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Internal Motivation

Has anyone heard of school teachers saying children should use their own 'internal motivation' rather than pushing them to do something? We were discussing reward for completing tasks. Poor Mum is confused, I am telling her she needs to guide her children, manage their activities and their long term relationships. The school teacher is telling Mum to let her children explore multiple activities, quit if they don't like it and try something else. [answer author="Gabrielle K.,…
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Late Fees

Do you have written in your policies, fees that are late incur extra charges? If so, how much extra do you charge? $20 late fee, no exceptions. My invoice says no places held without payment. I charge $25 if an invoice is more than 5 days overdue. Invoices come out a few days before the end of the month and payment…

Student Absences

I'd love to get feedback on how you handle absences from students who are ill. I offer make-up lessons or even extended lessons to "make up" the time. Also, what about adults or youth who are so involved in other activities that they aren't always able to commit to a lesson/week? Does anyone have a minimum monthly requirement? Just wondered... If students are ill they miss that week, I don't do…

Family unwilling to comply with payment method

If you have a new family who doesn't comply to the kind of payment method you specified, would you not take this student? I would rather not. I have lost students over this but if they are unwilling to accept your policies, things tend to be challenging over other things later (like practicing, being on time, etc). Having said that, it does depend on what they don't agree with. I have…

Studio policies on inclement weather

I want to schedule make-up lessons for all my families whose lessons were canceled because of snow. What is your policy on bad weather? I charge by the month, not by the lesson, but the understanding is they get weekly lessons except for pre-planned holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day. I don't typically try to reschedule. My policy for inclement weather is that I credit them for 1/2 the cost…

Charging a deposit for next term

I charge by term and the ongoing students pay on the last day of the term for the following term. However, I don't usually charge at the end of the year. I wait until the beginning of the new school year in late January. I am thinking of charging a non-refundable deposit of $50 by the last day of this year's term. If they do come back, that $50 goes towards their first term fees. If…

Short notice lesson cancellation by student

I had a parent ask for a reschedule after only giving me 11 hours of advance notice that they will miss the lesson. How do I handle this professionally without causing parents to decide to quit? It's already in my studio policies that they should provide 24 hours of notice to get a make up credit. This mom has been having health issues and let me know last week that she would have surgery "sometime in…

Student canceling lesson with short notice

I wanted to share a difficult conversation success I had recently: a teenage student attempted to cancel a lesson 30 minutes prior, by saying they were sick. To me, this felt like a classic case of claiming territory, making it necessary for me to let her know that she would still be paying for it. Sure enough, come lesson time, she was feeling okay and didn't seem to be sick at all, which reaffirms to me…

Fee Increases – when & how much?

Hello everyone, I am curious to hear how various teachers decide on when and how much to increase their fees. I seem to remember Robin Keehn mentioning a particular percentage she uses when raising her rates. In the U.S. the rate of inflation is currently between 2 and 3%. So I’m guessing that’s a good place to start. Also if anyone has found an eloquent way to communicate your fee increase to parents, I would love…

Parent balking at tuition

I received a phone call from a mom whose daughter had her first lesson with me last week. She clearly wants to "try out" piano lessons for her daughter and she is not committed to continuing if it becomes a huge struggle to get her daughter to practice. At the moment her daughter loved her one lesson and is excited about playing piano. I have just moved to a tuition schedule of flat monthly payments. The…

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