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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2720047
03/09/18 12:13 PM
03/09/18 12:13 PM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Hi DMD. I explained to the mom that due to my immune issues, I had to be especially vigilant, that I had no problem with her meeting with another teacher (knowing full well that all of our teachers have strict sick policies, some due to health issues, some due to outside performance obligations), that I did not want to remove myself as his teacher, but would have no choice, if he couldn't keep his focus on the lesson and off his body The lessons were as follows: first one - constant wiping nose and face with hands, second lesson, constant scratching head and eyes, third lesson, walks in and sticks his finger in the nose--I hand him the hand sanitizer, he laughs, but only once did he stick his hand under his shirt and scratch away. Last lesson - no problem. I was very relieved. Sitting in a studio not much bigger than a closet, inches from the student, sharing one piano exacerbates some hygiene issues that may be less intrusive in a different setting.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2720193
03/10/18 01:37 AM
03/10/18 01:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
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California
hello my name is Offline
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Sounds like there's improvement, good! Hopefully it stays at a level that is acceptable for you, otherwise I'd second what DMD says, and say goodbye!


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2720501
03/11/18 10:57 AM
03/11/18 10:57 AM
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kevinb Offline
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A friend of mine who is a music teacher makes a point of encouraging parents of small children to reschedule lessons if the kids have colds. That's inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as a week making no money. That seems a reasonable approach if you really, really can't risk catching something.

However, while the bodily fluids ejected from the faces of small children are icky, there's no reason to fear infection if your own hygiene procedures are sound. If you don't put your own unwashed hands around your face, only a cough or sneeze right in the face is going to create a risk of transmission. It seems to me that if you deal with small children, germs flying around is pretty much to be expected.

Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: kevinb] #2720555
03/11/18 04:53 PM
03/11/18 04:53 PM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by kevinb
A friend of mine who is a music teacher makes a point of encouraging parents of small children to reschedule lessons if the kids have colds. That's inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as a week making no money. That seems a reasonable approach if you really, really can't risk catching something.

However, while the bodily fluids ejected from the faces of small children are icky, there's no reason to fear infection if your own hygiene procedures are sound. If you don't put your own unwashed hands around your face, only a cough or sneeze right in the face is going to create a risk of transmission. It seems to me that if you deal with small children, germs flying around is pretty much to be expected.


Kevin, I have a very clear sick policy. Our local conservatory also states that sick students must stay home. As I said in my initial post, I have an immune deficiency, and use all precautions - at this point I'm completely aware of how to avoid getting sick, if possible. I've only had one 3 day cold in my life. Due to other issues, all potential colds go immediately into severe infections that put me down for weeks. Besides the illness factor, I don't teach kids under 6 so that hopefully, by that time they've learned proper hygiene habits. And yes, it's gross to play a piano that has been played by kids whose fingers are in their nose, ears, eyes, etc.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2720614
03/12/18 05:52 AM
03/12/18 05:52 AM
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I would imagine that dealing with children when you have an immune-system problem is like an alcoholic working in a distillery. Don't we give out medals for that kind of thing?

I'm not as grossed out by children's bodily ejecta as you seem to be; but I don't have the attendant health risks, so that's no particular credit to me.

It amuses me a little when people who don't have health problems are freaked out by a bit of snot -- particularly parents. I would imagine that after you've had to catch your toddler's purulent vomit in your hands, or picked bits of dried faeces out of the carpet, a few boogers would stop being a source of trauma.

Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: kevinb] #2720771
03/12/18 04:30 PM
03/12/18 04:30 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by kevinb
I would imagine that dealing with children when you have an immune-system problem is like an alcoholic working in a distillery. Don't we give out medals for that kind of thing?

I'm not as grossed out by children's bodily ejecta as you seem to be; but I don't have the attendant health risks, so that's no particular credit to me.

It amuses me a little when people who don't have health problems are freaked out by a bit of snot -- particularly parents. I would imagine that after you've had to catch your toddler's purulent vomit in your hands, or picked bits of dried faeces out of the carpet, a few boogers would stop being a source of trauma.

Parents and grand parents have a very different idea of what constitutes a problem with sickness. wink


Piano Teacher
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: kevinb] #2720773
03/12/18 04:32 PM
03/12/18 04:32 PM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by kevinb
I would imagine that dealing with children when you have an immune-system problem is like an alcoholic working in a distillery. Don't we give out medals for that kind of thing?

