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Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Jouishy] #2756307
08/06/18 04:53 PM
08/06/18 04:53 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 213
Quebec city, QC
Jouishy Offline
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Jouishy  Offline
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Posts: 213
Quebec city, QC
Wow, I was rereading my post and I can't understand what I wanted to say. Words seemed to have mixed up in my brain when I wrote this...

Originally Posted by Jouishy
It doesn't me the student will never achieve something good at the piano.


I guess the essence of my post doesn't change anyway.

-

You have a good point too, dogperson.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Mozart's K545, 1st and 3rd mov
- Tina's theme from FF VI piano collections
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Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: dogperson] #2756377
08/07/18 02:08 AM
08/07/18 02:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,257
South Florida
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Gary D. Online content
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Gary D.  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by dogperson

My sister’s. piano teacher and my parents also let this go on for five miserable years. She would only practice after screaming, horrible fights. I have never understood why my teacher let that happen. The most humane thing would’ve been to have let her quit. And no, she was never grateful for the lessons. Once she quit, she refused to ever touch a piano again .... and hasn’t. For every adult that says “I’m so grateful I had lessons as a child “, I’m sure there are plenty more that grew to hate the piano because of the experience. They just don’t come on a piano forum and express their bitterness.

First, why should everyone play piano? At what point do people of all ages get to make decisions about what they like and don't like?

People here would not believe me if I described the lengths I go to for students who DO try. I call and text good students to come in at different times if more time opens up. I'll say, "I just found out that someone cancelled, and if you come at _________ I can give you an hour. Do you want to?"

I have some great parents who will switch instantly. Everyone benefits.

Why should I push and push a student who doesn't want to be in lessons in the first place? Who benefits? What about my energy for the OTHER students?

Such students are energy vampires. If I have just spent a lesson in Groundhog Day mode, what reasonable person expects me to start the next lesson with the same attitude and energy that I would have if I had not just gone through a miserably boring lesson?

Life has consequences. No work should result in cancelled lessons.

Stop indulging lazy people of any age.

Last edited by Gary D.; 08/07/18 02:08 AM.

Piano Teacher
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Brinestone] #2756381
08/07/18 03:38 AM
08/07/18 03:38 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,336
Florida
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Gary I totally agree with your post! In my sister’s case, it was not being lazy.... she just hated it. It would have been the equivalent of making me take golf lessons and going out to the course/putting green every day to practice.

I don’t understand why all parents do not let their children be part of the decision of what lessons to take. But they do not always. For some reason, piano is one of those things that is often forced training by parents.... when other classes are not. I have my own theory, which is probably not relevant here. For those here that keep teaching students with NO interest..... think about it.. Not all these students will be ‘grateful’ as adults... some will be resentful and develop a hate of music.

don’t we, as adults, thrive when it is something we want to learn?

Enough of my soapbox.... I just saw the devastating consequences on a personal level.

Last edited by dogperson; 08/07/18 03:48 AM.
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Gary D.] #2756412
08/07/18 09:13 AM
08/07/18 09:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 81
Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
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Texas
Originally Posted by Gary D.
[quote=dogperson]
Why should I push and push a student who doesn't want to be in lessons in the first place? Who benefits? What about my energy for the OTHER students?

Such students are energy vampires. If I have just spent a lesson in Groundhog Day mode, what reasonable person expects me to start the next lesson with the same attitude and energy that I would have if I had not just gone through a miserably boring lesson?

Life has consequences. No work should result in cancelled lessons.

Stop indulging lazy people of any age.


Amen! Preach it brother!

The difficulty comes with students who are very inconsistent. Sometimes they work hard through the week and act like they really want it, and sometimes they don't. I suppose we've all had students like that - students who have real potential, but seem afraid to commit to music. I probably tend to keep such students longer than I should.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: akc42] #2756508
08/07/18 01:41 PM
08/07/18 01:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,596
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,596
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by akc42
So as teachers you might think that you are getting nowhere - but I think the reality is different. Something of the lessons gets remembered and gets tucked away and can be pulled out again many years later

I am glad it all worked out for you, 56 years later.

