Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#1592964 - 01/07/11 11:06 PM Angry Mom
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Aug 2010:
Everyone in my studio sign a policy saying that tuition will be per month basis but not per lesson anymore. There will be total of 48 lessons in a year with some months 3 lessons and some months 5 lessons and the tuition is a flat fee of X same for every month. They also have a studio calendar that marked all the weeks that studio is close, recital date and other important dates.

Dec 2010:
I sent out newsletter to ALL parents to remind them that there will be no lesson for 2 weeks for Christmas- New Year Holiday. I also gave them a return date for their lesson.

Last week during my vacation:
I missed a call from this mom because I am in vacation, and she also text me saying that she is waiting at my studio and she is not happy that I am not there.

Later when I got back from vacation, I receive an email saying that her husband is not happy that even I only teach 3 weeks in December and 3 weeks in January, she still pay for 4 lessons for each month. In her own words: My husband and I are not happy with this, we want to find a teacher that charges by the hour, so you get paid when you work and if you take vacation, you don’t get paid, that simple.

Does anyone know what I am talking here? I am not getting pay for my vacation but somehow parents thought I am getting pay for vacation and not happy about this. How should I re-word and explain to her?
Thank you!




Edited by Smallpiano (01/07/11 11:10 PM)
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1592967 - 01/07/11 11:11 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Add on:
She signed the policy, I wonder if she did not read it or she don't understand?
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1592977 - 01/07/11 11:25 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
If they're that stupid, you don't want them in your studio.

Let 'em go and don't look back.

Send her an email that simply says:

"Dear Parent,

My tuition policies and lesson schedule were clearly stated on the policy statement you signed in August, and I sent a reminder email regarding Winter break a few weeks ago. Please understand that charging and billing are two different things. I do "charge by the hour", but I bill in 9 equal payments for the sake of convenience. (Much like the "level billing" service that many utility companies provide.) I'm sorry you've decided this arrangement is unacceptable and understand if you choose to seek lessons from another teacher."
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#1592981 - 01/07/11 11:32 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5899
Loc: Down Under
I guess you could send them another copy of the policy with the relevant bits highlighted, but if they've misunderstood this, there will no doubt be other similar situations in the future. It's frustrating, isn't it. I've had the same policy (more or less) in the past, and it's surprising how many times you can explain it and still someone doesn't get it. Maybe Kreisler's solution is the best after all. smile

edit: I've just read Kreisler's PS. Better still. smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1592992 - 01/07/11 11:49 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Yes, I sent her a scanned copy of her signed policy and highlighted the important sections. I try to call her to explain things to her but she has not been picking up my call. Do you think she will be so shame to realize that she either do not read the policy or she misunderstand and no face to see me and decide to stop even she knows it is her mistake but not mine?
Thank you for the suggestions, anyway
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1593003 - 01/08/11 12:04 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
She might still be pissed off.. which is the other possible reason why she might not be picking up your call. If that's the case and if she does not apologize, you should let them go find another teacher. They are not worth your time.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1593006 - 01/08/11 12:14 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Parents who fight with you about this are going to fight with you about everything, simply because they enjoy fighting. Nothing you do will change that. You can either let them go, or decide to live with the fighting. For me, the fighting isn't worth it, so I am not unhappy to see such people leave.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1593062 - 01/08/11 03:07 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 418
Loc: Worcester, UK
This is exactly why I ended up charging by the term and not the month - it seems that there is always a certain percentage who just can't get their heads around the fixed monthly fee. I also get much better holidays now.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Sound Designer

Cool Beans!

Easy Christmas Jazz

YouTube channel




Top
#1593172 - 01/08/11 09:40 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
The easy explanation is right back at them...
On those months with 5 lessons, you also just get charged for the 4. It all works out in the end, doesn't it?

I think she is gone. She already explained that she does not like this type of payment. I think that is her way of saying goodbye and why.

