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) 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 3 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#950069 - 08/12/08 06:17 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
This coming September, I'm requesting some of my advanced piano students to take 75-minute lessons.
AZN, your students should grab the opportunity with both hands. \:\) May I change the verb and say you are ** offering ** it to them (opportunity!)

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#950070 - 08/12/08 06:31 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Keystring,

With any of my students over age 12 or in 7th grade, I start to let them take the lead of what they want to present to me first from their list of new music, memorization, keeping learned music playable, technique, they are working on. They can choose it for whatever reason, and I ask them to tell me the reason this one was chosen. They may choose any part of it to play for me.

I will work on the content if anything is needing attention or comment. I will stop them if there already is a large enough segment that needs attention. We work on any one problem area at a time - accurate notes, fingering, counting, expression - dynamics - whatever is noted. I have been writing while the playing is going on usually so the "problem areas" are identified by measure numbers and the "diagnosis" of what improving will entail.

Then I ask will you play something else for me? This happens. If I am concerned about a piece I'm not hearing today, I will ask the student to make that first next week.

I'll ask have you learned something you can use today? Did this go better once you realized "such and such"? What will you be working on for this coming week? And, they will write out in their note book their music pieces for the next week (plus others pending).

They know their deadlines, if there are any, and they are as collaborative as they want to be.

Most of the teen students are fairly independant and responsible on their preparations.

Once in a while I will ask the student to play everything he practiced last week for me without stopping to hear my comments in between pieces. I will comment at the end of the presentation - and will write while it is being presented. This could be 4-5-6 pieces. This uses the time better for hearing more and gives me a good over view of what is evolving.

I try to compliment and encourage at every opportunity. And I praise a lesson that has been very well prepared.

If I need to caution the student about taking on less material, or needing to go slower in development, I will adjust the work load downward until everything balances out to playable.

So there is a different thing going on then you are suggesting, keystring, isn't there?

This is what came to my mind in your last posting that I thought you might like to know about.

Betty

Top
#950071 - 08/12/08 06:48 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Thank you, Betty, for describing what happens with your advanced students.

Actually this has gone off on a tangent. Originally the question concerned the need to fit in everything into a single lesson, and the possibility of booking another one as a solution. The particular scenario that came to mind is when something has come up which could merit a whole lesson, but it would skuttle whatever was planned. What an ideal solution, to simply schedule a lesson for it.

Top
#950072 - 08/12/08 07:28 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Betty, one minute we were discussing a scenario where there is not enough time in a lesson to get everything done, and the next minute this shifted to problematic students. Is it possible to explore what was started, which does not involve conflict anywhere?

The scenario is with an intermediate to advanced student. Teacher has assigned a number of things which are ongoing. In lessons we are working in Item # 1, but while practicing all the assigned things, Item # 2 has suddenly started to germinate.

Teacher asks his usual question - how has practising been going and has anything come up. Student mentions or demonstrates the thing from Item # 2 because it has indeed come up. It belongs to assigned-for-practice things.

So at this point we can make room for item # 2, switch to item # 2 and postpone item # 1, decide to spend 15 minutes at the end of the lesson to do something with item # 2 - Or decide to schedule an extra lesson dedicated to # 2. That way the whole lesson can continue being item # 1, and there can be sufficient time for # 2.

There is no conflict anywhere in this scenario. You were intrigued by the idea of "not enough time" and I offered the only perspective that I know. These things may not come up for you.

In terms of questions: They arise from what has been taught. Possible scenarios:
a) after practicing a week - I'm not sure I understood this part, is it correct? (demonstrates) - Or - Xyz seems to be happening, is that ok?
b) teacher has instructed, demonstrated - Student works on it in lesson, asks a question about what has been done, in order to clarify
c) teacher has explained something and student is not clear on something. "Could you clarify xyz? I'm not sure I understood?" (This can be done by demonstration)

These kinds of questions are brief, to the point, and pertain directly to what is being taught.

