If you are considering a violin or viola teacher, do you expect to take a trial lesson, and do you expect to pay for it? And if you are a teacher, do you charge for trial lessons, or not?
It's been a while since I was a student, but I can say I never had a "trial lesson" with a teacher, so I never paid for one. I chose my teachers based on a number of factors - their reputation, talking with their students, etc. For at least one teacher, I auditioned, but this was in the context of university, so there was no extra charge.
As a teacher, I have gone back and forth on this issue. On one hand, I do think teachers should be compensated for their time. One should be paid for giving someone an hour-long lesson.
On the other hand, I find that, if someone simply wants to take lessons from me and doesn't feel the need to take a trial lesson, I actually have an interest in meeting with that student and parent before they join my studio. I require that we meet and talk in advance, and if it's not a beginner, I'd like to hear the student play. So does one pay for that?
It would seem that the "business model" for lessons has certainly changed over my lifetime, and it's a bit of a moving target! What has your experience been, with the idea of "trial lessons"? Do you expect to take one before signing on with a teacher? Do you expect to give trial lessons? What are your policies, if you are a teacher, regarding payment for trial lessons? Please participate in the vote and then share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
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