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#1971278 - 10/10/12 10:51 AM annoyance  
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Overexposed Offline
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I've got a parent who sits in on lessons. Recently she has started chewing gum. Amazing how loudly she can chew gum! Her daughter already requires all my patience, and this is too much. It sounds like someone who is chewing food with their mouth open.

The first time I didn't say anything, and hoped for the best. Next lesson, before it ended the gum chomping started again. My policy is that no food or gum allowed at lessons. But I haven't had to enforce this with a parent.

I am generally one to frankly speak to parents about issues. But I am hesitant. I'm considering saying to parent (before gum goes in her mouth) that I prefer not to have gum in my studio. That I can hear the chewing and it is distracting.

Anyone dealt with this?

Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 10/10/12 10:54 AM.
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#1971281 - 10/10/12 10:56 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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TimR Offline
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Is this parent likely to be long term? I tend to doubt it.

I'd ignore it, pretend not to hear it. It's louder because you are attending to it. Just like those fluorescent lights buzzing overhead.


gotta go practice
#1971288 - 10/10/12 11:04 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Overexposed Offline
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Well, Barb's post about a parent sitting in on lessons prompted me to think about this issue. After I posted, I realized that it was OK to say it's distracting. At the time it was happening I kept silent, because what I wanted to say was "OMG! Do you HAVE to chew that damned gum?!"

Now that I've cooled off, I can bring it up in a way that won't be offensive.

I'm not good at ignoring fluorescent lights either. I tend to turn them off and bring in a floor lamp to use instead.

#1971297 - 10/10/12 11:26 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Nikolas Offline
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You can tell her that she chews like a cow! grin

Really though, this is incosiderate. I've had a parent sit in on the first lesson of her 12 year old daughter. It's ok, since it's the first lesson, but really I don't want him in again. It felt REALLY weird.

I've no idea why you're accepting parents in the lesson, some of you (not directly to you dear Ann). I mean I've never had this happening in my lessons. At least not constantly. I do invite parents a few times, but... :=/

#1971299 - 10/10/12 11:30 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Ha Ha! Hi Nikolas!

Really, I want to thank Barb for her thread. I gave her easy advice, but was suddenly reminded of what I am not dealing with in my own studio.

Mostly kids age under age 8 have parents observe lessons in my studio. But as I think of it, this kid is now 8 years old. And the parent doesn't pay attention anyway. I think I'll invite her to wait in the dining room where I have a cushy chair and lamp set up for parents.

#1971306 - 10/10/12 11:51 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Anyone dealt with this?

That's a new one! Why don't you just talk to this parent? Maybe she'll just stop.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1971310 - 10/10/12 12:03 PM Re: annoyance [Re: AZNpiano]  
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TimR Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Anyone dealt with this?

That's a new one! Why don't you just talk to this parent? Maybe she'll just stop.


Yeah, right, and if she changes to peanut brittle? <g>


gotta go practice
#1971317 - 10/10/12 12:17 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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MaggieGirl Offline
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I would have a mini "graduation ceremony" - at the end of the next lesson say "OH you are 8 now!!!!! You are ready for lessons without mom or dad!, Mom, aren't you lucky you can now wait in the parent area?! Because you are 8, you now have a music notebook to share with your parents to let them know what your homework is this week. "Mom, if you have any questions, let me know at the next lesson. This is SO exciting! Eight! Congratulations!!!"


#1971338 - 10/10/12 12:59 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Overexposed Offline
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Thanks for the comments. Yes, I should just talk to Mom. I realized it after starting this thread.

I like the idea of congratulating the child on graduating to lessons without Mom. smile I'll see this kid tonight and plan to put these ideas to use.

#1971350 - 10/10/12 01:22 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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dumdumdiddle Offline
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California
I thought the issue was how to deal with a noisy parent in a lesson.

It seems like it's turned into a discussion as to whether or not a parent should even sit in on a child's lesson. For my group piano classes I require a parent to attend and participate in the class with the child. And for my private lessons most parents sit in as well.

If you have a disruptive parent then tell them they can't stay. If you have a 'no food or gum allowed' policy, post it on your front door and remind them if needed



Music School Owner
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#1971354 - 10/10/12 01:27 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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chasingrainbows Offline
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NJ
Ann, I feel your pain. I have to listen to parents texting while trying to teach. why are they even in the room if they are not paying attention. I would let Mom know that now that she's observed several lessons, it is important to have private lessons with the student so you can build a relationship--children act so differently when a parent sits in. Parents are often very agreeable. I've found that some think they HAVE to sit in. I invite them in for the last 5 or 10 minutes of the lesson if they are interested. I also provide an assignment book and am always available by email for questions.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#1971365 - 10/10/12 01:41 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Thanks for the further comments and sympathy.

Yes, this discussion did get me to thinking whether this parent should sit in on lessons. Most parents who attend lessons are really focused and learning along with the child. This one is not. Sometimes she drops her knitting needles... now it's noise with gum. And so I'm thinking she would do better outside the room.

#1971560 - 10/10/12 08:44 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Update: I had the 'mini graduation' at the start of the lesson. I presented it as an accomplishment. "Now that you're 8, you're old enough to be in lessons without your mom. Do you feel secure enough to have lessons by yourself?" I asked the parent if it was OK with her. It was. I reserved a few minutes at end of lesson to go over the assignment with mom.

It all went over well. So there was no need to address gum chomping. And really this child was better able to focus at lesson without parent. She was not tempted to talk to parent during lesson etc.

It's been great to bounce thoughts around on this forum and get a different perspective. Thanks!

smile

#1971573 - 10/10/12 09:05 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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MaggieGirl Offline
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Yippee! I'm glad both mom, student and you were all happy!

#1971579 - 10/10/12 09:13 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Thanks MaggieGirl!

#1971710 - 10/11/12 06:50 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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apple* Offline
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just tell her.. i'f send it in a special note, so she'd think it was special... which sounds silly. often out of the ordinary is good.


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

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
#1971735 - 10/11/12 08:36 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Jeff Clef Offline
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"...this kid is now 8 years old. And the parent doesn't pay attention anyway. I think I'll invite her to wait in the dining room where I have a cushy chair and lamp set up for parents..."

...where you will later find the chewed-up gum, stuck out of sight someplace. Even if someone else is the guilty party, that parent is the one you will blame. Put a stop to it; the steam coming out of your ears will wilt your hairdo.


Clef

#1971739 - 10/11/12 08:50 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Jeff Clef]  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
the steam coming out of your ears will wilt your hairdo.


Ha Ha!

No, really, this is resolved. This is a responsible adult who just happens to chew loudly.

I'm no longer steamed. It was a brief feeling. Then gone. No grudge.

#1971784 - 10/11/12 10:36 AM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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Doritos Flavoured Offline
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Brazil
sounds like the parent is more bored than the child

you could of course tell the child to always play fff


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#1971932 - 10/11/12 04:08 PM Re: annoyance [Re: Overexposed]  
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ten left thumbs Offline
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At least it was only gum and not doritos. Yuk! Crunch! Worse yet, if it was the flavoured ones.. ewww, the smell!


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