Quite often, however, a question consists of a quick glance catching the eye, and is answered with a nod or brief hand gesture. Imho, words are an overestimated commodity. [/b]
I think we are derailing the OT here, but I have a comment on what you think would be the ideal lesson, keystring.

First of all, I don't think it possible to answer all questions or discuss all ideas, regardless of time. I also think it good to not have enough time to discuss or hear everything played. This makes the next lesson something to look forward too, imo.

It is also important for the student to figure things out by themselves, for themselves, not being so dependent on the teachers views and instruction.

When I teach, I always end the lesson with, "call me if you have any questions," this seems to work most ideally for both teacher and student.

Like Morodiene, if I see a student needing extra help/time for performance or slow learning,etc... I will schedeule an extra lesson, and most often that lesson will be free of charge.

It is a package deal... music instruction that is. It is not just the one lesson that counts, it is the many lessons and relationship you have with your teacher, as well as the self instruction and practice that you do over the years of study.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#950073 - 08/12/08 08:00 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Pianobuff, I was describing a scenario in my existing lessons, not some idealization.

I am assigned more than one thing, and there will not be time to cover everything in lessons, but I am expected to work on and develop the other things. I am not a beginner. Some of my assignments have stages. We are expected to practice a minimum of three hours daily. A lot of ground can be covered in those three hours.

I mentioned that my teacher prefaces each lesson by asking about my practicing. We might be working on a piece, but a technical assignment might have advanced. My teacher wants to know about such things, and then he wants to spend the time in bringing it to the next level. In these cases HE might choose to book an extra lesson so that we can work on that thing, without losing the thread on what we is being emphasized in the current lesson.

Are these scenarios totally unfamiliar then?

Originally I only mentioned them by way of explanation as to why I had written "One hour lesson is not enough" which Betty quoted. I didn't mean to bring on another tangent. I didn't realize that most lessons don't involve such things since for me they are the norm. I didn't meant to cause confusion.

Addendum: For where you thought I was heading, I appreciate you caring enough to correct the impression of what an ideal lesson might be like. It would be far from idea, and would lead exactly nowhere. Thank you.

Top
#950074 - 08/13/08 01:33 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5284
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
Jotur - "Well, I do think the ego problem can be on either part - I hope that's the implication here \:D "

Jotur: "But I've disagreed with the previous poster before, so take my opinion for the amount you paid for it."

Oh, Jotur, how true, you are so right! No one ribs me more effectively than you do, unless it's Monica.

In defense, may I say you are working with students in a learning subject in either high school or college, graded, graduation in sight, either every day or several days a week. Your outline is in concrete, your testings are in place, your grading system is in place. For a student to appear to be unprepared, negative, non-contributing in your class, you are going to notice. I as a private piano teacher have none of that clout - a little league coach has much more than I do to.

Private teaching is largely in the moment, and very often spontaneous in what is produced of the synergy between the pianist and the teacher.

I'm sure people with imagination can begin to see how very different we are in comparison and in organization and in methods because of our teaching arenas.

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Betty [/b]
Well, I think there's more to our differences than just teaching arenas \:\)

And if you actually think teaching in a classroom isn't in the minute - well, perhaps you haven't been there?

Yes, I notice if someone is unprepared, negative, non-contributing. Don't you? I don't think noticing that has to do with the venue.

