4 Weeks Holiday Leave Whenever You Want It
You are allowed to place your lessons on hold (and keep your spot and your teacher at Virtual Piano Academy) for up to 4 weeks every year. You can take this time off for holidays, use if you’re having a difficult financial month or simply just to take a break from lessons. We pause your payments during this time.
You can choose any 4 weeks you like. The 4 weeks can be all in a row, or spaced out over the year. Your 4 weeks starts from your joining date (not January 1) each year.
Example: If you join Virtual Piano Academy on October 14 2020, you have 4 weeks to take off (and pause your payments) between that day and October 13, 2021.
Please note, Holiday Leave must be taken in weeks. You can't take 4 days, or 10 days. You have to take 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks off at a time.
Mandatory 2 Week Break Over Christmas
You also get an additional 2 weeks over Christmas. Virtual Piano Academy is closed during this time, and all students and teachers take the same 2-week break. This 2 weeks is not included in your 4 weeks holiday leave. So essentially, you have 2 weeks off over Christmas at a set time (see our Calendar for exact dates each year) PLUS an additional 4 weeks of your choosing.
Need More Time Off?
If you require more time off than your 4 flexible holiday weeks plus the two weeks over Christmas, and plan on taking month-long breaks between lessons here and there Virtual Piano Academy probably isn’t the right fit for you.
We do not offer our lessons on a casual basis. It’s assumed that when you commit to lessons, you will practice each week on an ongoing basis….not just one month here, one month there. There is no way you will make progress like this.
So essentially, you are not able to skip a month or two, keep your place and your teacher, then return to Virtual Piano Academy whenever it suits you.
When you sign up, you commit to paying your lesson fee on a monthly recurring basis, until you quit, or take your holiday leave.
Continue Learning "On-the-Road"
We understand attending lessons whilst you're away is tricky when taking in-person lessons, but because we are 100% online, you could technically continue lessons whilst on holidays at your Aunt's holiday home. Even if you don't have access to a piano/keyboard for a week or two, there is still PLENTY you can do on the Virtual Piano Academy website to keep learning whilst on-the-road.
This is a great option if you've used up all your holiday weeks, or if you are holidaying somewhere with a piano (like at a relative's house for example). If you plan on travelling somewhere that doesn't have a piano, you could always consider bringing a small "travel keyboard" with you. I did this once on a trip to New York City. I was practicing on my keyboard with headphones on in the airport!
We recommend the Casio CTS200BK Casiotone 61 Keys Portable Keyboard:
Or the Lujex Travel Piano Foldable 61 Keyboard:
No Keyboard? No Problem!
If you don't want to take a keyboard with you, you can still learn heaps whilst you're away by interacting on The Academy HIVE; working through some of the resources in the Topic of the Month archives etc. If you're preparing for an exam, this would be a great opportunity to work on your General Knowledge component, or practice finally learning all your Italian terms! You may not be able to submit your weekly showcase video, but if you let your teacher know that you're still happy to learn whilst you're away, they can give you some other activities to work on! Sadly, it will mean you'll be ineligible for Student of the Month that month though.
Applying For Holiday Leave
You must apply for your holiday leave at least 2 weeks before you take it. Your payments are paused (ie: you are not charged) during these holiday breaks.
You can apply to take your Holidays here. This form is also available in your Lesson Portal. Applying for Holiday Leave requires 2 weeks' notice, so is something that needs to be planned for (and not a solution if you suddenly can't submit your Showcase video on your lesson day this week).
We Put Your Away Dates in the Virtual Piano Academy Calendar of Events
When you're on holidays, we put your away dates in our Calendar of Events. This way you, your teacher and all Virtual Piano Academy staff are on the same page. That way it ensures your teacher doesn't waste time preparing your material, only for you not to do it because you're away...but also ensures we are prepared and ready with your next round of homework when you return.
What If You Need to Extend Your Holiday Whilst You're Actually Away?
If your plans change when you're away and you've decided to take 2 weeks off instead of 1, just let us know by shooting us a quick message using the pop-up chat window. We can adjust your dates in the diary, and let your teacher know you'll be away for another week.
If you are away on holidays and you're taking your 4th and final week of your holiday leave, and you decide you want to extend your holiday an additional week or two, we will need to start charging your card again. In this case, you either forfeit your payment or you choose to continue learning whilst you're away by logging on and using some of the resources on our website.
How Much Notice Do I Need to Give Before I Go Away on Holidays?
If you are planning on taking a holiday, please let us know a minimum of 2 weeks (14 days) in advance by filling in the Holiday Leave request form in your Lesson Portal.
If you don’t apply for your holiday leave a minimum of 2 weeks (14 days) in advance, you will continue to pay for your lessons whilst you are away.
We are a global music school, with teachers and students from all around the world. We won't operate on a specific school term, or around specific national holidays. This is impossible given the global nature of our school. So, with that in mind, just because it's your mid-term holiday in your country, doesn't mean all students are taking holidays at the same time in their countries. We don't assume anyone is taking holidays unless you specifically apply for it.
Can I Access the Virtual Piano Academy Website When I'm Away?
No. If you've applied to take one of your 4 weeks' holidays, we pause your card payments, which means we also pause your access to the Virtual Piano Academy website.
What If I Still Want to Be Able to Access the Virtual Piano Academy website When I'm Away?
If you need access to something on the website whilst you're away, you will need to make sure you either download it, or take a screenshot of it before your credit card is paused and you embark on your holiday. Once your credit card payment is paused, you are locked out of the Virtual Piano Academy website.
If you don't want to be locked out, and you still want to have access to everything on our website whilst you're away, then you can simply choose not to pause your payments whilst you're away. Your payments will continue as normal, as will your access to the Virtual Piano Academy website. We won't count this as one of your holiday weeks.
Can My Teacher Send Me Something I Need Whilst I'm Away on Holidays?
No. If you've paused your payments and taken one of your holidays weeks, you cannot access the Virtual Piano Academy website; you cannot chat with your teacher or use your "life-lines", and you cannot request that your teacher send you anything, give you feedback on something or communicate with you.
Student of the Month and Progress Reports When I'm Away
If you take holidays, you obviously won't receive points or marks for Weekly Showcase submissions that you miss, but because of this, it also makes you ineligible for Student of the Month in the months that you are away. If you are away over two months (eg: end of May and start of June), you will be ineligible to receive Student of the Month for both of these months. You also don't receive progress reports for the months you are away, in the same fashion as above.
If I Don't Take Holiday Leave One Year, Does It Accumulate the Next Year?
Yes. If you don't use one or two weeks of your holiday leave in your 12 month period, it can be saved and used for the following 12-month period.