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Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. #2561700
08/08/16 01:27 AM
08/08/16 01:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline OP
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I'm on teacher number three in as many years. Only due to the fact that I'm a "World Traveler" and not much of anything else.

Teachers #1 and #3 have strict cancellation/rescheduling/make-up policies that overall put a bad taste in my mouth, and is therefore the main topic of this thread. Excuse me if I go random on points...it's a gift.

Anyway, Teacher #1 told me very sternly that she needed notice of cancellation 24 hours in advance. This was after I emailed her during an exceptionally hard day at work and wasn't up to the lesson. This was my first time taking lessons, and my first time attempting to cancel. So her explaining the rules was right. I licked my wounds, attended the lesson and banked her policy in my mental rolodex.

A couple of weeks later she cancelled my lesson because her mother-in-law passed away. I'm not certain when we rescheduled, but it was extremely inconveniencing for me, and I remained tight-lipped because...sheesh death!

A month later, she again cancelled two lessons because her family from out of town was visiting. This time I seethed (quietly). Did she just learn about her family visiting? Did she not know this at all previously?

This is when I learned that piano teachers can be flexible on the students' time, but not vice versa (without penalty). A sucky pill to swallow.

Teacher #3 also has a carefully written and explained cancellation policy that is pretty strict...but by now I'm used to it after reading these forums and my own experience. However, two weeks later, directly after our lesson, she tells me that she will be on vacation the week after. Again, did this just "pop up"???

Piano Teachers: Why is it okay to yank students' around...and to be honest adult students with day jobs, and yet have strict policies that is not flexible for those same adults? What gives?

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Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561715
08/08/16 03:14 AM
08/08/16 03:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,132
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Piano Teachers: Why is it okay to yank students' around...and to be honest adult students with day jobs, and yet have strict policies that is not flexible for those same adults? What gives?

Adult Students: Why is it okay to change schedule whenever you feel like it? If you can't commit to the rigors of piano lessons, then why did you sign up in the first place? You don't think kids have homework and school projects? If you think you deserve special treatment just because you have a day job, then you have more growing up to do.

What gives?


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561720
08/08/16 03:58 AM
08/08/16 03:58 AM
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Posts: 6,521
South Florida
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac

Piano Teachers: Why is it okay to yank students' around...and to be honest adult students with day jobs, and yet have strict policies that is not flexible for those same adults? What gives?

I'm a teacher. I missed one day in the last several years because I had to go to a funeral for my cousin last January. Every other day I was at lessons.

Stop generalizing.

Ask your TEACHERS why they are unfair. Don't unload here ranting to people you don't know.


Piano Teacher
Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561725
08/08/16 04:52 AM
08/08/16 04:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,033
Italy
casinitaly Offline

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You seem to have hit two inconsiderate teachers.

I agree with the other poster, you need to ask them why they think they can mess around with the schedule so much to your inconvenience.

Where I take my lessons the policy is that if I cancel, it's my loss. If the teacher cancels we have up to 2 make up lessons. If there are more teacher absences I get a refund. That's always worked out well.

My teacher is always out of town for at least one lesson in the spring, but he knows months ahead and lets me know well in advance. But my teacher is considerate, and professional and respectful of my time

I am a teacher, though not a piano teacher, and I have private students.

Adults *can* be terrible about cancelling left right and centre, and because of those who are, I have made a pretty strict cancellation policy.

On the other hand, Iif I have to cancel I either make up the lesson at a time that is convenient for the student, or I give a credit for the lesson missed.

I think you have every right to be frustrated with the situation, but you need to deal with it by talking to your teachers, not by taking it outnon the teachers here.



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Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561752
08/08/16 08:37 AM
08/08/16 08:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
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malkin Offline
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It isn't ok to yank anyone around, whether you are a student or a teacher.

It isn't productive to use an internet forum to whine about a teacher's policies. Find someone you can work with. Or don't.


Learner
Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561756
08/08/16 09:23 AM
08/08/16 09:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,861
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac


Teacher #3 also has a carefully written and explained cancellation policy that is pretty strict...but by now I'm used to it after reading these forums and my own experience. However, two weeks later, directly after our lesson, she tells me that she will be on vacation the week after. Again, did this just "pop up"???


Is a week's notice not enough for you? Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

If a student gave me a week's notice for a cancellation, I would not have a problem with it. If they called/texted the night before, I wouldn't have a problem with it as that still gives me time to change my schedule. If they did it on a regular basis, I would, but that doesn't sound like the case here.