And, tho most of my teaching has been with adults, by no means all of it was graded or geared to a degree, and by no means has *all* of my teaching been adults - I've taught everything from kindergarten to, uh, erm, folks my own age and older \:D I've tutored one on one in a variety of subjects and sports. And I'll have to say, I still prefer the ones who ask questions, and the ones who do so just to delay and get in their own way are *really* in the minority. So, fortunately for me I guess, your mileage and mine, as well as I suspect, your viewpoint and mine, vary \:\)

You have a good summer, too -

Cathy

Edited to add the tutoring part, which I forgot to put in the first time!
_________________________

Top
#950075 - 08/13/08 02:22 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
Do you have these extra things in a print out or advertising brochure of what your teaching program contains? Is it on your studio calendar so that the clientelle begin to expect it as a regular thing. Do you charge extra lesson fees for these student activities? How do you go about letting certain students know that you want them to have this class. Can I ask?
[/b]
Hi, Betty:

I tried advertising with brochures before, but it didn't get me the serious students I was looking for. I charge separately for theory classes.

My studio calendar is busy. Starting October, there's at least one event per month.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#950076 - 08/13/08 02:34 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by jotur:
I still prefer the ones who ask questions, and the ones who do so just to delay and get in their own way are *really* in the minority. [/b]
Well I prefer the question-askers too, I have to say. I've taught school as well, and found more of the nuisance questions there, because the kid is sometimes playing to the gallery \:\) . With one-to-one teaching there's no audience to impress. Offhand I can't think of any instance of questioning in the piano teaching situation which has been a nuisance. Often it's a breakthrough in finding out whether or not you've been understood. Just because you've explained something in a way which you think is clear that's no guarantee it's been understood. If you really investigate some of these "annoying" questions you might discover some fundamental misunderstanding. Better to discover it, I say. It's worth the time.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#950077 - 08/13/08 10:25 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
what a wonderful thing that would be (I'm speaking as a student here) to have two or three lessons per week! [/b]
We actually asked our piano professor for that when we were in college. She said no, because she was raising a problematic child and had to miss many lessons as it was already.

One 1-hour lesson per week is grossly inadequate at the college level. This coming September, I'm requesting some of my advanced piano students to take 75-minute lessons. [/b]
Wouldn't two sessions of 45 minute each be more effective? I suppose it depends on the attention span of the student, but I just think that separating the time would actually allow things to sink in better.
_________________________
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
#950078 - 08/13/08 10:29 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
QUOTE]Wouldn't two sessions of 45 minute each be more effective? I suppose it depends on the attention span of the student, but I just think that separating the time would actually allow things to sink in better. [/QUOTE]
That would not work for me. The one hour is too short. 45 minutes would definitely be too short.

Top
#950079 - 08/13/08 12:39 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Wouldn't two sessions of 45 minute each be more effective? I suppose it depends on the attention span of the student, but I just think that separating the time would actually allow things to sink in better. [/b]
I guess it depends on the student. I originally suggested two 1-hour lessons per week for one of my advanced kids, but he prefers to get it done in one day. We just had our lesson yesterday, and by the end of the two hours, we still couldn't finish the last piece. For his level, the test requires four substantial pieces from different time periods, roughly 20 minutes in total length. I can't imagine what we'd have to do next year, when the test's requirement goes up to 5 pieces and 25 minutes total length.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#950080 - 08/13/08 08:02 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
Codetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 132
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
I don't post much but I do read this forum every day and respect all the expertise and experience here.

First, I have enjoyed reading these posts and have gained much insight from everyone's ideas. Because of a situation that arose this summer I have had to redefine my policy on make-up lessons and this topic couldn't have been more timely. A HUGE thank you to all who posted. And a BIG thank you for guiding me to the article about an economist's view of music lessons. The information is invaluable!

Second, AZN, I relate to your conflict about preparing the advanced students for the CM exams. There is SO much to cover that a 1 hour lesson is hardly sufficient. I had a student at the advanced level last year (yep - had to prepare 5 pieces plus all the required theory) and we had a 2 hr lesson every other week. Now, this girl was highly motivated so I didn't worry about her not practicing - and since she travelled quite a distance for the lessons (over 40 mi one way) 2 lessons per month worked out fine for her. Unless a student is disciplined and committed, I wouldn't recommend that type of schedule. She passed everything with flying colors and received the coveted senior medallion. Hurray!

