Kerry V., Australia
Just recently I have been thinking about what to do for lessons missed when the students are in groups or shared lessons. As thought happens, a parent has asked about a make up or refund and she is in a 2-people shared lesson. I reminded her that she signed an enrollment form which states that I do not give refunds for missed lessons.
For private lessons, when and where possible, I do make up lessons however, how do you go about make up lessons for groups and shared lessons.
Clearly it was their fault for not turning up, and she should pay for the lesson, but this woman is concerned that her not coming was “out of her control”. She did say that all she wanted was about 15 mins. to catch up what was missed out, and she also threatened to leave if she didn’t get what she wanted
What are your suggestions or what do you do?
Jy G., California
I have several groups learning at the same level at the same time, and my students frequently come to an alternative group if they cannot make their lesson. It is great for adults for whom things come up periodically, like travel, etc. It’s harder for kids because I don’t run very many groups of the same age, at the same level, at the same time! The age factor appears to be of no concern for adults.
Many times at Free Intro Sessions I am asked what happens if a student misses a lesson. I state clearly that although I do not give makeup lessons for free (they can opt for a private lesson to “catch up” if it works for my schedule that week), they are welcome to attend another group lesson. It’s best that they let me know ahead of time, but last minute works sometimes.
If the group is filled up for that week’s lesson (i.e., no absences – I am always notified as to who will not be in attendance ahead of time), they are free to come as more of an observer and less as a participant. This way they can get the teaching, but not take time away from the regular group participants.
This has worked really well so far, and in many cases, there have been regular attendees absent when “needed”. Also, some of my groups are not at capacity, so there is often no problem with the “extra” person.
The adults all enjoy getting to know the other students, and have a new face in the group from time to time, or remember an old one from another visit. There is “Simply Music” camaraderie!
Absences can frequently be viewed as “out of their control”, so it’s important to be clear that an absence is an absence, if you don’t want your own schedule to become “out of control”. By threatening to leave, this parent doesn’t sound like she values the program enough to warrant your energy in this way. It’s good to just let go sometimes, and learn that way.
Either way, the next time you’ll know how to be more clear from the beginning, and that’s what it seems to be all about! I find that every time I learn something like this, I stop attracting that type of challenge.
Hope it helps.