Perhaps you are overly sensitive due to your teacher #1 doing that to you?

Last edited by Morodiene; 08/08/16 09:24 AM.

private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561757
08/08/16 09:26 AM
08/08/16 09:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Canada
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More complete picture, both sides in turn.

(I do freelance work and so have my own version of needs to organize things, but along different lines.) A private teacher needs to time-slot maybe 30 - 50 students a week. He commits that time period for each student, has to be there, and it has to stay organized. He is also not salaried. An employee gets paid for his 9 - 5 job even for hours when he might be idle. If a student doesn't show up, and if he gives a make-up lesson at some other time, then the teacher is still sitting around for that 30 or 60 minutes unable to use his time. It's a loss. However, the problem isn't that one student that one time - it can involve several students, making a right mess of things - unless there is some kind of policy. We often read new teachers suddenly finding themselves in that kind of mess, where they are frazzled trying to sort out the confusion, and losing control over their time. So something needs to exist.

24 hour or 48 hour notice is reasonable. Supposing that another student had to miss a lesson for a genuine reason, and the teacher wants to give that student a make-up lessons. That notice gives the teacher a chance of putting someone else into that now empty time slot, and it also gives that student a chance to plan his day.

Meanwhile since teachers are human, there needs to be some kind of mechanism for them to cancel lessons in genuine situations. If you get sick, there's an emergency, or an event, you can't be there like an ATM machine is always there. So a standard policy is for a teacher to be able to not be there, notify his students (and this should also be in advance, as much as possible) and make up another time for those prepaid lessons.

However, there are different degrees of professionalism and attitudes, so there will be teachers who will do things like cancelling on a whim, last minute notices etc. It appears to happen more often with adult students. The first time I ever had lessons, my then-teacher knew I freelanced and was thus flexible, so he'd phone me up a few hours before a lesson to change it for another day or even time. He didn't know it had any effect on me until one day when the time had been changed to a few hours earlier I couldn't play worth beans, because I had spent my time reorganizing things instead of preparing for the lesson, rescheduling with my own clients etc. Talking to your teacher can work wonders. I explained how these sudden changes affected me, and that was the end of that problem.

As a freelancer I often find that salaried customers can't relate to this, and I often feel like an ATM machine, or the hologram doctor on Deep Space Nine: push a button, he materializes out of nothing and only exists when you push the button, and says "How may I help you?" I produce work for my customers on my own schedule, so I'm not in the same world as teachers. But if somebody says he will come at 5:30 to pick up my work, and they don't show up until 6:15, my life is affected. You can't function the same way while "on hold" for someone. I'd get really antsy if I had to sit around in a studio for a no-show, or just during an empty slot.

Wasn't there a funny skit by a teacher, where he illustrates this - making paper airplanes, trying handstands, to kill that hour when the student didn't come?

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561766
08/08/16 10:17 AM
08/08/16 10:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,306
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malkin Offline
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac
...cancellation/rescheduling/make-up...


I just reread the original post. To me, cancellation, rescheduling, and make-up are 3 different issues.

Are you expecting the teacher to provide a make-up lesson after you cancel with less than 24-hours notice for any reason? I don't think this is a reasonable expectation no matter what the reason is for the student's cancellation.

Is your teacher expecting not to provide a make-up lesson when he or she cannot keep your scheduled lesson time? I think this is unprofessional no matter what the reason.



Learner
Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561793
08/08/16 12:07 PM
08/08/16 12:07 PM
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Reading your original post, perhaps the reason for the difficulty is that you've been pegged as a difficult student or maybe you've just been unlucky.

How long had you been with your first teacher before you asked for a less than 24 hour cancellation because you had a rough day? Cancelling for a rough day is completely different from cancelling because you have to attend a funeral. I am just wondering your reaction to #1,#2 had something to do with her cancelling on you due to family reasons. Perhaps, it was an excuse to get out of teaching someone your teacher felt was "difficult".

How long have you been with teacher #3? If the teacher was only taking a one week vacation- it is summer after all- I would not think anything of it. Just like you have a busy schedule, your teacher also has other things on her/his plate. It's healthy for your teacher to take a vacation too so he/she doesn't burn out. I would think one week's notice should be more than sufficient. If you are a new student ie- the teacher may not want to give too much advance notice of her vacation for security reasons.

