It’s time to talk about something a bit dicey. Maybe less joy and certainly more stress…
The Missed Lesson
The Great Pit of Music Instructor Despair. The Big Black Hole of Time and Money. Has there ever been a solution that truly feels right? A solution that satisfies the teacher, student and parent? A solution that is good for both education and business. Certainly, a lot had been proposed. Let’s just go ahead and list the past options — all with the assumption you are charging at the top of the month for the whole month (if not, go to the corner and do not come out till you do — seriously, you are much better than that).
Billy’s Mom paid for the month but can’t make Tuesday’s lesson due to soccer practice (or the dentist or homework or a cold, for our purposes it doesn’t really matter). You credit them for the miss and charge them less next month.
Billy can’t make Tuesday’s lesson and you agree to meet with Billy at some time in the future for a makeup — Thursday, a week from Thursday, for an hour 3 Tuesday’s from now. You fit them into a slot that is open, either not occupied by any student or a student that will be absent. Or you start early or stay late on an agreed upon day to accommodate.
The Kinda Makeup Policy
Billy gets 2 makeups per semester or gets a makeup “at your discretion”.
The No Makeup Policy
Billy gets nothing — nada — bupkis — the big goose egg.
Billy can switch times with Helen for the week.
The Workshop or Group Lesson
Billy signs up for a workshop or group lesson you offer as a makeup for a miss. Of course he doesn’t show.
Add an extra week to you yearly schedule
You’ve added an extra week into your teaching schedule that you use for makeups.
-I’m sure there’re more. They all seem to be a little frayed at the ends. Not quite right.
Look, I certainly do not want to poo poo any policy (the credit I do poo poo). We do what we are comfortable doing and justify it by any litany of reasons. Whatever your policy is, put it in writing and have folks sign it when they sign up. Do this and at least there is agreement going forward.
But I do want to offer something new…
Let’s first make a missed lesson conundrums list.
- Parents want something for their money.
- Students need to come to lessons. They need that weekly check in. The 30min., once a week lesson plan is part of the teaching culture for a reason — it promotes progress. Allowing students and parents to mess with that is a waste of money — theirs.
- You don’t want re-scheduling miseries. And you don’t want situations that might affect your monthly expected income.
You need something new. A clean, no mess, no drama, no wriggle room, no waste of time or money makeup solution that will satisfy your need for good education and good business and their need for perceived value.