Having to teach the advanced theory certainly made me hit the books again!
_________________________
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina

Top
#950081 - 08/14/08 02:14 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Pianobuff, I was describing a scenario in my existing lessons, not some idealization.

I am assigned more than one thing, and there will not be time to cover everything in lessons, but I am expected to work on and develop the other things. I am not a beginner. Some of my assignments have stages. We are expected to practice a minimum of three hours daily. A lot of ground can be covered in those three hours.

I mentioned that my teacher prefaces each lesson by asking about my practicing. We might be working on a piece, but a technical assignment might have advanced. My teacher wants to know about such things, and then he wants to spend the time in bringing it to the next level. In these cases HE might choose to book an extra lesson so that we can work on that thing, without losing the thread on what we is being emphasized in the current lesson.

Are these scenarios totally unfamiliar then?

Originally I only mentioned them by way of explanation as to why I had written "One hour lesson is not enough" which Betty quoted. I didn't mean to bring on another tangent. I didn't realize that most lessons don't involve such things since for me they are the norm. I didn't meant to cause confusion.

Addendum: For where you thought I was heading, I appreciate you caring enough to correct the impression of what an ideal lesson might be like. It would be far from idea, and would lead exactly nowhere. Thank you. [/b]
The "ideal lesson" that I mentioned in my post was a generalization for you (that I gathered from your posts) and for other parents and students too that think that everything that is being worked on or being developed should be covered in one lesson, every week. Or more than one lesson in a weeks time.

I do not think this is necessary, unless you're preparing for a performance or evaluation, etc...

Much good can happen by not covering everything in one weeks lesson as I stated in my previous post.

I apologize if you took it wrong. I was not thinking of anything else, as far as an ideal lesson, but this.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#950082 - 08/14/08 05:12 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Thank you Pianobuff, for explaining what was on your mind. We're still not picturing the same scenario, though. If we were to cover *everything* being worked on, that lesson would probably be 6 - 8 hours long.

This is where you have perhaps two or three major things, each of them needing at least half an hour to really work on them in a lesson.
 Quote:
... by not covering everything in one week's lesson
This is where the misunderstanding arises - there is no "everything" in my mind.

I suspect that the fundamental nature of my lessons may be different, and I don't know whether the fact that it's a different instrument has a bearing.

Top
#950083 - 08/14/08 09:13 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Pianobuff makes a very good point...that not everything should be covered in a lesson because there are things that the student must work out on their own. I just told this to one of my adult students last night. He hadn't been practicing regularly (despite my attempts to encourage him to do more), and would come to his lessons feeling totally helpless because he didn't understand what he was supposed to play. This past week, he finally practiced more and his playing showed it. I explained to him that when you practice more, you are forced to find a solution to the problem, and those solutions are things that are better learned on your own rather than taught.

I had a student once who was the daughter of a pianist, and her progress was quite good, but I had some doubts about what she was learning because despite the fact that she would come to lessons with her music well learned, However, she didn't seem to understand the underlying theory very well, and whenever I had her sight read it really showed. After speaking with the mother, I discovered that the student would go to her whenever she ran into a little "snag" and her mother would show her what to do. I explained to the mom that this was actually not helping her to become an independent pianist because the process of figuring out the problems is so valuable. It was a bit of a tough transition for this student once her mom started saying, "Well, try to figure it out yourself, or wait until next week and ask you teacher." She didn't want to wait, of course, and so she figured it out herself.

