If I am unable to meet a student for a lesson, I will make up the lesson. However, if a student cancels a lesson, I will not be able to make it up. But there are some very good reasons for this that I hope you will consider. The best treatment of this missed lessons policy is on page 93 of Edmund Sprunger’s book, Building Violin Skills.
- I’m not sure I can give a better explanation than he does, but it goes something like this.
Parents are busy, and many have several children all trying to make it to skating class, taekwondo, and indoor wall climbing lessons. Teachers get this. But what some parents don’t understand is that the slim remaining time worked into a schedule for dinner is essential to the teacher’s health and ability to teach at his best. So even though there is a perfect slot from 6:00 to 6:30 on Wednesday, the teacher needs a break in a long day of teaching to be at his best.
So why don’t we give a credit to be made up at a later time? Well, then the teacher is just given an unpaid vacation. He would rather have an entire week of a scheduled vacation in the summer, but now he is making up a lesson and getting a half hour or 45 minute “vacation” in February that he never planned for and can’t really do much with.
As for myself, I have noticed that the best, most effective teachers never make up lessons. I have worked with schools which had liberal make up polices and, frankly, I believe some parents took advantage of this. Further, it is not easy to take out an agenda constantly to fit in lessons outside of the schedule that the teacher has become used to. A liberal make up policy is a recipe for misunderstandings and further missed lessons.
It’s just not professional. Think of it this way, too. Try to see the year and tuition as one big chunk. A missed lesson here and there is not going to effect the overall growth of your child (as missed practice or a parent not taking notes would), and your teacher needs to make a living. He counts on a steady income, and this allows him to be the best he can be and help your child achieve excellence on the fiddle.