Missing Lesson Policy

kzdruma

Senior Member
Hi everyone. I want to know what you all think. I am a drum teacher and have had a lot of students missing lessons lately. Is this fare?
Dear Parents,

There have been some recent advents that are forcing me to change my policy. The current studio policy you have all signed states “If you can not attend a lesson, please notify the instructor directly at the phone number below, preferably within 24 hours of your lesson.” My new policy, effective immediately, will be that you must call either me or the store within 24 hours of the lesson starting. If you do not do so you will be charged for this lesson. I want to thank the families that have been doing this. If you have any questions feel free to call Voigt Music Center at (608)365-2276 or me at (608)XXX-XXXX.

Sincerely,

Brian Gile
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
Yes, that is fine in my opinion. At least you're giving them the option to save thier money, I know plenty of instructors that won't do that. Each student pays a month in advance and if they miss a lesson they still pay for it regardless of reason.

Good on ya.
 

kzdruma

Senior Member
I think it is important for my students to enjoy their lessons. I have been giving lessons for over half my life and have found that one of the only reasons kids stop taking lessons is because of their parents. I don't want this to be a reason they quit playing. Always looking out for the kids!!!
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
I think it is important for my students to enjoy their lessons. I have been giving lessons for over half my life and have found that one of the only reasons kids stop taking lessons is because of their parents. I don't want this to be a reason they quit playing. Always looking out for the kids!!!
That really makes me happy to hear you say that. Instructors need to look out for thier students and not just think of them as a paycheck. Good job.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
With the holidays and now school in full force, this has been an issue lately. If you teach lessons at a store and they pay by the month, you will find that the $25.00 is more to people when they pay on the first than when they come home from a hard day's work and just don't want to take the kid out, esp in the cold. You have to be clear about the policy of a twenty-four hour cancellation. I tell people this is a standard business policy. Any professional will expect payment for cancellation not made previous to a 24 hour period. Yes previous to. I am flexible about that. Kid comes home sick once in a while, I'll makeup the lesson with a last minute call. But no call no shows, or constant last minute cancellations are the lose of the parent not the drum teacher or the store.
 

slingerland755

Silver Member
I think your policy sounds fair. However, in todays economy it would be a shame if you lost a student or two because of it. I would tread lightly.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
Hi everyone. I want to know what you all think. I am a drum teacher and have had a lot of students missing lessons lately. Is this fare?
Dear Parents,

There have been some recent advents that are forcing me to change my policy. The current studio policy you have all signed states “If you can not attend a lesson, please notify the instructor directly at the phone number below, preferably within 24 hours of your lesson.” My new policy, effective immediately, will be that you must call either me or the store within 24 hours of the lesson starting. If you do not do so you will be charged for this lesson. I want to thank the families that have been doing this. If you have any questions feel free to call Voigt Music Center at (608)365-2276 or me at (608)XXX-XXXX.

Sincerely,

Brian Gile

This is fine. It is most annoying when students do not turn up and even more so when you are uninformed and cannot fill the spot. Many don't realize it is as if you went to their work and took money directly from their paycheck.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I think your policy sounds fair. However, in todays economy it would be a shame if you lost a student or two because of it. I would tread lightly.
I have found that if you do lose a student or two, it usually will not be the loyal, responsible students. You may lose the students that don't care enough about their lessons to even call.

I used to teach at a store where the students paid per lesson. Students would do the same thing to me that they are doing to you. And, since they are not paying in advance, it's harder to get the money from them for the missed lesson. Most parents would conveniently "forget" to include it at the next lesson. So I had the awkward job of reminding them to pay up.

Now that I have my own teaching studio, I require payment in advance for the month. Like Ken, I am understanding when a student has a "real" situation. But no-call, no-shows lose their money.

Jeff
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
That's how I dealt with it. In my case, I had to drive 45 miles each way to teach the lessons. I often had only 4 or 5 students on a Saturday morning, so if I had 2 or more cancellations, I'd typically go ahead and cancel the other lessons. Otherwise, I'd be spending as much on gas as I was making from the lessons.
 

paramac

Member
I have been teaching about 15 yrs or so and the way we do it at the current studio is you pay for a months lessons in advance and if you don't call 24hrs in advance, you forfeit the price of the lesson. If you do call in advance, then we will try to ( and most of the time do) reschedule the student on another day or double up the time the following week if the schedule permits..The only time I credit them is if I have to go and do a gig and even then I try to reschedule them but if they can't do that, then in that particular case I will credit them. After all, I am the one canceling..I will also only do so many make ups and then you just have to pay to keep your time slot as a student..This has worked out pretty well and this place I am at has a more lenient schedule than where I used to work... I have had to explain to an occasional parent that doesn't "get it" that this is my livelihood and you are paying for my time whether you are there or not...That's where you have to be firm and polite and very clear....

