Monday, August 3, 2009


Not a very nice word, quitting. It sounds in my ears as if I am giving up. "Quitters never win and winners never quit" is an old adage that comes to mind. But what about the other situations that arise when you need to stop doing something? Does that mean you quit? You can quit smoking; that would be a "win" with reference to the above quote. You can quit making excuses; that sounds good too.

I'm visiting and revising my policies as I get ready to send them out with the fall registration form and letter. My studio lesson policy avoids the quit word and uses the terms "Lesson Termination", when it's time. Here's the exact policy wording.

LESSON TERMINATION - A one month notice is required in the event of lesson termination by the student. Lessons will be terminated by the teacher in the event of irregular attendance, repeated failure to prepare assigned material or disruptive behavior. A one month probation period with parent notification will precede lesson termination. Missing recitals or competitions without a phone call is grounds for immediate termination.

When I pull this section out, it seems cold and harsh. I don't think there's a better way to address the three issues emphasized though. I have four parents in the studio that have lost their jobs this year. They are not employed yet that I know of, so the one month termination of lessons works well if they are not going to be able to continue lessons this Fall. I do need to know pretty soon whether they are returning. I am beginning to get phone call inquiries about fall lessons, and I'm not sure how many openings I have, if any. I would like to be nosy, call and ask specifically whether they plan to take lessons this year. Some of them will postpone talking to me about it, because it's painful and because it's a tough decision. Most of all, they are hopeful that a job is just over the horizon. They won't have to quit at all if the breadwinner is gainfully employed soon.

Many of my blog friends seem to be in a period of waiting. I am feeling the same tug of indecision and stalling in my life right now. And as my mother reminded me on the phone last night, "This too shall pass". Yet, I feel that if I do stuff, I can make it pass more quickly, which isn't true and becomes frustrating.

Any wording suggestions would be greatly appreciated on the policy of how to cancel lessons. (It's a double rainbow!)


  1. it does sound a bit like Arnold, but i imagine they get the point. not sure how i would lessen the blow...but i hope you find joy in your waiting.

  2. Well, I am a very direct person when it comes to deadlines/business. I would simply state (whether it is true or untrue--no one but me would know--) that I am currently running a waiting list for students desiring lessons. If you wish to retain your spot in the line-up, let me know by ......(fill in the date) other wise, I will fill your spot with the next name on my list. Blessings. I would not mention their economic situation or anything else. Straight up. If you want your lesson time, let me know. Otherwise, call me when you need my services.

  3. It looks pretty straight-forward. I'm in agreeance with Ronda, here.

  4. Here's what I include in my policy, thanks to lots of advice from friends. I "borrowed" some of your phrasing, too, Chris: The studio is a full time career (or something like that. I just love that wording. "A student is expected to complete the yearly lessons scheduled in which s/he enrolled. If you or your child is thinking of stopping lessons, please bring Mrs. XXXX in on the discussion. Sometimes simply a shift in focus or some sort of problem solving needs to take place. If you initiate termination, a 4-week written and paid tuition notice is required. Tuition will be calculated through the last lesson of the 4 week notice."

  5. oooh that's good too. Thanks Q88!


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