My goal as a teacher is that every student I have can learn music on their own without anyone having to teach it to them. If they no longer need me, then I've done a good job.
_________________________
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
#950084 - 08/14/08 07:08 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
I had a student once who was the daughter of a pianist, and her progress was quite good, but I had some doubts about what she was learning because despite the fact that she would come to lessons with her music well learned, However, she didn't seem to understand the underlying theory very well, and whenever I had her sight read it really showed. After speaking with the mother, I discovered that the student would go to her whenever she ran into a little "snag" and her mother would show her what to do. [/b]
I wish I'd have that "problem" to deal with! \:\)

For some of my younger students, their parents know nothing about music, so I have to teach both the mother and the student so that the mother can reinforce what I taught at home. This is especially true for theory. I wish they would teach some basic music theory at school, because so much repetition is needed to drill the info into the kids' brains.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#950085 - 08/15/08 09:29 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
The music in the schools in this area is pretty good about that. The kids at least know their tas and titis and can sometimes read treble clef notes. Most of them can sing somewhat in tune as well. However, I'm sure piano lessons help them in their music class a lot more than the other way around.
_________________________
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
#950086 - 08/22/08 08:04 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
 Quote:
I am seriously contemplating a "lesson swap only" policy, by which a student--if needing to switch lesson time--has the sole responsibility to find another student with whom to swap lesson times. And I'd have to place a cap on the number of times swaps can occur within a year. That would alleviate a lot of my scheduling nightmares.
I'm well aware that many teachers have some kind of no refunds type policy for missed lessons. I can empathize with the added work, potential for reduced revenue, paying to 'reserve' a time slot (that could have otherwise gone to another student), scheduling difficulties and other related problems. No refunds serves as incentive for the students not to abuse the relationship, I understand that completely.

To those of you who have such policies, I would encourage you to also look at if these policies effectively work for you. Does it fix one problem, but perhaps create another? I can't help but wonder if some of you might be losing students because the policies (which serve you well), don't serve the student so well.

The reason I bring this up is because during the past two months, I've missed a lot of lessons due to work obligations. In July, I paid for five weekly lessons ($250). I showed up for one. I suppose the teacher could have had a no refund policy, in which case I would have paid the teacher $200 and received nothing in return. Had that happened, I would have seriously considered looking for another teacher, one who would accept fees for services actually rendered. All other things being equal, as a customer, which of the two would seem more attractive; a teacher who offers refunds (or makeup lessons) or one that doesn't. Maybe I'm lucky to have found one that was flexible, and what I experienced was uncommon.

The point I'm trying to make is that its good business to see what your competition is doing, especially if you are scratching your head wondering why you are losing (or not recruiting) more students than you think you should be.

Hope this post isn't offensive and, I'll reiterate, I understand completely why certain teachers have a no refund policy. However, I thought it might be helpful to offer the 'other side of the coin' perspective to help better run your business. Just some food for thought. \:\)

Top
#950087 - 08/23/08 08:54 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
 Quote:
I am seriously contemplating a "lesson swap only" policy, by which a student--if needing to switch lesson time--has the sole responsibility to find another student with whom to swap lesson times. And I'd have to place a cap on the number of times swaps can occur within a year. That would alleviate a lot of my scheduling nightmares.
I'm well aware that many teachers have some kind of no refunds type policy for missed lessons. I can empathize with the added work, potential for reduced revenue, paying to 'reserve' a time slot (that could have otherwise gone to another student), scheduling difficulties and other related problems. No refunds serves as incentive for the students not to abuse the relationship, I understand that completely.

To those of you who have such policies, I would encourage you to also look at if these policies effectively work for you. Does it fix one problem, but perhaps create another? I can't help but wonder if some of you might be losing students because the policies (which serve you well), don't serve the student so well.

The reason I bring this up is because during the past two months, I've missed a lot of lessons due to work obligations. In July, I paid for five weekly lessons ($250). I showed up for one. I suppose the teacher could have had a no refund policy, in which case I would have paid the teacher $200 and received nothing in return. Had that happened, I would have seriously considered looking for another teacher, one who would accept fees for services actually rendered. All other things being equal, as a customer, which of the two would seem more attractive; a teacher who offers refunds (or makeup lessons) or one that doesn't. Maybe I'm lucky to have found one that was flexible, and what I experienced was uncommon.