Unfortunately, most kids can't see 56 years down the road. They can't even see 3 days down the road. I work with many kids who are forced to take piano lessons, and several of them indicated to me that they "hate" piano. As long as they are not rude or unpleasant, I keep on teaching them as much as I can--not so much as giving them a musical education, but enriching their lives in some tangible way.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Brinestone] #2756772
08/08/18 12:27 PM
08/08/18 12:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 276
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2017
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Toronto, Canada
Time and time again a lot of people mentioned parents making decisions on the kids' behalf. A number of years ago, I was invited to a kid's birthday party. There were 3 of them in the family between the ages of 8 & 10 and all had taken several years of music lessons. They were sitting in front of a keyboard with a piece of sheet music. Looked like the music has only 4 lines. They tried to decipher the notes for over half an hour and play it but not 1 of the 3 came close to what the song is supposed to sound like. The father wanted his kids to get into piano and paid for the lessons willingly. He took piano years ago but hated the instrument that he hasn't touched it since. I am not sure how much help the father was able to offer. If a child has already taken piano for a while you assume he/she has acquired sight-reading skills for pieces at a certain level. If you assign a piece to practice, your student is expected to figure out how to play the piece to a certain extent without you having to demonstrate every note and every fingering.

When I was younger, my mother gave me a choice of learning 2 instruments: violin or piano for the simple reason that a violin was 1 of the lightest instrument to carry around for lessons and piano stays put so it doesn't have to be carried around. If I picked a guitar or a cello, mom would insist that these instruments are just too cumbersome to carry to music lessons. Tried piano at age 5, didn't get further than "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". Picked up violin in high school and later piano.

A lot of times parents want kids to start their music education early with good intentions. You get to the point a young student can't sight-read when playing pieces at his/her level, you know the progress is not there. And some people assumed it'd be easier to learn to play music before age 10. Personally I find that picking up piano later in life is much easier because I had a lot more life experience. In my practice sessions I'd keep a log how much time I spent in my weekly practices, listen to a few online recordings of the pieces I'm playing and make recordings of my playing for future reference. In my childhood years I don't have the kind of discipline to succeed.

In my family, there are no concert pianists or especially gifted people who are into music. At age 5, my teacher had every reason to drop me for lack of talent. About 20 years ago, a cousin tried to teach me a song on piano out of a beginner's book with repeated left-hand chords (3 notes like C-Eb-G). Just getting 3 fingers to play at sync looked impossible that I put off learning piano for another 2 decades. At age 35 I learned to play Minuet & Trio from French Suite #3 by Bach. While nobody in the family plays piano even when some had lessons before, I've taken up music as an important part of my life against depression & personal disappointments. In my younger days I'd spend hours in front of the TV. Now it is becoming a big distraction from my music practice.

In order to succeed learning piano you need 3 things: an interest in music (mom got me into piano kind of attitude won't do), willingness to practice regularly and always ready for new challenges (if you see a new piece of music you can't wait to try it out). You can tell which students have the 3 attributes and which do not.

Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2757193
08/09/18 05:54 PM
08/09/18 05:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,803
NJ
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chasingrainbows Offline
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chasingrainbows  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,803
NJ
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Gary D.
[quote=dogperson]
Why should I push and push a student who doesn't want to be in lessons in the first place? Who benefits? What about my energy for the OTHER students?

Such students are energy vampires. If I have just spent a lesson in Groundhog Day mode, what reasonable person expects me to start the next lesson with the same attitude and energy that I would have if I had not just gone through a miserably boring lesson?

Life has consequences. No work should result in cancelled lessons.

Stop indulging lazy people of any age.


Amen! Preach it brother!

