Monday Mailbag – Not Giving Credit for Missed Lessons

Do you credit students for missed lessons if they let you know in advance that they’ll be gone? Also, do you charge for holding a space open for a student such as the one you mentioned that was moving or say if they had a long term injury such as a broken wrist?

I had several people ask about whether or not I charged the family in the case where they missed two months of lessons due to a move, so I thought it might be helpful to address it as a separate post. Basically, I’ve tried to structure my policies in a way so that I never credit a student for a missed lesson. The family that moved did pay the full amount for the two months even though they didn’t end up getting any lessons. They never even questioned it or hinted at not having
to pay. On one side I feel SO bad charging them when they aren’t even attending their lessons, but I know that on the business side of things I have to stick to my policies on this. Plus, if I make an exception for one family, then it’s not fair to charge other families for lessons that they miss, whether it’s one here and there, or a month or two of lessons for
some reason.

My policy also allows for me to cancel one additional lesson per student each semester as necessary and I’ve never had to cancel more than this. As long as I am holding the reserved time slot for the student, it must be paid for. Sometimes that seems hard, but business-wise, this is the only way I can make a living and be fair across the board. For broken wrists/arms, etc. we just spend the time on one-handed pieces and focus on other areas that the student can handle – theory games, technique, improv, a super fun listening activity, etc.

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!

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