The point I'm trying to make is that its good business to see what your competition is doing, especially if you are scratching your head wondering why you are losing (or not recruiting) more students than you think you should be.

Hope this post isn't offensive and, I'll reiterate, I understand completely why certain teachers have a no refund policy. However, I thought it might be helpful to offer the 'other side of the coin' perspective to help better run your business. Just some food for thought. \:\) [/b]
Akira,

If you were my student and told me in advance of this situation, I definately would have worked something out.

A no make-up policy does not mean there are no exceptions, more just a blanket rule to guard against being taken advantage of and/or running a non-effective studio.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#950088 - 08/24/08 09:26 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Akira, just to expand a bit one what you've posted.

In my mind, there's a big difference between working with adults who have life commitments which cannot be ignored, and school children, whose life commitment should be their education, first and foremost, and this should be supported by the parents.

Most of us are now beginning the school year. We expect that our students (ages 1 - 19) are making a commitment to follow a curriculum and learn and participate throughout the school year. They are not coming to us for a lesson here and a lesson there, but to learn a course of instruction which leads to some level of proficiency.

Adults, on the other hand, generally have had some lessons and are looking for learning in specific areas. Of course, they could be wishing a similar course which their younger counterparts are following. I offer them a choice - payment by the lesson or a tuition plan.

There is a lot of talking past each other in this forum, some of which I wonder if it's not intentional. However, I digress. Students on a learning track of 36 lessons through the year are paying tuition, and it's formulated very much like any other educational institution. Students whose needs are for a la cart lessons can also study with me, but their lessons must not interfere with the main body of students. They fill in holes in the schedule, and if their preferred time is not available on a given week, no lesson is possible. They only pay for lessons received and of course, they must pay at the time of the lesson.

Certainly, I like most of the other teachers here, do my best to give them a rich and fulfilling lesson, but because of it's sporadic nature, it simply falls short of what a regular student receives. In effect, it's more of a master class, where I focus on one or two specific problems.

On the subject of missed lessons, think back to your days of studying educational psychology. Retention of learned skills doesn't decline arithmetically, but declines following a parabolic curve. Students who miss a week set themselves back more than a week, often two or three weeks. It's incredibly important that students make lessons every week, and practice daily. Jotur thinks of it as teachers maximizing income; I think of it as teachers helping students maximize learning. In other words, teachers with lax attendance policies are doing their students an incredible disservice.
_________________________
"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
#950089 - 08/24/08 09:39 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5284
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Jotur thinks of it as teachers maximizing income; I think of it as teachers helping students maximize learning. [/b]
Well, not in this thread, I don't think \:D I think you have me mixed up with someone else, John. In this thread, anyway, what I commented on was students asking questions.

Wait! Is there another jotur?!? \:D

Cathy
_________________________

Top
#950090 - 08/24/08 09:39 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Students who miss a week set themselves back more than a week, often two or three weeks.
But this is precisely the concern that I have tried to express several times. It is not about "rights of property" because if I have missed a lesson you owe me for services not rendered. If these are full, regular lessons and I am forced to miss a lesson for unavoidable reasons, the idea that I cannot make up that lesson is a disturbing thought. I practice 4 hours a day when everything is going as it should, so that means after practicing 28 hours, I have to go another 28 hours before having another lesson. What if I have started to go off track? By the time two weeks have passed I'm really off track, and it may take 2 -3 weeks to undo the damage. If I must, and if I can afford it, I'll pay for a makeup lesson, but it seems important to have that makeup lesson.

What I have been reading is that it is too bad - if you miss a lesson then under no circumstance will it be made up. And if it's urgent for the sake of what is being learned? I doubt that is what is meant, but that is what is coming across.

I have also written repeatedly that the discussion has remained on economics and marketplace realities: services rendered, services paid for, rights and privileges - and that the purpose of lessons is not being seen anywhere in the discussion. It is good to see it being addressed in your post, John.

