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#950099 - 08/25/08 10:33 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Cathy, aka Jotur, I did get you mixed up with another "J" and I am sorry. Please accept my apologies.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
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#950100 - 08/25/08 04:45 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,390
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,390
Santa Fe, NM
Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Cathy, aka Jotur, I did get you mixed up with another "J" and I am sorry. Please accept my apologies.
No problem. If there was another me, then *that* would be a problem! laugh

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#950101 - 08/25/08 07:46 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 431
musiclady Offline
Full Member
musiclady  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 431
Toronto, Canada
I would never charge by the quarter or semester, for a few reasons:

1) A fair number of my student's families have two or three children taking lessons from me.

2) Canadian winters!!!

3) Some students needing extra lessons no matter how you try to avoid that. Therefore I'd lose money!

4) Illness, I couldn't teach for 3 weeks due to bronchitis last winter. Plus I occasionally experience strong side effects from the medication I take for a couple of conditions.

5) I take lessons myself, on two instruments (plus rhythmic training lessons on top of that!), and my own teachers (and even some of my own student's families) have paid for lessons on a twice-monthly basis. Even when I was taking lessons on clarinet a number of years ago, I would not have been able to pay for more than a couple of weeks lessons at a time.

6) Think if it from the customer's point of view: if they had a choice between a teacher who charges monthly and a teacher who charges by the quarter or semester, many would probably go to the monthly. I myself would never go to a quarter or semester plan. Students and their families can have all kinds of problems in their lives, I had one very good family that had to miss some lessons last year for various good reasons. After all, there is a saying to do unto others what you would like to have them do unto you! And sometimes a family may need to move on short notice, which would make coming to you for lessons totally unfeasible!

Meri


Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com
#950102 - 08/25/08 09:25 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
While it appears we're in agreement that it's important for the student to have regular instruction, the subject of who is responsible for "making up" the missed lesson seems is quite open for debate.

Is it the parent's responsibility to get students organized and to lessons, or is it the teacher's?

If you reply that it's the parent's responsibility, then why does the responsibility for the missed lesson suddenly shift to the teacher? The teacher didn't miss the lesson.

Consider the organ teacher who must rent a facility, usually a church, and drive there herself to give a lesson. If the student doesn't show up, is it the teacher's responsibility to underwrite the expenses involved, and then to expend the same expenses a second time for the student, so he can have a make-up lesson?

Or how about if I rent the local concert hall for an afternoon so one of my students can come and practice for a recital, but the student fails to show. Does the expense involved belong to the student or to me?

Teaching out of a studio in a home only changes the venue, not the circumstances. The teacher's overhead remains; the teacher's lost time remains. The only thing which didn't occur was the actual lesson, and that was the fault of the student, not the teacher.

Although I am willing to reschedule lessons in advance, obviously, make-up lessons is just another way of saying the parent wants something for nothing, at my expense.

Here are some examples I've encountered:

- Schools closed for snow. Student doesn't show. I call on cell phone and student is at mall. Guess what, no makeup lesson.

- Best friend is having a birthday party. Parents, make a choice - piano lessons or partying.

- Trip to Disney Land. Sorry, this isn't educational. In fact, I'm hard pressed to come up with a single redeeming feature of such a trip.

I try to impress upon my students and their families that when they study music with me, they are studying in exactly the same circumstances as if they signed up for a class at the local college. I am not providing a day care facility with "fun" activities for children. I'm engaged in a serious business to help parents educate and enrich their children's lives.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#950103 - 08/25/08 09:57 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Meri, your post left me gasping. Do you really teach? Your profile doesn't specify.

Let's go through your points.

1) A fair number of my student's families have two or three children taking lessons from me. So what? I have 3 cars. Should the gas station give me a lower gas prices?

2) Canadian winters!!! So what do other businesses do during inclement weather?

3) Some students needing extra lessons no matter how you try to avoid that. Therefore I'd lose money! Ask yourself why do they need extra lessons? Are you assigning material which is too difficult for them? Are they not preparing lessons at home properly?

4) Illness, I couldn't teach for 3 weeks due to bronchitis last winter. Plus I occasionally experience strong side effects from the medication I take for a couple of conditions. Almost every teacher who has participated in this discussion has some sort of provision for when they must miss a lesson.

5) I take lessons myself, on two instruments (plus rhythmic training lessons on top of that!), and my own teachers (and even some of my own student's families) have paid for lessons on a twice-monthly basis. Even when I was taking lessons on clarinet a number of years ago, I would not have been able to pay for more than a couple of weeks lessons at a time. I wonder - do you pay your rent by the month? How about your utilities? If you can budget for these, why couldn't you budget for your lessons?

6) Think if it from the customer's point of view: if they had a choice between a teacher who charges monthly and a teacher who charges by the quarter or semester, many would probably go to the monthly. I myself would never go to a quarter or semester plan. Students and their families can have all kinds of problems in their lives, I had one very good family that had to miss some lessons last year for various good reasons. After all, there is a saying to do unto others what you would like to have them do unto you! And sometimes a family may need to move on short notice, which would make coming to you for lessons totally unfeasible! It's true that there are some parents who lead such irresponsible lives, that being able to pay by the month is beyond them, but why does that make you their banker? Moving necessitates a withdrawal, and most teachers have provisions in their policies for needing to quit before the term/semester/year ends.

You also quote the Golden Rule, but I wonder, wouldn't you really want a teacher to deal with you professionally rather than haphazardly? Wouldn't their professionalism inspire you to work harder?


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#950104 - 08/25/08 10:21 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,154
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,154
Canada
John, are all student such frivolous frik fraks? What you are describing is inexcusable behaviour and I would hope these attitudes would be the exception rather than the norm. Is there nobody who displays both character and responsibility, which until recently I thought was the norm. If true, what a sad state of affairs.

#950105 - 08/25/08 10:35 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 111
Highlander One Offline
Full Member
Highlander One  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 111
Texas
The only point of John's I disagree ith is....the week at Disneyworld. I believe this would qualify as a vacation, which would be a "planned" abscense. I would get plenty of advanced notice for this.

Everything else is spot on.

H1


Piano Sales since 1992
Piano study since 1969
Piano teacher since 1992
Touring musician since 1985
Studio musician since 1996
I Love the Piano
#950106 - 08/25/08 10:46 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
KS - no, all students are not such "frik fraks." But judging from comments relayed by other teachers and my own experiences, far too many parents support missing a lesson for a friend's birthday party. I'm usually taken off guard when a parent offers that up as an excuse. I really don't want to insult them, but it's hard not to.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#950107 - 08/25/08 10:48 AM Re: Make-up Lessons  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
By the way, has anyone else noticed that the "system" clock has been reset to Peking time, but yesterday?


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
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