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Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: bennevis] #2775138
10/24/18 08:30 AM
10/24/18 08:30 AM
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I agree that different cultures' ideas of what's rude and what's not vary. A person could choose to ignore unintentionally rude comments, or might explain that the comment is considered inappropriate in this culture.

However, when I read this in the OP's post:
Quote
Some snide comments about my lack of children...
that word "snide" jumps out at me as being more deliberate on the mother's part, and not simply as a cultural difference in how one relates to others. With the word snide, I "hear" (whether correctly or incorrectly--the internet doesn't help with this) a tone that is intentionally derisive, insulting, destructive. If so, that's verbal abuse, purposely cutting someone down, and SchroedersCat is right, IMHO, to look for ways to dismiss this family so she doesn't have to deal any longer with written or verbal attacks. Ignoring their abuse, if that's what it is--and it does sound that way to me--can bring deep harm, because it's almost certainly going to continue if not dealt with. Ongoing abuse chips away at a person's self-worth and well-being.

Bottom line, SchroedersCat knows all of what was said, in what tone it was conveyed, and how those words and tone made her feel. She came here looking for ways to communicate her desire to end lessons with this family, and I'm hoping (as I'm sure we all are) that this situation can be resolved in a healthy and beneficial manner for her and her student.

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Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: Andamento] #2775161
10/24/18 09:30 AM
10/24/18 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Andamento
I agree that different cultures' ideas of what's rude and what's not vary. A person could choose to ignore unintentionally rude comments, or might explain that the comment is considered inappropriate in this culture.

However, when I read this in the OP's post:
Quote
Some snide comments about my lack of children...
that word "snide" jumps out at me as being more deliberate on the mother's part, and not simply as a cultural difference in how one relates to others. With the word snide, I "hear" (whether correctly or incorrectly--the internet doesn't help with this) a tone that is intentionally derisive, insulting, destructive. If so, that's verbal abuse, purposely cutting someone down, and SchroedersCat is right, IMHO, to look for ways to dismiss this family so she doesn't have to deal any longer with written or verbal attacks. Ignoring their abuse, if that's what it is--and it does sound that way to me--can bring deep harm, because it's almost certainly going to continue if not dealt with. Ongoing abuse chips away at a person's self-worth and well-being.


I should have made myself clearer (but I'm handicapped by the fact that English is my fourth language smirk ).

There is no doubt that the mother intended to be rude and sarcastic - just as the woman who questioned my marital status last week was deliberately rude: my guide/interpreter told me that in their culture, only men of questionable morals didn't seek wives and propagate the species wink . I didn't take it personally, because I'm used to being poked fun at (as well as physically poked at), stared at, laughed at etc by different cultures - and after all, I was a visitor and looked and behaved differently to them.

What I'm saying is that people from some cultures think nothing of saying demeaning things to people they consider below their status (and unfortunately, an 'employee' is usually considered such), but they often back off if you tell them straight - unless, of course, they don't really need your services, in which case.....

So, the OP should - IMO - certainly end the teacher-student relationship, because (from her perspective) it has been irrevocably damaged by what was said to her, but she should end it in as amicable manner as possible for the sake of the kid and her career.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: bennevis] #2775187
10/24/18 10:42 AM
10/24/18 10:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 244
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Andamento
I agree that different cultures' ideas of what's rude and what's not vary. A person could choose to ignore unintentionally rude comments, or might explain that the comment is considered inappropriate in this culture.

However, when I read this in the OP's post:
Quote
Some snide comments about my lack of children...
that word "snide" jumps out at me as being more deliberate on the mother's part, and not simply as a cultural difference in how one relates to others. With the word snide, I "hear" (whether correctly or incorrectly--the internet doesn't help with this) a tone that is intentionally derisive, insulting, destructive. If so, that's verbal abuse, purposely cutting someone down, and SchroedersCat is right, IMHO, to look for ways to dismiss this family so she doesn't have to deal any longer with written or verbal attacks. Ignoring their abuse, if that's what it is--and it does sound that way to me--can bring deep harm, because it's almost certainly going to continue if not dealt with. Ongoing abuse chips away at a person's self-worth and well-being.


I should have made myself clearer (but I'm handicapped by the fact that English is my fourth language smirk ).

There is no doubt that the mother intended to be rude and sarcastic - just as the woman who questioned my marital status last week was deliberately rude: my guide/interpreter told me that in their culture, only men of questionable morals didn't seek wives and propagate the species wink . I didn't take it personally, because I'm used to being poked fun at (as well as physically poked at), stared at, laughed at etc by different cultures - and after all, I was a visitor and looked and behaved differently to them.

What I'm saying is that people from some cultures think nothing of saying demeaning things to people they consider below their status (and unfortunately, an 'employee' is usually considered such), but they often back off if you tell them straight - unless, of course, they don't really need your services, in which case.....