You have done nothing wrong. I am sure that the void of the student(s) will be filled in short order even though it is sad to lose a student that you care for.
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

Top
#1593185 - 01/08/11 10:00 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Kreisler]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Send her an email that simply says:

"Dear Parent,

My tuition policies and lesson schedule were clearly stated on the policy statement you signed in August, and I sent a reminder email regarding Winter break a few weeks ago. Please understand that charging and billing are two different things. I do "charge by the hour", but I bill in 9 equal payments for the sake of convenience. (Much like the "level billing" service that many utility companies provide.) I'm sorry you've decided this arrangement is unacceptable and understand if you choose to seek lessons from another teacher."

+1

You're dealing with a parent mentality which isn't easy to change. As the family lives here longer, and encounters similar payment plans from other services, it will finally dawn on them.

FWIW, I had this difficulty with fairly recently. I basically had to tell them precisely what Kreisler said. It's all part of the teaching business, unfortunately.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1593197 - 01/08/11 10:16 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Kreisler's suggestion is just about perfect.

Console yourself with the thought that if you had scheduled lessons during the vacation, there would have been even more dissatisfaction and complaints, and demands for make-ups.

I can only think that a reminder postcard sent the month before the holidays might help, but some will disregard any communication. Just possibly, they may have trouble reading.

So, are you going to remind these guys that they owe you for 30-days notice?
_________________________
Clef


Top
#1593200 - 01/08/11 10:18 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Jeff Clef]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
So, are you going to remind these guys that they owe you for 30-days notice?


+1
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

Top
#1593271 - 01/08/11 12:08 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Just send them the statement with the last month's tuition listed as "Early Termination Fee per signed parental agreement."
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1593274 - 01/08/11 12:17 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11549
Loc: Canada
It is possible that the wording still is not clear enough yet, and even if this particular mom is dense, misunderstandings could arise again. Just from the intro, I was not clear that installments were being charged. Saying you are going from per hour fees to per month fees can give the impression that a month = 4 - 5 lessons. It does NOT give the impression of installments in paying equally for a semester.

Would it be wise to post the wording of that part in case it's not clear, to make it clearer?

If you are in a field, things in the area of your profession will be clear to you. Obvious things will not necessarily be clear to your customer. Regardless of whether this parent is out of line, you still don't want confusion from other families in the future, because that is aggravating and time consuming for you.

People can be incredibly dense.

Top
#1593332 - 01/08/11 01:58 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Or intransigent.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1593361 - 01/08/11 02:48 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Pedagogia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Aug 2010:
Everyone in my studio sign a policy saying that tuition will be per month basis but not per lesson anymore.


I just find it amazing how many people sign documents that they don't really spend the time to read or understand properly.

Anyway, like others have said, it sound like this parent will just continue to cause problems and in the end probably best to let them go.

BBBB

Top
#1593365 - 01/08/11 02:55 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Below is my policy word by word:

Monthly Tuition Rate is X. Tuition is NOT based on the number of lessons per month
Tuition rates are based on 48 lessons per year: 42 Individual Lessons, 5 Piano Party, 1 Recital. Please note that tuition rate is “per month” and not “per lesson”
Studio Calendar: The studio closes on the RED DAYS on the calendar. No tuition due for those days. RED DAYS include major holiday such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Spring Break, July 4th, and Summer Break
Total Lessons:
From 9/1/10 to 6/30/11: 36 individual lessons + 3 Piano Party + 1 Recital =40 lessons
From 7/1/11 to 8/31/11: 6 individual lessons + 2 Piano Party = 8 lessons
Total lessons in one year: 48 lessons


Edited by Smallpiano (01/08/11 05:21 PM)
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1593386 - 01/08/11 03:20 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11549
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Monthly Tuition Rate is X. Tuition is NOT based on the number of lessons per month Tuition rates are based on 48 lessons per year: 42 Individual Lessons, 5 Piano Party, 1 Recital. Please note that tuition rate is “per month” and not “per lesson”.


How about (for the first part):

Tuition in the amount of X is paid the first of every month. Your tuition has been calculated on a basis of 48 lessons per year which are paid in equal monthly installments. There may be more or less lessons in a given month but your fee remains the same since these are equal payments of the annual cost of all lessons.

