Topic: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

Ok here is a situation I have recently been faced with -

i have a couple of people I teach. they are really keen and really enthusiastic but couple of weeks ago one didn't turn up for their lesson.

Later that evening I got a call to say very very sorry etc etc - I said no problem and rebooked for following week. Following week didn't turn up again.

Once again I go the call to apologise and rebooked once more.

This time they did turn up. Despite the fact I said on the first occasion to not worry about the money the guy offered me the payment for the last week.

I took it as I was a bit annoyed about skipping dinner etc etc to prepare for the lesson for someone to not turn up.

So what are your experiences? Do you get this all the time and do you charge if they don't turn up?

Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

i use to take lessons while playing drums so it can relate i never missed a lessons or phone in to cancel at a short notice but if they phone up to cancel again tell them that you will not book in another lesson but tell them to phone up later when they wanna book it. Just they might feel bad and unsure about the date so give them time to think it over.

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

To stop this happening i always charge them in advance for the lessons, When they take there first i always get a bond from them which covers any cancellations they have, if they cancel within 48 hours of there lesson i take 50% of the bond, if they cancel within 24 hours or i have no contact from them i charge them the full price of the lesson.

This is made very clear when we first meet and i have very few cancellations as a result of this.

Also if i have to cancel there lesson for any reason i always give them there next lesson free ( which is very rare also)

As long as you make your rules clear at the start then they are fine with it.

hope this helps.

I also have lessons online at www.virtual-guitar-lessons.com
The site is new, it contains video lessons and information on playing guitar.

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

I have a 24 hour cancellation policy, and try to have the majority of students pay per term ( 10 weeks)- this means the non-cancelled lessons can be payed for easily.

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

My policy up till this last month was 24 hr notice for cancellation. If they gave me 24 hrs notice they will get a makeup. I also allow them one makeup per month. If they were sick then would still allow the makeup. Of course some people would then just call up saying they were sick when I know they were full of it.

What I now have in place it 48 hrs notice for a makeup and if they are sick I will do a homework assignment for them during the time they were supposed to be there. Again only one makeup or homework assignment per month unless they inform me that they have a flu or something like that. I'll then decide whether I will give homework assignments or just not charge during this time.

I also charge by the month and in the beginning they give me an extra 2 weeks deposit. This way if they decide to ditch lessons and not tell me when payment is due I'm covered. Too many times I've had people show up at the beginning of the month informing me they will give me payment next week. Next week comes and another excuse. Next thing you know I gave them a complete months worth of lessons, they contact me telling me they are quitting and never bother to send me payment for the lessons I've given them.

Now I'm covered for the first two weeks of the month and if I don't receive payment by the second week they receive no additional lessons until I'm paid up to date.

Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

Go round to house and slap on head hard.
If don't turn up again go round house and hit with spade on head.

Imagine if the words of Imagine ever came true.....

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

don p - I like this your idea for this. +1 thanks for sharing

8 (edited by Instructor 03-12-10 01:59:19)

Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

The student pays every 4th lesson.  They pay 4 lessons in advance.

This means on lesson 4, their next payment is due, not on lesson one.

If they don't show, they've paid for that lesson.  They just didn't take it.  They will still be due on Lesson 4.

When you start out with those ground rules, you'll find a lot of issues go away.

Let's say though, that once in a while someone just flubs...especially after youve been teaching a while, you learn to be graceful...sometimes life happens.  But you'll come to know those who are sincere and always do things, from those who are flaking.

I dont think a guitar teacher should ever feel bad about asking for the fee, or even what they are asking.  We are not beggars for alms, we are legitimate service providers and professionals, and we are worth what we ask.  We should never put ourselves subordinate to others, as if we are just begging for their scraps.  People will walk all over you.

If you go get fuel in the car does the attendant have to beg us to pay?  No.  If we eat at a restaurant, does the cook have to come out and beg us to pay? No.  Neither should it be with ourselves as service providers, if we truly believe in what we do, and that it is a legitimate service.

As long as we are seeing ourselves as professional, others will as well.  Never beg for your bread, amigos.

If I have a student that continually calls in or misses, I gently suggest that I may want their time slot for someone that can make it more, not in a shaming way, but why keep this prime slot if you can't make it.  Tell you what, next time you're free, call me and I'll tell you what I have available.

9-10 times, they get the point and the problem is solved.  They make their lessons more regularly. 



Online Guitar Academy

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9 (edited by polyal 04-12-10 19:20:35)

Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

i used to teach a nurse...and raunchy sex was offered instead of money...
... i told him ...no money..no lesson

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

polyal wrote:

... i told him ...no money..no lesson


I didn't get where I am today,
by being somewhere else.

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

Charge them. dont twiddle those thumbs

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12 (edited by 57Deluxe 04-07-12 13:57:33)

Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

In this recessionary time, just getting a new student is bad enough, let alone get them to pay up front!

I haven't enough students to lay down the law, but I have a friend who teaches SAX (and gets £60 /hr!!) She charges cancellation and they bloody pay up!

Sadly, there are far toooo many Guitar teachers and students are spoiled for choice. Thus, I get a lot of 'one-offs'. Typical case:

A guy in 40s is bought a £99 all in one amp/strap/guitar set for Xmas and thinks he knows guitar cos he had one once before(!) but Can't get it, or himself, to sound like Guthrie Govan now! So comes to a lesson thinking one lesson will sort him out... he doesn't say this, but is usually the tone of whole lesson. I inevitably have to do on-the-fly intonation of their their plank(!) de(out-of)tune my guitar to have some semblance of in-tuning between us(!) and find they can't even strike an E cleanly... Then spend more than the allotted time showing basic basic basic but improved technique and secrets... And then they never come back!


Guitar Mad? Sanity is Here:


Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

Hey Olly,

Two things you can do:

1. Request payments one week in advance.  In other words, at the end of the lesson the student should pay for next weeks lesson.  This means if they don't show up at least you haven't lost that weeks wages.

2. Contracts.  If you have your lesson policy in writing you will not have to deal with troublesome students.  Luckily these are few and far between but they do exist.  The good students will have no problem signing your lesson policy and abiding by it.  The troublesome students probably won't want to sign it.  You won't get any business from them, but that's a good thing considering the stress it causes chasing them up.

Looking for a guitar teacher in Manchester?  Check out my website: Guitar Lessons Manchester

Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

I think it is right to charge if they do not turn up. I'd personally give one warning. As long as they are made aware of the fact before it happens.  It is your time & worth it!  default/big_smile Advances do not hurt.

Dave Pierce
Guitar Instructor at GuitarImpulse.com
http://bit.ly/12t29DB Online Guitar Lessons

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

I had a new student scheduled for today.  He text me ten minutes before the class.
Lifes too  short for time wasters. .im at the top if google so I wont be chasing that one.

Its a bad sign when they cancel the first one via text

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Re: What do you do if the student does not turn up?

Just appreciate the student him & work hard on him he or she will automatically start picking.

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