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Missed class policy

Posted By: Osho

Missed class policy - 02/18/18 11:52 PM

Hi,

I am currently taking classes with a teacher, who does not provide make-up classes for missed classes. I am still required to pay for the class though.

I miss about 1 in 10 classes (I take 1 class per week), primarily because I am out of town on business.

How common/reasonable is this? I am happy with the teacher in general, except for this policy.

Thanks
Osho
Posted By: DFSRN

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 12:24 AM

Hello Osho, I miss generally 1 class a year, because my husband and I go on vacation and the school is open. Because I take 2 hours classes, I do pay for this as a courtesy. However, if I was missing 10% due to my job and could tell the school/owner director a head of time and still had to pay, I would look at private lessons from an individual or another school. If there is a university close by, you may call the music department and see if there are music students who teach for extra income.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 12:33 AM

I'd be fine with that arrangement, but if you aren't, that's ok too. You can propose a different arrangement to your teacher, seek a different teacher, or decide that the current arrangement is acceptable after all. Or you can stew about it.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 04:00 AM

This is a very common policy.

You could ask your teacher if make-up lessons are available, especially if you can provide advanced notice.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 05:12 AM

I'm allowed 4 make ups per year, and they can be scheduled at a different day/time of the week, or an extra 15 minutes added to 4 lessons overtime, etc. However, the school recently made a change such that isn't available for everyone. Some students/parents decide at the last minute not to show, and miss many lessons. There are no makeups for them ;0
Posted By: Candywoman

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 06:08 AM

I think most teachers will reschedule with 24 hours notice. However, if your teacher is quite busy, this is a perfectly good policy. The problem with makeup lessons is they can't always be scheduled three days apart from your regular lesson day. So the teacher ends up teaching you Monday and Wednesday for instance. That means you only have one day to practice, possibly two. Not much progress to work with. And in your case, it's you who creates the need for a makeup lesson. The teacher has slotted you each week, and now she will have a space she can't likely use (unless you give plenty of notice). Plus another day gets too busy when you come for the makeup lesson.

I think I'd just accept that your teacher is a professional who doesn't have time to play with. You can ask for an exception, but really, it makes you look a bit nigly, considering she can't help it you have work commitments.
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 08:01 AM

I always provide at least a week's notice, and usually two weeks notice.

What I don't like about this is that I have paid for 3+ classes in last 6 months or so without actually taking any classes. I know she is busy, but not that busy that she cannot make up classes. But, she doesn't usually show any willingness to do any make-ups. I have never had a make-up class with her since I started taking lessons.

She will do make-up classes if she is sick and can't take classes, which is great. But, if a student needs to reschedule, she doesn't seem to have any interest in doing any make-ups.

Osho
Posted By: keystring

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 08:06 AM

Osho, how far in advance to you notify your teacher of changes.
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 09:16 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Osho, how far in advance to you notify your teacher of changes.

At least a week - often two weeks.

Osho
Posted By: outo

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 03:13 PM

It's quite normal here that you don't get refunds or get to reschedule if you cancel a lesson as a student. However my teacher has offered to reschedule those times when I have a work trip and cannot make my lesson. But it has only happened 3 times or so during the 6+ years of my lessons: I make my lessons a priority. I would not expect her to reschedule 3 times in 6 months because the terms were clearly stated when I started.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 03:37 PM

Originally Posted by Osho
I always provide at least a week's notice, and usually two weeks notice.

What I don't like about this is that I have paid for 3+ classes in last 6 months or so without actually taking any classes. I know she is busy, but not that busy that she cannot make up classes. But, she doesn't usually show any willingness to do any make-ups. I have never had a make-up class with her since I started taking lessons.

She will do make-up classes if she is sick and can't take classes, which is great. But, if a student needs to reschedule, she doesn't seem to have any interest in doing any make-ups.

Osho


Having this discussion here is really very unlikely to address the real situation with your teacher.

How do you know how busy she is?

Recalculate the financial cost of your lessons to reflect a longer term. Instead of thinking about paying $50 per lesson, reframe to think that you pay $200/ month or $3600/year to study with this teacher. The cost per lesson will increase a little bit. If you still feel like it isn't "fair" to you, stop doing it.

Or go ahead and continue to stew about it.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 04:04 PM

I run a freelance business as a translator, and I was originally a trained teacher, and later did some serious tutoring. People who are employed often do not grasp the reality of running one's own business. Time management and financial management are two biggies. A teacher has to organize her 30 or so students within the space of her teaching time, and must be available for each student at those times. This is her commitment. She cannot give your time to someone else. If you cancel your Wed. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., she can't find someone else to take your slot. If she then teaches you on a different time as makeup, she has had to be around for the time that you were not there which was reserved for you, and also another hour for your makeup, all for the pay of the original single hour. If this happens for 10 students in a month, then she has worked free of charge for 10 hours. She has also lost 10 hours of her time - increasing her work time. These are the logistics.

Some teachers will do a makeup with advance notice. Say you cancelled your Wed 6 - 7. Mary cancelled her Friday 7 - 8. So let's put you into Mary's slot, and give John your slot, because John cancelled 2 weeks ahead of time. But this is also a lot of extra work for the teacher. She has to play telephone tag or e-mail tag trying to reorganize everybody. I would find that stressful, especially if I had to do it most weeks.

The general idea is that you are paying for a time slot, not for the lesson in that time slot. But if you appear for your lesson in that time slot, you should have your teacher's full, professional, and undivided attention.
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 04:12 PM

I offer make up lessons, but I can see why a teacher would not (and am considering going that way in the future).
One issue that I run into as a teacher is that make up lessons often make more work for me. Any time a student requests a reschedule/make-up, I have to spend time looking at my schedule and then going back and forth on email or text with the student or parent. I've tried to streamline this by posting available lesson times on my website, but not everyone checks the schedule before contacting me. Or they don't give enough notice to make their time available to someone else. Parents often expect to schedule make up lessons on days that kids are out of school, but then I could end up with 2-3 more hours of teaching on top of my usual afternoon/evening schedule. Too many of these marathon teaching days lead to feeling burned out. Not to mention taking away from practice time for playing gigs.
From the student's perspective they are only asking for the one hour of the teacher's time that they have already paid for, but if a make up is given, the student also gets an extra lesson time and the admin work needed to arrange the make up lesson, in addition to the original lesson time. Asking to reschedule one lesson may not seem like a big deal, but multiple students making the same request each week can put a strain on the teacher.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 04:16 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
I run a freelance business as a translator, and I was originally a trained teacher, and later did some serious tutoring. People who are employed often do not grasp the reality of running one's own business. Time management and financial management are two biggies. A teacher has to organize her 30 or so students within the space of her teaching time, and must be available for each student at those times. This is her commitment. She cannot give your time to someone else. If you cancel your Wed. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., she can't find someone else to take your slot. If she then teaches you on a different time as makeup, she has had to be around for the time that you were not there which was reserved for you, and also another hour for your makeup, all for the pay of the original single hour. If this happens for 10 students in a month, then she has worked free of charge for 10 hours. She has also lost 10 hours of her time - increasing her work time. These are the logistics.

Some teachers will do a makeup with advance notice. Say you cancelled your Wed 6 - 7. Mary cancelled her Friday 7 - 8. So let's put you into Mary's slot, and give John your slot, because John cancelled 2 weeks ahead of time. But this is also a lot of extra work for the teacher. She has to play telephone tag or e-mail tag trying to reorganize everybody. I would find that stressful, especially if I had to do it most weeks.

The general idea is that you are paying for a time slot, not for the lesson in that time slot. But if you appear for your lesson in that time slot, you should have your teacher's full, professional, and undivided attention.


Exactly. Well said.
I teach a lot of private lessons (not Piano, but these above concepts are exactly what I would have written) and people really do not understand what a juggling act it can be to change lessons sround.
As far as my own piano lessons go: if I miss a lesson, I pay. No discussion of refunds or make up lessons.

If I miss a lesson I do everything possible to make up the lesson as soon as possible, when it is convenient for the student.
If my piano teacher misses a lesson we make it up at the end of the year or I get a refund. In all the years I have been with this school the lessons cancelled by the teacher have always been made up.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 04:41 PM

When I was a student, lessons were charged by the term, not per lesson. It didn't matter how long the term was.

If the lesson fell on a public holiday, you'd still get your lesson (though of course Easter and Christmas were during school holidays). If the student missed a lesson due to illness or having to attend football coaching (assuming that's more important than a piano lesson), that was his/her problem.

But if the teacher had to cancel because of illness or whatever, the student would get an extra lesson to make up.

I don't recall ever having missed a lesson in ten years, either because I or my teacher was indisposed.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 06:59 PM

Osho
I totally understand your issue, as I need to travel for work as well. My situation however is different in that my teacher has a very small studio so she is able to rearrange lessons that either one of us need to move. If we can’t find a time to rearrange, which is very seldom, I am not expected to pay. There could be no make ups at the end of the year because I take lessons 52 weeks of the year. If she had a full studio, she could not be so flexible.

At this point, I think you need to either understand The difficulty of your teacher would have rearranging your lesson, that she’s made a commitment and that timeslot for you or look for someone else who has a smaller studio and could be more flexible. If my teachers policy changed, I would just accept the change and pay for the lesson, as I could not imagine taking from anyone else. What is the benefit of your taking from this specific teacher and paying for missed lessons is a question that only you can answer.
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 07:40 PM

Originally Posted by Osho
Hi,

I am currently taking classes with a teacher, who does not provide make-up classes for missed classes. I am still required to pay for the class though.

I miss about 1 in 10 classes (I take 1 class per week), primarily because I am out of town on business.

How common/reasonable is this? I am happy with the teacher in general, except for this policy.

Thanks
Osho

I don't think it is the least bit reasonable, or fair. I think it is high-handed and a crappy way to treat a good student.

I have a couple excellent adult students who have to miss now and then because of business and other similar things of that sort.

If I'm so busy that I don't have time to reschedule 1 out of 10 lessons with a good student then it's time for me to quit teaching. And it means I don't give a crap about my students. I would NEVER deny a make-up under such conditions.
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Missed class policy - 02/19/18 07:54 PM

For the student, it's maybe only one in ten lessons that they are requesting a rescheduling for, but for the teacher with thirty students who have similar requests, it adds up to a big investment of time and general hassle. As for having to pay for the missed class, that issue should be clear to everyone concerned from the very start. If you as a student know you're going to have to miss a lesson or two, those missed lessons can be factored into the cost per lesson.

I pay by the semester (my teacher teaches at a college). We do regularly reschedule lessons into the summer months, which works out well for both of us--schedules are much less demanding for my teacher, and I get a few lessons during the summer gap. But if I miss more than can be rescheduled, it's on my dime.
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 12:13 AM

Thanks all for your responses and thoughts.

There is another teacher in my area whose policy is that, he will allow up to two make-up sessions in a term (~4 months). I think that is fairly reasonable that also makes sure that students do not randomly cancel and ask for make-ups very often.

Originally Posted by dogperson
What is the benefit of your taking from this specific teacher and paying for missed lessons is a question that only you can answer.

Thanks This is the only teacher I have ever had lessons with - for about 6 months now. I am happy with the lessons themselves but I do not really have any basis for comparison.

Thanks,
Osho
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 07:30 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
Instead of thinking about paying $50 per lesson, reframe to think that you pay $200/ month or $3600/year to study with this teacher.

Yikes! If I managed to spend $3600/year by paying $50 a week, I think I'd go crazy.
Posted By: The Monkeys

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 08:21 AM

The students in this thread are very gracious. However, I just wanted to say they do not represent the majority of the students (or parents) on the market on this topic. And I do not know any piano teacher that do not offer make up at all.

Kids get sick, special event happens, there will be a number of times a year we can not make it. The teacher takes vacations, and goes to events too. We do 2 classes a week during the summer to make up the missed lessons, as everyone's time is much more flexible when school is not in session. It is a mutual respect and understanding between the student (parents) and teachers.


Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 08:38 AM

Perhaps it's a geographically-specific phenomenon, but almost all of my students are over-stretched and over-scheduled with 50 extracurricular activities. It's impossible to find ONE time where everybody can show up for a recital.

I don't have a very strict policy on attendance, but I might have to adopt one soon.
Posted By: kevinb

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 12:23 PM

I guess it depends on pricing... I would be reluctant to engage a teacher who was unwilling to reschedule in the event of a missing lesson. However, if a teacher had such a policy, and charged less as a result, I might be tempted.

It's just market forces, isn't it?

In any event, it seems to me that this is one of the things that students and teachers should settle on, ideally in writing, from the start.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 01:35 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by malkin
Instead of thinking about paying $50 per lesson, reframe to think that you pay $200/ month or $3600/year to study with this teacher.

Yikes! If I managed to spend $3600/year by paying $50 a week, I think I'd go crazy.


Now, now, be understanding. We are musicians, not mathematicians. <smiley>
Posted By: barbaram

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 02:36 PM

My teacher over the last couple of years taught in a music school and their policy was not to offer make ups. I knew I would miss some so just factored that in.
My kids attend a different music school and they are very good about doing make ups there.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 04:59 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Perhaps it's a geographically-specific phenomenon, but almost all of my students are over-stretched and over-scheduled with 50 extracurricular activities. It's impossible to find ONE time where everybody can show up for a recital.

I don't have a very strict policy on attendance, but I might have to adopt one soon.

If your student had to be out of town because of work and told you 1 - 2 weeks in advance, can you say what you were likely to do? smile
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 06:53 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
If your student had to be out of town because of work and told you 1 - 2 weeks in advance, can you say what you were likely to do? smile

At the moment my policy is to give them credit toward next month's tuition. It's pointless to do more than one lesson a week, and most parents don't want that, anyway.

However, there are a few really, really, REALLY busy kids who request schedule changes nearly once a month. I do what I can to accommodate, but it's getting to the point that they are demonstrating how little skills they have in the area of time management. And I'm not talking about just the kids.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Missed class policy - 02/20/18 08:19 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
If your student had to be out of town because of work and told you 1 - 2 weeks in advance, can you say what you were likely to do? smile

At the moment my policy is to give them credit toward next month's tuition. It's pointless to do more than one lesson a week, and most parents don't want that, anyway.

However, there are a few really, really, REALLY busy kids ....


You are responding in a thread where an ADULT (not kids) is trying to get input about the adult situation of being called away out of town in his work. I get the point about "2 lessons a week" - the OP might be happy with the idea of a credit. Barring that, sometimes a Wed. lesson might be moved to Friday and then you're not having 2 lessons a week - just a gap of less than 7 days between lessons.
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 05:01 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
If your student had to be out of town because of work and told you 1 - 2 weeks in advance, can you say what you were likely to do? smile

At the moment my policy is to give them credit toward next month's tuition. It's pointless to do more than one lesson a week, and most parents don't want that, anyway.

However, there are a few really, really, REALLY busy kids who request schedule changes nearly once a month. I do what I can to accommodate, but it's getting to the point that they are demonstrating how little skills they have in the area of time management. And I'm not talking about just the kids.

You didn't read the question.

Please to not redirect things to your own personal agenda - lazy people, stupid people, uncooperative people.

An adult - an intelligent adult I teach - had to miss his lesson last week. He was suddenly told in the morning that he had to leave town, and he was not back in town until Sunday.

He was back again tonight, good lesson. I told him what I always tell responsible adults - things come up. We are not always the master of our own time.

I have someone else who can't make a lesson on Thursday, and he's coming during that time to finish up what we ran out of time covering today.

I keep saying the same thing in this forum.

Apparently I don't live in the same reality as the rest of the teachers. When I have time, I give time. It's not usually a big deal. When people treat me with respect, I give them respect back, and I give a LOT of respect to good students who pay on time, who work, who listen, who cooperate and who show appreciation.
Posted By: mostlystrings

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 06:04 AM

I use an "hourly rate" in calculating my fee but handle scheduling in a such a way that it's very easy to get 10% or more lesson time than you "paid for". Every 6th or 7th week is like a "make up" except that you don't need to have missed a lesson; we stick with the usual schedule unless discussed otherwise. I eliminate having to keep track of who missed how many, for what reason, judge how valid or not is the reason, etc.

The OP's situation would be handled by this setup although if the trip were short, I would still attempt to find another student to switch times or another unclaimed time during my teaching hours. I value long term, consistent students and don't mind if they end up with a few "extra" lessons over the course of the year (the cost of those is already built into my fee).
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 06:40 AM

Originally Posted by Gary D.
Please to not redirect things to your own personal agenda - lazy people, stupid people, uncooperative people.

How is this my own personal agenda? Am I missing something here?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 07:28 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Please to not redirect things to your own personal agenda - lazy people, stupid people, uncooperative people.

How is this my own personal agenda? Am I missing something here?


If you're missing something here, then so am I.

There was a comment about people having a lack of time management skills. That's it.

Let's avoid personal attacks, and exaggerated extrapolations.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 10:39 AM

The part that was not quoted:
Originally Posted by Gary D.
You didn't read the question.

The question that was not read, but "answered" nonetheless, was mine. I don't know if it was an agenda, but I was somewhat confused. I asked about a student who is called out of town due to his work and gives 1 - 2 weeks notice. The answer was about kids and what their parents think. No child will be out of town due to work, because at most a child might have a paper route after school. It was about adults. The person asking the question is an adult, and I was trying to redirect toward where the asker was seeking help.

This one line that I quoted that was left out might clarify what was missed. smile

--------
I see now the comment about lack of time management skills. The OP is called out of town by his employer. I cannot agree that time management skills are likely to be the cause of the problem. Moreover, if the OP is telling his teacher 1 - 2 weeks in advance, he sounds organized. It may even be that the question that was not read was the original question.
Posted By: MomOfBeginners

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 04:00 PM

For the topic about holding a make-up class that results in two lessons in a week:

I'm sure every teacher's style varies, but this has never been a problem for my kids. Sometimes, their make-up lesson comes one day before or after their regular lesson.

My kids have one hour lessons. On a regular lesson day, for that one hour, there is so much to go over that they only manage to cover about half the material in one lesson. Often, one piece of repertoire is only visited every other week. So adding a make-up lesson just means that they'll finally get a chance to cover all their repertoire that week. Alternatively, they'll cover more music history, or music theory, or ear training.

This has been the case since they were at the elementary stage.
Posted By: chasingrainbows

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 05:27 PM

Osho, I am flexible with my adult students. Otherwise, they would most likely drop lessons. Work demands, sick kids, etc. come up and if I can't make it up, I credit them. One of my adults has been with me for 3 years and had the flu, missing 3 lessons. We will work it out. I expect the same in return. Your missed lesson notice is more than adequate to allow me time to fill that spot with a make up lesson for someone else.
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 09:28 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Please to not redirect things to your own personal agenda - lazy people, stupid people, uncooperative people.

How is this my own personal agenda? Am I missing something here?

Yes. You are:

OP:
Quote

Hi,

I am currently taking classes with a teacher, who does not provide make-up classes for missed classes. I am still required to pay for the class though.

I miss about 1 in 10 classes (I take 1 class per week), primarily because I am out of town on business.

How common/reasonable is this? I am happy with the teacher in general, except for this policy.

Thanks
Osho

This was initially about adults who can't make it to lessons, and the thrust has remained that. By making it about children, and then talking about why there is a problem with their parents, it completely refocuses the thread to an entirely different subject.

The consensus seems to be that if a teacher misses a lesson, it's OK, but if an adult misses a lesson, even for a rock solid reason, it's not OK.

Again, an adult missed two weeks ago. He was suddenly called out of town by his job. No notice. He was here this week. I told him that when adults miss, I'm fine with rescheduling, but it has to fit into my schedule.

There was no problem doing this. I like the guy. I was glad to do it.
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 09:30 PM

Thank you all for your input.

This has bothered me a lot lately. I have decided at this point to give this teacher one last try. If I have to have any more such classes where I can't do make-ups, I will find another teacher. Luckily, there are plenty of teachers around where I live.

What I find completely unacceptable is that she will not even respond to emails where I asked her if there were any cancellations so that I can do make-ups, even 4 days after I originally sent the email. That is just unprofessional.

Thanks,
Osho
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/21/18 09:45 PM

Originally Posted by Osho
Thank you all for your input.

This has bothered me a lot lately. I have decided at this point to give this teacher one last try. If I have to have any more such classes where I can't do make-ups, I will find another teacher. Luckily, there are plenty of teachers around where I live.

What I find completely unacceptable is that she will not even respond to emails where I asked her if there were any cancellations so that I can do make-ups, even 4 days after I originally sent the email. That is just unprofessional.

Thanks,
Osho

What you seem to be telling us is that you may very well be finding a new teacher because of no cooperation at all from your present teacher.

If I treated my adult students this way, they would tell me: "Adios".

And in their shoes, I would do the same thing.

It is a different matter when it happens with no notice, same day cancellation, though I just told you guys about an adult who was suddenly called out of town the morning of his lesson.

If I don't show up at my dentist's office, no call, no reason, I expect to get charged. If I call days before, giving a very good reason why I can't make it to the visit, I don't expect to be charged.

There will always be some problem individuals who are inconsiderate and who always want things their way. I fully understand about holding the line with such people.

But not with the nice ones. Not with the ones who have been with me more than a year, who have been pleasant, who work, and who always pay on time.

To me saying:

"Sorry, if you can't make it, even if you call days in advance with a good reason, you have to pay..."

Is like saying:

"I've got your money, and that's all I care about."
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 12:35 AM

Originally Posted by Osho
Thank you all for your input.

This has bothered me a lot lately. I have decided at this point to give this teacher one last try. If I have to have any more such classes where I can't do make-ups, I will find another teacher. Luckily, there are plenty of teachers around where I live.

What I find completely unacceptable is that she will not even respond to emails where I asked her if there were any cancellations so that I can do make-ups, even 4 days after I originally sent the email. That is just unprofessional.

Thanks,
Osho


Is it actually the teacher's policy not to offer make up lessons under any circumstances? Offering make ups but not following up on your emails is one thing, but if no make-ups is her stated policy then she isn't under any obligation to accommodate you. Assuming you fully understood her business practices when you started lessons.
As others have said, it's probably best to find a teacher whose policies you can live with.
Posted By: Joe302

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 03:31 AM

Originally Posted by Osho
Hi,

I am currently taking classes with a teacher, who does not provide make-up classes for missed classes. I am still required to pay for the class though.

I miss about 1 in 10 classes (I take 1 class per week), primarily because I am out of town on business.

How common/reasonable is this? I am happy with the teacher in general, except for this policy.

Thanks
Osho


Osho,
I would look for another teacher.
You are an adult, and adults have busy lives which need accommodation.
I am familiar with the policies you have outlined and while they may be suitable for children, they are not suitable for adults.

Work with a private teacher and pay on a month to month basis.
As long as you provide the teacher with at least 24 hours cancellation notice that should be sufficient.
And the teacher should be able to work out alternative lesson times with you.
Any good, reputable, private teacher who is oriented to teaching adults should be satisfied with such an arrangement.

You are not guaranteed an income and neither is a piano teacher.

Joe
Posted By: SchroedersCat

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 05:02 AM

I allow students to only schedule lessons (a month out at a time) they know they can attend. They're expected to take a lesson every week, but life happens! Vacations, federal holidays, visiting friends and family, work duties, illness, weird school holidays....LIFE!
I make up for that potential financial loss by charging at the very upper end of what the market dictates in my area. And I still offer make ups for those scheduled lessons that are missed for acceptable reasons. I mean, I'm here either way. A last minute cancelled lesson? Great, I'll get all those lesson plans done and won't have to do it in the morning. You can swing a make up at 10am (when I don't normally teach), fine, let's book it.
Makes little difference to me which hours of the day are dedicated to what, as long as I get all my responsibilities covered.
I believe my flexibility is one of the reasons I have a full studio at all times.
At the end of the day, I want my students to grow. Missing lessons all the time, paying for lessons they're not taking, that creates negative energy between student and teacher. Can't grow when there's resentment in the air.
Not answering emails (because she doesn't want to do deal with the question) is childish. I don't get that mindset at all.

In any case, all of this should have been in writing before you took up with a teacher. As you search for a new teacher, find one who uses a contract.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 05:25 AM

Honestly, if I were concerned with "financial loss" I wouldn't spend a nickel on piano lessons.

Is email your teacher's preferred method of communication? Are you using the correct email address?

Once again: If you are not satisfied with your current teacher, don't continue with your current teacher. If you continue with your current teacher and you continue with this sort of discussion, then you are looking for something else.
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 07:45 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
Is email your teacher's preferred method of communication? Are you using the correct email address?

Once again: If you are not satisfied with your current teacher, don't continue with your current teacher. If you continue with your current teacher and you continue with this sort of discussion, then you are looking for something else.

I think my teacher prefers no communication outside the class hours. She is either too busy or uninterested or both. I have emailed her piano technique related questions, recordings of the pieces I am supposed to work on etc. to seek comments. I almost never get any replies. She will mention in the class that she did receive those emails though - so I definitely am using the correct email address. It is the same email address from where she sends invoices as well.

As I said in the OP, I am satisfied with the teacher in her teachings and I have improved. I am not happy with the missed class policy. So, it is not a black and white 'satisfied or not' situation. If I was not happy with her teaching, I would have left these classes already and would not have bothered to even start this thread.

My objective behind this thread is to better understand what is the 'norm' and 'acceptable' behavior as this is the first piano teacher I have had.

Osho
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 11:15 AM

Hi Osho
I would be curious to hear what the teachers on this thread think about receiving questions and videos between lessons, as I have always assumed it would not be acceptable for me to be doing this as a student. And, absolutely, I have had questions..... I’ve just noted them for my next lesson

Do teachers factor in this kind of communication between classes when they set their fees and plan their time?
Posted By: malkin

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 02:23 PM

Originally Posted by Osho

My objective behind this thread is to better understand what is the 'norm' and 'acceptable' behavior as this is the first piano teacher I have had.


Whether it is "the norm" or not, it's okay to ask your teacher to clarify the policy, express your feelings, and quit if you are dissatisfied.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 05:20 PM

I have at times sent my teacher a video, question, etc via email and text. She has always responded. I can't say if that is the norm, but I don't do this frequently. Maybe one a month I'll contact her outside of normal lesson time. I did however ask her first if this type of communication was OK.
Posted By: mostlystrings

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 05:36 PM

Originally Posted by SchroedersCat
I make up for that potential financial loss by charging at the very upper end of what the market dictates in my area.

This is an important variable. It's like if you book a "premium" type airfare, you get more flexibility for changing flights and such vs. the lower fare classes have restrictions. I'm closer to the middle range with some restriction and my market considers that acceptable value (they would leave if they didn't) so my studio is full too for the hours that I want to be teaching.

Originally Posted by Osho
I think my teacher prefers no communication outside the class hours. She is either too busy or uninterested or both. I have emailed her piano technique related questions, recordings of the pieces I am supposed to work on etc. to seek comments. I almost never get any replies.

Originally Posted by dogperson
I would be curious to hear what the teachers on this thread think about receiving questions and videos between lessons, as I have always assumed it would not be acceptable for me to be doing this as a student. And, absolutely, I have had questions..... I’ve just noted them for my next lesson

Do teachers factor in this kind of communication between classes when they set their fees and plan their time?

Scheduling and other administration are almost always done between classes. With music and technique questions that are specific and straightforward, I'll answer quickly. Even a short video, if it's a specific part of a piece, needing clarification on fingering or hand position or something, that's straightforward. If the answer is long and complicated (I could write the long email and it may or may not be read/understood) or it's generic "seeking comment", it would be better to handle it in person (i.e. at your next lesson). There is no student who is doing this excessively so I've not had to address it directly.

Back to the subject of fee range - for what I'm charging, I'm perfectly happy to do this kind of communication between classes. I think a reasonable level of outside of lesson time support is part of the "cost of doing business" and the "educational service provided" and I would not reduce the fee in order to reduce the support or vice versa. Besides, I can respond to emails whenever whereas the peak lesson times run on a tight schedule.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 06:37 PM

When I started with my current brass teacher, there was always something I ended up confused about after every lesson, and I emailed. He patiently replied every time.

That problem has disappeared with time, fortunately.

I don't remember that ever happening with a piano teacher. The only emails were about schedule changes.

Send a video? That's just foreign to me. I share lots of videos with my peers, but sending one to a teacher feels like trying to get away with a free lesson.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 07:19 PM

I remember a few years ago when I saw a 'client' who was passed on to me because my predecessor retired early and unexpectedly, from burnout. The first thing he asked for was my (private) email address because he used to email my predecessor 'occasionally' with questions that he "thought of", and expected to do the same with me, as I was taking over his job.

I nipped that in the bud pretty smartly.......(burnout is not something I intend to inflict on myself).
Posted By: SchroedersCat

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 09:15 PM

Dogperson, my own teachers never made themselves inaccessible, therefore, I'm the same way. I guess a lot of teacher habits come from how they were themselves "raised" educationally.

It makes me happy that my students are curious and have burning questions they want answered before their next lesson. I enjoy answering those emails/texts. I enjoy the research that goes into answering the hard questions. Keeps me learning too!

If I start to feel the line of questioning belongs in the lesson, or that my time is being taken advantage of, I re-direct them gently. "That's a pretty complicated question there, best to be discussed in the lesson, so I can SHOW you how it all works". It's usually my senior students (as in, senior citizens) who have this boundary issue. Maybe because they're retired and have so much time to think about their lesson work??

I've never had a student send a video of themselves playing. That would throw me for a loop! But I do have a senior student who sends me audio clips of pieces she hears in commercials or tv in general, so I can tell her what it is! It's like my own personal game of "name that tune" using a poorly recorded clip from a tv speaker to phone recorder, sent via text, then played back on my own tiny phone speaker. Fortunately for this student, I like this fun and silly challenge. I had to phone my mom and sister to figure out some of them, it's become a family game. "It's definitely French." "No, it's post modern Jazz". "Guys, I think it's a piano cover of Radiohead?" "Oh, lord, let's start over."
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 02/22/18 09:54 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Send a video? That's just foreign to me. I share lots of videos with my peers, but sending one to a teacher feels like trying to get away with a free lesson.

I have never sent a video to my teacher, but have sent her 1-2 minute audio of my playing of one piece we were working on - but only one time so far. I never got any response on them and went I met her in the class she said that she had not listened to it yet. So, I never sent her anything else after that.

Osho
Posted By: mostlystrings

Re: Missed class policy - 02/23/18 04:01 AM

I actually do assign my students to send video or audio recordings. For the children, it's part of what we do to "pass" a piece, makes them have recording/performing experience, and I suggest they can share it with grandparents and such. On occasion I identify something in the environment that should be addressed such as persistent noisy sibling or out of tune instrument or some other issue that only happens at home.

However, I generally don't respond with written feedback because it takes time to do so thoughtfully. Whatever we need to work on I just make a mental note for later. I would write the feedback in special cases such missing regular lessons due to extended illness or travel or for example sometimes an advanced student has a short notice audition/performance and something needs to be heard before the next lesson.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Missed class policy - 02/23/18 02:05 PM

Originally Posted by SchroedersCat
But I do have a senior student who sends me audio clips of pieces she hears in commercials or tv in general, so I can tell her what it is! It's like my own personal game of "name that tune" using a poorly recorded clip from a tv speaker to phone recorder, sent via text, then played back on my own tiny phone speaker.


Yesterday my daughter showed me that Siri is pretty good at this.
Posted By: hello my name is

Re: Missed class policy - 02/23/18 07:03 PM

Hi OP -- it is super common. Especially for teachers with large studios. The reasoning is they have already sold that time slot to you, regardless if you show up or not.

I personally did not practice that, but I did not teach for a living and I am a horrible business person.


Dogperson-- I loved getting questions from my students in between lessons, but again, I think time is the issue and I was you could say bright-eye and bushy-tailed and very interested in what my students were up to. If a teacher is super busy with lessons it just wouldn't work very well.
Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Missed class policy - 02/25/18 03:54 AM

Osho,

I had the same question a while ago and I was pretty much ganged up on in the Teacher's forum. So far I've noticed in this thread that Gary has remained objective in the fact that an even trade in respect, given availability, can work (given all other variables are also okay).

I shall say that some time after I made that particular post, I unfortunately had to leave the school. It was more than the scheduling. It was other things as well (not applicable to this topic). But scheduling was huge.

Communication might help given that you're both adults, however, sometimes the teachers feel that adult students are not serious, and they are not willing to take us through the elementary stage. If you ask me, yes, my job is more important that piano lessons (for now). If I don't work, I can't pay for lessons...and that's a lose-lose for all.

Heres's my thread on the same topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...non-flexibility-etc-etc.html#Post2561700
Posted By: hello my name is

Re: Missed class policy - 02/25/18 05:54 AM

Hi Osho, I read more of your posts.
You'll be interested to find this is a hotly debated issue among piano teachers, from what I see in piano teaching groups, so I'm not so sure you can find a "common" or "what's accepted". That's the wonderful thing about being a piano teacher, you decide your rules. What I've seen happen on these groups is often piano teachers get burned so many times that they decide to implement very strict policies to make it easier on everyone -- if it fits, it fits, if you don't like it, you can go somewhere else, kind of thing. Younger teachers seem to be less savvy and after getting close to burn out, decide to change their ways and not tolerate being pushed over. Sometimes this can lead to what I might consider extremely inflexible situations, but it really is an individual case by case basis. One thing I have seen that simplifies things, is in the teacher's favor, but is advertised in a way that make sense to students, is to treat piano as a class, where you pay tuition, not "per lesson". Therefore, if, like say you miss a class in college, you do not get a refund, neither do you get a makeup because that lesson was supposed to happen on that specific day and time. My old teacher used to allow makeups, but then I think she changed it, probably cause she was having to do so many makeups and it can be difficult to juggle your schedule around like that with many students, so now she allows one or two makeups a year to account for sickness, and had a "swap list" where students could call one another to switch times, which worked pretty well, for when soccer season or the like came around.

If a teacher misses a lesson, I think a makeup makes sense, but I have heard before ones who treat it like they are salaried, and you are paying for a sick day. That's a little odd to me as the teacher-student relationship is not quite an employer-employee situation. Maybe I heard that one wrong, but I wonder if that's what is being implied here in the saying that if a teacher misses a lesson it's OK.


As for whether you should be paying for sending videos to her. Technically, yes, you should be paying for that time, it is like consulting time, and if your teacher feels it is not included in the lesson price, then she has the right to not spend time on it. Your teacher should not be working for free if you are paying her by the hour. Now if you are in a tuition kind of situation, it depends on whether that is offered explicitly and you have worked it out beforehand. I personally encouraged my students to send me questions if they had them. I think it's strange that she would not reply to your email about cancellation-- is she not tech savvy?


Posted By: malkin

Re: Missed class policy - 02/25/18 06:28 AM



Originally Posted by hello my name is
...I'm not so sure you can find a "common" or "what's accepted". That's the wonderful thing about being a piano teacher, you decide your rules.


It is the same with being a student. Teachers set their own rules; students choose a teacher to work with.

Originally Posted by hello my name is
...piano teachers get burned so many times that they decide to implement very strict policies to make it easier on everyone -- if it fits, it fits, if you don't like it, you can go somewhere else...


Originally Posted by hello my name is
One thing I have seen that simplifies things, is in the teacher's favor, but is advertised in a way that make sense to students, is to treat piano as a class, where you pay tuition, not "per lesson". Therefore, if, like say you miss a class in college, you do not get a refund, neither do you get a makeup because that lesson was supposed to happen on that specific day and time.




Originally Posted by hello my name is
If a teacher misses a lesson, I think a makeup makes sense, but I have heard before ones who treat it like they are salaried, and you are paying for a sick day. That's a little odd to me as the teacher-student relationship is not quite an employer-employee situation. Maybe I heard that one wrong, but I wonder if that's what is being implied here in the saying that if a teacher misses a lesson it's OK.


I think the general sense of these discussions is that teachers reschedule to accommodate their absences, while not offering make up lessons to students to students who are unable to attend a lesson at the regularly scheduled time.
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/25/18 07:05 AM

Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Osho,

I had the same question a while ago and I was pretty much ganged up on in the Teacher's forum. So far I've noticed in this thread that Gary has remained objective in the fact that an even trade in respect, given availability, can work (given all other variables are also okay).

I shall say that some time after I made that particular post, I unfortunately had to leave the school. It was more than the scheduling. It was other things as well (not applicable to this topic). But scheduling was huge.

Communication might help given that you're both adults, however, sometimes the teachers feel that adult students are not serious, and they are not willing to take us through the elementary stage. If you ask me, yes, my job is more important that piano lessons (for now). If I don't work, I can't pay for lessons...and that's a lose-lose for all.

Heres's my thread on the same topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...non-flexibility-etc-etc.html#Post2561700

I remember that post.

Here's what I think most other teachers will not tell you.

We have our favorites, and we have people get on our nerves. When adults and parents of children are a pain in the butt, I hide behind rules. I know that if I give one inch, these people are going to take advantage, and if I do a favor one time, it will be expected in the future.

But behind the scenes I can be as flexible as I wish - after all, I made the rules in the first place.

So I don't have to make up same day cancellations, ever. There are some parents who call in before any lesson, and it happens a lot, and simply say that they can't make it that day. I know they are not facing huge issues. It's just not "convenient" that day, and they don't even bother telling me a day earlier because they don't plan that far ahead.

They lose lessons. Not my problem.

But other people are extremely cooperative, always pay on time, do not complain, and some of these people are high points of my week. Why would I want to miss teaching them? Is my life so busy, so important, that I can't make a reasonable effort to reschedule at my convenience, just making sure that a time I have will work for them?

That's all I'm saying.

I'll bet you that other people who don't SAY they will make exceptions actually do, for students they really like and enjoy teaching.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Missed class policy - 02/25/18 08:42 AM

Originally Posted by Gary D.
Here's what I think most other teachers will not tell you.

We have our favorites, and we have people get on our nerves. When adults and parents of children are a pain in the butt, I hide behind rules. I know that if I give one inch, these people are going to take advantage, and if I do a favor one time, it will be expected in the future.

But behind the scenes I can be as flexible as I wish - after all, I made the rules in the first place.

So I don't have to make up same day cancellations, ever. There are some parents who call in before any lesson, and it happens a lot, and simply say that they can't make it that day. I know they are not facing huge issues. It's just not "convenient" that day, and they don't even bother telling me a day earlier because they don't plan that far ahead.

They lose lessons. Not my problem.

But other people are extremely cooperative, always pay on time, do not complain, and some of these people are high points of my week. Why would I want to miss teaching them? Is my life so busy, so important, that I can't make a reasonable effort to reschedule at my convenience, just making sure that a time I have will work for them?

That's all I'm saying.

I'll bet you that other people who don't SAY they will make exceptions actually do, for students they really like and enjoy teaching.


Again, I'm not a piano teacher,but I have a ton of private students, and this is certainly true for me and other teachers I know. Yes, we do have favourites. We try not to be obvious about it, but seriously, I think every teacher has favourites.

And yes, we make the rules to protect ourselves from the students we can't trust (or who haven't yet demonstrated that they can be trusted). We're not obliged to make up lessons any students miss - but if they have shown that they're interested, working and, let's be honest, respectful - they yes, we'll be as flexible as possible.

The mom who calls at the last minute to say little Giovanni can't come to the lesson because he has a project due tomorrow? Well, that's bad planning on their part and I don't even offer a make up lesson.
There are certain private students (lawyers) I won't even accept anymore because I know that their schedules are simply too unpredictable (I've worked extensively with them in the past, and i know it just doesn't work).

I really truly hate to charge for a lesson missed - and I will generally try to organize a make up lesson - but I make it clear at the beginning of the year that I have zero obligation to do so, and if it happens too often, I will suggest the student take a break until life is less hectic. When you have a lot of private students, your life can become a management nightmare if you aren't careful.
Posted By: outo

Re: Missed class policy - 02/25/18 08:52 AM

My teacher has a strict rule about not offering replacements on scheduled lessons missed by a student. So I never asked because I knew the rules, I just told her in good time I would not be able to come. But she offered to replace the lesson anyway on another day. I do not know whether she does this always, especially if people frequently miss lessons. If it was a public institution it would be questionable to bend the rules depending on the student, but as a private teacher she is allowed to give special favors.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Missed class policy - 02/26/18 07:41 PM

Osho,

I have a flex option that adults can choose, in which they can call when they want a lesson, and pay at time of service. Pay-as-you-go, schedule-when-convenient. It is good for those who have a variable work or family schedule, who may not always be able to attend the 45 scheduled lessons a year that my tuition-plan students are on.
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/26/18 08:03 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Here's what I think most other teachers will not tell you.

We have our favorites, and we have people get on our nerves. When adults and parents of children are a pain in the butt, I hide behind rules. I know that if I give one inch, these people are going to take advantage, and if I do a favor one time, it will be expected in the future.

But behind the scenes I can be as flexible as I wish - after all, I made the rules in the first place.

So I don't have to make up same day cancellations, ever. There are some parents who call in before any lesson, and it happens a lot, and simply say that they can't make it that day. I know they are not facing huge issues. It's just not "convenient" that day, and they don't even bother telling me a day earlier because they don't plan that far ahead.

They lose lessons. Not my problem.

But other people are extremely cooperative, always pay on time, do not complain, and some of these people are high points of my week. Why would I want to miss teaching them? Is my life so busy, so important, that I can't make a reasonable effort to reschedule at my convenience, just making sure that a time I have will work for them?

That's all I'm saying.

I'll bet you that other people who don't SAY they will make exceptions actually do, for students they really like and enjoy teaching.


Again, I'm not a piano teacher,but I have a ton of private students, and this is certainly true for me and other teachers I know. Yes, we do have favourites. We try not to be obvious about it, but seriously, I think every teacher has favourites.

And yes, we make the rules to protect ourselves from the students we can't trust (or who haven't yet demonstrated that they can be trusted). We're not obliged to make up lessons any students miss - but if they have shown that they're interested, working and, let's be honest, respectful - they yes, we'll be as flexible as possible.

The mom who calls at the last minute to say little Giovanni can't come to the lesson because he has a project due tomorrow? Well, that's bad planning on their part and I don't even offer a make up lesson.
There are certain private students (lawyers) I won't even accept anymore because I know that their schedules are simply too unpredictable (I've worked extensively with them in the past, and i know it just doesn't work).

I really truly hate to charge for a lesson missed - and I will generally try to organize a make up lesson - but I make it clear at the beginning of the year that I have zero obligation to do so, and if it happens too often, I will suggest the student take a break until life is less hectic. When you have a lot of private students, your life can become a management nightmare if you aren't careful.


I don't think anything I do is the least bit different from what you just described, which is reasonable and realistic.

I don't have one thing to add. wink
Posted By: Gary D.

Re: Missed class policy - 02/26/18 08:13 PM

Originally Posted by outo
My teacher has a strict rule about not offering replacements on scheduled lessons missed by a student. So I never asked because I knew the rules, I just told her in good time I would not be able to come. But she offered to replace the lesson anyway on another day. I do not know whether she does this always, especially if people frequently miss lessons. If it was a public institution it would be questionable to bend the rules depending on the student, but as a private teacher she is allowed to give special favors.

Just to be clear: when I bend the rules, I explain that I am bending the rules and that I'm happy to do it for a good student, but I stress that I don't have to.

However, my rules do not preclude making up a lesson when I'm given a lot of time, and if I never made up lessons, I would not longer be teaching a small number of my favorite students.

I have one adult who misses at least one lesson every month - his job makes him travel - but he is always 100% cooperative about scheduling when it works (not demanding), he always pays, and he practices as well as anyone I teach, of any age. So it is fun to teach him.

It's to my personal advantage to keep him coming for lessons as long as it will work.

I'm very up front about liking some students. I tell them that I like them. I tell them that I enjoy teaching them. Those are the students caused me to like teaching in the first place.

I'm not up front at all with the students I either do not like or who have highly uncooperative parents. It's pointless to say anything to the parents, who are absolutely not listening, and it would just be unfair to the kids to mention my feelings about their parents in lessons. It would also be highly unprofessional.

But I will tell you that those parents get nothing out of me except for what they pay for. No makeups, no extra time. Everything is strictly by the book.

I sincerely doubt they ever realize that their uncooperative and rude behavior has these consequences, and I'd wager they get zero cooperation from other professionals.

The one thing in all of this that really bothers me is when I have kids I REALLY like with rude parents. It does not happen often, but it does happen now and then.

You don't have this problem with adults, because if they are rude for any reason, they are rude in and out of lessons. I would also wager all teachers get rid of students like this ASAP.
Posted By: Osho

Re: Missed class policy - 03/01/18 05:02 AM

Interesting perspectives. Thank you all for sharing.

Now, I wonder if it is the case that my teacher does not have different set of rules for favorites vs. rest or that I am not her favorite! What a conundrum!

Osho
Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Missed class policy - 03/02/18 01:47 AM

Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Osho,

I had the same question a while ago and I was pretty much ganged up on in the Teacher's forum. So far I've noticed in this thread that Gary has remained objective in the fact that an even trade in respect, given availability, can work (given all other variables are also okay).

I shall say that some time after I made that particular post, I unfortunately had to leave the school. It was more than the scheduling. It was other things as well (not applicable to this topic). But scheduling was huge.

Communication might help given that you're both adults, however, sometimes the teachers feel that adult students are not serious, and they are not willing to take us through the elementary stage. If you ask me, yes, my job is more important that piano lessons (for now). If I don't work, I can't pay for lessons...and that's a lose-lose for all.

Heres's my thread on the same topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...non-flexibility-etc-etc.html#Post2561700

I remember that post.

Here's what I think most other teachers will not tell you.

We have our favorites, and we have people get on our nerves. When adults and parents of children are a pain in the butt, I hide behind rules. I know that if I give one inch, these people are going to take advantage, and if I do a favor one time, it will be expected in the future.

But behind the scenes I can be as flexible as I wish - after all, I made the rules in the first place.

So I don't have to make up same day cancellations, ever. There are some parents who call in before any lesson, and it happens a lot, and simply say that they can't make it that day. I know they are not facing huge issues. It's just not "convenient" that day, and they don't even bother telling me a day earlier because they don't plan that far ahead.

They lose lessons. Not my problem.

But other people are extremely cooperative, always pay on time, do not complain, and some of these people are high points of my week. Why would I want to miss teaching them? Is my life so busy, so important, that I can't make a reasonable effort to reschedule at my convenience, just making sure that a time I have will work for them?

That's all I'm saying.

I'll bet you that other people who don't SAY they will make exceptions actually do, for students they really like and enjoy teaching.


I noticed that once I left that particular school, the scheduling issues with the teacher ceased to exist. I think my teacher will end up no longer teaching at the school as well.
Posted By: zillybug

Re: Missed class policy - 03/02/18 03:49 AM

My teacher always makes up lessons when he has to cancel and I don’t Think that has happened more than two times in seven years. If I am sick or have to go to a funeral, he will make up the lesson. If I am choosing to go on vacation or do something else, I would not ask for a makeup.

However I only work three days a week and come during the time the kids are in school so it is easier for him to make up my lesson. He does a lot of accompanying and at certain times of year, he may ask to change my lesson and I am fine with that.

He usually takes a vacation the last two weeks of August so I know that in advance. This year his whole family went in a cruise together during the February break. I did not expect him to make up lessons for that time as many studios close for that week. He said to me I will give you a lesson on both Monday and Friday the next week.

I should note that I always pay on time and practice. I really appreciate how dedicated he is. He teaches privately now but when I first started with him, he was teaching at a Music School
that did have a strict cancellation policy but even then he sometimes came in on his day off for extra lessons. I initially chose him because the school said he expected a lot from his students and I wanted a teacher wh would take me seriously even though I wa an older adult.
He does expect a lot but he also gives a lot.
Posted By: TheHappyPianoMuse

Re: Missed class policy - 03/06/18 10:53 AM

I've now cut down my teaching to almost zero as I concentrate on composing ... . But when I had a fairly full schedule I had a very effective way of dealing with absences. I charge by the month ... and since some months have five rather than four lessons ... ( it works out to about 4 months a year) ... I make a point of offering that fifth lesson as a "free lesson" or a "makeup lesson" if you've missed one. This has a psychological advantage. Rather than feeling they're being charged for missed lessons, they feel they're getting a bonus if they don't miss any. A neat trick.

I use a variant of this in my teaching too ... when instead of lambasting a student for missing notes, I encourage him to locate the errors and then praise the student for finding them. Works like a charm. Even on adults.
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