A breakdown of the 48 lessons is as follows: 42 individual lessons, 5 Piano Parties, 1 Recital.


This uses the language people are used to seeing on their hydro bills and colleges.

Top
#1593391 - 01/08/11 03:25 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5899
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Below is my policy word by word:
I actually think your policy is very clear, Smallpiano. But then I don't think I'm anything like the parent who is giving you the problems! smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1593392 - 01/08/11 03:27 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Thank you KS
This actually sound better! English is not my first languages, in order to write my policy for last year, I actually hire an English teacher in helping me to make it in a way that common people would understand.
I will use your wording for next year, it is too late for this year since parents already signed the policy.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1593415 - 01/08/11 04:05 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Smallpiano, I really like what you've come up with. It's simple, clear, strait-forward. KS, I like your wording, too. I am now giving serious thought to changing to year around tuition based on your formula. I still have to give some thought on dealing with parents who wish to pay in advance to receive a discount.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1593418 - 01/08/11 04:11 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
If you find a change of wording that you like better, it couldn't hurt to send out an update to the parents, explaining that it simply re-states the existing policy more clearly but does not change anything.

I used to write a website and a printed directory for a group that went for hikes in our local backcountry parks. So, road directions, parking at trailhead directions, and backcountry trail directions. And description. So, I understand how truly difficult it is to write accurately and concisely, in an interesting way, and with things in the right order. You just have to keep trying until you get it just right, for people who are too lazy to put a road map in their car will rediscover their energies when it comes time to complain and criticize.

Luckily, you will not be changing your written policy that often, nor that much. So, your efforts will benefit you for a long time.

I still think it's funny that they as much as told you that nothing would please them except you come back from your vacation right this minute, so they could scold you on your own doorstep.

It's better to laugh than to scream.[i][/i]
_________________________
Clef


Top
#1593437 - 01/08/11 04:54 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
I agree that some people just don't read or they just can't understand direction line by line. For example: my previous studio is in a community that doesn't yet shown in google map because it is a new community that means if you type my address in google map or GPS, you cannot find my studio. With this disadvantage, when I have new interviews, I have to send an email with details direction to the parents who never been here. In my email, I started with 'please follow my directions and do not use google map!' then followed by step by step how to get to my place.
There will be only two types of parents
Type One
Print out the email and follow the directions and praise me right away when they arrive saying that I am a very detailed person.
Type Two
Did not print out the email, drive according to what they recall or remember about the direction and get lost and have to call me to find out further instruction.

And guess what, Type Two parents usually come with Type Two children who doesn't like to follow my instruction during lesson.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1593446 - 01/08/11 05:01 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 418
Loc: Worcester, UK
May I ask how long this particular client has been coming for lessons? The reason I ask is that if they are relatively new to your studio, it may appear to them that they have paid for more time than you've given them so far, as one of the problems inherent in the [pay monthly for x amount of lessons per year] type of scheme is that it sometimes only fully balances out if the students start at the right time of year, and continue with lessons for the full year.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Sound Designer

Cool Beans!

Easy Christmas Jazz

YouTube channel




Top
#1593450 - 01/08/11 05:07 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Yes, Ben.
She started two years ago. In Aug 2010 she signed the policy that will start in Sep 2010. Actually she has been very good in attendance, she never miss a class since then. She only request a reschedule one time so far since Sep 2010. So to answer your question, she start at the perfect time of the year with this new policy. Before this policy, I bill by hourly at the end of the month.
Do I answer your question?
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1593466 - 01/08/11 05:52 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
My tuition form (separate from my studio policy) states at the top: Tuition for 2010-2011 year is $X. Please choose your payment plan. I then have a box for them to check next to Annual, Semester or Monthly Installments with the amounts and due dates next to each.

The studio policy then states what is included in the program.

I also issue the calendar separately.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1593557 - 01/08/11 08:17 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Chopinmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 65
The mom may appear angry with the contract, but really she may be not happy with something else. From the perspective of the parent's, we know the teachers will structure the policy and contract in such a way that give the teachers the best protection.

