Cancellation and Lateness Policy and Payment Schedule
A student's scheduled lesson slot is a time that is designated for that individual's learning. If a student hopes to get the most out of his or her vocal studies, it is important that he or she endeavour to show up regularly (and preferably on time) for all of his or her lessons.
It is encouraged that students attempt to have a regularly scheduled lesson time (or times) during the week, as this is easier to guarantee space, it keeps my schedule more manageable and organized, and ensures that the student is receiving consistent spacing between lessons. However, if a student has a job with a changing schedule, for example, I will try my best to accommodate the student in my schedule. A student who cannot commit to a regular time each week may have difficulties finding an open lesson time or the length of lesson that is preferred.
I do understand that sometimes sickness, family matters, vacations and 'emergencies' arise. When at least twenty-four hours notice is given for cancellations, a make-up lesson can be scheduled. However, a student should make every effort possible to keep his or her commitment to lessons, as make-up lessons are often difficult to schedule within my already packed teaching days.
In the very rare event that I must cancel lessons due to illness, a family emergency or vacation, the student may either schedule a make-up lesson or carry the lesson fee over to the next week.
In order to discourage 'no-shows' and frequent cancellations, particularly those for which insufficient notice is given, students are asked to pay for lessons in advance for the entire calendar month. Last minute cancellations create an unexpected space in my schedule that usually cannot be filled by another student on such short notice. They also add up to a financial loss for me, as I need to arrange and pay for childcare during most of my teaching hours. Above all else, they mean that the student is missing out on important learning time, and will not be able to make as much progress when lessons are sporadic. This payment should be received at least twenty-four hours before the first week's lesson (if using Skype) or during the first lesson of the month (if paying in person) in order for the student's regular lesson time to be reserved. If payment is not received in advance, another student may be scheduled during that time. (Under some circumstances, this monthly payment schedule may be negotiable.)
Pro-rated fees are offered whenever a student has an anticipated absence during the month (e.g., a scheduled vacation or other event) for which advanced notice is given, or the student may opt to pay the fee for the entire month and schedule a make-up lesson within the month. Pro-rated fees will also apply to months in which I will have a planned absence - I'm a workaholic, so these almost never occur!
I am fairly understanding that circumstances beyond one's control sometimes cause people to arrive late (unusually bad traffic, accidents, being held up at work, etc.) to their lessons or not be able to call in for their Skype lesson (e.g., a computer crash). If a student is late, I cannot guarantee that the missed time will be made-up later on, but I will do what I can. If another student (who shows up on time) is scheduled immediately after the late student, that extra time will likely have to be forfeited. (If I am late for whatever reason, I will either add time to the end of the student's lesson, or attempt to schedule a longer lesson at a later date.)