The public holiday and the piano lesson

I’m sitting in bed today, listening to helicopters and watching frocked up ladies and dashing gents heading off to the races.

Yes, it is Melbourne Cup Day, and we live about a kilometre from the race track. Later on today we will be able to hear the 100,000 strong crowd cheer for the winner of the 2013 Melbourne Cup and even later still we will see tired, ’emotional’, shoe-less people wandering home.

It’s a public holiday here in Melbourne (what??? for a horse race???) and I was thinking about Piano Teachers and wondering if they are getting paid for the day. I’m getting paid today, so is my husband.

As a parent, when you choose a lesson time at the start of the year, you need to try to choose a time that best suits you and your family; a time you are most likely going to be able to attend each week. If you like to go away on long weekends every month, don’t book a Friday lesson time, unless you are willing to pay for all those missed lessons.

Remember that when you book in a time, you are booking the piano teacher’s time for the entire year and you are committing to paying for it.

Our piano teacher is studying this year and also performs professionally (yes, she’s very clever) and so has asked for us to be a bit flexible in case she needs some time off, and has also agreed to be a bit flexible in return. We knew this when we signed up, but still it is not a licence to take advantage.

Last week we missed our lesson because PianoGirl’s little sister was sick and so we couldn’t make it to the lesson (we didn’t want to risk getting the teacher or her other students sick).

This week we are also going to miss our regular lesson time because PianoGirl has decided she would like to play piano in the talent show at her school Fun Day – a day we are also committed to as a family.

I fully expect to pay for the lesson we missed last week due to illness, but the piano teacher has agreed to a lesson swap this week – which is very lovely of her!

However, I would say that as parents we need to be very careful to not take advantage of the piano teacher’s kindness. As I have said many times before, piano teachers are notoriously lovely people and you need to remember that even if their business is conducted in their lounge rooms they deserve to be paid. They are, after all, running a music business.

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