You see, from a teacher's perspective, a make-up is extra. This is our job and we have worked hard to schedule each student carefully. Some of us travel from studio to studio to piece together enough students in enough towns to make this our living, while others teach more for fun in their spare time. However, whether we have loads of spare time or very little, make-up lessons have to happen outside of work hours. Yes, work hours are a flexible thing for many of us, but scheduling a make-up lesson is like moving a Tuesday-afternoon board meeting to a Satruday morning.
Listen, we're all human.
Things happen. If you let us teachers know what's going on, we are usually very flexible with scheduling make-up lessons! We are teaching a life skill, and part of that is time management and communication. If a student falls ill, has a sudden school or family conflict, we won't know until you tell us. Whether the student gets home from school or work and isn't feeling well, or if they got stuck in traffic on the way to the lesson after leaving an hour early for the lesson, it's the same to us in our studio, checking the clock.
Your missed lesson time is, at best, enough time for us to catch up on e-mails or run through some scales. We're not able to run out for lunch or boot up the Xbox. Most of the time, we're flipping through e-mails and texts. Did they say they had a band concert today? Am I thinking of Sarah F. instead of Sarah B.? Am I in the right studio today or am I supposed to be in Apex?! Unless, of course, we are teaching from our home studio - if you show up late at my studio, you might find me changing the laundry over to the dryer, sweeping the walkway, or refilling my coffee. That said, home make-ups are much easier to schedule because I know I'll be there!
If we have already been paid for a lesson that a student chose to miss for whatever reason - even a really good reason - then a make-up is a free lesson we have to schedule outside of work hours. This is why many studios will place a minimum requirement on make-up lessons. For example, one of my employers only requires us to teach two makeup lessons, no questions asked. This is to protect us from the obligation of teaching lessons for every school conflict, forgotten lesson, college visit, family emergency, date night, or any other excuse a high school kid with a ton of homework can come up with.
Most teachers are really good people and love to treat each student like a human being with a very busy life, so we would love to give unlimited make-up lessons. Unfortunately, we as professionals already have to struggle to be paid for our services in enough situations, and it's unfair to expect us to offer lessons for free whenever someone wants to reschedule.
I don't mean to sound angry, even if I'm speaking in capital letters.
All we, as teachers, freelancers, and musicians, ask, is that you value our time as we value yours. If you must miss previously scheduled lessons, tell us about it as soon as you can, reschedule it in advance, or consider changing your lesson time to one that will more consistently work for you.. Thanks!