Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!


SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Virtual Sheet Music
Download Sheet Music Instantly
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Sheet Music...
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Who's Online Now
148 registered members (Albunea, Almaviva, agraffe, anamnesis, ando, 34 invisible), 1,825 guests, and 9 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
#1723237 - 07/29/11 06:34 PM When parental involvement crosses the line  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
I have an 8 year old male transfer student who is extremely overscheduled, and has a mom who says she has a Fine Arts degree. Since I took over the student (I'd been a sub for him in the past when his former teacher was away), I feel like I constantly have to defend my choices (recital location - mom turned her nose up at the store location and for weeks the student said he couldn't participate if it was "outdoors."). Student asked me to print, b/c he can't read my writing. fair enough. They are ALWAYS late, and student then asks if I will make up the time, to which I respond that I cannot. Mom wants to linger after the lessons for long chats, yet declines sitting in on his lessons. Student constantly asks how much time we have, and often has focus issues. He plays mainly by ear, so I spend a lot of time working on rhythm, note reading so theory doesn't get as much attention (other than composition projects). For some reason, mom is always asking if theory is covered. He misses a lot of lessons due to vacation, and the resultant poor performances are due to "my lack of clarity instructions". Mom's last email questioned my instruction to work on a piece Hands Separate - asking me how HS improves the student, and student wanted to know why he had to do it when his prior 2 teachers didn't ask him to do it. Of course, I spent 5 minutes explaining (to an 8 Year Old), showing him Primer and explaining there is no need for HS practice, and of course, giving all the reasons why HS is needed for some of his pieces. As I write this, I think there's no question that I should drop this family. Of course I want my students to question instructions that they don't udnerstand, but more often than not, I feel like I am defending my choices and methods as a teacher. Input is greatly appreciated as to your experiences with parents like this.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1723272 - 07/29/11 08:38 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Stanny  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
If it were any one thing you listed, you could easily get their behavior changed, but you have a lot to deal with. I would definitely want to drop this student. I've never had a student/family like that though, so I can't tell you how I'd do it!


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
#1723274 - 07/29/11 08:57 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 787
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Gerard12  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 787
South Carolina
My amateur psychoanalysis: The mother has an inferiority complex.

Oh, the things that stupid people will do in the hopes that they'll come off as smart.......

Drop them.


Piano instruction and performance
#1723304 - 07/29/11 10:08 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
I agree! Thanks, Stanny.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1723316 - 07/29/11 11:13 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 15,692
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 15,692
Boynton Beach, FL
Definitely dismiss them. And I wouldn't mince words about how you don't want to constantly have to defend yourself. YOU are the professional they hired to teach their son, and yet THEY constantly question you, and that rubs off ont he child. Tell me, if a child sees that their parent doesn't trust the teacher, will the child trust the teacher? Probably not, which means they won't do what they're told when practicing alone for the remainder of the week.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1723376 - 07/30/11 02:15 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,061
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,061
Of course I see why you could drop this student. But let me play the devil's advocate. The student has already had two other teachers and he's only eight. The complaint about the recital location I'd just brush off. Some people are so nervous about recitals, they will react like this. Particularly if they don't practice enough. You were assertive about the lateness and it paid off. Now be assertive about the lingering. Don't worry about the parental attendance. I certainly don't, as PianoDad will attest to. I don't teach children theory until they are 12, but if the mother really wants this, you need to suggest longer lessons. Some people need more reasons than others and explaining hands separate practice is a normal part of your job. I think you should stick with the boy so that:
he has continuity,
his mother learns your boundaries,
you learn to set your boundaries.
Good luck.

#1723378 - 07/30/11 02:29 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,049
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,049
Orange County, CA
Why don't you try raising this kid's rates by 20%? 30%?

He'll see himself out.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1723381 - 07/30/11 02:43 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 650
pianoanne Offline
500 Post Club Member
pianoanne  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 650
Pacific NW
I also think that you could give it a little more time, setting additional boundaries for the mother and see if things improve. You could suggest to the mother that you have another student directly following her son's lesson and her questions would easily be answered if she sat in on lessons once in a while. I also second the advice to suggest a longer lesson since there is not enough time to cover theory in the current lesson time.

#1723474 - 07/30/11 11:35 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: pianoanne]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 108
ilikepiano Offline
Full Member
ilikepiano  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 108
My teacher is not a suzuki teacher but he encourages parents to sit it on every lesson. Otherwise, how would the parent know what is really going on?

