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#2277612 - 05/17/14 07:43 PM Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . .  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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I know, it's just that time of year, and I should be thankful that my piano families don't bolt, but . . . .

How many excuses can students come up with for missing class? Oh, this is for the final rehearsal class for upcoming Guild Auditions.

Today, I got three new ones.

#1 - This from a 9th grader. My pastor is visiting our family this afternoon and it would be rude not to be here.

#2 - And from another 9th grader. I'm having tutoring for the PSAT. I might not get into the college I want if I miss this. For those of you in other lands, the PSAT is a prep exam, given in the 11th year for the college entrance exam, which students take in the Fall of their 12th year.

#3 - My family decided to go on a shopping trip this afternoon and I want to go with them.

Okay, I have heard variations on #3, but the brazenness still takes me aback.

Just venting.


"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
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#2277647 - 05/17/14 09:50 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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#2 PSAT also serves as qualifying exam for National Merit Scholarships. Prep is important long term.


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#2277653 - 05/17/14 10:09 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: manyhands]  
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Originally Posted by manyhands
#2 PSAT also serves as qualifying exam for National Merit Scholarships. Prep is important long term.

Maybe they should start in Kindergarten? Or perhaps just study and learn the material along the way.


"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
#2277660 - 05/17/14 10:35 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: manyhands]  
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Originally Posted by manyhands
#2 PSAT also serves as qualifying exam for National Merit Scholarships. Prep is important long term.

And how many people qualify for this?

The last two weeks my high school students are bailing out of lessons due to their AP tests.

I told them, if you need to cram for these tests, you'll end up with a 2. But, again, procrastination is the way of the world right now.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#2277694 - 05/17/14 11:59 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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I took the psat as a freshman over 20 years ago! It was seen as a way to find your weak spots for the SAT's later and well as the possibility if being a finalist or winner.

As for AP, they all study all year but they do cram. I crammed and got 4's and 5's and my son got 4' & 5's on 8 of them. He started college as a sophomore. It saved a year of tuition and books.

1 and 3 are irritating. 2 is extra irritating if they didn't give advance notice. The tests are not a surprise!

#2277696 - 05/18/14 12:02 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: AZNpiano]  
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One of my parents is an educational consultant. I was bemoaning this problem to her, and she absolutely surprised me by stating categorically that this testing is a money making racket for the Educational Testing Corporation. Perhaps it's not as blatant as she feels, but when I ran the numbers, I discovered that the NMQT is almost a lottery. The test enrollment fee covers more than half of the scholarship money disbursed!

However, more to the point, high school freshmen feeling they need to prep for 3 years for a very, very slim shot at $2,500 seems a bit distorted to me. And if I recall my general reading correctly, the correlation between success in college and SAT/ACT scores is not that high.


"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
#2277697 - 05/18/14 12:04 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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Originally Posted by MaggieGirl
2 is extra irritating if they didn't give advance notice. The tests are not a surprise!

If it were a test, I would have been sympathetic, but it was just a drill session. It's infuriating.


"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
#2277701 - 05/18/14 12:17 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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*ahem* excuses... If they don't want to be there (the piano lessons I mean), I'm dead sure that John and all other amazing teachers here will find new students to fill the slots!

'Nuff said! grin

#2277817 - 05/18/14 09:00 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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It *is* infuriating, but I know you have a good policy that you stick to, John, and so I'm sure those students forfeited their lesson time, and you were paid to do whatever you wanted.

I know you are like me and would usually rather be teaching (hey, we're human and can't always be on the ball), but our dedication to what we do does not equate to other's dedication to it. Just the way things are. Enjoy the paid time off, and when the student complains about having to work on the same piece for so long remind them that they decided to miss lessons and so they haven't practiced, etc. Consequences.


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#2277818 - 05/18/14 09:04 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: Nikolas]  
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As I stated in my original post, I was just venting. When you dedicate your life to educating young people, you often scratch your head at some of the choices parents make. And for the record, as parents, my wife & I made plenty of stupid choices and mistakes. Sometimes teachers felt strongly enough to point it out (glad they spoke up); even though we disagreed, it caused us to pause and reflect more deeply on our actions. Even though we made parenting mistakes, our children turned out fine. I'm sure these students will also be fine.


"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
#2277828 - 05/18/14 09:38 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Scheduling is also a pretty important skill for success in college!


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

#2277859 - 05/18/14 11:02 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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I hope I'm not being too obvious when I say that somewhere between some and a lot of these kids are only taking piano because it's supposed to make their brains bigger and having a high level guild certificate looks good on college apps. I've just finished seeing one child through HS and my youngest is a freshman and I see the emphasis on positioning and app padding that is starting to take place with the kids he plays volleyball with. Many of the boys skipped big games and even tournaments for test practice sessions, and college fairs even though the oldest are sophomores. For them and their parents, it's not the volleyball as much as being able to say he was on the team. It's anathema to me but I get that it that the phenomena helps keep your studios busy.