So if the parents are happy with the progress their kids are making, they could care less about the policies and contracts; When they start complaining, it is a sign they are not happy with kids' progress, it is usually a precursor to the student's switching or quiting.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/tyj1020

Top
#1593758 - 01/09/11 05:29 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Chopinmaniac]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 418
Loc: Worcester, UK
Originally Posted By: Chopinmaniac

So if the parents are happy with the progress their kids are making, they could care less about the policies and contracts; When they start complaining, it is a sign they are not happy with kids' progress, it is usually a precursor to the student's switching or quiting.


This can be one explanation, another is that they are not really that passionate about their kids' musical education, and don't understand or care about maintaining a good parent/teacher/student relationship triangle - rather, they see music as just another 'activity', and the lessons as a commodity.


Edited by Ben Crosland (01/09/11 05:32 AM)
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Sound Designer

Cool Beans!

Easy Christmas Jazz

YouTube channel




Top
#1594136 - 01/09/11 05:56 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Just finish talking to the mom.
She started with that she went home and checked the studio calendar and it was clear that there was no lesson for the week. She said that it is a misunderstanding. I use Keisler’s line about “Charging by hour” but “Billing by month” and she understand. However, she said that she like the way I was in the past. I then explain to her that I am “billing” this way to keep myself and parents convenient. She said she has not come up with her decision but her daughter will come to lesson until her husband and herself make a decision. I later gave her a list of piano teacher phone number in town and say that if you like to find new teacher, I have no problem, but promise me that you will not put a gap between myself and the new teacher because I want your daughter keep playing and going to lesson without a gap. She agreed to that and also agree to give me one month notice if she found a new teacher. She also ask if new teacher “Bill by hour or by month”. I say I do not know and tell her to find out herself.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1594139 - 01/09/11 05:58 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
To Chopin and Ben
The mom is very happy with her daughter's progress with me, she mentioned so in her phone call.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1594269 - 01/09/11 09:31 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
hoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 109
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Just finish talking to the mom.
She started with that she went home and checked the studio calendar and it was clear that there was no lesson for the week. She said that it is a misunderstanding. I use Keisler’s line about “Charging by hour” but “Billing by month” and she understand. However, she said that she like the way I was in the past. I then explain to her that I am “billing” this way to keep myself and parents convenient. She said she has not come up with her decision but her daughter will come to lesson until her husband and herself make a decision. I later gave her a list of piano teacher phone number in town and say that if you like to find new teacher, I have no problem, but promise me that you will not put a gap between myself and the new teacher because I want your daughter keep playing and going to lesson without a gap. She agreed to that and also agree to give me one month notice if she found a new teacher. She also ask if new teacher “Bill by hour or by month”. I say I do not know and tell her to find out herself.


I have been reading this thread over the last few days as an outsider and thought that may indeed be the case (but was afraid to mention it).

Walk a mile in the mothers shoes. She indeed may have been unhappy with the situation back in August, but was probably too afraid to mention it. I know that I would have not been overly impressed either. Look at it from her point of view. She has gone by paying by the hour (Or lesson I am assuming) to paying by the month. This means that she has to basically find 4x's the money at the time of payment. While it's OK to say "instead of paying he money to me each week, put it away and pay monthly" a lot of people live with their finances week by week. The other thing from a consumers point of view is the "What's in it for me" attitude. Are you charging exactly the same hourly rate? She may have been thinking "If I have to pay by the month, why don't I get a discount?"
_________________________
Help!

Top
#1594273 - 01/09/11 09:42 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: hoffy]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Hoffy, you misunderstand.

It's not that she's suddenly paying monthly instead of at each lesson.

It's that, regardless of how many lessons are actually in a month, you pay the same flat monthly rate because at the very end, you paid for a TOTAL NUMBER of lessons.

I do a similar thing where I charge the same monthly regardless of number of lessons. However, there are a few families I allow to pay at each session because of their finances. They're exceptions that I trust, of course, but overall, it's better the other way for both parties.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

Top
#1594276 - 01/09/11 09:44 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
hoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 109
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
No problems (if that is the case)!
_________________________
Help!

