Navigating the Complex World of Make-Up Lessons in Music Schools: A Journey to Success

As the owner of a thriving music school with 1,400 students, I've navigated through the treacherous waters of managing make-up lessons—a challenge that can make or break the growth and operational efficiency of educational institutions in the arts. Today, I want to share our journey, the hurdles we've overcome, and how embracing technology has been a game-changer for us.

The Dilemma of Make-Up Policies

In the world of music education, make-up lessons have always been a contentious issue. On one end of the spectrum, we have schools with stringent make-up policies. These institutions, while maintaining a high standard of commitment to music education, inadvertently limit their market to a small segment of students—those who prioritize music above all other activities. This approach, while manageable, often sacrifices potential growth and inclusivity for the sake of simplicity.

On the opposite end are schools that offer flexible make-up policies. This approach is inclusive and caters to a broader audience, acknowledging the busy and unpredictable schedules of students and their families. However, this flexibility comes at a cost. Prior to our transformation, we found ourselves drowning in a sea of rescheduling requests, juggling emails, SMS, and calls, which not only increased the likelihood of errors but also led to burnout among our administrative staff. Our school, once plateauing at around 400 students, was struggling to scale and retain a satisfied workforce.

The Turning Point: Embracing Automation with

The breakthrough came when we switched to, a platform designed to automate all aspects of music school management, including lesson cancellations and make-up self-booking. This was a game-changer for us; allowing parents to conveniently self-cancel lessons and book make-ups, all while adhering to our make-up policy, including enforcement of late cancellations and configurable limits on make-up credits.

Implementing allowed us to offer the flexibility that parents appreciated without overburdening our admin staff. The self-service model not only differentiated us from our competitors but also helped us to serve a wider array of students and retain them for longer periods. By February 2024, we have scaled to 1,400 students, a testament to the effectiveness of automation in streamlining operations and fostering growth.

Addressing Misconceptions: The Fear of Schedule Gaps

A common concern among music school owners when considering flexible make-up policies is the fear of creating gaps in teachers' schedules. However, our experience has proven this to not be true, as many other schools using have confirmed. With, when a student cancels a lesson, it doesn't result in lost time for our teachers; rather, it opens up an opportunity for another student to book a make-up lesson. This dynamic ensures that our teachers' schedules remain full, facilitating a more efficient use of their time and contributing to their satisfaction.

Moreover, the flexibility to book make-ups with other teachers if the regular instructor isn't available has been a boon. It ensures that students continue their education without interruption, fostering longer retention rates, benefiting both the students and the school.

It's a win-win situation—students receive the education they deserve, and teachers enjoy full schedules, more stable and long term students. I never once had a teacher complain they had not enough hours or too many holes due to cancellations. They are all completely full, and if anything, they enjoy an extra break once in a while when on rare occasion there is no make up booked over a cancellation.

Conclusion: A Harmonious Solution

In conclusion, the journey from a struggling school to a flourishing institution has taught us the importance of flexibility, efficiency, and the role of technology in modern education. By automating the process of managing make-up lessons, we have not only alleviated the administrative burden but also enhanced the learning experience for our students and the working environment for our teachers.

Our story, along with those of many other schools using, is a testament to the fact that with the right tools and approach, music schools can navigate the challenge of make-up lessons, scale their operations, and cater to a diverse student body without compromising on quality or efficiency. The key lies in embracing innovation and finding solutions that benefit all stakeholders—students, teachers, and administrators alike.

Sam Lellouche
February 20, 2024