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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: hello my name is] #2716982
02/24/18 09:03 PM
02/24/18 09:03 PM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
chasingrainbows, i wonder if it'd be better for you to teach more adults or older non-beginner children. My teacher taught mostly from the couch and there was a second piano to demonstrate on, so she was rarely right beside me.


Why would I give up teaching younger children b/c of a few who have been raised with no hygiene manners? My grandchild has already learned this in preschool - there are TV commercials and signs warning people to cover their mouth when sneezing or coughing, use the sleeve, do fist bumps.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717019
02/25/18 01:40 AM
02/25/18 01:40 AM
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Maybe your 7-year-old will get over his nose goop soon.
Maybe this flu season will end.
The sooner the better.


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

Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717022
02/25/18 02:03 AM
02/25/18 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Originally Posted by hello my name is
chasingrainbows, i wonder if it'd be better for you to teach more adults or older non-beginner children. My teacher taught mostly from the couch and there was a second piano to demonstrate on, so she was rarely right beside me.


Why would I give up teaching younger children b/c of a few who have been raised with no hygiene manners? My grandchild has already learned this in preschool - there are TV commercials and signs warning people to cover their mouth when sneezing or coughing, use the sleeve, do fist bumps.


I see. I mentioned this because I see kids like this all the time (but I have worked in the special needs crowd), so I consider it a general part of teaching little ones. I just reread your posts (skimmed earlier, sorry), and it looks like you've made progress with him so that's good, but also you said you feel he's not ready. Maybe time to let him go?


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717343
02/26/18 11:51 AM
02/26/18 11:51 AM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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hello, I would have more understanding of less than ideal hygiene habits with special needs kids, and would avoid accepting special needs kids for that reason, as well as the primary fact that I don't feel qualified to teach special needs kids.

Given the fact that the mom told me he hadn't practiced at all in the last 2 weeks, I can't imagine keeping him much longer. I asked her why, and she said he was lazy. I told her she had to set the practice schedule up, and set a specific time or times each day. These are all explained at the meet and greet. Students and parents agree to the practice expectations. He's had 2 lessons and hasn't practiced once in 2 weeks! Uggghh


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717379
02/26/18 03:19 PM
02/26/18 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
He's had 2 lessons and hasn't practiced once in 2 weeks! Uggghh


Does he have a practice instrument at home? I would hope the mom isn't making it sound like the problem is with her son ("he's lazy"), if the problem really is that he has no piano to play besides yours.

I get enough calls from people wanting to take lessons who have no instrument on which to practice--two out of three, in fact, in just the last three months--that it makes me wonder if that's the case with your student.

Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717395
02/26/18 05:15 PM
02/26/18 05:15 PM
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Andamento, he does have a keyboard. I make sure that parents are aware that they are wasting their money if the student does not have a piano to go home and practice what has been learned in each lesson.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717466
02/26/18 11:44 PM
02/26/18 11:44 PM
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"He's lazy" sounds like Mom is not seeing this as her responsibility. Doubt it will get any better, if this is the first two weeks.


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2717489
02/27/18 03:46 AM
02/27/18 03:46 AM
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Vitamin C, Garlic, and Zinc, for you, before piano lessons? Helps keeps colds off, or short and sweet.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: hello my name is] #2717569
02/27/18 04:17 PM
02/27/18 04:17 PM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
"He's lazy" sounds like Mom is not seeing this as her responsibility. Doubt it will get any better, if this is the first two weeks.


Yes, especially since this was part of my meet and greet. I had my prior student - call him Student A, play a big competition piece he has prepared for mom and new student. My strategy was that student A had started at age 7 and his dad sat in on all lessons for the first 6 months. Student B is age 7.

I discuss practice expectations for beginners and of course, the necessity for practice and asked student B directly is he was willing to practice. Of course he said yes. I then played part of Rustles of Spring, explaining that I played that in a recital after 2 years of lessons, and 3 hours of practice a day.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2720032
03/09/18 11:04 AM
03/09/18 11:04 AM
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To the OP:

For me, this would be rather simple.

As a former classroom teacher I know that the teacher has to make the rules and the students have to abide by the rules or nothing works.

If this bothers you as much as it clearly does ...

You tell the student and parent that it has to stop or you cannot continue working with that student.

Then you work with the student a few more lessons while working with the issue and if it does not get better you terminate the relationship.

Simple.

P.S. And .... you do not have to justify your decision to anyone. Just do it and move on.




Last edited by dmd; 03/09/18 11:05 AM.

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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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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
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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!


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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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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.


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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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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


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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.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2721429
03/15/18 12:45 PM
03/15/18 12:45 PM
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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
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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.


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Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2721599
03/16/18 03:51 AM
03/16/18 03:51 AM
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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
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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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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
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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.


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

Re: Advice on handling hygiene issue [Re: chasingrainbows] #2723459
03/22/18 10:34 AM
03/22/18 10:34 AM
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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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Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
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