Top
#1594279 - 01/09/11 09:45 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Parents were given 2 months of notice about changing policy. They are free to find a new teacher if they want to. Every parents were given the new policy and a list of piano teacher's phone number in case they need a new teacher. I lost 15 students because of the transition. So I teach only 4 days instead of 6 days. This mom choose to sign the policy and stay with me, I don't see any problem with this. I did not put a gun in her face to force her to sign the policy, what would she afraid of? In fact, I not only change policy, I also raise the hourly rate by 25%.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1594377 - 01/10/11 12:48 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Parents were given 2 months of notice about changing policy. They are free to find a new teacher if they want to. Every parents were given the new policy and a list of piano teacher's phone number in case they need a new teacher. I lost 15 students because of the transition. So I teach only 4 days instead of 6 days. This mom choose to sign the policy and stay with me, I don't see any problem with this. I did not put a gun in her face to force her to sign the policy, what would she afraid of? In fact, I not only change policy, I also raise the hourly rate by 25%.


Maybe therein lies the problem. It would have been better to change your billing arrangement first, then adjust your hourly rate later (or vice-versa). By doing both at once, they may feel that they are paying more due to your change of billing. All this seems logical to you because you have spent lots of time thinking about it. To outsiders it may not seem as logical.

Top
#1594385 - 01/10/11 01:09 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: ando]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Parents were given 2 months of notice about changing policy. They are free to find a new teacher if they want to. Every parents were given the new policy and a list of piano teacher's phone number in case they need a new teacher. I lost 15 students because of the transition. So I teach only 4 days instead of 6 days. This mom choose to sign the policy and stay with me, I don't see any problem with this. I did not put a gun in her face to force her to sign the policy, what would she afraid of? In fact, I not only change policy, I also raise the hourly rate by 25%.


Maybe therein lies the problem. It would have been better to change your billing arrangement first, then adjust your hourly rate later (or vice-versa). By doing both at once, they may feel that they are paying more due to your change of billing. All this seems logical to you because you have spent lots of time thinking about it. To outsiders it may not seem as logical.
This is true, and it is also true that they had the summer to think about it and change their minds. I lean toward the already-stated idea that these particular people have become unhappy in general and that this (pseudo-)issue is a convenient peg on which to hang their general unhappiness with the way things are going.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1645589 - 03/22/11 12:52 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Update about angry mom.
Angry mom will angry all the time.
Finally she gave me a two weeks notice to terminate lesson because she can no longer drive to my studio and she wants a teacher who can go to her house. My policy said one month notice and I decide not to argue with her this time and just let go because I have enough of her.
The rest of the post is just rant, you no need to read if you do not want to.

Example one:
1. She always choose the time that she want and regreted later. For recital, I have two times, which is 2pm and 4pm on the same day. All parents are required to sign up their desire time two months before the recital. I need to make both 2pm and 4pm balance and watching out for the head count because this time my recital hall can only sit for 60 people. She is bringing 8 guests and sign up very early for 4pm and suddenly one week before, she say she needs 2pm. I go through pain to ask other students to move to 4pm for her because I know she will be very angry if I cannot do this for her.

2. Every other month I have "Piano Party" which I gather students of same level and have them play for each other. I have her daughter in a particular time that group with other students of her same level. She always have reasons that she cannot make it to the time that I have for her and wanted to choose her own time. I have 35 students, no one ask to change piano party time except her.

3. If you are familiar with MTAC CM test, you know that students were told the dates of the test 6 months before the test. Only about 2 weeks before the test, teacher will be informed with the details such as time and location. I told her the dates of the test 6 months before and tell her just keep the whole day open because we do not know the time until two weeks before the test. Now she is not happy with the time and she is not happy with the fact that this is how MTAC CM test work. She said that the system is broken! I am speechless. I told her that well, she can choose to go to her family gathering or the test, is up to her but the registration fee is not refundable whatsoever. In the phone call, she said that she will not go to the test because MTAC is ridiculus. Later, she text me and say: "Sophia will be going to the test. I had to cancel my plans which I am not happy about it. I know it is not your fault"

OK well, thank you for listening, I have happy that she will have two more lesson then switch teacher.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1645609 - 03/22/11 01:51 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Pedagogia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano

Angry mom will angry all the time.


