Top 5 Reasons You SHOULD Give MakeUp Piano Lessons:

[Note: This post is tongue in cheek, but it’s an unusual way to present these issues that tends to speak more clearly.] You know I advocate eliminating make up lessons (except in extreme circumstances), but here are reasons you should consider makeup piano lessons if you want to do any or all of the following:

Top 5 reasons you should give makeup lessons |

1.  You really want to straighten your house, prep your studio, and adjust mentally at least 1 more time a week.

We all know that on the days that we teach, it takes a bit of prep. Whether that’s straightening up the house, tidying up the studio, making sure the appropriate activities are out for the students, or just changing out of our comfy clothes, every time we open our door to let a student in, we have already spent a number of minutes prepping for them.  So if your student can’t come at the time that they are normally scheduled, not only are you losing that time to spend on other things, but you are also losing an additional 30/45/60 minutes later in the week along with minutes of prep.

2.  You should give makeup piano lessons if you really want to teach for ½ price.

I’ve heard many teachers say, “Well, I can throw in a load of towels or something during that student’s lesson time.” But we all know that when someone doesn’t come for their lesson, the following happens:

  • It takes the previous student even longer to get out the door when there is not a student waiting.
  • We tend to go over on lessons when no one is waiting.
  • We’ll have to use the restroom during that time because we never schedule enough time for that anyway.

So by the time we send a student out the door, our 30 minute slot that we thought we had open is now less than 15 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do much meaningful work in just 15 minutes time! It takes me about 15 minutes to settle into a book and I certainly can’t workout for less than 45 minutes. So, that “extra” 15 minutes or even 30 minutes becomes dead time for the piano teacher.

Therefore, not only are you losing that initial 30 minutes of lesson, but you’re going to be spending another 30 minutes later in your week making it up which means you are only getting paid the same price for twice the teaching time. Makeup lesson prices are pretty expensive if you think of it that way.

3. You want to shorten your available free time.

I’ve already mentioned that you don’t really have 30 minutes of free time when a student cancels their 30 minute lesson. But, what about those errands you wanted to run on Thursday, but now can’t because you rescheduled a lesson? You certainly can’t run them during that time slot that your student missed! So, you’re going to have to plan your trip to the grocery store some other time in the week since it’s now filled with a makeup lesson. Maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t like to give her free time to the grocery store.

4. You should give makeup piano lessons if you want less time with your family.

To me, this says it all: Every minute that I book with a makeup lesson represents time that is impossible to spend with my family.

5. You want your students to know that your time is not as valuable as theirs.

Now I know that most families asking for a makeup piano lessons don’t have actively think, “My time is more valuable than yours.” And the fact is, one makeup lesson is not a big deal. But we know there are weeks when everyone wants a more convenient time.  The problem is…it is you, your family, and your schedule that is being inconvenienced even if the family that asks for the makeup doesn’t intend this.

The point is, if you don’t protect your time, no one else will. If you don’t guard it, then it will disappear. If you really want these 5 things to happen, then definitely give makeup lessons! But if there’s one thing that has convinced me that I shouldn’t do makeups, it is this:

Every minute that I book with a makeup lesson represents time that is impossible to relax, unwind, and spend with my family.  

How do you get rid of makeup piano lessons in your studio? Well, read more below or take the information rich “The Best Stress-free Business Practices for Your Studio” online workshop. This short post comes from that presentation, given at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, National Federation of Music Teachers, and other conferences.

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*image by Leo Reynolds