We kept it short (one page no scrolling) because no one reads those long ones with tiny print and gobbledegook legal jargon. Ours is simple, short and in plain English. The following is a more in depth look at our music school lesson policies.
We don’t hide our policies, they are in plain sight.
We want all prospective families to read them. We would rather you didn’t sign up because of these rules rather than sign up and be mad at us because you don’t like them.
If you didn’t read them, despite clicking on the ‘agree to our terms’ at registration, now is a good time.
Most parents and students don’t have any problem with our policies. That’s because the rules are quite reasonable as well as being pretty standard in music lessons and other service based business.
If you start in the Fall, go until the end, participate in the recital and come to all or most of your lessons, none of our policies come into play. On the other hand, if you start late, go on a trip (or trips), miss a bunch of classes, quit early, etc. then you might find you wished you read that page.
In this article we will focus on the few aspects that get the most ‘questions’.
Those would be:
*Missed Lessons/Make Up Lessons/24 hours notice
*Our two month minimum
*1 Calendar month notice to withdraw
*No withdrawing after the March Break
Make up Lessons/Missed Lessons
Not all music lesson providers allow make up lessons (typically home based instructors or any sort of group class provider).
We do allow make up lessons.
We allow 4 per year.
With 24 hours notice.
Why 24 hours Notice?
The 24 hour notice is pretty standard across all service based businesses (my dentist wants 48 hours).
In the past we allowed 3 for sickness and family emergencies.
This type of absence rarely offers a 24 hour time frame. We found it hard to keep track of how many everyone had generated (with just under 200 families it was impossible). Using this honour system, some families got more than their fair share while others didn’t bother about it at all. There was nothing we could do with your empty space with 20 minutes notice. Those make ups became incredibly hard to honour. If you or your child is too sick for even a video lesson, chances are they will be too ill to come later that week.
So a 24 hour (or more) notice came into play with a cap of 4.
These make ups for missed classes are designed more for the school concert on a lesson night, the swimming tourney on a weekend or the family vacation outside of the normal public school breaks.
All of which offer way more than 24 hours notice.
What do we do with your empty spot?
Other people can book their make ups in those spots, just like you can book yours in other peoples spots when they are away. So you can see, the 24 hour (or more), notice benefits everyone.
You can book your make up lesson with as little as 4 hours notice. And we can book one for you with even less notice if possible!
Other Kinds of Music Lesson Make Ups
Most things that occur will change a lesson from an in person class to a video lesson. Please note a video lesson is a regular lesson. You cannot get a make up lesson because we went online for one class. The video option is there for your benefit as well.
Examples things that might convert a in-person lesson to an online class.
- Bad Weather
- Slight illness (either teacher or student)
- Vehicle Trouble (either teacher or student)
- Scheduling Conflicts
- Power failure here at the school
A thing that can’t: teacher absence.
While your absence affects one teacher, a teacher’s absence affects 10 or more students.
Now if your teacher is sick or away for other reasons, we do the best we can to find a substitute. But, just like your last minute call to cancel due to illness, the likelihood we can find somebody last minute is slim. So, a make up credit get generated.
These DO NOT count against your personal limit of 4.
Another is a scheduled absence.
It’s no secret that we hire the best teachers in town. That means they are active performers. That usually means Friday and Saturday nights in a club/restaurant or Sunday Mornings in a church.
It can sometimes mid week.
When this happens, we can usually find a substitute. If not, we cancel the lessons and the make up credit is generated.
You need to book the make up class. If you know you are away you can book your make up before or after you absence. They can be scheduled up to 7 days in advance.
Your teacher may remind you but it’s up to you to book the make-up class. The process is simple. It might mean adding time to your existing class or coming twice in a week.
Your Make Up Credits
Your make up(s) must be used during your time as an active student.
If you register for the summer or pre-register for the next fall, your make up credits extend till the end of August.
When you quit, your make up credits are null and void. So you’d need to get them used up before your last lesson.
No you cannot use them to get a class (or classes) after you quit.
The 2 Month Minimum
Why the 2 month minimum? It takes about that long for you to find out if you and/or your child have what it takes. Why you and your child? It is a rare thing for a 7 year old be a self starter. At the beginning, when it is new and exciting, you won’t be able to get them to stop but once that is over, it will be up to you to instill the daily practice. Eventually (and it’s different for everyone) you’ll be able to leave them to it, to some extent. If your plan is to drop them off once per week and have it be “their thing”, it’s not going to work.
2 months gives you the time to find out if you can do it.
If you find out sooner, you can transfer the reminder of lessons to another family member or even a friend.
1 Calendar Months Notice to Withdraw
1. We bill monthly.
2. We require proper notice.
3. One months notice gives us 1 month to fill your spot.
No Withdrawals after April 1st
(AKA: THE Sunshine Policy)
No one quits lessons in April/May because they don’t like it, they quit because the weather is getting nice. Even though the kids still have to go to school and you still have to go to work, the anticipation of the good weather coming makes some want to change track early (like the way stores put Christmas stuff out in August).
And AGAIN to state the obvious, this is a business. We have these clauses to protect our teachers. This is their job. They have a narrow window for earning. If we let students turn a 10 month earning period into a 6-8 month period, we’d lose our teachers and have to close our doors.
What you can do is transfer to a new time, day that fits your new spring schedule.
A Video Lesson is a Lesson. Period!
We were all forced to accept video for school, our jobs, interviews, concerts and family events. Now we can use it for the mere convenience and we are all adept at it.
So, when the weather, a power failure, mild teacher illness, etc. force us to convert from in-person to video we do it.
For some this might conjure up unpleasant memories (I know it does for me) but it is a tool we are all using now.
No make up lessons for video lessons (unless you cancelled 24+ hours beforehand).
No Refunds or Financial Credits
To restate the obvious, this is a business. We have a very narrow window for earning (Sept-June) and a very specific demographic. We don’t sell instruments so, the dude buying a guitar and lasting for 6 weeks before deciding it’s too hard, is not our business model. We offer a music course that is 10 months long with weekly classes. They are private, so you can enter any time, but the premise is the same. If you go to Costa Rica in winter but outside the school break, you’ll miss every weekday of work/school/daycare, you’ll miss all dance classes and sports (games and practices). None of those organizations are giving you a make up class/game/practice/lesson (let alone a refund). Most of those expect full payment up front and charge you more if you do it in installments.
These are weekly scheduled lessons NOT a drop-in Pilates class or a casual massage appointment.
I’ve saved the exceptions for last. There are very few instances in which we bend the rules.
Video Lessons: If you tell us that you can’t do a video lesson because your child has focusing issues or you don’t have a space or the tech know how to do a video lesson, we can create a make-up for that. They will count against your 4 though.
1 Calendar Month’s notice: If you have other family members on the same account and ask to withdraw one. Please don’t wait till the last day of the month as a courtesy to your teacher.
No withdrawals After April 1st: Obviously, if your two month minimum comes after this date and you want to stop, that is no problem.
Hopefully you’ve read the original policies as well as this page and have a more informed view on how we do things.
River Heights School of Music
2025 Corydon Ave. #202