(I have a lot of hints on these topics on thehappypianoprofessor.)

Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2372587 01/12/15 08:58 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,298
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,298
I agree with sending her a bill in the mail, or rather, a letter stating the amount that she owes and for what exactly. You will be lucky if she pays, but having an official letter that is very business-like may work.

Once you send the letter, however, set the matter aside in your head and expect to not be paid.

Getting payment in advance is key to this, but there will always be those who can work around that for one reason or another. It is best, therefore, to address this issue first by interviewing students and parents prior to signing them up. Get a feel for what kind of people you are dealing with, and let them know during this interview how important things like paying in advance, and being punctual/showing up for lessons are. Don't be ashamed to go through your written policy at this time, and get a signed copy of it should you decide to start lessons with them.

If you wish to be treated like a business, it's important to act like one.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2377775 01/24/15 10:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 357
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 357
I have instituted a $100 non-refundable deposit, due before lessons begin.
It is NOT used for make-up lessons or supply fee.
If they choose to drop lessons, they MUST give a month's notice, and if they do,then the last month is "free" because I count the deposit money towards the last month.

No results yet- just a few months in and everyone at home lessons is still taking.

At the school I teach, there is a fine arts coordinator who takes care of ALL the book keeping. Parents pay for the entire semester up front.

If a student quits, I still get paid, because the time slot was provided for them and I came. Now, if the quitting family finds a replacement, then they work it out themselves, I do believe. But I am not a party to that.

Anyway, the $100 deposit for home lessons was not even blinked at, and the padding in my account is quite nice!

smile

I do have a studio (supposed to be the dining room) that is dedicated to music, and I always dress professionally- dress or skirt, no jeans. I also set a 5 min warning bell timer so as to not run over.

Even if my next appointment is a shopping errand or reading a book, they do not need to know that! My schedule, my time.

Three years ago, I did have a school student's mom try to wiggle out of paying for lessons, but a good contract and documentation through e-mails and keeping the fine arts coordinator in the loop helped me prove that soccer and teenager girl stuff was the problem, not piano.

As to the current question,
collecting a relatively small bill from September 2014 when it is ow almost February 2015, is unlikely.
Try sending a bill in the mail.

A friend of mine, whose son started lessons, said she was pleasantly surprised to see that I give receipts for lessons and books. It made me seem more like a business than a nice piano lady.

And, while I like being a nice piano lady, it IS work, and I like getting paid for my efforts.

Good luck.
And, better luck next time!


Learning as I teach.
Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2377811 01/25/15 12:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,334
P
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,334
Sounds like what missbelle calls a deposit is what other teachers might call a registration fee.

Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2377820 01/25/15 01:36 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
I think MissBelle's deposit concept are similar to gym's first and last month fee. In my opinion, not a "registration" fee. Many teachers collect registration fee every September when school start, but I think MissBelle's deposit is not collected every September, but only when student started the piano lesson.


Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Follow my 4YO student here: http://bit.ly/FollowMeiY
Re: Mom of former student refusing to pay me for last lesson
catpiano #2377878 01/25/15 09:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 357
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 357
Yes, that is it- like a health club- music for your souls' health!
smile
Whenever they begin, they must pay $100, period.
And they must pay up front for the lessons, separately from that fee, at least one month.

I do not collect yearly, but I do keep copies of receipts, in reverse order, for each student, and the parents see the binder.

All of this adds an air of professionalism.

So far, so good, but I only have five at home students, for two years or less.

The school has been wonderful, and I will continue the bulk of my teaching, almost 30 students, there.

OP- please keep us informed of any updates. We are rooting for you!

If she pays, treat it like finding lost money in an old purse or coat pocket. Found money, treat time!


Learning as I teach.
Page 2 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
100,000!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Estonia 190
by Walkman - 01/15/21 12:02 PM
My 'Gentle' and 'quieter' tuning technique
by Beemer - 01/15/21 10:46 AM
The Yamaha CFX ???
by DigitalMusicProduc - 01/15/21 10:39 AM
Hello, I'm back.
by CarlosCC - 01/15/21 10:30 AM
Kawai rebates (US, 2021)
by luckywood - 01/15/21 10:16 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,259
Posts3,046,894
Members100,061
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4