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#1930258 - 07/21/12 12:33 PM Advisable to take up such a student?  
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Pianolism Offline
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Just recently, I have received an email from a guy(35 years old) older than me looking for a piano teacher. I'm a female in my earlier 20s:

"Hi i'm looking for a piano teacher (preferably female & <40 years old) for abrsm grade 1-3 who is willing to teach at home.

"i am a 35 year old male, failed grade 1 when i was a kid and self taught until now.
i attended about 1-2 year of pop piano lessons.
now i would like to get certified at abrsm grade 8 on the fastest rate (skipping grades that i can skip).
let me know if this is a fit."

Advisable to take up such a student? What to look out for? Why do you think he has a preference for a female teacher <40?

Last edited by Pianolism; 07/21/12 12:33 PM.
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#1930260 - 07/21/12 12:36 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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apple* Offline
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i don't know... sounds just a bit creepy at his place.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#1930264 - 07/21/12 12:40 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Tell him you are a 72 year old man, and you will hear no more from him.


Rob
#1930266 - 07/21/12 12:41 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: apple*]  
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Pianolism Offline
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Precisely he sounds creepy. Just a little worried for myself. But this would be my first adult student and I'm really interested to teach one. *Flip a coin* *Should I or should I not*

#1930271 - 07/21/12 12:55 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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I certainly would not go to his house after an email like this! I, like you, am also in my early 20's. You could tell him that you would prefer to teach out of your own home. Or you could tell him that you would like to have an interview first (pretty standard now for new teacher/student) at your own home before lessons would begin at his home. This could on the pre tense of discussing goals, access level, etc. But, it would give a chance to meet him in without going to his house. It may be a totally legitimate email, but it is better to be safe!


Pianist
Private Piano Teacher
#1930275 - 07/21/12 01:04 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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That sounds like a very odd inquiry. I can't think of any legitimate reason for the "female under 40" preference. Bizarre and/or creepy.

#1930282 - 07/21/12 01:31 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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keystring Offline
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His wishes themselves suggest that he should have very experienced teacher who is absolutely solid in all aspects of music, playing (technique), as well as with years of experience teaching including older students. Whether the teacher got there via a BMus or otherwise is less important. That teacher should be able to take the lead and remain the leader - an older teacher would be more likely than a younger one to fit the bill. That is creepy-factor aside. Why is he mentioning his age, that he is male, and wants a young female teacher?

Quote
... for abrsm grade 1-3 .... i would like to get certified at abrsm grade 8 on the fastest rate (skipping grades that i can skip).

He wants to get at grade 8 fast, so he's asking you for 1 - 3?

If he is self-taught for all of these years, then he will have all kinds of problems at the foundation level. It is much harder to get rid of and replace poor basic habits. The teacher has to know what to look for, what to advise, and stay on top of it. The student has to cooperate and work extremely hard consistently and also be willing to follow instructions intelligently. When this person also wants to go as fast as possible and skip grades, then he doesn't know what it's about, and doesn't seem likely to do or follow what is needed. That is why I gave the portrait of the type of teacher he needs. This is not the kind of adult student you want to start with if you are a young teacher with no experience with older students.

Quote
Why do you think he has a preference for a female teacher <40?

Because he is a 35 year old male?

#1930299 - 07/21/12 02:04 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Ew.

Creepy student.
No thank you.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#1930307 - 07/21/12 02:18 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Pianolism,
His ad sounds like someone seeking a date...35 year old male seeking a female teacher under age 40. So you might respond by asking for a photo and ask what he does for a living. laugh


#1930311 - 07/21/12 02:25 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Don't go.

#1930349 - 07/21/12 04:27 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Overexposed]  
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Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Pianolism,
His ad sounds like someone seeking a date...35 year old male seeking a female teacher under age 40. So you might respond by asking for a photo and ask what he does for a living. laugh



And for a date, meet somewhere safe and public!


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#1930353 - 07/21/12 04:36 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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There will be other adult students. Think of your safety first. That's the most important thing here. I learned years ago in a safety course my employer at the time put on is that to trust your FIRST and IMMEDIATE gut reaction. Because that is usually correct. And that is what will keep you safe.