Kurt


One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.

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#2277898 - 05/18/14 12:53 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: KurtZ]  
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AP testing is important. Where I live, a kid who passes the AP test with a high enough score has actual college credit. That's huge. They don't have to take the class in college and they get the credit by taking the class in high school, so they don't have to pay for it.

If they're taking a AP test give them a pass and wish them luck.


(AP = Advanced Placement - a college level class taken in high school)

Last edited by Oongawa; 05/18/14 12:59 PM.

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#2277954 - 05/18/14 02:31 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: MH1963]  
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Originally Posted by Oongawa
AP testing is important. Where I live, a kid who passes the AP test with a high enough score has actual college credit. That's huge. They don't have to take the class in college and they get the credit by taking the class in high school, so they don't have to pay for it. ....
(AP = Advanced Placement - a college level class taken in high school)

I've suddenly become curious. I'm always looking for relationships.

Over here we used to have grade 13 up to about 10 years ago. Students planning to go to college were "streamed" - all the courses from gr. 9 - 13 were geared toward this. Then they got rid of gr. 13, all courses were brought down by one year (what was taught in gr. 10, was now taught in gr. 9, etc. Grade 13 went missing. What ended up happening is that the universities found that this new crop of kids were missing things, and new non-credit classes had to be given that would prepare the kids. In other words, whatever grade 13 did, was now missing.

Meanwhile, in Quebec they have CEGEP which is also this in-between thingy that comes between high school and university, acting as a bridge.

So looking at this:

Quote
(AP = Advanced Placement - a college level class taken in high school)

It sounds like what we used to have in grade 13, which now the colleges have to teach (so that the grade 13 material essentially became "college level" since it's now taught in college.)

(Just musing on a Sunday afternoon.)

#2277988 - 05/18/14 04:23 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: MH1963]  
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Originally Posted by Oongawa
AP testing is important. Where I live, a kid who passes the AP test with a high enough score has actual college credit. That's huge. They don't have to take the class in college and they get the credit by taking the class in high school, so they don't have to pay for it.

If they're taking a AP test give them a pass and wish them luck.

If I were a sports coach, they'd be off the team. Nice double standard, eh?

Of course, we're not discussing AP testing. We're discussing attending a drill class for a test 2 1/2 yrs in the future, vs attending the final rehearsal for an event occurring in 2 1/2 weeks. Something, I might add, this student really needs. I would suggest that perhaps some recognition of priorities is in order.


"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
#2278000 - 05/18/14 04:53 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook

Of course, we're not discussing AP testing. We're discussing attending a drill class for a test 2 1/2 yrs in the future, vs attending the final rehearsal for an event occurring in 2 1/2 weeks. Something, I might add, this student really needs. I would suggest that perhaps some recognition of priorities is in order.

What if the event this student should be rehearsing for isn't important to the student, and actually isn't a priority? (In fact, the AP choice might be reflecting priorities). frown

#2278006 - 05/18/14 05:09 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: KurtZ]  
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Originally Posted by KurtZ
It's anathema to me but I get that it that the phenomena helps keep your studios busy.

Kurt


Only if they see music as important for that. It used to be, but since music is being taken out of the schools it's also being seen as less important academically. I'm having a heck of a time getting piano students.


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#2278024 - 05/18/14 05:36 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook

Of course, we're not discussing AP testing. We're discussing attending a drill class for a test 2 1/2 yrs in the future, vs attending the final rehearsal for an event occurring in 2 1/2 weeks. Something, I might add, this student really needs. I would suggest that perhaps some recognition of priorities is in order.

What if the event this student should be rehearsing for isn't important to the student, and actually isn't a priority? (In fact, the AP choice might be reflecting priorities). frown

Can we drop the AP testing, please. The student is drilling for the PSAT, which is quite different than the AP testing, which is done at a different testing session.

About your hypothetical. I'm guessing it was important when they signed up for the Guild Audition and paid their $45, but obviously, their current choices now indicate otherwise. That is part of my frustration.


"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
#2278154 - 05/18/14 10:29 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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I was writing about priorities, not AP testing; their actions may reflect those priorities. Or, since they paid those $45, it may be magical thinking - no rehearsal needed but it will all go swimmingly anyway. Either way, your frustration is understandable.

#2279346 - 05/21/14 05:41 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Hi John,
You've received some lame excuses. Ha Ha! But I wouldn't mind if I had a few no shows this week. So far everyone shows up and no one has practiced. Oh, I had one parent cancel the day of lesson due to a field trip and asked to reschedule (about 6 hours prior to lesson). Ugh!

An aside: all this talk of tests made me want to chime in. I have been calling the ACT test the "40,000 dollar quiz" and earlier this spring I would ask my son when he takes the $40K quiz. Basically if you score in the top 5% and have the right GPA, you can earn free tuition at University of Kentucky. Essentially adds up to 40K (which is half the cost...turns out room and board is also 10K per year). Other schools also rely on these SAT and ACT for academic scholarships.

