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young students with 2 teachers at the same time
#2015066 01/15/13 07:21 PM
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Is anybody in this situation where their student is studying with 2 piano teachers? I recall seeing a thread on this subject some time ago, but would like to revisit this discussion. 2 students of mine (siblings) are now studying with me and another teacher. They have been students of mine for 2 years.Their parents wanted them to have more than one lesson per week but I don't have time for that, nor do I think it's necessary in the first place, but just my opinion there. My lessons are 45 minutes (individual lessons). This started a couple of weeks ago. Not sure how this is going to work out, having never been in this situation before, or heard of it, actually. Any thoughts please?

Parents hired teacher #2 on their own, without discussing with me beforehand, and I don't know this other teacher.

Last edited by Barb860; 01/15/13 07:23 PM. Reason: more info

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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015115 01/15/13 09:43 PM
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I wouldn't allow this situation to continue if it were in my studio. This would not be an acceptable arrangment.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
musicpassion #2015135 01/15/13 10:25 PM
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I tend to agree. What are your reasons for thinking it would not be acceptable?


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015136 01/15/13 10:26 PM
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I am sure parents has their freedom to hire 2 piano teachers if both children can handle the homework and parents can handle the bill.
Just make sure a few things:
1. Make sure kids are still progressing in your class. If they ended up no having time to practice your material, maybe is better to have 1 piano teacher.
2. Make sure that both piano teachers will not cover the same material at the same time. For example, if both piano teacher are teaching Clementi Sonata Op. 36, No. 1, then students might confused about different expectation in the interpretation area.
3. I know different teachers use different method in teaching theory too. I know some teachers just give the facts to the students and have them memorize it, but some actually teaching the concept so that students can apply the same concept into different scenario.

Lastly, I would prefer student take class only with me if it is only the issues that you talked about (parents wanted them to have more than one lesson per week). Why don't you adjust some of your students to move a little bit of their time so that you can squeeze them in?

If it is different issues such as students want to explore into different area of education such as jazz or composition that you do not offer, then I think it is fine for them to have a second piano teacher.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
bzpiano #2015175 01/15/13 11:38 PM
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ezpiano, thank you for your comments. I don't have time to work the kids in to my schedule so they can each have 2 45min lessons per week, because parents want them to come back-to-back. But really they don't need 2 lessons per week anyway, in my opinion. They are very young. But I agree with you, if parents want more for their kids, why not, as long as it works. I'm not sure this will work though. Situation is very new. I need to set some guidelines and appreciate comments and ideas here.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015177 01/15/13 11:40 PM
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Barb,
I think in your case here, it is better to have communication with second piano teacher to make sure that your materials are not overlap.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
bzpiano #2015181 01/15/13 11:47 PM
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perhaps a good idea, thank you, I may do that. Do you think I should tell the parents I am contacting teacher #2 or just call her on my own...? Again, this situation is brand new and I need to think things through and handle it professionally.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015186 01/16/13 12:01 AM
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I'm not sure I'd like it... Each teacher has its own style.

What if the 2nd teacher loves the suzuki method? That could certainly create problems... :-/

Personally I would contact the 2nd teacher, but I would be a bit grudgy of the family for not letting me know in advance...

Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015188 01/16/13 12:07 AM
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How did you find out they hired the second teacher? Did the parents or the kids tell you?

Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
The Monkeys #2015191 01/16/13 12:12 AM
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parents told me.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015193 01/16/13 12:16 AM
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They're nuts. This will only cause confusion for the child. I would never agree to it.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015197 01/16/13 12:36 AM
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I would ask the parents what their goal is with you and the other teacher.

I think this can only work in a real partnership with the other teacher.

Not two teachers doing their own things - that is just confusing.

Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015203 01/16/13 01:00 AM
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Ask the parents directly about the motivation behind getting the second teacher. Perhaps it something like you teach classical piano while the other teacher teaches jazz.

Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015219 01/16/13 01:53 AM
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Normally I would disagree with it, but I do think there is something to be said for having multiple lessons a week - even at a young age.

Possibly the most important aspect that one can take from piano lessons, even at the early stages, is that of regular, structured practice sessions. What a student does between lessons is EVERYTHING. If these students' parents have never played and don't know anything about monitoring practice, I can see the logic in them wanting to have a second session a week to serve as quasi-practice time, or to ingrain more of an incentive to practice at home. Of course, some kids and parents just don't ever practice, at all, or do not really see any purpose of playing outside the lesson, but it would seem as if parents who would WANT this are a cut above the average parent.

If they care enough about piano to go out of their way and hire a second teacher, I'd second EZN's comments about trying to make room in your schedule to see them twice a week. I suppose if this is not possible, the best would be for YOU to choose that other teacher, so they can sort of work as your assistant, or - in the very least - you are in close communication and agreement with the goals and procedures. I do think it was unacceptable for them to do so without consulting you.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 01/16/13 01:55 AM.
Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015220 01/16/13 01:56 AM
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Maybe they read this forum and believed having 2 lessons a week would progress 4 times as fast :-)

I think this is the time to provide some parent education.
Things can work out only if all parties, the teacher, the parent and the students work toward the same goal.

If I were the parent, I would appreciate an honest discussion, tell me the pros and cons of the having 2 teachers, and how to help the kids to practice.

If they still insist to have 2 lessons a week, and you cannot offer the time, offer to co-coordinate with second teacher.

I would not by-passing the parent to call the second teacher directly. Doesn't matter how good the intention is, it would look bad.

Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015236 01/16/13 02:35 AM
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I think the student at this level will be very confused.

Working with two teachers might have its merits at the college/conservatory level.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
AZNpiano #2015254 01/16/13 03:53 AM
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My gut feeling is that the parents may be trying to change the teacher and that can be difficult and takes time so they keep 2 separate teachers neither teacher knows each other or which one of them is going to be axed. How else can you explain it? Lots of employers have employees and only axes the ones they don't want. This is just a smaller scale.

Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 #2015271 01/16/13 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Barb860
I tend to agree. What are your reasons for thinking it would not be acceptable?


If they are working on different music with each teacher, progress could be too slow. If they are working on the same music with different teachers, it could be confusing for the child.

I think their reason is based on an incorrect assumption. I think they are assuming this will make their child learn faster. Practicing more and working harder will make their child learn faster.

Also I wouldn't be allowed to enroll the child in CM. The program requires that I be their primary teacher, teaching almost all of their lessons.

Finally the emotional aspect: Part of the "job satisfaction" for our work is that we get to bring music into our student's lives and mold their understanding and capability. I don't want to have strife with another teacher's perhaps different musical ideas. I could deal with it, but it just wouldn't be worth it. It would be taking the fun out of the work.

By the way someone else mentioned college students or very advanced students - I think I would feel differently about that.


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Michael_99 #2015386 01/16/13 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael_99
My gut feeling is that the parents may be trying to change the teacher and that can be difficult and takes time so they keep 2 separate teachers neither teacher knows each other or which one of them is going to be axed. How else can you explain it? Lots of employers have employees and only axes the ones they don't want. This is just a smaller scale.


Yes, I wonder about this and certainly hope it's not the case.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this situation. It's weighing on me and I need to talk with the parents now, after thinking it through. Honestly I feel kind of disrespected and bothered by it. And on another note, how does the other teacher feel? Like she is stealing students or possibly undermining the program the kids are currently doing?


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Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time
AZNpiano #2015387 01/16/13 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I think the student at this level will be very confused.

Working with two teachers might have its merits at the college/conservatory level.


Absolutely agree, and these points will be brought up with the parents.


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