My mom sits in my lessons every week and always knows exactly what my teacher wants from me. She also picks up things that I might overlook. When you write up your studio policy, I would put in that you Strongly Encourage parents to sit in for the entire lesson!

#1723510 - 07/30/11 12:53 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,764
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,764
San Jose, CA
My solutions for this problem tend to run to Class A felonies. Perhaps I had better not share...


Clef

#1723575 - 07/30/11 02:59 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Jeff Clef]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
My solutions for this problem tend to run to Class A felonies. Perhaps I had better not share...


grin

#1723591 - 07/30/11 03:49 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Jeff Clef]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,492
Gary D. Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,492
South Florida
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
My solutions for this problem tend to run to Class A felonies. Perhaps I had better not share...

DITTO!!! LOL smile


Piano Teacher
#1723719 - 07/30/11 08:28 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
Ditto, Jeff, Gary, and Pianodad. smile


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1723723 - 07/30/11 08:30 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
Thanks to all for your valued input. I work in a store, so dismissing a student is something they vehemently discourage (even though my contract states I have the sole right to dismiss or refuse a student). I think it's a great idea to suggest a longer lesson, why didn't I think of that? duh. Maybe I've grown to dread these lessons, b/c I have quite a few beginners who take 45 mins.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1723802 - 07/30/11 10:57 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Candywoman]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 40
scherzetto Offline
Full Member
scherzetto  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 40
Canada
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Of course I see why you could drop this student. But let me play the devil's advocate. The student has already had two other teachers and he's only eight. The complaint about the recital location I'd just brush off. Some people are so nervous about recitals, they will react like this. Particularly if they don't practice enough. You were assertive about the lateness and it paid off. Now be assertive about the lingering. Don't worry about the parental attendance. I certainly don't, as PianoDad will attest to. I don't teach children theory until they are 12, but if the mother really wants this, you need to suggest longer lessons. Some people need more reasons than others and explaining hands separate practice is a normal part of your job. I think you should stick with the boy so that:
he has continuity,
his mother learns your boundaries,
you learn to set your boundaries.
Good luck.



Hm, I have to say that so far, I'm with Candywoman on this one. Maybe it's just because of the limited amount of info we have (and I reread your initial post at least twice to make sure I wasn't missing anything), but these "offenses" don't sound to me like they warrant a dismissal. Sure, in some ways the mother seems to be going a bit too far, but I get the feeling that she just wants to make sure her child is learning what should(and, of course, with her limited knowledge, she's ended up asking some questions that sound silly to one more knowledgeable). From what I've seen of many piano teachers in the past, she has good reason to be concerned about the quality of his lessons, but you sound like a competent teacher, so you have nothing to fear from her digging anyway. Unless she makes things even more difficult, I would try to work with this family (the son's behavior simply sounds like a result of his mother's). At his age, limited attention and restlessness are very typical, often for boys especially. And, I honestly apologize if I've misunderstood you, but you seem to be inordinately offended by their "why" questions. You have every right not to have your authority as a piano teacher questioned, but why is it so offensive to you to explain, whether the questioner is five or an adult, how a certain technique can help one learn better? Balking at something like this makes you sound condescending and impatient--but again, all that is from judging a very limited amount of info. Feel free to correct any assumptions or misunderstandings.


"Where words fail, music speaks." --Hans Christian Andersen
#1723979 - 07/31/11 11:34 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
susanmusic Offline
Full Member
susanmusic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
"Dear Mom of Student

In response to your e-mail re hands separate practice, may I suggest that Jonny can feel free to play hands together whenever he is ready. But hands separate practice is always an option for the more challenging pieces he will be encountering at his current level.

I am wondering, however, if your question reflects an underlying lack of confidence in my ability to teach him. If that's the case, please be assured that I will not be offended if you would like to look for another teacher at this time. There are many fine teachers in the area/store and one of them may be a better fit for Jonny."





Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.
#1724079 - 07/31/11 04:04 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
scherzo, thanks, and I truly appreciate your tasteful and non=offensive response. I think you'd have to meet the parent to understand. It is a constant barrage of what I consider to be nicely asked rude questions. They routinely arrive late, and he immediately asks if I will make up the time. When I end the lesson, he asks what time it is, and then asks me if I have another lesson waiting! Can you imagine this from an 8 year old. The impertinence is intolerable. Normally I would laugh it off, but it's built up to the explosive stage now. She takes tons of vacations, and expects make ups or credits. She thought my decision to have our spring recital at hte store was tacky, even though i excplained in great detail why I selected the stroe (waiting for a better location meant 6 students would not be availabel to play, it fell on a holiday, and too many of my tiny young students would not be able to eprform adquately on a Steinway grand as 99% of my students have keyboards) She always wants a private session after his lesson, and I feel "cornered" if I don't have a lesson immediately following. She doesn't chat for a minute or two, but for 20 minutes about herself and her son. They are always "unclear" about my instructions, I never "cover enough" in the 30 minute lesson, I don't write clearly enough. It's endless, yet she continues to sign up every month with me. I have run out of energy with her, and am convinced that she is not confident in me and don't care enough (and don't want to keep them, honestly) to prove to her that I am capable.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724087 - 07/31/11 04:14 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: susanmusic]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
susan, thanks! She emailed me asking for a report on her son's lesson. I immediately emailed her and explained the issue with note reading and that a good portion of the lesson was devoted to one particular piece. I explained how our composition work would help the note reading and added that he should practice HANDS SEPARATELY until he was confident with the fingering, rhythm and note reading before putting hands together. I told her that I have my students practice HS once they start learning pieces where both left and right hands are involved. (I'd written it in his assignment book and talked about with him since May) She emailed again, 6 days later, the day before his next lesson, asking for more clarity on HS practice and how it helps to improve the student, as well as again asking for more theory in the lesson. At the next lesson, I spent 5 minutes explaining to the student why we now had to practice HS (moving from Primer to Level lA), and why it wasn't needed in Primer. At this point, I emailed her back and said that I didn't think she was happy with any of my choices or teaching methods and I would perfectly understand if she found another teacher, that it may be a beter fit, etc. She then went to the store manager and complained, questioning again about the HS practice method. Yet she signed up for August with me.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724088 - 07/31/11 04:16 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
scherzetto, geez, I should have spell checked that post, could you tell I was emotional when typing? And I was a Spelling Bee champ, so this is very embarrassing.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724093 - 07/31/11 04:23 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 218
pianoeagle Offline
Full Member
pianoeagle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 218
Texas
Do you have a studio policy that has been provided to this student's mom? It seems like the issues regarding the lesson tardiness, expectation of lesson credits and make-ups, parent-teacher briefings, and studio recitals could have been handled through a policy. How the parent chooses to utilize that time is up to them - if they have 30 minutes of questions, that's fine, but that takes away from their child's lesson.

My policy says that parent-teacher briefings are part of the lesson time, and 5 minutes can be allocated at the end of a lesson, if needed. Also, studio recitals are held in a central, cost-efficient location, as I include the cost of the recital hall rental in the tuition.

I understand that the mom may be a handful, but I think a written policy may help address some of your issues.


Children's piano instructor
Member NGPT, MTNA/TMTA/PMTA, NFMC/SJFMC
#1724101 - 07/31/11 04:41 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
Yes I did provide my studio policy regarding make ups, no shows, etc., yet certain families do continue to ask for and expect make ups, and in certain instances, I do make exceptions. But I do not have language about recitals, discussions with parents, and will incorporate that into a revised policy in the near future. Thanks for the suggestions.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724142 - 07/31/11 06:35 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member
ten left thumbs  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
Scotland
Chasingrainbows, sounds like you're chasing rainbows!

From your description it sounds almost like the game is to manipulate you, keep you busy, by asking seemingly reasonable questions, to which answers have already been given. To what end, I don't know. Maybe they do it all the time, with everyone. Spending 20 minutes talking about yourself, well, I know a few people who like to do that. Looking intelligent, perhaps, by asking lots of questions? Feeling in control?

It sounds like they're tapping lots of your energy. If you really can't/don't want to fire them, then how about a different strategy:

- Can you clarify the need for HS practice?
- I have already clarified why your son needs to practice HS. What exactly did you not understand in what I said earlier? or: I can only repeat myself. If you didn't get it then, you won't get it now. or: I don't think explaining this to you again is an effective use of teaching time. My advice is: HS.
And: ask them to leave on time.

You will need to keep time strictly, asking them to leave whether you have another student or not. You owe them nothing. You are a nice person. You give them an inch and they take a mile. Then everyone gets used to it. You will need to be very consistent and firm.