When your test taker returns to lessons, I would suggest he take practice tests online.


#2279467 - 05/21/14 11:35 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: Overexposed]  
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Does this apply to out of state students as well? The free tuition?


"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
#2279495 - 05/22/14 01:25 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Does this apply to out of state students as well? The free tuition?


Out of state tuition is 20K per year. The top 5% (plus 3.5 GPA) automatically receive 10K per year toward tuition. So the scholarship covers 50% of out of state tuition.

The out of state requirements are a little higher than for in-state, but the top 5% get the scholarship. For in state, the top 5% qualify plus those with scores that are nearly there...and GPA can be a little lower.

#2279637 - 05/22/14 10:47 AM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: Overexposed]  
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So, what you're saying is you have one chance in twenty at receiving a scholarship. Lost Wages offers better odds than that!


"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
#2279678 - 05/22/14 12:32 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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I am just happy to see that there may be as much scholarship money going to good scholars as to good athletes. Imagine that!

I don't see it as a chance of 1 in 20, although that's one way to look at it. That would be like saying each student has an equal chance to win a sports scholarship. Which obviously isn't true. Some kids are "in the running" for certain scholarships, and others are not. Those who are best in sports or academics appear to have the best chances of scholarships. It's not just about who has tried the hardest. It's about ability and effort and adequate preparation.

The last minute hiring of a tutor has limited value for most IMO. They may as well just attend their piano lessons as scheduled. smile Yet I don't blame the parents for trying.

Edit: I see that even a good (but not great) ACT score of 26 will earn a $1,500 per year scholarship ($6,000 total value). So perhaps 4 out of 20 get some monetary award.

Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 05/22/14 03:33 PM.
#2279900 - 05/22/14 10:09 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: Overexposed]  
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Well, we're way off topic, but what the heck.

If 5% get the award, 95% don't get the award. That's 1 in 20. Now, if schools didn't encourage the 19 to participate in the exam and the numerous prep tests, and tutoring, etc., etc., then I wouldn't be simmering about these tests. But say that 20,000 of your native Kentuckians take the test, and only 1,000 receive the scholarship. Why should the remaining 19,000 even be encouraged. Wouldn't their time be better spent learning the classroom material? Enjoying their high school experience, etc.?

BTW, just read an article that the welders are earning $150,000/yr. Shouldn't more of your students be taking shop than trying to ace a test which is obviously little use to them?


"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
#2280108 - 05/23/14 01:53 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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My son did zero tutoring or test prep, and received a very high score on his one time SAT, and received 5's on every AP exam he took, again, with no extra prep.
Some of his classmates did summer course work, tutoring, books, etc...lots of money spent.
Some scored around his level.
What is he getting out of testing so well?

Not much. AP exams with 5's will get him some college credit, but the SAT high score, simply got him into a competitive tier one college. no money tossed at him, because all the kids there are top of their class.

What gave him an edge, I assume, is that he is an All State musician, and active in several service groups.

Just grades do not get a student into college. Colleges want well-rounded kids with "stick-to-it-ness."

years of music lessons can be an edge.

Point that out to the parents! smile


Learning as I teach.
#2280236 - 05/23/14 07:21 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: missbelle]  
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Originally Posted by missbelle
...no money tossed at him...


But he probably didn't even apply to those Kentucky schools that Ann was talking about.


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– Roald Dahl

#2280486 - 05/24/14 12:08 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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nope, bluegrass ain't his style!

(ducks and runs)
smile

Last edited by missbelle; 05/24/14 12:08 PM. Reason: syntax

Learning as I teach.
#2280568 - 05/24/14 04:23 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Well, we're way off topic, but what the heck.

If 5% get the award, 95% don't get the award. That's 1 in 20. Now, if schools didn't encourage the 19 to participate in the exam and the numerous prep tests, and tutoring, etc., etc., then I wouldn't be simmering about these tests.


To continue off topic: I know a professor who was sued for telling a student he is "not college material". In other words it may not be safe to suggest to a student that they go to welding training instead of university.

I have not seen schools encourage tutoring. There is a single mandatory prep test in sophomore year. And a single mandatory ACT in Junior year. The sh-t would hit the fan if the the test were only mandatory for certain students...say those with a certain GPA.


#2280571 - 05/24/14 04:34 PM Re: Excuses, so many, many excuses . .. . . [Re: Overexposed]  
Joined: Dec 2007
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keystring  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,404
Canada
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky


To continue off topic: I know a professor who was sued for telling a student he is "not college material". In other words it may not be safe to suggest to a student that they go to welding training instead of university.

I wouldn't go as far as advocating suing, but otherwise, I'm glad they didn't take his word for what the student "was".

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