Hello to all! Welcome to the Music Teachers’ forum, a space to share support, network and have fun with other music teachers located across the UK and beyond.

Group Guidelines

How do students pay for lessons? (All Teachers)

6 replies, 5 voices Last updated by  Eliza Jane Fyfe 1 month, 1 week ago
  • Creator
  • #3148

    Laura Ratcliffe

    So I’m watching a documentary that is saying cash will be obsolete by 2025 and it got me thinking.. how do students pay for lessons? I have a mixture, some pay by cash for a one off initial session, then in blocks of 4. For a block booking, they pay either by cash, paypal or bank transfer. I wondered what other tutors do? If there is a good online booking system you’d recommend or does any-one use those portable card machines you can get?

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #3149

    Matthew Rusk

    Great question – my students all paid via cash for single lessons, then bank transfers for block bookings / voucher payments. I would get the odd cheque now and again – but mostly it was those two formats.

    I know that Matt Jamison in Belfast has been looking into a portable card machine, I will ask him about it 🙂 I also think Dave Rutherford in Middlesborough might know a little more about this type of thing.

    As for cash being obsolete by 2025, personally I don’t think it will happen. The government’s main motivation for this is to ensure that all transactions are taxed properly (i.e. ending the cash in hand work culture that goes undocumented) – however, instead of ending this they risk people moving to a new form of currency (might be online) or an alternative for “cash” in real life, that would mean that it doesn’t achieve the aim that they intended. It is a huge political risk to implement such a change, that might backfire and actually decrease tax income. Personally I don’t think any future government will have the political drive to push this through – especially with the fallout of Brexit over the next 10 years being the main focus.

    I might be totally wrong, but I believe cash will be hear to stay for the foreseeable future 😉


    Josh Burke
    Points: 26,172.389

    So I say to all my students that I can take cash at the end of the lesson, pay by card via my card reader (more on that later) or by BACS, but only as a last resort for the latter. And I’ll be honest, I don’t really know how to write a check… never had to (I know, I’m young millennial type, whatever! 😀 ).

    The card reader and service I use is called iZettle, which I’ve so far found to be incredibly useful. Last month I took in £615 in card payments, which came out with a fee of £16.95. Some may think this is £15 that they could have in their pocket instead, but for the simplicity it offers, and the fact that I don’t have to chase people for money as often, I find it’s really worth it.

    My business head also tells me that making the payment process quick and simple (especially with contactless) will lessen the likelihood of students questioning if their lessons are worth handing over however much cash a week.

    I also run all my cash payments through the app that the card reader uses, which will then add it all up and can be viewed either in the app, online, or exported to excel, which is mighty handy.

    Anyway, long story short, anyone thinking about going down the card reader route, I highly recommend it!


    Laura Ratcliffe
    Points: 11,469.044
    Master Teacher / Student

    That’s really useful – thank you guys!! xx


    Matthew Rusk

    Glad we could help! I know that over the last few weeks this particular subject has come up so many times for me in talks with other educational facilities, it is a really hot topic at the moment – I think we will see some of the major players within music tuition bring out products that enable teachers to take payments by card on devices at the end of the lessons. I will keep you updated of products that I hear about that are in development at the moment in regard to taking contactless payments etc…it is such a developing market!


    Leigh Fuge
    Points: 357,200.176

    I used to take cash, but recently I’ve moved to online.

    I invoice students for lessons and take payment ahead of the lessons. I use Paypal (It does charge a fee but it’s really not much – works out about 80p off £20). Having students pay ahead of the lessons means students commit to the timeslot. For me, it’s been amazing. Last minute cancellations are a thing of the past. It’s easier to enforce a cancellation policy (You can have T&Cs attached to the invoice – Mine say that any cancellations within 24 hours of the start time are payable in full). Once people pay to secure the slot, they are much less likely to decide “Oh, it’s sunny. I won’t bother today”.

    I’ve actually had most of my students tell me it’s made things easier for them too. A lot were telling me they only withdrew cash to pay me.


    Eliza Jane Fyfe
    Points: 888,066.387
    Current Forum LeaderMaster Teacher / Student

    Completely the same and in agreement with Leigh!

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.