I'm not as grossed out by children's bodily ejecta as you seem to be; but I don't have the attendant health risks, so that's no particular credit to me.

It amuses me a little when people who don't have health problems are freaked out by a bit of snot -- particularly parents. I would imagine that after you've had to catch your toddler's purulent vomit in your hands, or picked bits of dried faeces out of the carpet, a few boogers would stop being a source of trauma.


The amount of illnesses I've had since teaching children has quadrupled. Had I any idea that I would have to deal with these hygiene issues, I would only have agreed to accept students old enough to know better.

I'm not as grossed out by children's bodily ejecta as you seem to be; but I don't have the attendant health risks, so that's no particular credit to me.

You don't mind playing a piano that has mucus, dead skin cells, hair cells and other "ejecta" on it? You're ok with students sneezing in your face, or wiping running noses with hands? Do you share an instrument with your students?

It amuses me a little when people who don't have health problems are freaked out by a bit of snot -- particularly parents. I would imagine that after you've had to catch your toddler's purulent vomit in your hands, or picked bits of dried faeces out of the carpet, a few boogers would stop being a source of trauma.

I'm a mom and grandmom. My family practices good courteous hygiene. Signs, TV, doctors offices all advertise proper hygiene.
I have a difficult time understanding why my issues about hygiene is viewed by some posters here as being out of the ordinary.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2721429
03/15/18 12:45 PM
03/15/18 12:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
missbelle Offline
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USA
Hey everyone!
Spring break here and I have forgotten/lost time when I was last here! This is a good place to visit!

For my students, I simply tell them that everything they have touched, other students are touching.

"Oh, see how your finger was in your nose, and now on the keys? You know how there are other students before and after you, and other days also? Think of ALL the STUFF on these keys! Let's keep them clean- go wash your hands, and I'll wipe down the keys. You can help me finish when you get back. "

Kids are not bothered by their own germs. But cooties of others! Oh my!

And, parents will often see the time it takes for child to get to restroom, and thus lose some lesson time. Or, the student can go before the lesson, and all is well.

(Don't get me started on why I had to send out a boy to have a mom trim her son's nails...they were filthy!!! and then he cut them across halfway and bent them sideways to make tiny vertical claws---ew, eewww, ewwwwww....!! I could not handle it and gave him to mom to finish his trimming.

He now proudly shows me his short and clean nails- proud that he has done it himself (and, that I gave him stickers "for clean hands" several times.)

Back to germs-
I try not to touch my own face. I wash hands, a lot. I have hand sanitizer and tissue nearby. And, I tell the kids straight out, "what you touch, others touch. Do you want to lick someone else's nose?" (child A touches their nose, then the keys. Child B touches the keys and then their mouth.)

Yes, lots of reminders. Lots of ick factor. But, it's part of training and working with kids. Even adults.

Oh-
how about this-
Buy a pack of masks and let each child decorate theirs!
Personalized masks, ok to re-use for each individual student each week?
Dunno- just had that thought...


Learning as I teach.
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2721492
03/15/18 04:12 PM
03/15/18 04:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,924
USA
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Miss Belle, I always make sure that the FIRST reason I give is similar to what you suggested in your third paragraph. I agree that I should just be more proactive, get out the hand sanitizer, have them use it, then wipe down the keys. For sure, when parents see the time that takes, they will be on little "Junior" to keep hands on piano. smile

I am the poster child for fitness, but unfortunately can't fight off illnesses as well as i can exercise. If I think a kid is sick, he forfeits a lesson. The room is tiny and airless and a haven for spreading germs. When parents know they will lose the lesson and get no makeup, they are cooperative.

A young girl came in with the filthiest hands - covered in green and black. I asked her what was on her hands = marker./ I handed her the sanitizer and asked that she please make sure hands are clean in the future, so we don't get it all over the keys. I generally overlook that kind of thing, but this was unbelievable.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2721599
03/16/18 03:51 AM
03/16/18 03:51 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,965
London, UK
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kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
You don't mind playing a piano that has mucus, dead skin cells, hair cells and other "ejecta" on it? You're ok with students sneezing in your face, or wiping running noses with hands? Do you share an instrument with your students?


