Holiday period


Rowena Rong said: Aug 9, 2013
 6 posts

Hi all,

My daughter started piano lessons early this year and we have given up many holidays because we are required to pay 10 weeks in advance each time and we have never had a break. Now I have booked 3 weeks holidays in Christmas time and I am wondering how I should deal with this situation.

I would understand that the teacher will ‘lose money’ if I do not pay the holiday period. But I don’t want to pay for the weeks if I know we definitely cannot show up. And I would imagine my daughter will forget all about piano when we’re on holidays so we will need a few weeks to practice her skills back to what’s before the holiday. So I would say 6 weeks break before we can restart the lessons.

What are the options of this kind of situation? Is there a normal practice?

Any advice will be appreciated.


Melanie said: Aug 9, 2013
Melanie Barber
Suzuki Association Member
Maple Valley, WA
25 posts

I would say this is typical of many teachers to not offer make up lessons. When you sign up for lessons, you are paying for a weekly time slot, not just when you show up. If you sign up for ballet lesson or swimming lessons, you have to pay if you show up or not. What are your teachers attendance policies? You should just talk to your teacher and see what they say.

Most teachers take off about 2 weeks at Christmastime so I would for sure check to see when you do have lessons. If that is the case, you will only miss one lesson and missing time to time is completely normal.

For your daughter’s musical growth and momentum, I’d suggest continuing lessons. It’s amazing how much they can regress in just a few weeks when they are beginners, let alone 10 weeks off.

I hope this helps! Have fun on your trip.

Rowena Rong said: Aug 10, 2013
 6 posts

Thanks Melanie for your comment. I have talked to the teacher and she is happy to postpone lessons to accommodate our holiday. After talking to her we decided to have 4 weeks off, 3 weeks for holiday and 1 week to practice back to normal. The holiday period will cover 4 lessons time anyway…and hopefully my daughter will get back to her normal practice by the next available lesson.

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 6, 2013
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Just my $0.02, but I would recommend coming back to the lesson sooner rather than taking the ‘extra’ week off to get back to practicing. Why not consult with the teacher to have a lesson to “kick-start” practicing back in the normal way? Maybe ask your teacher if they are willing to use that lesson not to teach anything new but to refine and teach you how to practice the older things even better than before.

I often find that students & families THINK they will practice after a holiday and before their first lesson, but they don’t. Then they’ve just had an extra week of not practicing and a lesson at the end of it to kick-start the next week of practicing… they could have had that ‘kick-start’ lesson a week earlier.

Rowena Rong said: Sep 6, 2013
 6 posts

Thanks for your advice Jennifer. Yes we’re going back to the lesson on the first available week after the holiday. My daughter’s lesson is on Saturdays and our holiday covers 4 weekends. We’ll be back on a Sunday and will practice for a week before we go back to the lesson on Saturday. I don’t know about others but I do what I say. Otherwise we cannot survive until now with me being a full time working mother with two little ones, one in school the other in daycare. If I’m not this determined we would have given up long time ago. :)

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