YQA: Specifics on my “À La Carte-Style” Adult Lessons

This post is part of a series called Your Questions Answered that highlights questions that readers like yourself have asked of me over the last few years. 

 


I’ve been a regular reader and subscriber of your blog for ages!

I’m working on a website reboot for my studio over the summer and have been browsing other teachers’ websites to get ideas.

I read your blurb about adult lessons and really liked the way you have it set up with 6 weekly lessons over 8 weeks. Would you mind if I borrow that setup and use it with my own adult students?

If you’ve got a moment to respond, I’d love to know how you handle specifics of that setup – do you have the adults come at the same time each week for their lesson, or offer flexibility on time slot as well? Any specific wording that you’ve found works well to communicate those policies?

Thanks for your help and for all the great tips over the years!

-VR

Dear V,

Thank you so much for your email and yes, please borrow the same setup – I certainly do not own it! 🙂 I do appreciate you asking, though.

As far as details go, I have adults schedule a regular weekly lesson at the same time every week. It would make it too crazy for me to have them schedule different times.

If they can’t come at their scheduled time that week, we don’t always reschedule for a different time, we just miss that week. I give them eight weeks to use their six lessons so they have two flex weeks.

That being said, if they can’t come to that particular time that week and I have an open time they can come, then I reschedule because that means they could finish their 6 lessons in 6 weeks instead of 8 which means I’m getting two weeks more pay.

If they come every week, that’s great, but if it’s easier to miss, then I just let them miss one without “losing” a lesson. My adults have always seemed to love and appreciate this format.

Here’s the wording on my policy document. Feel free to use or change as needed.

  • Adult lessons are purchased six 30-minute lessons at a time. You will have a regularly scheduled weekly lesson but will have 8 weeks to use the 6 lessons giving you 2 weeks to miss without losing any lessons. Any lessons not used within 8 weeks will be forfeited.
  • If the teacher must cancel due to personal illness, family emergencies, or weather, students will be texted and will not lose the lesson.
  • The studio does not run on school closing schedules and will issue its own independent closings due to weather.

In the past, I’ve used the same policy with adults as I do with students that if they cancel the day of their lesson then they will lose it, but I’ve found with adults, it works better to not count it against them if they cancel the day-of as long as they don’t miss more than two.

Do what works best for you though!

All that being said, I feel I should put a disclaimer that even though I offer this style of lesson “purchasing”, almost all of my adult lessons last for long periods of time. I’ve never felt this lesson format has caused me issues with retention nor with student reaching their goals and finding success.

It’s rare I have someone do just 6, 12, or 18 weeks and be done. In the couple of instances I have, here were the scenarios:

  1. They already played but needed help learning chords to play on a worship team.
  2. It wasn’t a great situation…the student didn’t practice at all and I regretted taking them on (something that doesn’t happen often). They fizzled out quickly and it was fine with me. Since there was no long-term commitment, I didn’t have to “let them go.”

It’s quite on the contrary as it seems to give most of them peace of mind that there is some flexibility with letting this be part of their life in a way that works for them.

Best wishes,

 

~Amy

 


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