The difficulty comes with students who are very inconsistent. Sometimes they work hard through the week and act like they really want it, and sometimes they don't. I suppose we've all had students like that - students who have real potential, but seem afraid to commit to music. I probably tend to keep such students longer than I should.



Well said, Dr. Rogers. I have many of those students who have potential and are inconsistent in their practicing. Usually, a serious discussion with them rallies them for a week or 2. I will hang on to those kids, b.c I've had many who I was ready to suggest they find another teacher, who suddenly made a significant leap in their progress.

Gary D, the energy vampires -- perfect description - are those who consistently do what they want, play too fast, make a ton of mistakes, and/or don't practice. Groundhog Day lessons can only happen for so long, before they are shown the door.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: chasingrainbows] #2757283
08/10/18 04:25 AM
08/10/18 04:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,257
South Florida
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Gary D. Online content
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Gary D.  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,257
South Florida
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows

Gary D, the energy vampires -- perfect description - are those who consistently do what they want, play too fast, make a ton of mistakes, and/or don't practice. Groundhog Day lessons can only happen for so long, before they are shown the door.

I assume you have seen the movie. wink

I SAY that in lessons - "Well, I see it's Groundhog Day for me, AGAIN." They all know what this means. But only a rare few do it on a regular basis, and I make it very uncomfortable for them.

I detest laziness, and it infuriates me that parents think it's OK to drop off kids and expect me to shovel knowledge into their heads, with zero work.

MOST of my students are not like this at all, and I actively give so much grief to the ones who show up with zero work that they usually quit fairly soon - if I don't lose my temper and fire them!

I'll do anything in the world for students who try, but I have zero tolerance for entitled, lazy kids.

By the way, I am not including here the ones who are forced to take lessons and hate them. I HELP them quit. I'm actually on their side. I don't think everyone should play piano. I don't think everyone should do anything. wink


Piano Teacher
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: dogperson] #2757368
08/10/18 11:55 AM
08/10/18 11:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 200
Virginia
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DFSRN Offline
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Virginia
Dogperson, I am one of those made to take piano lesson students that are grateful as an adult. I don't think I would have appreciated piano if not being exposed as a child. I also hated the violin at the time and played it for 10 years. After I finished my PhD, I decided to take lessons again, now I am in my 5th year. I wanted to play so bad that I knew if I did not graduate first I would have been distracted. As I reflect, I don't know how I learned 2 instruments. My dad was in a nursing home toward the end of his life. One thing I am grateful for is playing for him before he died and I told him, you did not waste your money on my lessons, I will continue to play until I cannot any longer. I thanked him for all those lessons. Now I go and play for the nursing home on occasion. I am not great, but it is amazing how appreciative nursing home residents and their families are when someone comes to play. My father-in-law is in that nursing home. I don't have the talent to play song selections for an hour, I am good for 15 to 20 minutes. Teachers positively impacts lives, although they do not always know how. I agree, some kids will grow up as adults to resent it.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: DFSRN] #2757375
08/10/18 12:20 PM
08/10/18 12:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,017
Canada
keystring Offline
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Canada
Originally Posted by DFSRN
Teachers positively impacts lives, although they do not always know how.

Good, competent teachers do. This is not unimportant. smile

Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Brinestone] #2757408
08/10/18 02:19 PM
08/10/18 02:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 265
M
Midlife_Piano Offline
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Posts: 265
My parents sent me to piano lessons simply because they both worked long hours and they did not want me to cause any trouble. There happened to be a piano teacher nearby so that's how I started. I was never a good piano student when I was a child - I had no special musical talent and I did not practice much. When the school work load got heavy, I stopped lessons and they did not force me to continue. When I stopped, I was working Chopin Nocturne Op.9-2 and some Mozart sonatas - all very badly to this day I never play these pieces anymore.