My advice is that if you'd like flexibility and understanding from your teacher that you show flexibility. And by flexibility from your teacher, I don't mean cancelling on a whim. It means that you give sufficient notice (like a week or more) except under extenuating circumstances (funerals, snow blizzards i.e. things that can't be controlled). I know that anytime that I request a make-up lesson for my son that it could be inconvenient for his teacher so I try to minimize it as much as possible. Also when my schedule is not as busy, I let my son's teacher know that as well which helps her with scheduling by being flexible with my schedule.


Last edited by pianoMom2006; 08/08/16 12:14 PM.

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Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561817
08/08/16 01:36 PM
08/08/16 01:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline OP
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I'm going to make a generalized response first for all the replies so far, and then go back and do one-on-ones if I feel it's necessary.

*I'm not a difficult student. For some reason, teachers/schools/other parents are inspired because I've pushed through taking lessons at my "adult age". I'm not good--at all. So, yeah there's that. My first teacher that I only had for a few months still reaches out. We connected overall--and I'm kind of pliable. My second teacher and I became best friends, so no difficulty there. And my third teacher...well, let's just say my previous results with teachers weren't because of fraudulent behavior on my part. I'm a cool person heck yeah. cool

*Let's assume, as an adult I do understand the intricacies of a teacher using hour time slots for students, and the negative results gained by cancelling *all the time*

*My initial cancellation with Teacher #1 did not come off a whim. Let's also assume that the definition of a "bad day" can and will be different for anyone. I'm not going to explain further.

*Let's also assume that I started piano lessons because I wanted to play piano. I didn't know anything about piano previously. I didn't even know how lessons worked. (Nor the expense, but that's another story)

*Right now at this point I'm typing this response, I can probably give an overall outlook of my schedule in the next 45-60 days. I don't have vacations planned, I'm not flying across the world, and I'm not moving. Now family issues are different, and so are unplanned emergencies (50-car pileup, tornado). During the extensive lecture on the policies of planning, cancelling, rescheduling lessons, and scheduling my lessons with the teacher, including "I will see you August ##, August ##, August ##", and then just the very next week saying that those same days will be her vacation time is pretty messed up! I was able to BE FLEXIBLE. Applause for me right? But, I (try to) raise my eyebrow at the fact that she could have told me this during the lecture.

*My wording in my original post: Definitely wasn't meant to cause a stir, however, reading it from the perspective of the responses, and now I can see that I could have used different wording. So I apologize dearly for that. I'm not here trying to start rifts.

*That said, I did know, based on the topic, that there would be plenty of people to disagree, but I would hope to find kind, calm, and respectful solution that not only I would find useful (which is why I'm posting it here).

*And finally, some clarification: I'm kind, but not a pushover. I was not ranting or whining. I wasn't scheduling lessons "whenever I felt like it". Let's also make one more assumption (based on our knowledge and experience!) that adults and children are treated differently. I never said "special treatment", but yeah...we are different. crazy

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: casinitaly] #2561819
08/08/16 01:41 PM
08/08/16 01:41 PM
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JazzyMac Offline OP
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
You seem to have hit two inconsiderate teachers.

I agree with the other poster, you need to ask them why they think they can mess around with the schedule so much to your inconvenience.

Where I take my lessons the policy is that if I cancel, it's my loss. If the teacher cancels we have up to 2 make up lessons. If there are more teacher absences I get a refund. That's always worked out well.

My teacher is always out of town for at least one lesson in the spring, but he knows months ahead and lets me know well in advance. But my teacher is considerate, and professional and respectful of my time

I am a teacher, though not a piano teacher, and I have private students.

Adults *can* be terrible about cancelling left right and centre, and because of those who are, I have made a pretty strict cancellation policy.

On the other hand, Iif I have to cancel I either make up the lesson at a time that is convenient for the student, or I give a credit for the lesson missed.

I think you have every right to be frustrated with the situation, but you need to deal with it by talking to your teachers, not by taking it outnon the teachers here.



I appreciate your respectful response. This definitely sheds light on things. Previously when I used the search on the forums, Google, reading other material, I questioned why the cancellation policy was always so strict. It's understandable that we (adults) cause it on ourselves.

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: Morodiene] #2561821
08/08/16 01:46 PM
08/08/16 01:46 PM
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JazzyMac Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by JazzyMac


Teacher #3 also has a carefully written and explained cancellation policy that is pretty strict...but by now I'm used to it after reading these forums and my own experience. However, two weeks later, directly after our lesson, she tells me that she will be on vacation the week after. Again, did this just "pop up"???