I think this about sums it up.
It's all that needs to be said, though I did enjoy reading your rant. laugh

Good luck.

BBBB

Top
#1645613 - 03/22/11 02:26 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Now she is not happy with the time and she is not happy with the fact that this is how MTAC CM test work. She said that the system is broken! I am speechless.

Don't assume that parents know the countless hours you VOLUNTEER outside your piano-teaching time in order for their kids to take CM.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1645754 - 03/22/11 10:13 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10348
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Smallpiano,

That really wasn't a rant. It was far too restrained and logical to be a rant. smile
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

Top
#1645758 - 03/22/11 10:20 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Update about angry mom.
...Finally she gave me a two weeks notice to terminate lesson...


Free at last!
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

Top
#1647050 - 03/24/11 08:27 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Not everybody is numerate enough to do the math that installment billing entails. Sad but true. In the UK, this kind of billing is unusual for any kind of service, let alone music lessons. Even if people actually read your contract, you can't be sure they have the math skills to intepret it smirk

Top
#1647056 - 03/24/11 08:40 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: kevinb]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11406
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Not everybody is numerate enough to do the math that installment billing entails. Sad but true. In the UK, this kind of billing is unusual for any kind of service, let alone music lessons. Even if people actually read your contract, you can't be sure they have the math skills to intepret it smirk


This is very true. I found myself explaining it several times to some people. They never asked of course, when they got 5 lessons and it seemed as though they were only paying for 4, but when they got only 3 in the month and their rate didn't go down, then questions sprang up. eek
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1647234 - 03/24/11 02:20 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Morodiene]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
Based upon what I have seen in this thread, the angry mom will be angry regardless of what you do or accomodations that you try to make. Sadly, you are probably better off without her.

One accomodation that you could make, if you wanted, is to allow one or more students to pay by the lesson. Calculate the average cost per lesson (annual fees divided by 48), then charge 10 or 15% more for each individual lesson. For example, if you charged $960 per year for 48 lessons, (average of $20 per lesson), charge $25 for each lesson, payable in advance in cash. Each week, collect the payment for the following week. Recitals, parties, etc., would also be billed by the event. Pretty soon students and parents would be asking for a simplified system, which is what you already have.

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

Top
#1647309 - 03/24/11 04:48 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Hop]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: Hop
Recitals, parties, etc., would also be billed by the event. Pretty soon students and parents would be asking for a simplified system, which is what you already have.


Maybe. And then again, maybe not. If people _perceive_ a billing system as inequitable -- even if it really isn't -- they won't necessarily be persuaded otherwise by convenience.

Oddly, it's not the amount of money apparently lost that's the problem in my experience -- it's people's unwillingness to think somebody has got the better of them, even for pennies.

I think the only solution is patient, thorough, and possibly repeated explanations. You could even point out that you'll be able to keep your prices down for longer because you'll spend less time banking. But, as I said before, if people lack the math skills to understand that the fluctuating mumber of lessons in a month doesn't lead to inequity, it's always going to be a struggle.

Top
#1647691 - 03/25/11 09:15 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: kevinb]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
[quote=kevinbMaybe. And then again, maybe not. If people _perceive_ a billing system as inequitable -- even if it really isn't -- they won't necessarily be persuaded otherwise by convenience.

Oddly, it's not the amount of money apparently lost that's the problem in my experience -- it's people's unwillingness to think somebody has got the better of them, even for pennies...if people lack the math skills to understand that the fluctuating mumber of lessons in a month doesn't lead to inequity, it's always going to be a struggle.
[/quote]

Good point. How about this: pick a period of time (a quarter of a year, a semester, a year, etc.. Count the number of lessons, divide it into the amount you charge for that period of time, and establish a rate for each lesson. Let's say its $25 per lesson, based on 48 lessons per year. Then explain to your students that while you normally bill by the year, you will accept monthly (or quarterly, or semester) payments instead without any penalties or interest.

