My current policy regarding my own vacation/travel and tuition is that I charge the same monthly rate all year (I charge for 4 weeks each month). In this way, I’ve built 4 weeks of vacation into the system without my monthly salary changing. This has worked very well this year; however, I may be getting another job which could require extra traveling. I was wondering if anyone else is in a similar position and what your tuition policy is? I’d kind of like to avoid having my monthly rate change constantly, as this will get confusing for students and financially difficult for me.
I’ve had a similar struggle with wanting to go to the symposium, having a performing schedule that’s more demanding than I expected, and also wanting to take 4 weeks of REAL vacation. What I have done is instead of raising my monthly rates I have slowly increased the number of weeks I take off. Which essentially increases my per-lesson rate, but not the out-of-pocket rate for my students. I also offer what I call “global make up lessons” once a month, about 7 months of the year. We don’t do any new material, they’re basically review sessions and a chance to play for different people. All students from all levels come to them and my students need to attend 2 in order to get their money’s worth out of me. It has allowed me to not worry about the occasional snow day or sick day too, because if we miss a day, there’s always the next global make up!
Another thought–I had a student who travels a lot for a few days out of town at a time. We settled on her paying the amount for 10 lessons per 3-month quarter out of 13 weeks, missing payment on 3 weeks each quarter. 3 weeks / quarter are taken off as her or my schedule requires. By tracking absences for the year, I know we have an accurate average going: basically with her travel and my vacation, we study right around 40 lessons/year, with 12 weeks off. And the quarterly set income is very nice!