#1724417 - 08/01/11 09:22 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: ten left thumbs]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
susanmusic Offline
Full Member
susanmusic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
Yep, I think ten thumbs has nailed the game.

May I ask how much of this saga you have shared with the store manager? I suspect that in this case s/he would be accepting of a decision to dismiss this student.


Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.
#1724451 - 08/01/11 10:38 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
susan, I've shared all of it, but store mgr is typical - overwhelmed, and only gets half of what you tell her and is totally customer oriented.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724462 - 08/01/11 10:54 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
I would not expect him to be anything but totally customer oriented, unless he has difficulty finding teachers.

You are encountering one of the standard difficulties of being an employee.

#1724465 - 08/01/11 11:03 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 250
bmbutler Offline
Full Member
bmbutler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 250
Kick this student and his Mother to the curb. If the store gives you a hard time, ask them to assign the family to another teacher (poor thing!). They are NEVER going to be happy!


Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983
#1724484 - 08/01/11 11:56 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,764
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,764
San Jose, CA
"They are NEVER going to be happy!"

True, to a point. People like this are 'happy' when they have a good chance to whine, complain, and make their problems someone else's fault (for example, having a child that is stupid).

But, hey, everyone is capable of growth, even your student and her mother. "Never" is a long time, even for them.

Strictly for your own mental health and not for anyone else's, you could start translating everything the mother says so that you hear the opposite. In fact, it could be interesting if you would write us a letter with one of these 'conversations' translated. I predict your problems will vanish, one way or another.

I figured this out when I lived in San Francisco, which has an unusually high proportion of lowlifes on the street, per capita--- three or four per block, on the average. Instead of hearing them say, "Spare a little change, spare a little change," I translated this and started hearing them say, "Have a nice day, have a nice day."

This is not an endorsement of outright neurosis, nor of being mean-spirited and ungenerous. Rather, that we are better off investing in things we would like to see more of, rather than less of.

I realize that the distinction can be subtle.


Clef

#1724533 - 08/01/11 01:21 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
susanmusic Offline
Full Member
susanmusic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
OK, I suggested to this complaining, critical parent that she find another teacher with whom she would be happier. She chose to continue with me. Now I am free to . . . . .

Have fun completing the sentence with many ideas, serious or not.


Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.
#1724561 - 08/01/11 02:08 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Piano*Dad]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,404
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,404
Canada
Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
I would not expect him to be anything but totally customer oriented, unless he has difficulty finding teachers.

You are encountering one of the standard difficulties of being an employee.

A teacher is not so much an employee as a freelance professional.
A customer dealing with a professional does have a role, but lay people may not know what that is. Even if you hire an accountant, you must provide the proper documents and be available for questions. A customer may think that he is the "boss". What you really need to do is request a service, and then let the professional provide the service according to that person's expertise, and cooperate.

The parent should make clear what her wishes are: competence at the piano, understanding music, for example. The teacher decides how that is brought about - a parent doesn't have a role in how it's done (HT, HS, etc.). This is where it's going wrong. I think even a piano teacher entrusting her child to another piano teacher has to respect that teacher's approach. If you are uneasy about the results of your child's lessons, then you can ask about that and discuss your goals (are they reasonable?), and how you can help. But you don't meddle in how the teacher is teaching.

#1724629 - 08/01/11 03:44 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted by keystring
A teacher is not so much an employee as a freelance professional.
A customer dealing with a professional does have a role, but lay people may not know what that is.

I don't know what you are talking about.

Chasingrainbows works out of a store owned by someone else.

Originally Posted by Chasingrainbows
I work in a store, so dismissing a student is something they vehemently discourage (even though my contract states I have the sole right to dismiss or refuse a student).


She is experiencing the travails of the employee whose interests don't always fully align with the those of the person she works for. If she was a private teacher with her own studio (in her home) she could behave as a truly independent professional.

As it stands, for her "boss" the store owner, the customer (this insecure and/or ill-mannered mom) is king.

#1724636 - 08/01/11 03:59 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
shirlkirsten Offline
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
Berkeley, California
Just this morning, as I was traveling by Amtrak I thought about this whole parent issue..How I could almost classify parents by various kinds of behaviors. There are the participating parents who genuinely express an interest in the progress of their child, and generally do make it a point, more often than not to sit in on lessons. Or at least they acknowledge receiving e-mailed assignments with comments on how to best improve technique, pieces etc.

