A question for music teachers

(12 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Tue 14-Jun-16 10:08:44

One of the our music teacher is trying to set up new terms and conditions.
She wants paying in cash which is fine but seems to be insisting on the kids having a lesson every week, and the parents being charged and the lesson being rescheduled if she can, if the child is ill , otherwise busy or on holiday.
All our other music teachers loosely follow the school year although we often go to piano during half term.
I'm trying to clarify these points with her but she seems to be getting cross. AIBU?
With this teacher we pay per lesson, but with the others we pay in blocks ( per term) but it goes into their bank accounts. ( this one doesn't seem to be keen on BACs as a payment option)
What do other music teachers do? I want to be fair, but we have 3 weeks booked off over the summer holidays and I don't really want to be paying for these. She says we can 'reschedule' these lessons, but I don't want to!

dodobookends Tue 14-Jun-16 19:22:23

What - every week including school holidays?

Couchpotato3 Tue 14-Jun-16 19:31:14

There are different ways of doing things - most teachers still go by school terms, but there seems to be quite a vogue for changing to monthly payments and a certain minimum number of lessons over the course of a year (usually 40-45). This arrangement with being paid in cash sounds very odd, and quite a nuisance if you are constantly having to come up with cash for every lesson. It's a different matter if you are signing up with a new teacher, and that's what you agree to, but I don't think the teacher can force you to adopt a new arrangement that doesn't suit you. Also strange that she won't accept BACS and is getting antsy with you when you query it. Usually teachers are trying to simplify and guarantee a regular monthly income by doing these things. Sounds like your teacher is going in the opposite direction. It's not unusually to take several weeks off over the long Summer break, and even the teachers who are giving 40-45 lessons per year would expect a lot of the down time to be in the Summer.

Fleurdelise Tue 14-Jun-16 19:42:57

Not a music teacher but that's how Dd's music teachers work: one wants payment in cash after every lesson, no payment in advance, commitment to a certain slot but if you don't have the lesson you don't pay. Which I find amazing as most of the teachers I heard of would like some sort of guaranteed income. She teaches mainly term time with lessons during half terms and summer holidays providing she is not on holiday and nor are her students. So extremely flexible.

DD other music teacher expects 4 weeks payment in advance, teaches throughout the year including half term and summer holidays providing she's not going away and nor do we. Lessons cancelled that have been already paid for are rescheduled or deducted from the next lessons batch, so say I paid for 4 lessons for the following 4 weeks, if we cancel one we have further credit for the next lesson. As I said she is teaching all year (more or less) but she's not charging for lessons that are not happening.

I hope that helps

Wafflenose Tue 14-Jun-16 20:47:38

The holidays thing is a bit odd, but the rest is pretty normal. I ask my pupils to commit to 39 lessons (school terms) and pay weekly or monthly (39 lessons/ 12 equal payments). If they miss one with reasonable notice (more than a couple of hours) I'll make it up during the school holidays. If they want extra lessons in the holidays, they pay for those as they go. HTH.

FiveHoursSleep Tue 14-Jun-16 22:22:48

I've had confirmation that BACS payment is not possible. It's cash only. hmm
But I have told her we won't be having lessons during the summer holidays.
The thing is, she's quite happy to change lessons around for her convenience.
DD is supposed to have a Thursday lesson but we were told today that she can't teach this Thursday and we'd have to come Sunday.
This Sunday doesn't suit us, but we've committed to one lesson a week...
So if we don't make it Sunday, we still have to pay for the lesson which I don't think is very fair.

onlymusic Tue 14-Jun-16 23:35:17

I have all my sympathy with the teachers who have to earn their income and struggle financially because of missed lessons. But some of them seem to forget that students have private lives too as well as other obligations.... I think there should be a possibility to cancel the lesson assuming notice is given in advance. To insist on having lessons during summer holidays is ridiculous - it should be done by mutual agreement only.
By the way, does teacher give you an invoice? If she insist on cash you can request your part of paperwork too smile

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 15-Jun-16 08:11:00

I agree with Only. We have private lessons with a drum teacher and with a private music centre and in both cases they invoice by term or half term and you arrange lessons in the summer on an ad hoc basis if convenient.
Both accept BACS. If the teacher is cash only I would ask for a receipt each time you pay!
And no, rearranged lessons on a Sunday is only reasonable if Sunday works for you! I try to keep Sunday as a free day for us as a family and would only do a music lesson then before an exam.

ellesbellesxxx Wed 15-Jun-16 14:26:32

I am a music teacher and really shocked by these t and cs!
I keep to term time but will do extra in hols if parents wish to. However, I don't insist that lessons have to be made up that week... I wouldn't have time!
My parents are all really great, they give me notice if they need to rearrange/miss a lesson but they are fine with me doing the same (although I rarely do!)
I understand the cash to a certain extent as some parents (not all!) when paying by bacs take weeks whereas they can write a cheque whilst I do lesson or have cash ready. With money coming from several places I need to keep track of it coming in and having cheque or cash is easiest.
I would insist that if you are to continue with her, that you will commit to 30/35 sessions a year..term time only. If she doesn't agree would you be able to find someone else?

schilke Wed 15-Jun-16 20:25:47

Not fair to rearrange a lesson, due to her cancelling, at a time which is inconvenient for you.
Dh doesn't operate like this, mainly because most of his teaching is in schools. He's very laid back for the half dozen private pupils he has. He knows people that do work like this. It's their job and would be living on 30 weeks money a year if they stick to school terms. The local leisure centre runs swimmng and gymnastics lessons all year - about 5 weeks off I think.

onlymusic Wed 15-Jun-16 22:38:43

I would advise to check notice period in advance-to avoid nasty surprises....

Witchend Thu 23-Jun-16 13:31:06

I have 3 dc and 5 music teachers between them. They all operate differently:
1: Takes cheque or cash, you can choose to pay for the lesson, a block booking or a half term. We rarely cancel a lesson we haven't told her at least a week in advance (I think it's happened twice in 10 years) but she doesn't charge. She doesn't usually do holidays although occasionally we've gone through half term if an exam in imminent.
2. You pay cheque for the term, if you miss a lesson due to you she may offer you an alternative if she has a cancellation available. If she cancels the lesson she will always make it up. Always 10 week terms.
3. We pay Bacs half termly. She's only once missed a lesson and he made it up later in the week. Goes strictly by term dates.
4. We pay a 5 week block at a time, by cheque, although she would take cash. We give a week's notice of not coming and she doesn't charge.
5. We pay at the lesson for the next lesson, either cheque or cash. He goes through all holidays, but if you tell him in advance you are going away he doesn't charge. he charges 50% for less than a week's notice but more than 48 hours. 75% for 24-48 hours notice and full if less than 24 hours notice. Having said that, that's what his terms and conditions say, and we've never had to test it.

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