Is a week's notice not enough for you? Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

If a student gave me a week's notice for a cancellation, I would not have a problem with it. If they called/texted the night before, I wouldn't have a problem with it as that still gives me time to change my schedule. If they did it on a regular basis, I would, but that doesn't sound like the case here.

Perhaps you are overly sensitive due to your teacher #1 doing that to you?


Just as policies define various types of cancellations, they are different in my mind as well. Emergencies, or maybe even not emergencies, but things that came up a week out is okay to change. A vacation, however, was scheduled far enough in advance. Teachers have schedules, but so do adult students.

My sensitivity rises to the fact that I have to make sure that no matter what, my piano lesson will take priority out of respect for the teacher, and oh yeah, so I can learn to play good. So...job, environment, situations are all factors in making sure that my butt is in that piano seat one hour out of that week. When a teacher acts in the manner that gives me the impression they did not consider that hour, I'm sensitive.

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: malkin] #2561822
08/08/16 01:52 PM
08/08/16 01:52 PM
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Posts: 346
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JazzyMac Offline OP
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by JazzyMac
...cancellation/rescheduling/make-up...


I just reread the original post. To me, cancellation, rescheduling, and make-up are 3 different issues.

Are you expecting the teacher to provide a make-up lesson after you cancel with less than 24-hours notice for any reason? I don't think this is a reasonable expectation no matter what the reason is for the student's cancellation.

Is your teacher expecting not to provide a make-up lesson when he or she cannot keep your scheduled lesson time? I think this is unprofessional no matter what the reason.



Oh, one thing I didn't mention. After that first time I tried to cancel due to "bad day at work", I have NEVER cancelled a lesson AT ALL. All cancellations are from teachers. And rarely are they an emergency.

That said I'm really not a fan of make-up lessons at all to be honest. This means that I will have to (yet again) move my schedule to double up on lessons for the day, the week, or just overall. I've never viewed make-up lessons as beneficial because there's only so much that goes in this brain. I would just rather the teacher pile on extra homework so I can get some structured breathing time with the piano. That's only my opinion.

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561826
08/08/16 02:04 PM
08/08/16 02:04 PM
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Since I am in a situation where my evenings are booked as full as I want them with children/teens, I only teach adults during the school hours. Since they are coming when I can't find other students to fill the spots, I am very lenient on my make-up policy with those students.

If you are asking for a prime-time lesson time that your teacher could easily fill with another student, then it makes sense for your teacher to maintain the strict make-up policy.

In my experience, if you were enrolled in an evening group class for adults (fitness or otherwise), and you weren't able to attend due to illness, a tough day at work, etc, you would not be given a credit for that class or reimbursed.

Your piano teacher does not get sick days, paid vacation time, or a pension.
Perhaps you could ask for more notice for when he/she is going on a vacation. Other than that, if you are happy with your teacher, accept that there will be times when you pay for a lesson that you don't receive, due to your absence. Consider it payment for holding your lesson time. Should your teacher have a reduced income for the weeks when you are sick or having a rough day?

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: piano2] #2561829
08/08/16 02:11 PM
08/08/16 02:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline OP
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Originally Posted by piano2
Since I am in a situation where my evenings are booked as full as I want them with children/teens, I only teach adults during the school hours. Since they are coming when I can't find other students to fill the spots, I am very lenient on my make-up policy with those students.

If you are asking for a prime-time lesson time that your teacher could easily fill with another student, then it makes sense for your teacher to maintain the strict make-up policy.

In my experience, if you were enrolled in an evening group class for adults (fitness or otherwise), and you weren't able to attend due to illness, a tough day at work, etc, you would not be given a credit for that class or reimbursed.

Your piano teacher does not get sick days, paid vacation time, or a pension.
Perhaps you could ask for more notice for when he/she is going on a vacation. Other than that, if you are happy with your teacher, accept that there will be times when you pay for a lesson that you don't receive, due to your absence. Consider it payment for holding your lesson time. Should your teacher have a reduced income for the weeks when you are sick or having a rough day?


Please check out my previous posts where I mention I asked for one cancellation that never ended up being a cancellation. Teachers cancel or switch on me.