When a parent has to exercise CONTROL by diminishing the value of the teacher, then for me, it's time to call it quits.

If some of these parents want to basically teach their own kids, and not allow the teacher the parameter to impart instruction, then I say, either why don't you teach your own child or obtain a teacher in synch with your philosophy of education. Life is too short to get bogged down with interpersonal issues that lead nowhere fast.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
#1724685 - 08/01/11 05:10 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: bmbutler]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
bmbutler, yes I've told the store that she should switch to another store teacher, but the store doesn't want to do that.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724687 - 08/01/11 05:12 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: ten left thumbs]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
ten thumbs, thanks! I actually followed up her second email about more clarity with regard to HS practice by stating that I had explained it in the prior email and cut and pasted the prior explanation to the email. I like your diplomatic, yet to the point language. I will use that in the future.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724693 - 08/01/11 05:22 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
music32, I agree 100%. I welcome parental involvement and parent and student questions until it becomes rude and offensive. She admitted that she told her son to ask me why he had to practice HS when his prior 2 teachers didn't ask him to (to which I responded very positively and explained in great detail to him and her). I suspect she is the reason he always starts off the lesson asking if I will make up his late arrival, or when the lesson is over, he asks me if I have another lesson waiting. I feel on the defensive now. It's been a barrage of incidents -- some small and easy to overlook, but when added together with questions such as "how does _____ a particular instruction "improve the student" and why more theory isn't covered in the lesson (it is covered in every lesson which I've told her repeatedly), well, it becomes intrusive and IMO offensive.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724721 - 08/01/11 06:38 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member
ten left thumbs  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
Scotland
I do think that there are some strange people out there, who are particularly needy, or seek attention, or who have strange ways of achieving gratification. They make it their business to go around seeking good subjects for their ends - people who will give individual attention, or engage in conversation. When they find a good person for this, they can latch on and really stick tenaciously.

As musicians, music teachers, we are very involved in our profession. We think carefully about, for example the need for HS practice, or scales, or note reading, or whatever. We do like to explain what we are doing and why. This can make us really quite vulnerable.

I have more experience of this from some charity work that I do - sometimes we end up being 'used and abused' by the particular members of the public, and then it turns out workers from other charities have been treated similarly by the very same person who clearly has a problem. It just leads to this sense of sniffing out those for whom the process of interaction seems more important than anything else. I just don't like that feeling of being manipulated.

It is quite possible, chasing, that if you stop it dead, they will move on.

Sorry you're having to deal with this.

#1724743 - 08/01/11 07:20 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
tenthumbs, if this were a private student, I would have dropped them long ago. She wants to continue with me, and my store doesn't want her to switch teachers. You are absolutely correct --she loves being the center of attention, making suggestions to me, talking about her background and her son's extracurricular activities. She is perfectly at ease asking for more of everything, my time, make ups, credits, more clarity, more explanations, more justifications. It's relentless and very draining. There's no pleasing this person. I started out very accomodating, very attentive, very accessible, but I feel it's become an unsurmountable task now. I didn't mean to keep venting about this particular parent, but I want to be "clear" that, IMO, I've gone over and above. I understand that as teachers, what we take for granted as necessary, such as HS practice, may seem foreign to students and/or parents and they have every right to ask for an explanation. But when they then ask how it improves the student, I feel that is an indication of lack of trust in my methods. Isn't that the goal of everything we teach? To improve the student's musical ability?


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1724870 - 08/01/11 10:55 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,061
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,061
So where do you stand now? You've gotten various opinions on what to do. My feeling is you've made your decision but have trouble following through with it. If I were you, I'd contact your boss and explain that you've made your decision: you will not be able to adequately serve your other students with this draining situation. You WILL quit teaching this student. What you fear is that you will get fired. I doubt you will. In all likelihood you will get more respect from your boss. Please let us know your decision soon, as this is starting to drain me! (Just kidding!)

#1724889 - 08/01/11 11:32 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 320
slerk Offline
Full Member
slerk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 320
Massachusetts, USA
Well, you've got to appeal to the source of money.

#1724962 - 08/02/11 02:00 AM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 40
scherzetto Offline
Full Member
scherzetto  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 40
Canada
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
scherzetto, geez, I should have spell checked that post, could you tell I was emotional when typing? And I was a Spelling Bee champ, so this is very embarrassing.