So, the OP should - IMO - certainly end the teacher-student relationship, because (from her perspective) it has been irrevocably damaged by what was said to her, but she should end it in as amicable manner as possible for the sake of the kid and her career.


Thanks for your clarification, Bennevis, and for sharing your observations. And if it's any consolation, I only know one language, and there are times when my words still come out less clearly, or even quite differently, than I intend. laugh

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775194
10/24/18 11:00 AM
10/24/18 11:00 AM
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Posts: 10,966
Williamsburg, VA
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Quote
I should have made myself clearer (but I'm handicapped by the fact that English is my fourth language smirk ).


Like Józef Teodor Konrad, I see ... smile

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775239
10/24/18 02:18 PM
10/24/18 02:18 PM
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Posts: 36
San Francisco
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Just to clear up some of this racial back and forth, the mother is white. And knew exactly what she was saying.

Anyway, the parents are avoiding me for now. I'm still planning on following through with the holiday recital and then let them go.
I don't keep a waiting list, but January is always a "high inquiry" month for me, I'm sure to get some bites from prospective students and can easily replace this family.

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775290
10/24/18 08:09 PM
10/24/18 08:09 PM
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Posts: 79
Canada
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Thanks for the update, SchroedersCat. Sounds like you have made a good decision!


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: bennevis] #2775319
10/25/18 02:29 AM
10/25/18 02:29 AM
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South Florida
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by hello my name is
As someone who comes from aforementioned community, I would say such comments are definitely an individual's choice but I feel they also are more tolerated by that society than they are in American culture. What I mean is, probably no one has ever said to those parents that those kind of comments specifically are rude to say.

Agreed, if we we are referring to that community I referenced. (and oops, to not sound discriminatory, I should also say I am from that particular community!)

I wasn't going to weight in on this thread, but I agree with this, as someone from an obscure ethnicity (which I won't divulge, except to say my skin isn't white, and I'm not even blond wink ) who moved to a strange new Western country as a teenager, and had to learn to adapt fast to avoid bullying etc from other kids.

Where I came from, people make personal remarks about each other all the time, and think nothing of it. I had my mother's friends who told her - in my presence - I was a genius (because I was quiet and liked to read) and others who told her I was an imbecile (because I was quiet and liked to read), and yet others who told her I should be assessed by a child psychologist (because I was quiet and liked to read) - and recommended one who's (of course) a personal friend. Unfortunately, I turned out to be a normal, quiet (except when I'm chatty and in my stride), book-reader when I grew up........ wink

In my frequent travels (I also turned out to an inveterate traveller and curious about other cultures - which none of those self-proclaimed experts ever envisaged), I've encountered cultures who say what they think without thinking (watch the movie Liar, Liar starring Jim Carrey to se what I mean smirk ), others who stare at you and comment on your appearance (truthfully) before they say 'hello' in any language, yet others who only say what they think you want to hear (so if you get lost, don't ever ask direct questions like 'Is that the right way?' and pointing straight down the track, because they'll always say 'yes'. 'No' is rude). And I've just returned from a trip to an obscure country (only slightly less obscure than my own) where the first question I was asked by a local woman was "Are you married?" (I was of course alone, as always), and when I said "No", the second question was "Why not?" grin

So, my advice is - don't let personal remarks by someone of a non-Caucasian ethnicity get in the way of your judgment about what to do about the lessons. Most cultures bring their own personal 'baggage' with them even after having settled in their host country for decades. In fact, it's still like that here in the UK, with people who moved here in the 1960s. (British people who live in cities with large ethnic minorities will know what I mean).

This reply is long, thoughtful, intelligent and insightful. Probably a waste of time here thought. wink

I'll counter with one quick story:

A friend of mine told me once that someone she knew said to her:

"I just need to tell you that..."

And my friend, a very intelligent woman interrupted her, holding up a hand:

"Before you tell me what you think you need to tell me, I need to warn you: if it makes you feel better at the expense of my feelings, any relationship I have with you is over. So think carefully before you say more...

So, yes, there are cultural differences, but the common denominator here is that many people use honesty or candor as an excuse to be rude if not downright mean. And that should be inexcusable in any culture.

Furthermore, many people will trespass on the feelings of others exactly as far as they are allowed to trespass, so it's a good idea to cultivate boundaries and declare them.


Piano Teacher
Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: Gary D.] #2775352
10/25/18 07:02 AM
10/25/18 07:02 AM
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Dublin
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Originally Posted by Gary D.




"Before you tell me what you think you need to tell me, I need to warn you: if it makes you feel better at the expense of my feelings, any relationship I have with you is over. So think carefully before you say more..."




I love this!

