Piano Parent Tip: Pay Your Teacher On Time

One of the most common topics on piano teacher forums or when piano teachers chat is “How do I get my parents to pay on time?”  Piano teachers lament the late payments because they depend on their teaching income to be able to pay their own bills on time. Imagine if your monthly paycheck came to you in bits and pieces throughout the month, or part of it was delayed until the next month. It would be pretty frustrating, eh?

Teachers have a variety of policies about payment, and if you aren’t sure what yours is, be sure to ask. Most have a due date and a late fee. Some have a grace period, and some don’t. You may have a teacher who is so nice that they don’t levy late fees at all or even have much of a payment policy, but I can almost guarantee that they are the ones who are the most frustrated about late payments.You can endear yourself to your teacher by paying on time, and encouraging them yourselves to operate as any other business would and establish a payment policy.

I love it when my parents arrive at the first lesson of the month with a check in hand. The message I hear is, “I value your work, your expertise, and your education, and I want you to stay in business!” Thanks in advance for your support!

6 thoughts on “Piano Parent Tip: Pay Your Teacher On Time”

  1. What I would Like to know is the following: "How on Earth do you encourage parents to have their check READY at the first lesson instead of them always making me fumble for a pen and a place to write on while trying to usher them out so my next students can come in for their lesson?"

    I do so love the parents who walk in every month and just immediately hand you a check. One of them even asked if it's possible to set it up through their PAYPAL account so she never forgets again! I wish everyone would be like that.

  2. Oh, Dustin, I don't think I've ever found a way to make that happen consistently! I do keep pens available in a cup on my bookshelf, and there's a designated place for them to put the checks. Also, it helps that I charge a flat monthly fee so the amount is always the same every month – they don't have to ask me how much. I send out invoices through Music Teachers Helper and some of them do pay online through that program.

  3. The best way to prevent parents from getting in the habit of paying late for piano lessons is just not to ever start it to begin with. When you first meet a parent of a prospective student, make it clear that you do not accept late payments. If a student arrives at my house for a lesson without payment that is due, I don't allow him in the house until he's got a check in hand. I also make it clear from the beginning that if a student is absent for the 1st lesson of the month when payment is due, the payment must be mailed to me immediately. Have all my policies in writing and in hand at the 1st meeting makes it much easier to enforce policies when they are questioned later!

    Pamela Walden

  4. For Pamela: I apologize – when I tried to publish your comment with my comment moderation, my finger accidentally hit delete. Your comment was preserved in my email, but without a link back to you. If you'd like a link back, please feel free to comment again!

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