When pupils accept an offer of a place for tuition with me, they (or their parent or guardian, if they are under 18) sign an agreement to that effect and confirm that they will adhere to the conditions of that agreement.
The ISM say:
“The acceptance of a student is a business contract. Teachers should therefore ensure through use of a written agreement, preferably the ISM agreement for private music tuition, that the terms of the contract are clearly understood by the student before lessons commence. If the student is a minor, a parent or guardian must clearly understand the arrangements and agree to them.”
The contract I use is the one provided by the ISM. It ensures, for my part, that my livelihood is protected by way of notice periods and conditions relating to cancellation of lessons. It protects my reputation by stating that examinations or public performances should not be undertaken without my consent.
It also protects you, as a pupil, by ensuring that I will not abandon lessons unexpectedly (I am subject to the same notice period that pupils are), that I will catch up any prepaid lessons that I have to cancel myself, and that I will provide a quality service to you as a customer.
As an ISM member, I am bound by their codes of ethics and practice, and am answerable to them. In turn, they are available to assist me in matters of dispute, for example by recovering payments on my behalf if notice has not been served, or in cases of breach of contract.
In general, I always do my best to be as relaxed and accommodating as I can be regarding contractual issues, however with a written agreement in place all parties should be aware of their obligations and meet them to the best of their ability.
The ISM contract is available to download as a pdf file below, and I provide hard and/or digital copies to all my pupils before their first lesson.
If you have lost your copy and would like a new contract filled in and signed by me, please let me know and I will complete a duplicate copy for you.