Makeup Lessons

Ask DrJ:

Dear Dr. J: Why are you such a jerk about makeup lessons- I think it's only fair that you reschedule our session this week, since Jimmy has a ballet recital.


Great Question! It's quite hard making a career in music- I LOVE music, and I LOVE teaching.

My students are literally family to me, and as such, it is very hard to maintain boundaries and remember that while they are my family--I love them, would walk through fire to help them, but I also have to make sure that I take care of MY real family.

  • If I don't be a good businessman my kid doesn't get new shoes.
  • If I am not a good businessman my dog doesn't eat.
  • If I am not a good businessman my family doesn't have a place to live.

I found this article quite striking -- it very clearly summarizes why makeup lessons are impractical from both an economic standpoint, and from a scheduling standpoint.

I've struggled with how to say this elegantly, and respectfully, for years-- I think that Ms. Barnham has hit the nail on the head with the following:

Speaking now as an economist, I would claim that the reason is that items like clothing are "durable goods' - meaning, they can be returned and then resold at the original price - whereas music lessons are non-durable goods - meaning, once my Monday slot at 3:30 is gone, my son's teacher can't turn around and sell it again. The only way she would be able to give him a lesson later in the week would be if she were to give up time that she had scheduled for her own private life; and that seems pretty unreasonable - I can't think of many employees who would be thrilled if their bosses were to announce that they couldn't work from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon, but would they please stay until 6:30 on Thursday, because there will be work for them then!

Interesting food for thought. Please take a moment and read the original article -

Make-up Lessons From An Economist's Point of View