No problem, chasingrainbows. smile

Thanks for the explanation. I've been trying to catch up on the numerous posts since I last wrote, and I can better understand now why you're frustrated with this parent. Seems like she won't be satisfied with you, so why she keeps signing up with you is a mystery to me. What especially stands out for me is what seems like a constant abuse of your time, both the lateness before and chat sessions after the lesson. I think you sound a lot like a certain kindly young teacher (me, lol) who was inclined to be lenient about things like that, as well as makeup time--yet I quickly and painfully began to find out that if you're inconsistent in sticking to policy, it can make your life difficult faster than you ever expected--and your students/parents lose respect for your authority and begin to control you, as others have mentioned, just the reverse effect of what I tried to gain from being lenient. But I know it's easy for me to say this, not knowing the people or the exceptional circumstances you've been faced with. One thing's for sure, it's a good warning to people like me to be consistently firm about policy.


"Where words fail, music speaks." --Hans Christian Andersen
#1725167 - 08/02/11 12:29 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
susanmusic Offline
Full Member
susanmusic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 125
Want to get rid of a student gracefully?

A few ideas:

Take advantage of opportunities to suggest a "break" from lessons. I've done this a few times. The students never returned anyway. But I like the suggestion that future piano/music study is always possible.

"With school, sports, etc. starting up, Jonny may need some time to adjust. You may want to skip lessons for "a month or two. Of course we can't hold the exact spot without payment but something will surely open up."

"Goodness, you need to miss two lessons because of vacation/overscheduling. Why don't you save yourself some money by stopping lessons temporarily. Of course, we can't hold the exact spot, etc.


Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.
#1725447 - 08/02/11 07:37 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
shirlkirsten Offline
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
Berkeley, California
In this regard, I ended up scribbling this blog on my way home from the Bay.. It's supposed to be funny, but it fleshes out all kinds of problem parents.. put into neat categories

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/0...-the-right-balance-worth-a-few-chuckles/

If you can think of any others, let me know.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
#1725464 - 08/02/11 08:04 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Want to get rid of a student a bit less gracefully, but with a lot more fun?

A few ideas:

Next time the parent asks a silly time-wasting question about what you're doing, respond that the quantum quarks in the child's hand have to be aligned properly or the hand might shrivel into a shrunken husk. As you say this, make sure that your left eye is twitching in a sinister manner. When the parent looks confused and taken aback, let your upper lip quiver, raise your eyes to heaven and call on Loki to help you. Problem solved.

Alternatively, when the mom asks for a make up, cackle in a high-pitched voice for one full minute. Tell her that you have a meeting of your coven at her preferred time. Suggest that she and her son are welcome to join the group, but that the coven's taste in food and beverages might seem strange to her. Lick your lips forcefully and look hungrily at your cat at this moment. Problem solved.


#1725513 - 08/02/11 09:52 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Piano*Dad]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
[Linked Image]


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#1725958 - 08/03/11 02:55 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
Pianodad, thanks for making me laugh. Unfortunately, I agreed to do the makeups for their vacation but the parent tells me what days and times work for them, generally making it very difficult. Overall, the best option for all concerned parties is to move on with another teacher who would be a better fit for this family.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1725960 - 08/03/11 03:00 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Candywoman]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
Candywoman, the straw that broke this camel's back occurred since my last post. I was very clear that this was very uncomfortable and stressful for me, and that I was not able to continue with this family. I stressed the importance of the right family/teacher match, and clearly this was not working. Without going into more details, the parent went over my head to the store staff, in an attempt to override my policy. It's time to move on.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1725962 - 08/03/11 03:04 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: shirlkirsten]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
smile thanks, that about covers all possible scenarios!


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1725970 - 08/03/11 03:20 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Candywoman]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by Candywoman
The student has already had two other teachers and he's only eight.


This says it all right here. It's quite possibly the other 2 teachers didn't stand for this parental nonsense as well.

You've also said that as you were writing the post, that you should dismiss them. Go with your instinct, you are usually right as to what is best for yourself.

Also, the fact that the parent is second quessing your teaching techniques is down-right infuriating. YOU are the professional, and "stick to your guns". If the parent doubts this, then maybe that parent should be teaching his child, then!