I shared an instrument with my kids, at least and, no, those things don't bother me -- it only takes a few seconds to wipe down a grotty keyboard. Don't get me wrong -- I didn't invite my kids to sneeze in my face, and I would have preferred them not to have snotty hands quite so much. But if I were to list all the things about child-rearing that I found icky, it would be a very long list, and boogers on the piano keyboard would scarcely even make it on there. Having had my toddlers vomit full in my face on a number of occasions, I can't say that a bit of flying mucus bothers me much.

As for hair and skin cells -- I don't believe these create much of an infection risk. They are ubiquitous, anyway.

There's increasing evidence that an over-enthusiastic approach to domestic hygiene causes inefficient immune development in children, and may actually be a long-term health problem in its own right.

Having said all that, I freely admit that I'm not particularly sensitive to the kinds of infections that children carry and, when I do contract them, they rarely affect me badly. I'm well aware that some people need stronger hygiene measures.


Last edited by kevinb; 03/16/18 04:08 AM.
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2721742
03/16/18 01:37 PM
03/16/18 01:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,110
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
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Stubbie  Offline
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Midwest USA
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Miss Belle, I always make sure that the FIRST reason I give is similar to what you suggested in your third paragraph. I agree that I should just be more proactive, get out the hand sanitizer, have them use it, then wipe down the keys. For sure, when parents see the time that takes, they will be on little "Junior" to keep hands on piano. smile

I am the poster child for fitness, but unfortunately can't fight off illnesses as well as i can exercise. If I think a kid is sick, he forfeits a lesson. The room is tiny and airless and a haven for spreading germs. When parents know they will lose the lesson and get no makeup, they are cooperative.

A young girl came in with the filthiest hands - covered in green and black. I asked her what was on her hands = marker./ I handed her the sanitizer and asked that she please make sure hands are clean in the future, so we don't get it all over the keys. I generally overlook that kind of thing, but this was unbelievable.
Just to emphasize missbelle's statement that she makes them wash their hands: Hand sanitizer might kill some bacteria but it's not good at cleaning the hands. Grime, grease, snot--they're all still there. Running water, soap, and a towel of some sort works best for getting rid of nasty stuff on hands.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: Stubbie] #2721804
03/16/18 05:10 PM
03/16/18 05:10 PM
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Posts: 1,924
USA
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Miss Belle, I always make sure that the FIRST reason I give is similar to what you suggested in your third paragraph. I agree that I should just be more proactive, get out the hand sanitizer, have them use it, then wipe down the keys. For sure, when parents see the time that takes, they will be on little "Junior" to keep hands on piano. smile

I am the poster child for fitness, but unfortunately can't fight off illnesses as well as i can exercise. If I think a kid is sick, he forfeits a lesson. The room is tiny and airless and a haven for spreading germs. When parents know they will lose the lesson and get no makeup, they are cooperative.

A young girl came in with the filthiest hands - covered in green and black. I asked her what was on her hands = marker./ I handed her the sanitizer and asked that she please make sure hands are clean in the future, so we don't get it all over the keys. I generally overlook that kind of thing, but this was unbelievable.
Just to emphasize missbelle's statement that she makes them wash their hands: Hand sanitizer might kill some bacteria but it's not good at cleaning the hands. Grime, grease, snot--they're all still there. Running water, soap, and a towel of some sort works best for getting rid of nasty stuff on hands.


The only problem with that is I work in a store, and can't know for sure that the child actually washes his/her hands. Teachers often bemoan that fact. There is only a single service restroom, and most of the time, there's a wait. I'm sure if parents saw that, they'd better train their kids. OTOH, most of my kids' parents drop them off to go shopping. frown


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: Stubbie] #2721844
03/16/18 07:36 PM
03/16/18 07:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,051
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malkin Offline
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Just to emphasize missbelle's statement that she makes them wash their hands: Hand sanitizer might kill some bacteria but it's not good at cleaning the hands. Grime, grease, snot--they're all still there. Running water, soap, and a towel of some sort works best for getting rid of nasty stuff on hands.


AMEN! Hand sanitizer on dirty hands is a mess. The bacteria may be dead, but all the gunk is still there.


Learner
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2723459
03/22/18 10:34 AM
03/22/18 10:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
missbelle Offline
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Two words-

Wet Wipes.

You can get them in travel pack sizes and keep them in your piano bag.


Learning as I teach.
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