I am not interested in the question of make-up lessons as a paid-for right. I am interested in them in terms of the function of regular lessons and how they affect learning. Instrument playing is a physical and aesthetic skill - it is not just head knowledge for which one can cram.

Top
#950091 - 08/24/08 10:03 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3344
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
[QUOTE]

The reason I bring this up is because during the past two months, I've missed a lot of lessons due to work obligations. In July, I paid for five weekly lessons ($250). I showed up for one. I suppose the teacher could have had a no refund policy, in which case I would have paid the teacher $200 and received nothing in return. Had that happened, I would have seriously considered looking for another

[/b]
Oh please, this is the very reason why I avoid adult students like the plague!

I won't treat adults any different regarding make-up lessons than my students under 18!

Adult students won't get any special treatment! No matter how they try to paint their so called busy lives, I have a busy life too!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


Top
#950092 - 08/24/08 10:30 PM Re: Make-up Lessons
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
I'm well aware that many teachers have some kind of no refunds type policy for missed lessons. I can empathize with the added work, potential for reduced revenue, paying to 'reserve' a time slot (that could have otherwise gone to another student), scheduling difficulties and other related problems. No refunds serves as incentive for the students not to abuse the relationship, I understand that completely.

To those of you who have such policies, I would encourage you to also look at if these policies effectively work for you. Does it fix one problem, but perhaps create another? I can't help but wonder if some of you might be losing students because the policies (which serve you well), don't serve the student so well.

The reason I bring this up is because during the past two months, I've missed a lot of lessons due to work obligations. In July, I paid for five weekly lessons ($250). I showed up for one. I suppose the teacher could have had a no refund policy, in which case I would have paid the teacher $200 and received nothing in return. Had that happened, I would have seriously considered looking for another teacher, one who would accept fees for services actually rendered. All other things being equal, as a customer, which of the two would seem more attractive; a teacher who offers refunds (or makeup lessons) or one that doesn't. Maybe I'm lucky to have found one that was flexible, and what I experienced was uncommon.

The point I'm trying to make is that its good business to see what your competition is doing, especially if you are scratching your head wondering why you are losing (or not recruiting) more students than you think you should be.

Hope this post isn't offensive and, I'll reiterate, I understand completely why certain teachers have a no refund policy. However, I thought it might be helpful to offer the 'other side of the coin' perspective to help better run your business. Just some food for thought. \:\) [/b]
Of course, my policy explicitly states that any exceptions are up to my discretion. This means that in certain circumstances (usually with adults) I can be flexible. However, I got caught on the bad end of that when a student got in the habit of not coming rather than coming, then I wondered why I was reserving her time slot. I generally take things on a case-by-case basis, and decide form there. When things get out of line, then I have my written policy to fall back on.
_________________________
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
#950093 - 08/25/08 12:52 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
 Quote:
Students who miss a week set themselves back more than a week, often two or three weeks.
But this is precisely the concern that I have tried to express several times. It is not about "rights of property" because if I have missed a lesson you owe me for services not rendered. If these are full, regular lessons and I am forced to miss a lesson for unavoidable reasons, the idea that I cannot make up that lesson is a disturbing thought. I practice 4 hours a day when everything is going as it should, so that means after practicing 28 hours, I have to go another 28 hours before having another lesson. What if I have started to go off track? By the time two weeks have passed I'm really off track, and it may take 2 -3 weeks to undo the damage. If I must, and if I can afford it, I'll pay for a makeup lesson, but it seems important to have that makeup lesson.

What I have been reading is that it is too bad - if you miss a lesson then under no circumstance will it be made up. And if it's urgent for the sake of what is being learned? I doubt that is what is meant, but that is what is coming across.

I have also written repeatedly that the discussion has remained on economics and marketplace realities: services rendered, services paid for, rights and privileges - and that the purpose of lessons is not being seen anywhere in the discussion. It is good to see it being addressed in your post, John.