Almost 30 years later, I was in the "midlife crisis" mode (see my user name) - not sure what to do with my life personally and professionally. I could not afford to quit working or moving to a brand new city/country... but I knew I had to do something in my life before I went crazy. That's when I realized I had no interests, hobbies, or other skills.... Then I vaguely remembered I played the piano before, so I decided to give myself another shot. I found a teacher; signed up for lessons; bought a piano, signed up on PW; had a fight with my downstairs neighbor because the noise I was making - which caused me moving out my own place. (I created a thread here about the situation). Everything all happened within 3-5 months period. Now I am practicing whenever I can; playing pieces I never thought I could ever touch in my lifetime, and I am having a great time. Now my job is not-so-bad anymore and my life is turned around completely for the better. Everyone around me has seen the change so it's win-win for everyone.

When I talk to my elderly parents, I always let them know how grateful I am for them to sign me up for piano lessons when I was a child. The other day I was practicing Chopin Ballade No.1 - I felt it was like a documentary film of my life and I got so emotional I almost choked up in tears (of joy).

Special thanks to all piano teachers here. You are making difference in people lives - even with some below-average students like me. Do not give up on them too easily.....

Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Brinestone] #2757562
08/10/18 11:46 PM
08/10/18 11:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 200
Virginia
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DFSRN Offline
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Virginia
Dear MidLife piano, I think there comes a time in life when you want to do something for you, not only that you can share what you do with others. I don't know anyone who does not like piano music. There is more to life than just work, there has to be something you get up for every morning that you are excited about. For some it is golf, fishing, etc.... I do have a digital and an acoustic, I play on the digital with head phones to give my husband some quiet time. Playing music is good for your mental health. Below is a link to an article I published a few years ago, hope you enjoy it.


https://www.mdedge.com/fedprac/article/106295/mental-health/prescription-music-lessons


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: Brinestone] #2757623
08/11/18 09:51 AM
08/11/18 09:51 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 156
FLORIDA
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pavane1 Offline
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FLORIDA
This is how you do it. No drama, no hard feelings, no akwardness. I call it the last chance method.

Read the post it tells all about it.

"Time to say Goodbye"

https://www.palomapiano.com/blog-post/time-say-goodbye/


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: pavane1] #2758081
08/13/18 06:02 AM
08/13/18 06:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,017
Canada
keystring Offline
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Canada
Originally Posted by pavane1
This is how you do it. No drama, no hard feelings, no akwardness. I call it the last chance method.

Read the post it tells all about it.

"Time to say Goodbye"

https://www.palomapiano.com/blog-post/time-say-goodbye/

In general I like the "last chance" idea you put forth, because it's concrete. However, there is one part that you probably do, but have not mentioned. Asking the student what might be wrong. Maybe there is an actual problem rather than growing disinterest. For the "last chance" idea, in addition to "call me when you can play it well" (to set up a lesson), how about also "Call me if you need help." as well? Even if everything is nailed in a lesson, it won't all be remembered once home.

Re: Logistics of dropping a student [Re: keystring] #2758124
08/13/18 10:57 AM
08/13/18 10:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 156
FLORIDA
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pavane1 Offline
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FLORIDA
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by pavane1
This is how you do it. No drama, no hard feelings, no awkwardness. I call it the last chance method.

Read the post it tells all about it.

"Time to say Goodbye"

https://www.palomapiano.com/blog-post/time-say-goodbye/

In general, I like the "last chance" idea you put forth because it's concrete. However, there is one part that you probably do, but have not mentioned. Asking the student what might be wrong. Maybe there is an actual problem rather than growing disinterest. For the "last chance" idea, in addition to "call me when you can play it well" (to set up a lesson), how about also "Call me if you need help." as well? Even if everything is nailed in a lesson, it won't all be remembered once home.


Yes, I only do this after all other avenues have been explored. Such as changing repertoire and trying to figure out what the problem is.

It doesn't happen too often that students lose interest (thankfully). But, sometimes they do. Usually, they come back to playing in some capacity which is good.


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
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