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561836
08/08/16 02:34 PM
08/08/16 02:34 PM
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I have had to switch and cancel lessons plenty of times. The reasons are endless:
*vacations
*Dr. appointments where you must take the time you are given, or wait another 6-12 months for another appointment,
*events that involve my children (school plays and shows),
*having a cold or flu
*breaking my leg

Of course, I hate to cancel for any of these reasons (except for vacations), but it is unavoidable at times.

If you don't want to switch your lesson time and would rather some extra assignments be given, you should let your teacher know. I have students who can never come at a different suggested time - I've asked a few times and don't even bother to ask anymore.

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561889
08/08/16 05:39 PM
08/08/16 05:39 PM
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JazzyMac, my perspective as an adult student:

When you tried to cancel that one lesson, was there a misunderstanding about whether or not you expected to pay for it? [edited to add: and/or a misunderstanding about whether or not you expected that it should be rescheduled?]

My own working assumption is that piano teachers will have a policy like this one:
Quote
  • Any lesson that the teacher has to cancel will be made up or a credit will be given.
  • No payment credit or makeup lessons will be provided for students who miss lessons for any reason.

I found this here, but it's not atypical of policies I've seen discussed.)

Yes, that's asymmetrical. Both of my teachers have actually had more lenient policies (if I give sufficient notice, I don't have to pay.). But I'm always surprised by that leniency, and don't resent the asymmetry.

The policy I quote is directed towards a studio which I gather may be primarily children. Some teachers, but not all, have different policies for their adult students. For me personally, I don't want, expect, or need that, but I have a fairly stable schedule. If I had an irregular or unpredictable schedule, I would probably care more about finding a teacher with a different policy.

How the policy works out in detail, for example how much notice is given, and whether either of you feel the other is cancelling too often, etc. is something that is worth talking about with your teacher. If you want her to give longer notice than a week for predictable absences, you'll have to ask her for that.

Note that she presumably has her own reasons for doing things the way she does. For example, some students may prefer to be told just one week in advance, as they're thinking about "what happens next week?" rather than "let me mark my calendar for a long time in the future." Or she may have found that most of her students don't remember unless she reminds them the week before, so she has stopped giving them the unheeded earlier notice. Etc. Assume that she has good intentions and reasons, not that she's willfully or selfishly being rude.

If you didn't resent the asymmetry of the policy, would you mind that she only gives you a week's notice on things she might have known about earlier?

Distinguish also between lessons that are completely missed, vs. lessons that are rescheduled. I don't think you have to try to contort your own schedule to fit whatever times your teacher might have available for reschedules. Instead allow the lesson to simply be missed (with or without payment, per your teacher's policy). Again, this is something to talk to your teacher about in order to align expectations. What does she expect or want? What would you prefer? How are the both of you going to approach things going forward?

For example, this summer due to my teacher's other commitments and vacation time, we've been doing an unusually large amount of rescheduling (compared to our usual mutual reliability) and in retrospect it's been awkward for me. So I'm going to talk to my teacher at my next lesson to raise the subject of summer scheduling, and suggest that next summer instead of trying to construct as many lessons as possible, perhaps we could just cancel more weeks outright. I don't think either of us has been doing anything wrong; it's just that with experience I've learned that doing things differently may be better.


In sum: assume the best of your teacher. Talk to her.

Last edited by PianoStudent88; 08/08/16 06:16 PM. Reason: another thought

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Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: JazzyMac] #2561894
08/08/16 06:00 PM
08/08/16 06:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,306
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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malkin  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,306
*sigh* Salt Lake City
JazzyMac--What are you hoping for from a teacher? I can't tell from the posts so far.


In general, I don't want to hear or provide reasons for cancellations or colleagues' absences from work. I do not want to be in a position to evaluate if any reason is good enough or if any person is sick enough or distraught enough or their transportation is broken enough and I don't want my teacher, supervisor, or colleagues to evaluate those things for me. I especially find descriptions of health issues to be TMI for most of my relationships.


Learner
Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: PianoStudent88] #2561904
08/08/16 06:30 PM
08/08/16 06:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline OP
Full Member
JazzyMac  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
JazzyMac, my perspective as an adult student:

When you tried to cancel that one lesson, was there a misunderstanding about whether or not you expected to pay for it? [edited to add: and/or a misunderstanding about whether or not you expected that it should be rescheduled?]

My own working assumption is that piano teachers will have a policy like this one:
Quote
  • Any lesson that the teacher has to cancel will be made up or a credit will be given.
  • No payment credit or makeup lessons will be provided for students who miss lessons for any reason.

