Why You REALLY Don’t Need Make-Up Lessons

Musings, Tips

Though many teachers are realizing they no longer need to offer make-up lessons in their studio, I would imagine that more than half of you reading this are still doing make-ups. And chances are you are doing it because you don’t think parents will go for anything else.

If you know me, you know that I am not a fan of make-up lessons. I don’t believe in them. Matter of fact I believe they just add to your already busy schedule, cause unnecessary stress to your life and well… they just aren’t necessary and I’ll tell you why.

Last week I got this text…

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 10.18.04 AM

A couple days ago I got a hug from a different parent…

After letting me know they would be missing a lesson in September. She said, “we can try switching with someone and if that doesn’t work, I guess we will just miss.” I then said, “Or I can just give him a video lesson.” And she said, “A video lesson?” (she must have missed my recent email reminding of this option). I said, “yes, I just video a lesson as if he was here. I do it during his normal lesson time and then I just send you the link when it’s done so you can watch.” Big smile and she said, “Can I just give you a hug?” 🙂

Neither one required me to teach outside my normal teaching hours. And in both scenarios the parents were happy.

Teacher happy + Parent happy= HAPPY STUDIO!

You see, it is possible to create WIN-WIN solutions without one or the other having to sacrifice. When a child needs to miss, no matter the reason they can…

  • Switch with someone.
  • Do a FaceTime/Skype lesson. (during regular lesson time)
  • Do a video lesson. (I record during regular lesson time. You can read more about this option here as well as view a sample video).

If you are still giving make-up lessons, STOP! I promise it is NOT necessary! Be free of this stress in your life and offer other options that don’t take more of your time and energy!

If you feel it is too late for this year, this is what I would do… The next time you have a parent that says they need a make-up lesson, present them with another option instead. How about we do…? Be positive about the option (because it is positive!) and see where it goes. Some may be resistant and that is okay. Don’t take that as a sign of it’s not going to work. It just means that because make-ups are still an option right now, they are choosing that over the others. But when it’s no longer an option, they will adapt and realize the other options work just as well and they may like them even more.

I predict a HAPPY STUDIO in your future!

Be sure to ‘Like’ Music Educator Resources on Facebook and follow Music Educator Resources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, discounts, reviews and other music resources! And don’t forget to join the exclusive email newsletter!


  1. Kerry Drombosky

    My studio year starts on Sept. 8th and I’ve already given my parents a “heads up” that we’ll be doing make-ups this way from now on. I learned the ropes this summer with a couple of teenage brothers who are tech savvy- we did our summer session this way & it went well. Two years ago I stopped scheduling regular classes on Fridays and made it “flex day” for people who couldn’t make it to their regular class. I ended up teaching almost every Friday- so much for my day off! Parents just thought of it as their default lesson day . I’m done with that!!! Fortunately many of our school districts are going to on-line snow day classes, so it isn’t a new concept for many families.

    • FPSResources

      Good for you Kerry! You will feel so much better this year! Yay for better options!

  2. Rhonda H

    I don’t give makeups anymore either. I started doing a group lesson for everyone (w/ 2-3 time options) the week before a recital. The kids love this! We each gave a critique of their recital piece and we all went away happy!

    • FPSResources

      Awesome Rhonda! Groups are the best! 🙂 I do groups quarterly and call them a “bonus” if they have perfect attendance that quarter.

  3. Cindy Schultz

    I would absolutely love to end makeup lessons, but I’m not sure everyone would take to the idea of video lessons! I do have one question regarding the video lessons: Isn’t taping a lesson the same as taking the time for a makeup? You would still have to take the time to sit down and “talk” to the student about his/her lesson, and would still be taking your time and energy to make the video.
    Thanks for any suggestions you can give! I appreciate all your wonderful blogs and teaching helps!
    Cindy Schultz

    • FPSResources

      Cindy- that is the beauty of it! I do it all during their regular lesson time! So no, it’s not taking any extra time outside my normal teaching schedule because I’m using their lesson time to do it. The video itself is not a full 30 min because it does take time to record, upload to YouTube and email. I can however do all of this within their 30 min. So the average video is anywhere from 10-20 min. in length. As far as your hesitation on everyone taking to the idea, I think we “worry” too much… Don’t worry… just do it. 😉

      • Cindy Schultz

        It sounds fantastic to me! I’m ready to start implementing this idea for fall! Thank you so much for clarifying and sharing this great idea!

  4. Anne Graham

    I would love to see your video lesson!

  5. Lisa Smith

    I have tried doing lessons by Skype and Face time on a variety of iPad’s and with a variety of students and using a blue tooth speaker and I consistently find the sound quality to be prohibitive.

    • Jennifer Foxx

      Lisa, give it another shot but try using Zoom instead. SO much better!!! Give it a try! I’ve been using Zoom for a lot things this past year and I am a fan. Definitely my top choice! 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter Subscription

Stay updated and sign up for our email list to receive the Music Educator Resources newsletter which includes monthly freebies, exclusive tips, resources and specials to help today’s teacher stay relevant and engaged! You may opt-out at any time.

Click to Sign Up and Grab Welcome Gift

Subscribe to Blog Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,330 other subscribers


Post Archives