Each year, I find myself re-evaluating my studio policy, tweaking it and adjusting it as a result of things that I have learned throughout the year. When younger siblings were hanging out during older siblings’ piano lessons and becoming disruptive, I added a new policy about having no siblings present during lessons. When parents were cancelling piano lessons regularly in order to make sure their kids didn’t miss a volleyball game, I instilled a non-negotiable monthly fee regardless of missed lessons (totally changed my life, by the way!). Having a studio policy in place to give students once they inquire about lessons — and then enroll at your studio– is invaluable. At the end of each school year, I adjust my policy and re-distribute it to all current students with any updates.
The trick for me in developing a studio policy that works is making sure that I don’t have so many rules and policies in place that it seems overwhelming to students, and being brief and concise in the way I explain them. Having a policy in place protects me as a teacher. If a student or family ever questions something, I remind them that it is part of my studio policy.