And Make My Studio Parents’ Lives a Thousand Times Easier….
A few weeks ago, I shared a post about why I totally changed my make up lesson policy. I have moved to a much more flexible make-up policy. If my students give me 24-hour notice before they cancel lessons, they can register for a make up lesson through Music Teacher’s Helper. My students are loving this change, and it has not been much of an inconvenience to me at all.
I know all of the reasons why many teachers have a no-make-up policy, and I agree with most of them. I also know how crazy it is to be a parent these days. Kids are busier than ever, and life moves faster than ever. My willingness to support and accommodate studio parents is a huge selling point for my studio, which means parents are willing to pay more for this convenience.
I Build extra teaching time into my schedule…
I have a smallish studio (only 25 students) so I built a few extra lesson slots into my schedule. I put one extra forty-five minute open lesson time at the end of my teaching day. Sometimes students register for these times, and sometimes they don’t.
I make sure I have babysitting during this time, and if it stays open I can choose whether to work on other business tasks, or go pick up my kiddos early. This isn’t the best option for everyone, depending on your studio size, or your family commitments, but right now it’s working for me.
When students cancel I add those times as open make up lessons…
The parents in my studio are pretty good about giving me notice of their cancellations. I often have them a week or two in advance, so it is easy to cancel their lesson (and issue a make up credit) in Music Teacher’s Helper and then create an open make up lesson during their time.
These repurposed times are when most of my make ups happen. I email my studio at the beginning of the week with a link to the calendar reminding them to look for any open times. If times open up during the week, I send another reminder email with those new times.
Parents can login to Music Teacher’s Helper and register for whichever opening they want, so I’m not waiting to hear back from anyone. I also don’t have to worry about multiple parents requesting the same time because they can only see the ones that are still available.
Quick tip: Did you know there is a Music Teacher’s Helper App? I use it on my iPhone and iPad, and parents in my studio use it to quickly register for make up lessons on the go.
Here’s how to set up these open make up lesson times in Music Teacher’s Helper.
In the menu on the left side, I select “Calendar” then “New Event or Lesson.” Then select “For All Students.”
This will add options for “Online Booking” or “Require students to register for this event.” Select “Require students to register for this event” and put “1” in the maximum students field.
I title the event “Open Make Up Lesson.”
Then choose the appropriate day, time, and length of lesson. (For the extra lesson times I build into my schedule, I choose “repeat weekly” in the repeat options.) These times show up on your studio parents’ dashboards along with their students’ regular lesson times (see below.)
When parents register for these times, I get an email notification from Music Teacher’s Helper so I’m always on top of schedule changes.
Of course, when things are crazy for me, I don’t have to have these extra times. My sisters were both in town in July, so I deleted every open make up lesson time during the weeks they were here so I could spend all of my extra time with them.
(Make sure you delete these times though, don’t just “cancel” them. A couple times I “canceled” open make up times, but parents could still register for them, it got a little confusing. If you delete them, it works better.)
If you have any more questions about how I use Music Teacher’s Helper, or helpful tips for Music Teacher’s Helper users, please share in the comments!