I found this here, but it's not atypical of policies I've seen discussed.)

Yes, that's asymmetrical. Both of my teachers have actually had more lenient policies (if I give sufficient notice, I don't have to pay.). But I'm always surprised by that leniency, and don't resent the asymmetry.

The policy I quote is directed towards a studio which I gather may be primarily children. Some teachers, but not all, have different policies for their adult students. For me personally, I don't want, expect, or need that, but I have a fairly stable schedule. If I had an irregular or unpredictable schedule, I would probably care more about finding a teacher with a different policy.

How the policy works out in detail, for example how much notice is given, and whether either of you feel the other is cancelling too often, etc. is something that is worth talking about with your teacher. If you want her to give longer notice than a week for predictable absences, you'll have to ask her for that.

Note that she presumably has her own reasons for doing things the way she does. For example, some students may prefer to be told just one week in advance, as they're thinking about "what happens next week?" rather than "let me mark my calendar for a long time in the future." Or she may have found that most of her students don't remember unless she reminds them the week before, so she has stopped giving them the unheeded earlier notice. Etc. Assume that she has good intentions and reasons, not that she's willfully or selfishly being rude.

If you didn't resent the asymmetry of the policy, would you mind that she only gives you a week's notice on things she might have known about earlier?

Distinguish also between lessons that are completely missed, vs. lessons that are rescheduled. I don't think you have to try to contort your own schedule to fit whatever times your teacher might have available for reschedules. Instead allow the lesson to simply be missed (with or without payment, per your teacher's policy). Again, this is something to talk to your teacher about in order to align expectations. What does she expect or want? What would you prefer? How are the both of you going to approach things going forward?

For example, this summer due to my teacher's other commitments and vacation time, we've been doing an unusually large amount of rescheduling (compared to our usual mutual reliability) and in retrospect it's been awkward for me. So I'm going to talk to my teacher at my next lesson to raise the subject of summer scheduling, and suggest that next summer instead of trying to construct as many lessons as possible, perhaps we could just cancel more weeks outright. I don't think either of us has been doing anything wrong; it's just that with experience I've learned that doing things differently may be better.


In sum: assume the best of your teacher. Talk to her.


Pianostudent88 I think you hit the nail on the head regarding what I'm trying to say (told you I was random).

The asymmetry in the policy.

"I, as the teacher, will inconvenience you whenever I want, but you don't get the same privilege...and I'll make sure to remind you of that whenever I can."

This is probably not as ill-intended as it comes off, but it definitely does come off that way. I do resent the asymmetry, ONLY because it seems to come more often than not.

The lesson I tried to cancel had *zero* to do with rescheduling, money, or anything of the sort. Her policy was strict, I got in line...but she didn't.

And honestly, I don't care the reasons of cancellations. But telling me a month out that,

"Hey, fellow adult, I'm giving you the respect of advance notice in letting you know that because little kids are on vacations, I might have uproot quite a few lessons...I hope it won't affect you too much, but I will let you know."

Or "Hey fellow adult, I'll be doing some things next month that is pretty much none of your business, and these are the new dates. Can you make them...or nah?"

Is waaaayyy better than informing me a week or less prior--giving me almost no choice but to acquiesce to a new date, or risk forfeiting the lesson altogether, or having to double-up, etc.

I'm a beginner in piano, and my teacher has been doing her trade for 20+ years. I would think it's weird that I'd have to inform her that..."um, yeah adults have priorities outside of piano". What with her being adult as well. It comes off awkward to me--and I'm not one for being slight on the opinions.

Re: Adult Lessons + Make-ups + (non) Flexibility + etc., etc. [Re: malkin] #2561905
08/08/16 06:33 PM
08/08/16 06:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline OP
Full Member
JazzyMac  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
Originally Posted by malkin
JazzyMac--What are you hoping for from a teacher? I can't tell from the posts so far.


In general, I don't want to hear or provide reasons for cancellations or colleagues' absences from work. I do not want to be in a position to evaluate if any reason is good enough or if any person is sick enough or distraught enough or their transportation is broken enough and I don't want my teacher, supervisor, or colleagues to evaluate those things for me. I especially find descriptions of health issues to be TMI for most of my relationships.


I'm surprised you can't tell what I'm hoping for from a teacher, what with your snarky response earlier in this thread. Perhaps reading and gleaning understanding might assist you. Otherwise I've got no time for you. Thanks!

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