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1725980 - 08/03/11 03:37 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member
MaryBee  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
I can understand your frustration, but frankly, it seems that you're allowing some of this stuff happen. When the lesson time is over, why don't you just say, "See you next week". And if they try to stay and talk, say, "Sorry, I can't talk. I have some things I need to work on." And if the mom asks for explanations through email, just reply, "We can discuss this at the next lesson." And if they ask for make-up lessons, tell them,"I'm sorry, my policy doesn't allow for that." It may be a little brusque, but that's how you have to deal with some people. This certainly won't solve all the problems you have with them, but it could give you more energy to deal with the other ones.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] XVI-XXXVI
#1725983 - 08/03/11 03:41 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: MaryBee]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by MaryBee
This certainly won't solve all the problems you have with them, but it could give you more energy to deal with the other ones.


We are looking for a solution here, and what WILL solve the problem will be to get rid of this student (See my post above).

What's the point of teaching a student if it's not enjoyable?


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1725986 - 08/03/11 03:44 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: tommytones]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member
MaryBee  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted by tommytones
We are looking for a solution here, and what WILL solve the problem will be to get rid of this student (See my post above)
Yes, but it sounded like the OP wasn't able to arrange for that. Besides, you don't want to run into those same problems with yet another student.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] XVI-XXXVI
#1725991 - 08/03/11 03:52 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Quote
What's the point of teaching a student if it's not enjoyable?


Paying the rent?

#1725992 - 08/03/11 03:52 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: MaryBee]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by MaryBee
Originally Posted by tommytones
We are looking for a solution here, and what WILL solve the problem will be to get rid of this student (See my post above)
Yes, but it sounded like the OP wasn't able to arrange for that. Besides, you don't want to run into those same problems with yet another student.


Of course she can arrange for that, any teacher is free to do so.

On your second point, very true, one would want to avoid problems like this in the future, and stating your policies early and clearly are the best bets


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1725994 - 08/03/11 03:53 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Piano*Dad]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
What's the point of teaching a student if it's not enjoyable?


Paying the rent?


Find a new occupation?


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1725995 - 08/03/11 03:53 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
Yes, this is a store student, not one of my private students.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1725997 - 08/03/11 03:55 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Quote
Without going into more details, the parent went over my head to the store staff, in an attempt to override my policy. It's time to move on.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like YOU are the one who is leaving, instead of this family. If true, that sounds like the store owner insists that the customer is indeed king, despite any language you may have put into your policies, and even any language that might exist in his arrangement with the teachers who teach out of his store. Again, if true, it sounds like he figures you are easy enough to replace.

Can you take your existing students with you, I wonder, or are there any (possibly unenforceable) non-compete clauses in your contract?


#1725999 - 08/03/11 03:58 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Yes, this is a store student, not one of my private students.


I'm sure there are many other stores in your area, looking for a talented teacher as yourself?


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1726062 - 08/03/11 05:22 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
shirlkirsten Offline
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
Berkeley, California
peace.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
#1726068 - 08/03/11 05:26 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
shirlkirsten Offline
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
Berkeley, California
peace.

Last edited by music32; 08/03/11 07:35 PM.

Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
#1726087 - 08/03/11 05:52 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Do you have anything better to do than construct a series of put-down stereotypes?

#1726098 - 08/03/11 06:19 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: shirlkirsten]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by music32
It can be so viral, that even private instructors are vulnerable.


Wow, sounds like a pretty nasty area to teach in!


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1726674 - 08/04/11 04:22 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
I meant, that it's time for the student to move on to another teacher. Yes, it seems that policies sometimes do fall through the cracks, and normally, when this happens, I either take the loss, or work it out. This isn't one of those occasions.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1726679 - 08/04/11 04:25 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Piano*Dad]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
pianodad, yes, we are actually allowed to take students with us. And, I meant that it was time for this family to move on to another teacher. Overall, I am very fortunate to have some wonderful families. I may get the occasion rude student or the students who forget their music, come in late, don't practice, but the parents are usually very easy to work with. I hate to ever let go of a student, which is one of the reasons for my post--to get feedback and perhaps learn how other teachers handle these types of situations.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1726746 - 08/04/11 06:04 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Thanks for clarifying. I was wondering how inflexible the store owner might be about allowing you to drop paying students.