I am not interested in the question of make-up lessons as a paid-for right. I am interested in them in terms of the function of regular lessons and how they affect learning. Instrument playing is a physical and aesthetic skill - it is not just head knowledge for which one can cram. [/b]
Keystring, Sorry, but I am confused as to what you are saying.

Are you saying that if a teacher has to cancel a lesson... or are you saying if you have to cancel a lesson?

Either way, life happens. And in my studio I very rarely have canceled a lesson. I would think you and others could find a teacher where it is rare for the teacher to cancel.

As far as the student canceling, that is out of the teacher's control. So because of this, you would have to go with the studio policies that your teacher set forth regarding make-ups.

I guess I really do not understand what it is you are saying. Are you saying that if you miss a lesson, you think that the teacher should make it up because a student should not go two weeks without a lesson and that it is the teachers responsibility for this not to happen?
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#950094 - 08/25/08 12:57 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Pianobuff, my thoughts are the same as what John has just written - that a missed lesson can set a student back. My thought is that there are certain times in particular when it is crucial not to wait. I mean a lesson that the student has missed becuase of an emergency or similar that cannot be helped.

If I have missed a lesson I would hope that it would be possible to book a replacement in the event that it is crucial for whatever reason. Paying for such an extra lesson would be fine - just so long as it is not something that is always out of the question in all circumstances because of strict policy.

If it is not crucial, then it is not a concern. For example, if I have been ill I also will not have been able to practice so there is not much of a reason for having a lesson at that point.

KS

Top
#950095 - 08/25/08 01:04 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Keystring,

I think I am now understanding what you are saying.

But there is no way around sometimes missing a weekly lesson. It is life. You need to get by the best you can. If it is you not being able to make the lesson or the teacher having to cancel, either way it isn't that drastic. Just as long as it happens very infrequently.

I feel by having a no-make up policy makes the student less lilkely to miss the lesson.

Wouldn't you think?
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#950096 - 08/25/08 01:08 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Keystring,

We must have posted at the same time.

If I had a student as serious as you that would be willing to pay me for the lesson missed that week because of an emergency, then I would do all I could to make-up that lesson, and I would try my best to not charge them for it as well.

Like a lot of us teachers have said. There are exceptions.

Although, I remember having one adult student who always canceled and wanted a make-up... it was *so" important to her. But I must say it was annoying to me. And disruptive to the studio as a whole.

But a one time emergency would more than likely be a different story.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#950097 - 08/25/08 01:29 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Ok, we're on the same wavelength now.

For the other:
 Quote:
I feel by having a no-make up policy makes the student less likely to miss the lesson.

Wouldn't you think?
I suppose for certain types of individuals this might be a factor. If your lessons are taken for granted, if the individual is not aware of the impact this has on your life, and/or the person has little empathy - yes.

Btw, your mailbox is full. ;\)

KS

Top
#950098 - 08/25/08 01:45 AM Re: Make-up Lessons
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I suppose for certain types of individuals this might be a factor. If your lessons are taken for granted, if the individual is not aware of the impact this has on your life, and/or the person has little empathy - yes. [/b]
Well, there is also the option of dropping these students from the studio. Of course, I can't do that until I fill the studio first.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
Page 3 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
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.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
135 registered (Almaviva, accordeur, angga888, Alux, 43 invisible), 1485 Guests and 45 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74264 Members
42 Forums
153619 Topics
2251492 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Noodling board
by Maarkr
43 minutes 32 seconds ago
New Movement Composed "To Rule" 4/20/2014
by hsheck
45 minutes 52 seconds ago
Understanding Sharps
by imustlearn
Today at 08:18 PM
When a beginner is not a beginner anymore?
by Eight Octaves
Today at 08:09 PM
DEBUSSY-"Serenade for the Doll" from 'Children's Corner'
by Hal Freedman
Today at 07:14 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