At that place where I worked for 13 yrs I would collect the money and pay rent pro rated on how many lessons I gave so basically a percentage of the take..At that place I would tell people when they started that I can't guarantee make ups because of a busy schedule and the few make up slots that ARE available are reserved for people that do practice a good amount every week. If a kid isn't putting much effort in, than he or she can continue to come as long as some effort is put in but if it's minimal, then make ups aren't likely..The way I communicated this was pretty clear and I had very few conflicts with parents and adult students..I think you have to be clear and firm yet polite and tactful and at this point, I have this part of it pretty together I believe...I didn't always handle things this way but experience and being frustrated with customers trying to dictate the terms of our business relationship got me to where I realized you have to speak up and let people know how you work it.....Never get emotional either if it gets heated. I have this happen on maybe two occasions over the yrs where some moms would not want to pay because of some negligence on their or their kids part and then they don't want to pay for what they missed. I always speak clearly and slowly in these situations and a couple of times I had to eat the loss, ya know basically get beat of of $$$ Ya can't win em all....Gwtting that month up front helps in gives you more of an upper hand in these types of situations too btw. I know that may sound a little cold but this is a business just like anything else and you have to cover yourself.....

This is what I do for living and I don't live with my mom or dad, I am an adult..I watch some of the other younger teachers where I work get a little pushed around by the parents with billing and missed lessons but not me anymore.. That shit don't fly with me.. Btw, I have been and am once again a student too so I understand it from that side and never tried to jerk around the teacher..

In addition to that I would say that I will bend over backwards for students that practice a lot as far as rescheduling goes...
 

paramac

Member
I think your policy sounds fair. However, in todays economy it would be a shame if you lost a student or two because of it. I would tread lightly.
I respectfully disagree with the treading lightly part.. You HAVE to establish rules and I think his policy is still not good enough.. I would require a month's lessons paid in advance and payed the last week of the month prior.. Don't be afraid to ask/ expect this.. It is perfectly reasonable.. Being afraid to ask for stuff is not cool..I work with teachers and musicians on gigs like this sometimes and I don't get it.. There is no harm in asking to be paid for your service and a month up front is common in the stores and studios around where I live...I so go for it and get your $ a month in advance...When and if you do this, you can't be timid or apologetic about it. Your can't be pushy either but clear tactful and clear....It's all about selling it I guess.....My dad was a salesman so maybe he taught me that part...Lol!
 

paramac

Member
I think it is important for my students to enjoy their lessons. I have been giving lessons for over half my life and have found that one of the only reasons kids stop taking lessons is because of their parents. I don't want this to be a reason they quit playing. Always looking out for the kids!!!
.Always look out for the kids but WATCH OUT for the parents!! Lol! Seriously, only a few of them will try to jerk you around and I have little tolerance for this...That is not to say I get into conflicts with them over money.. There is a way to communicate to them your terms with out offending and I have found that not teacher or person otherwise is capable of doing it.. Maybe they could be capable of doing it if they learned something about separating emotions from business... Seriously, it is important to me that they enjoy their lessons too and I have a good reputation in the area but One doesn't negate the other.... I find this type of thinking is what keeps musicians and teachers from getting paid. I don't know what your circumstances are, but I have bills to pay and I just can't let myself get stepped on financially every time someone can't make it to a lesson...Those days are over...
 
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paramac

Member
Yes, that is fine in my opinion. At least you're giving them the option to save thier money, I know plenty of instructors that won't do that. Each student pays a month in advance and if they miss a lesson they still pay for it regardless of reason.

Good on ya.
This paying one month upfront is a good policy and it does work especially if #1 you know what your doing as a teacher and give a good lesson..#2 Show up on time and clean, sober and looking presentable/professional. # Make it clear in the beginning of how you work your lesson policy whether it be a piece of paper or speaking it to them.. Instructors shouldn't have to give them the option of saving their money..This is not fair to the teacher, I don't agree with this at all.. It may work if your a kid teaching at some store and you live with your parents, but if your trying to make a living at this, than you eventually have to lay down some rules that are quite reasonable and fair...I have been studying my whole adult life and I understand the other end of it.. Thing is, I have always respected the teachers time that if I couldn't make it, they were payed... Having these rule doesn't make the teacher a cold money hungry or only concerned about the money kind of person.. It is just good business...I have taught people for free in the past in certain situations but I do this and play gigs as a job, not a hobby and I still love it... Hell I am taking drum lessons again for 100 bucks an hr from a top guy and you better believe he wants to be paid...
 
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