He may just have an odd writing style and be perfectly fine but there just seems to be too much unnecessary information in his note.


Preparing Grade 6 RCM.

#1930438 - 07/21/12 09:07 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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I feel peeved over the age limit this guy set (among other things). So if I received the message I would say that I'm sorry to disappoint you but I only accept male students up to the age of 34...letting him miss out by being 1 year too old.

But really, how did he get your e-address?

#1930450 - 07/21/12 09:35 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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NEVER ignore your instinctive response that a situation may be dangerous.


many hands many smiles

Big Mama Yama U1
#1930466 - 07/21/12 10:23 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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I agree, don't ignore the creepiness. Even if he is only clueless, what does this say about his priorities? There will be other adult students, better than this one.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
#1930496 - 07/22/12 12:13 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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He may be harmless, but if so he's certainly clueless. I wouldn't have a thing to do with him.


Du holde Kunst...
#1930499 - 07/22/12 12:30 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Please do NOT get yourself in trouble. His email is raising many "red flags"!


JN
#1930501 - 07/22/12 12:44 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Maybe he's a potentially fine student who thinks of the bygone stereotype of the spinster piano teacher, and wants to avoid that.

You could insist that an interview/audtion take place in your studio, even if you end up teaching him at his place. I'd be surprised if he's a creep.

#1930503 - 07/22/12 01:08 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Maybe he's a potentially fine student who thinks of the bygone stereotype of the spinster piano teacher, and wants to avoid that... I'd be surprised if he's a creep.
Well it's possible I suppose, but I'd be surprised if any sensible bloke could pen that application and not expect a female teacher to find it, well, odd.

And if he simply wants to avoid a spinster, why doesn't he specify a male teacher?


Du holde Kunst...
#1930587 - 07/22/12 08:53 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: emilypianist89]  
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Originally Posted by emilypianist89
I certainly would not go to his house after an email like this! I, like you, am also in my early 20's. You could tell him that you would prefer to teach out of your own home.


Having him come to your home is no better than you going to his home. In fact, it could be worse, because he then would know where you live.



Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1930624 - 07/22/12 10:59 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Originally Posted by Pianolism
"Hi i'm looking for a piano teacher (preferably female & <40 years old) for abrsm grade 1-3 who is willing to teach at home.

"i am a 35 year old male, failed grade 1 when i was a kid and self taught until now.
i attended about 1-2 year of pop piano lessons.


my 2 cents:

He said "preferably female" not "female only". He has previous experiences with taking lessons and most probably he preferes female teachers.

"40 years old": Younger teachers usually have less students, they are more flexible and would less probably hesitate to take an adult beginner. Further he took pop piano lessons in the past, and younger teacher might be more familiar with it, so he would not be an absolute beginner.

"i am a 35 year old male, failed grade 1 when i was a kid" : It is absolutely OK that an adult beginner states his/her age and previous experience when introducing him/herself.

I agree that the first meeting should not be made either at his nor at your place, but somewhere in public. I am not living in The States, and do not know what danger a normal person could be exposed in everyday life there. That's why I am a little bit less paranoic then other members of this thread.

The most comments here are like he could be a maniac with kinda of piano-teacher-fetish, but he could also be a very nice gay guy who prefers female company. Or most probably just a decent young man.

Make an appointment and meet him in public. Take your boyfriend with you, so he knows from the beginning that you are taken.

Regarding giving lessons at student's place, my oppinion is that there is no reason unless the student is a child or a handicapped adult.


Living well is the best revenge.
#1930652 - 07/22/12 11:47 AM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Students, or their parents, often ask to have lessons in the home, and I don't blame them. We live in a service-oriented world. So to me that doesn't set off alarm bells.

Give him a call and do a preliminary phone interview. If in 5-10 minutes of discussion you get bad vibes, just tell him that regrettably your studio is full, and wish him good luck.

#1930660 - 07/22/12 12:08 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: bluemarine]  
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Originally Posted by bluemarine


Take your boyfriend with you, so he knows from the beginning that you are taken.