Of course, there are going to be some people who are unhappy no matter what you do, so you might as well accept that as a fact of life.

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

Top
#1647830 - 03/25/11 01:48 PM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Hop]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Hop
Of course, there are going to be some people who are unhappy no matter what you do, so you might as well accept that as a fact of life.

However, as a private piano teacher, you do have the option of not working with these unhappy people.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1648138 - 03/26/11 12:53 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1472
Why you most teachers just make thing complicated, like a mechanic trying to hide fee. Just make a calendar showing the teaching schedule, and charge them based on the number of lesson. Nothing is hidden. For any reason piano teachers love to play this kind of game. Thanks God that my piano teacher is straight forward. No signing of policy etc.

The process is:
I come, I take lesson, and I pay....that is it.

Top
#1648155 - 03/26/11 02:07 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5209
Loc: Europe
Ronald:

First of all signing a policy means that the teacher gets protected. It's a freelancer's job and this kind of thing is needed.

Then it's the simple matter that with your idea, the student (or parent) will think that they are paying only the lessons they receive which shouldn't be the case. If a slot is booked in my weekly calendar this means that I won't be booking another student there. If the student decides not to show up, I still need to get paid, becuase I could have another student who is coming normally.

Then it's the hussle of having different fees every month. This is getting tedious for quite a few parents here: A month it's 150$, then it's 210$, then it's 180$ and I don't know what. A home needs to organise, as well as the teacher.

After all since exams are yearly, we tend to charge yearly: A flat fee for the year. However they want to pay it is fine, but in the end it's a yearly fee we are charging, rather than a lesson fee.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#1648158 - 03/26/11 02:18 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: RonaldSteinway]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Why you most teachers just make thing complicated, like a mechanic trying to hide fee.


I know what you mean about those mechanics! There's a reason why I stopped taking my car back to the dealership to fix anything. You bring the car in for one problem, and they find seven others.

But, come on, piano teachers are not trying to rip anyone off here. Give us some credit, please.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1648178 - 03/26/11 04:31 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: Smallpiano]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
To solve the issue of the 'math-illiterate,' I actually write out a calendar page.

It shows the dates of the year, what lessons are held on which days, etc etc etc. Then it explains how many lessons there are and which months they receive only 3 or the ones where they receive 5.

So far, two people have complained. I simply took out the calendar again, showed them what they agreed to and how I figured it out (which I explain to before they sign anyway, but hey, what are you gonna do), and then that problem is solved.

@Hop: your system defeats the whole purpose.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

Top
#1648217 - 03/26/11 08:31 AM Re: Angry Mom [Re: RonaldSteinway]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

The process is:
I come, I take lesson, and I pay....that is it.


For the kind of reasons I've alluded to, this remains very much the normal practice in the UK. Not just for music tuition, but for all kinds of private tuition. Where we pay for more than one session, it's nearly always school terms or half terms, and we work out the number of weeks in the term or half-term and multiple by the hourly rate. Any other expenses (books, exams, etc) are billed separately.

The one exception I can think of is my son's karate teacher, who has announced that he will be charging a monthly flat rate based on so-many teaching hours per year. So far everybody seems happy enough, but I predict that it won't be long before somebody realizes that there's only two teaching weeks in December and then there will be a fuss. I think I'm the only customer who's taken a calculator and worked out what the hourly rate comes to.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
U.S. Treasury Auctioning Steinway Art Case Concert Grand
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
97 registered (angga888, Art_Vandelay, AndrewJCW, Atrys, 27 invisible), 1339 Guests and 16 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75487 Members
42 Forums
156079 Topics
2291998 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
4/4 measure in 3/4 time?
by caters
Today at 01:10 AM
Mac mini for software pianos?
by Mta88
Today at 01:10 AM
Installed an LX system on my Baldwin C
by SpectrumMan
Today at 12:04 AM
Join the false-beat revolution: get your wires straight!!!
by A443
Yesterday at 11:15 PM
What brand of solid string to use?
by Grandpianoman
Yesterday at 10:38 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission