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Joined: Jun 2009
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I don'[ allow sick students in the studio. I have 6-7 group lessons per year that can be used as make-up lessons. I also have a swap list (new this year). We'll see how it goes.


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My teacher has one excused absence per 16 week semester. The student must cancel 24 hours before the lesson to be able to make the lesson up. There is a "make up week" following he 16 regular weeks of lessons. Paying for a semester at a time and having a regular lesson time is a joy!!! I was taking from a college music teacher who would cancel lessons all the time because of her busy schedule. I do better with a lesson every week. It hold me accountable. Otherwise, it's too easy not to practice!!


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@dynamobt
i think the best part about lessons is that my pride will not let me not practice because showing up with 0 practice would be SO embarassing.

my first real lesson i showed up with no practice, i honestly didn't know i had to practice every day and the teacher owned me haha. never again.


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When my teacher was cancelling lessons, it got easy for me to cancel lessons. Result was some serious inconsistency!!! I really like having a regularly scheduled lesson that I can count on happening. We catch areas I have practiced incorrectly more quickly before they are thoroughly ingrained in my mind and fingers.

I was terrible at effective practice as a kid. Oh, I had to practice EVERY day!! I just don't think I got much done. Now is a bit better as an adult. I realize I really want to play more difficult music. And that isn't going to happen by just showing up at lessons. I have to apply myself!!! Plus, I'm running out of time! Not getting any younger!!


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I operate with a 'no makeup' policy. I can also choose to alter that policy, depending upon the student (their consistency and commitment to lessons), the parent (are they easy to get along with, pay their tuition on time, etc...) and my schedule. There is no way I could have such a policy if I were canceling lessons several times a year for various conflicts, illnesses, and such.


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If this is not a recurring incident (it does not sound like it is as you state the student is usually well prepared) I would encourage the parent(s) to honor the lesson anyway as we could still work on the 'unpracticed' material together. However, if I perceived continued hesistation I would suggest a make-up if time allowed and if it made sense, or I would simply say I'll see them next time.* It's not the end of the world if a student misses a lesson now and then. It's a problem only when a missed lesson is indicative of a disinterested student or undisciplined parent.

*(I should disclaim that I was not dependent on teaching for the main source of my income which allowed me to be quite flexible in my studio policy.)

Last edited by Bernard; 07/17/13 01:03 AM.

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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Hi Gary,

It's not hard at all. You stand "en loco parentis". Grow a spine.

Is this to me personally? "Grow a spine?"

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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Hi Gary,

It's not hard at all. You stand "en loco parentis". Grow a spine.

I don't follow the logic of these three sentences.

I don't either.

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Originally Posted by Minniemay
I don'[ allow sick students in the studio. I have 6-7 group lessons per year that can be used as make-up lessons. I also have a swap list (new this year). We'll see how it goes.

Sometimes they are IN a lesson before you find out that they are sick...

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Minniemay, be sure to remind them to let you know if they decide to swap lessons with someone. I teach a few families who know each other and there have been times when they swapped lessons and forgot to tell me! There I am waiting for X to turn up and all of a sudden I get Y instead haha! Then there are the siblings who have a 30 minute lesson each but now and then just one will show up for the hour because the other is sick or has something better to do. I do make a point of telling the parents that they need to let me know in advance so I can prepare but it doesn't always happen.


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I really don't mind a sick student in the studio. Kids carry around so many germs anyway. If they are really too sick to come, then they can work the swap list, or they can come to one of the group lessons, which I state in my policy can be used as a make up. (they are optional and bonus)


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