#1726760 - 08/04/11 06:43 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chasingrainbows  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,608
NJ
pianodad, they don't like us to drop a student, but this is the first time I've ever requested it, and I referred the family to other teachers at the store.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1726831 - 08/04/11 08:21 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
pianodad, they don't like us to drop a student, but this is the first time I've ever requested it, and I referred the family to other teachers at the store.


The first is always the hardest. I've had to do this in the past as well. Just know that there are other more deserving students that are waiting wink


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1726872 - 08/04/11 09:33 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 15,692
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 15,692
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Without going into more details, the parent went over my head to the store staff, in an attempt to override my policy. It's time to move on.


She felt she was losing control of you therefore tried to regain control by trying to control your 'boss.' Perhaps you can learn to pinpoint people like this ahead of time or find creative ways to dimiss students a little more effectively to save yourself the headache in the future. I like susan's (?) post earlier about taking advantage of certain situations.

I had a student that pretty much showed up every other lesson, and hadn't paid for any lessons for a month. I scheduled another student for her time and sent a letter letting her know that she owed me $x (including no-shows) and that I had given her time away due to too many missed lessons (which is in my policy). I never saw the student again and never got paid, but the balance is with the collection agency now. I didn't waste any more time stressing out about that student after I sent that letter.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1727332 - 08/05/11 03:08 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
shirlkirsten Offline
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
Berkeley, California
These are real situations that occur ..so thanks for sharing how you handled it.. I could always use a tip or two when these things come up.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
#1727722 - 08/06/11 12:29 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: shirlkirsten]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by music32
These are real situations that occur ..so thanks for sharing how you handled it.. I could always use a tip or two when these things come up.


Anytime! That's what we are here for smile


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1727724 - 08/06/11 12:30 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: tommytones]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by tommytones
Originally Posted by music32
These are real situations that occur ..so thanks for sharing how you handled it.. I could always use a tip or two when these things come up.


Anytime! That's what we are here for smile


BTW, music32, you and I are fellow alumnus, afterall!

Last edited by tommytones; 08/06/11 12:30 PM.

tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1727728 - 08/06/11 12:34 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: tommytones]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
shirlkirsten Offline
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,593
Berkeley, California
Oberlin??? or NYC HS Performing Arts????



Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
#1727729 - 08/06/11 12:38 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: shirlkirsten]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by music32
Oberlin??? or NYC HS Performing Arts????



music32, I will send you a private message (pm) and tell you!


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1727743 - 08/06/11 01:05 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: tommytones]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,159
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member
liszt85  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,159
Originally Posted by tommytones
Originally Posted by music32
Oberlin??? or NYC HS Performing Arts????



music32, I will send you a private message (pm) and tell you!


Yep.. its best not to share classified information here. laugh


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
#1727750 - 08/06/11 01:18 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: liszt85]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
tommytones Offline
Full Member
tommytones  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 167
Northeast America
Originally Posted by liszt85
Originally Posted by tommytones
Originally Posted by music32
Oberlin??? or NYC HS Performing Arts????



music32, I will send you a private message (pm) and tell you!


Yep.. its best not to share classified information here. laugh


Agreed!


tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3
#1727799 - 08/06/11 03:07 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: chasingrainbows]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,793
Williamsburg, VA
Anonymity isn't all it's cracked up to be.

#1727839 - 08/06/11 04:08 PM Re: When parental involvement crosses the line [Re: Piano*Dad]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,159
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member
liszt85  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,159
Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Anonymity isn't all it's cracked up to be.


I agree.. I was only being sarcastic there.


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

UK Members
Please check in
UK Members & Friends
Checking on our members and friends from the UK. Please Check In When Able
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


(ad)
Pianoteq
Grotrian Concert
Royal
for Pianoteq out now
What's Hot!!
Why Do You Play The Piano?
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
-------------------
Piano Classified Ads
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Writing a piano care and maintenence guide [help]
by Imaginaryfriend. 05/24/17 02:57 PM
pain . . .
by unkabin. 05/24/17 02:01 PM
Roland FP 50 - Recording
by hyena. 05/24/17 11:29 AM
1989 Yamaha G2R Grand Piano
by Darrel. 05/24/17 10:35 AM
Review of Pollini and Perahia at Carnegie
by pianoloverus. 05/24/17 08:00 AM
(ad)
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics179,858
Posts2,629,422
Members87,864
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Report Problems With New Forums
Report Problems with New Forums Here!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0