A woman in a relationship is not 'taken'. Neither is she 'up for grabs' if not in a relationship. A woman is not an object to be possessed by one man or another. The OP's relationship status should not be an issue for a potential student.

I would personally feel very uncomfortable with any student who selected me on grounds of my gender. Or, for that matter, my skin colour, sexual orientation, nationality, or accent. (Of course, they may select me for these reasons without telling me, but they would be wise to keep it quiet and irrelevant).

I hope they would select me on my ability to teach piano.

Anyone so up-front and open about trying to select a teacher on grounds of age and gender - nah, that's just creepy. Even aside from the acute physical risk at the first meeting, there is a longer-term risk that what he's after has nothing to do with piano.

#1930676 - 07/22/12 12:24 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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I'm sorry but being female and under 40 do not seem to me like legitimate criteria for choosing a piano teacher, no matter who you are. (Wouldn't it be illegal for an employer to specify these things when they're irrelevant to the duties of the job?) When you add the "willing to teach at home" part, I think the bad vibes are already there.

I'm not a piano teacher, but if I were, I would want my actual abilities rather than my age and gender to be the deciding factor for students. One doesn't have to be paranoid to avoid this guy.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
#1930796 - 07/22/12 04:16 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: jdw]  
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If you are interested in him as a student for any reason ( $$ or adult student curiosity) I endorse the idea of taking a chaperone/bodyguard (the beefier the better) with you.

This is Guido, my brother... he drives me to all my home visits...



Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#1930819 - 07/22/12 04:57 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: malkin]  
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I have a confession to make. Being over 40 by a couple of years, I find that upon occasion, albeit very rare occasions, I can be cantankerous, ornery, dower, curmudgeonly, inflexible, and even, very, very rarely, unpleasant. Some students might find this a little off-putting and would rather have a younger, more generationally attuned teacher. I can understand this and wouldn't be insulted if someone were using this criteria, at least in part, for selecting a teacher. And, BTW, I've noticed that I share these attributes with a large number of my female colleagues who also fall into this age bracket.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#1930861 - 07/22/12 06:28 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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It's kind of tongue in cheek to say that the gentlemen suggesting that this is ok have never been young women. It is not wise to go alone into the house of an unknown man on a weekly basis, especially when he stipulates gender and age. The problem is not the 90% chance that it's safe, but the 1% and single time that it might not be. Why risk it?

#1930867 - 07/22/12 06:43 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Originally Posted by Pianolism
"Hi i'm looking for a piano teacher (preferably female & <40 years old) for abrsm grade 1-3 who is willing to teach at home.

"i am a 35 year old male, failed grade 1 when i was a kid and self taught until now.
i attended about 1-2 year of pop piano lessons.
now i would like to get certified at abrsm grade 8 on the fastest rate (skipping grades that i can skip).
let me know if this is a fit."

Whose home? Around here, most of us teach at home.


"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
#1930868 - 07/22/12 06:46 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: Pianolism]  
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Maybe Pianolism could write back and ask him why he has these criteria. "I'm curious... why do you specify female and under 40?" Put the ball back in his court.

It's okay to want to avoid working with a teacher who may be cantankerous or curmudgeonly, but wouldn't it make more sense to interview a few and then decide, instead of stereotyping (if that's even the case here)?

Still seems odd at best.


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#1930925 - 07/22/12 09:18 PM Re: Advisable to take up such a student? [Re: MsAdrienne]  
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Originally Posted by MsAdrienne
Maybe Pianolism could write back and ask him why he has these criteria. "I'm curious... why do you specify female and under 40?" Put the ball back in his court.

It's okay to want to avoid working with a teacher who may be cantankerous or curmudgeonly, but wouldn't it make more sense to interview a few and then decide, instead of stereotyping (if that's even the case here)?

Still seems odd at best.


I agree. If you went to meet some teachers, I think you might get a feel whether or not there might be a fit. That seems really creepy to me. I wouldn't respond.


Amateur musician, piano and violin parent
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