What is your policy and procedure on make up lessons? I’m thinking about when students are sick as well as when they miss for planned reasons such as dad’s graduation from college. I have a full studio and not many times that I can make up lessons. Yet I have students who want to make up the time that they miss.
I offer one make up lesson per semester. Other than that – they pay for anything they miss and use the wonderful SHM to catch up.
Do you average your quarters or year out? I’ve been saying 12 lessons a quarter, 4 per month, but I think I’m going to 11 lessons per quarter. If they don’t get the 11 lessons and ask, I’ll do one make up. Usually my students get a lot more than 12 per quarter. I teach private lessons and offer a group lesson occasionally, plus this time of year there’s rehearsal and recital which I count as a lesson.
I average my year out with 45 lessons. Several of the remaining 7 are holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July. But two are listed as “discretionary”. Students pay by the month.
Many teachers just don’t do make up lessons. I choose to offer one private make up lesson for students who miss two consecutive lessons due to vacation or illness (not just not wanting to come to lessons). Often they don’t take advantage of it, which is fine. If they want to reschedule because of, for instance, a conflict with a school concert, I simply tell them that it would be considered a missed lesson and not rescheduled. The usual response is “um…okay” but they don’t argue with me. It’s in my policies.
If they just don’t want to come or “forgot” they had a regular lesson, no make up.
My policy is no make up lessons and I’m clear about that from the start. That being said, for private students, if they approach me beforehand and it’s an exceptional situation, I have made allowances (group students pay less and can also catch up missed material with the video and/or contacting a class mate). I’ve had very few complaints.
I don’t guarantee make ups but if given enough notice, I’ll offer a spot where someone else is away.
We stopped doing them at all this year.
I don’t do make up lessons. And students rarely miss. If they do have a major thing like graduation or they are sick, they use the SHM to help them through it.
There’s a lot less mindless missing when you don’t do make ups. I will also let a child chime in from home online if a sibling is sick or the car won’t start–even if they are in a group. When folks miss a class at a Community College, the college doesn’t refund or offer make ups. I explain my not doing them by saying we use the “Community College” model. That being said, I bend over backwards with opportunities that present themselves and will send notes for what they missed so they can ‘keep up’. I have never had an issue.
Years ago when I still taught traditional, I had a ‘friend’ whose kids were my students. She was always calling at the last minute that something had come up. Besides Neil’s thoughts in this matter, she had a lot of influence on my attitude about not doing make ups! And yes, I understand too, that size makes a difference in this personal decision. Nowadays, I just say semi-apologetically that “my studio has just gotten too big to do make ups! Why, I’d be there all the time!” and then I laugh. Politely.
It’s totally up to you. If you have a full studio, I wouldn’t do them at all. With groups, the student has to get the information of what was covered in the missed class from another student. Private students just miss out that week. If you read the SM enrollment form, it is clearly stated that the student is paying for your time – the time you set aside for their class. In saying that, I do allow private students to change their lesson time and date in advance for exceptional circumstances. However, it must be within a day or two either side of their normal class, to give them time to practice the material.
I don’t give excuses, I just say I have a no make up policy. It is my discretion if I give a make up or not and that is only for private students. Otherwise, they pay. Recently however, for the first time in 17 years, I had two students who had deaths in the family. I gave them an extra lesson, As I said, my discretion.
Many go on holidays and can miss 2-3 weeks and they still pay. They know my policy.
I charge quarterly “tuition” to be part of my studio, and I hold an “office hour” every week. Students are welcome to attend the office hour for any reason, so if they miss a class and really want to see me in person, they can.
I try not to say anything that encourages thinking about how much they are paying me by the hour or minute or whatever, so I don’t talk about time. They are paying me to teach them to be musicians, and I provide results. If they miss a class here or there, they have the SHMs, and it is not a big deal in the long run as far as their musical development.