Our teachers MUST be paid whether you show up to your lesson or not. If we did not pay them, they would not work for us.
When it comes to doing a make up lesson, our tuition prices are SO low that we can not afford to pay our highly paid teachers twice for your lesson that you only paid for once.
Therefore we follow extremely fair guidelines at Addison Music Learning Centre in order to get as many make up lessons done as we possibly can, without 1) forcing our valued teachers to work for free or not get paid when you don't show up, or, 2) Going out of business.
Students who have been with us for a long time know and trust that we work hard to try to get make ups done. But it is important to understand that even though we try very hard, we do not guarantee make ups.
We need at least 24 hour notice for you to qualify for a make up lesson. This is because this gives us a chance to schedule another student for a make up lesson in the lesson spot that you have cancelled.
This works so well because our teacher is still getting paid for the lesson that you cancelled, yet she or he is teaching a make up lesson (that has already been paid for previously) in your cancellation spot. Using this reasoning, the teacher doesn't work for free or have to stay late or come in early on their own time in order to do the make up lesson for their students. It is fair and keeps our teachers happy and promotes loyalty to the school and to their students.
When you tell your teacher you are cancelling, that information may not make it to us. Please tell us, not your teacher. If you tell your teacher and the info doesn't make it to us, we can not give you a possible make up lesson. You can even email us by clicking this link. This link is also on our contact page.
Due to the high volume of students who cancel, we can only attempt to find make up time for 2 missed lessons, per student, per term. We do not guarantee make-ups but generously attempt to get them done by placing your make-up into another person's cancellation slot. If we continually phone you and offer make up lessons and you refuse them at least 3 times, we will stop calling and this make-up will not be attempted.
Once you have registered for a term or a trial there are no refunds. There are no credits for missed lessons nor can any missed lessons be "tacked on to the end of a term" nor can they be carried over to the next term.
From time to time your teacher may have to cancel due to extreme circumstances, or, because they are performing musicians, they may need to leave town to perform a gig. It is one of our mandates that our teachers be allowed to forgo their teaching for performance opportunities because this is what being a musician is all about for them. This is what makes our teachers so amazing, is that they are performing musicians and this is only a benefit for our students. If this happens we first try to find a competent substitute teacher and if no one is available we will reschedule your lessons to another day and time.
Addison Music Learning Centre reserves the right to utilise videos and pictures of students engaging in our student spotlights, recitals, student goals program, teacher Wall of Fame, and/or any other testimonials and/or student incentive programs. At no time whatsoever will we use last names of students or reveal personal information that they have not given to us in the course of an interview or a testimonial. (If we are given permission to use last names in a testimonial however, we would appreciate that to add authenticity) All videos and pictures utilised will be highly complimentary and tasteful.
You will be charged $25 for any NSF cheques. If we continue to try to collect tuition feels 2 to 3 weeks after a term has begun we will have to start charging a late fee of 10% per week.
Please avoid bringing the student to a lesson if they are ill. Our teachers are performing musicians who rely on their health and their bodies for their livelihood.
I'm a parent of children enrolled in music lessons. I'd like to explain to other parents why I feel- quite strongly, actually - that it is unreasonable of we parents to expect our teachers to make up lessons we miss, even if I know as well as they do just how expensive lessons are, and, equally importantly, how important that weekly contact is with the teacher to keeping practicing ticking along smoothly.
I think that it is natural for we parents to share the point of view that students should have their missed lessons rescheduled, but if we were to 'walk a mile' in our teachers' shoes, we might change our minds about what it is reasonable for us to expect of our teachers.
Like many parents, I pay in advance for lessons each term. In my mind, what this means is that I have reserved a regular spot in the busy schedules of my sons' teachers. I understand - fully - that if I can't make it to the lesson one week (perhaps my son is sick, or we are away on holiday, or there is some other major event at school) then we will pay for the lesson, but that my teacher is under no obligation to find another spot for me that week, or to refund me for the untaught lesson. And this is the way it should be.
In my 'other life' I am an economist and teach at our local university. Students pay good money to attend classes at the university; but if they don't come to my lecture on a Monday morning, then I am not going to turn around and deliver them a private tutorial on Tuesday afternoon.
When I go to the store and buy groceries, I may purchase something that doesn't get used. Days or months later, I end up throwing it out. I don't get a refund from the grocery store for the unused merchandise.
If I sign my child up for swimming lessons at the local pool, and she refuses to return after the first lesson, I can't get my money back. So there are lots of situations in our everyday lives where we regularly pay in advance for goods or some service, and if we end up not using what we have purchased, we have to just 'swallow our losses'.
On the other hand, if I purchase an item of clothing, and get home and change my mind, I can take it back and expect either a refund or a store credit. So why do I believe that music lessons fall into the first category of 'non-returnable merchandise', rather than into the second case of 'exchange privileges unlimited' (which I think is one of the advertising slogans of an established women's clothing store!)?
Speaking now as an economist, I would claim that the reason is that items like clothing are "durable goods' - meaning, they can be returned and then resold at the original price - whereas music lessons are non-durable goods - meaning, once my Monday slot at 3:30 is gone, my son's teacher can't turn around and sell it again.
The only way she would be able to give him a lesson later in the week would be if she were to give up time that she had scheduled for her own private life; and that seems pretty unreasonable - I can't think of many employees who would be thrilled if their bosses were to announce that they couldn't work from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon, but would they please stay until 6:30 on Thursday, because there will be work for them then!
Many teachers hesitate to refuse our request to shift lesson times (because our busy schedules do change), because unless they keep us parents happy, we will decide to take our child somewhere else for lessons (or to drop musical study), and they will lose part of their income. This is particularly true in areas with lower average income, where it can be particularly difficult to find students. So rather than telling us that 'well, actually, the only time when I'm not teaching and that you can bring your son for lesson is during the time I set aside each week to go for a long soul-cleansing walk, and I can't do that on Monday at 3:30 when you should have turned up', they agree to teach us at a time that really doesn't suit their schedule.
Teachers who are 'nice' in this way often, in the long run, end up exhausted, and feeling exploited; they try to draw a line in the sand. However, too few parents ask to switch only when absolutely necessary, and too many parents want lesson times when it suits them this week, which is not the same time that suited last week.
If the conflict arises because my child is in the School play, and they have their dress-rehearsal during his lesson time, then I feel that I must choose between the two activities, and if he attends the dress rehearsal my private lesson teacher doesn't owe me anything.
During May, my eldest son will be missing three lessons because he is going to accompany me on a trip to New Zealand to visit his great-grandparents. I do not expect my son's teacher to refund me for those missed lessons, or to reschedule them by 'doubling up' lessons in the weeks before or after our departure. Since there will be lots of advanced notice, I might ask her to consider preparing a special 'practice tape' for that period, or to answer my questions via e-mail, but if she doesn't have the time (the second half of April is going to be really busy for her, and she wouldn't be able to do the tape until more or less the week we left) and so has to refuse, then that's fine. I certainly don't expect her to credit me with three make-up lessons; there is no way for her to find a student to fill a three-week hole in her schedule during our absence.
Instead, I hope that she will enjoy the extra hour of rest during those three weeks, and that we will all feel renewed enthusiasm when we return to lessons at the end of the trip.
Article Copyright © 2001Vicky Barham, Parent at Ottawa Suzuki Strings, Note: Ottawa Suzuki Strings policy is that lessons missed by the student are not made up.
Addison Music Learning Centre is a music school located in Oakville, Ontario, providing music lessons for all Instruments and all ages.
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