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: Gary D.] #2775396
10/25/18 10:00 AM
10/25/18 10:00 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 1,815
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
So, yes, there are cultural differences, but the common denominator here is that many people use honesty or candor as an excuse to be rude if not downright mean. And that should be inexcusable in any culture.

Not going to talk about the culture I myself come from here, but about how I tried to understand another culture. I've been with my wife now over 20 years. Yet, I don't think I ever truly understood her until a few years ago, I took this free online Coursera course in Russian intercultural communications, because I just didn't "get her". After taking this class, I understood that sharing a common spoken language is a tiny part of communications. I suddenly understood why she appeared to me to be so sarcastic - bitingly at times. There is a vastly different cultural context, and that context drives things such as the use of honesty as a tool (or a weapon), the use of sarcasm, etc. One of the things I learned from this course is that it is indeed possible for certain cultures to consider honesty and candor to be an asset even when delivering criticism, where the same in another culture that same behavior / those same remarks would be considered "rude if not downright mean". You might think they would be aware, yet, they are not, because their cultural "context" is just different.


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Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775410
10/25/18 10:54 AM
10/25/18 10:54 AM
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Canada
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I've been thinking about what is written here ever since this thread opened, and have read comments all along. I want to start with the part about male and female behaviour, which was Gary's response to Peter. It is something I've worked on, and it's a frequent topic of conversation with a friend who is 30 years my junior, a different generation, diff. country, yet we're wrestling with the same things.

The kinds of messages we learned were: be kind, don't hurt feelings, give the benefit of the doubt to the other person, anger is unseemly for a lady (be kind, don't hurt feelings), be generous (don't hurt the feelings of a greedy person), be grateful for little scraps you receive in life in the sense of not expecting or above all demanding things for yourself. This has some consequences: You can't call a spade a spade - you can't even recognize that it's a spade because of "see good in others/don't hurt feelings" - surely they meant something else. You self-censor anger before it can rise, and you're the healer-peacemaker even when you've been attacked or undermined.

First: Embrace your own worth. If you are a teacher or work freelance, that includes your authority. You can't call a spade a spade unless you know when your boundaries are being breached, and you can't know that if your own self-worth is fuzzy. Others also have a responsibility toward you. That includes the respect and non-hurtfulness that all folks should have toward each other, and if you're a teacher, co-operation with your guidance and instructions. It's not your job to fix things for them because they must be having a bad day (and how you feel doesn't matter), or whatever reason. Certainly if someone really just had a bad experience, you might overlook an outburst, but it's the chronic overlooking in order to be peaceable I'm thinking of. I think that calling a spade a spade, after recognizing it as a spade is one of the hardest things for many of us females.

In the present story, I'm at odds with myself about response. If in the middle of a professional transaction somebody brought up a private personal matter, such as marital status, by way of undermining me would I confront it right away? My problem there is that they are a master manipulator, and I haven't a manipulating bone in my body. It could turn into a circuitous conversation that I don't want. Or would I just open the door, and usher them out - let them think about it. I'm thinking the latter.

My hardest thing personally has been to even realize something nasty and manipulative is going on, wondering later why I feel down. That's why I started with "recognizing the spade", preceded by knowing one's own worth - how one should be treated and what the other's responsibility toward you is --- and then calling a spade a spade. Responding to what is actually happening, in the moment. (Showing the door is a response).

I'm interested in thoughts on this.

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775464
10/25/18 03:05 PM
10/25/18 03:05 PM
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Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by SchroedersCat
Just to clear up some of this racial back and forth, the mother is white. And knew exactly what she was saying.

That doesn't make it any better or worse.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775476
10/25/18 03:41 PM
10/25/18 03:41 PM
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North Vancouver
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Once a mother brought a child to me for her usual lesson. The girl about 10 at the time was crying ,even screaming .Once the mother left I talked to her ,she did not enjoy the piano as her 2 brothers who were older ,also my pupils were more advanced .There was a new piece which I had started with this girl .She did not like the piece so we agreed not to do this piece again .We spent the lesson playing her favourite old pieces so she could recover her confidence .Then started on a much easier piece which was to her rather attractive .
Her older brothers finished thier gr10 Royal Conservatoire .This pupil continued to gr4 .She arrived one day and said she would like to play the flute .I phoned the parents and suggested they buy her a flute for her birthday. I had quite a few confrontations with these parents but we grew to respect one another .This pupil left and she now plays the flute .
However although they had an obsession about the musical progress of thier children these parents were never personally hostile to me .The kids have developed into well balanced young adults .
I also say get out of this situation ,reccomend another kind teacher who knows about what is happening. If you do not do this the child could end up in a situation which is really bad for him .These parents do not sound like they will give up !

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: keystring] #2775556
10/25/18 10:29 PM
10/25/18 10:29 PM
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Posts: 3,934
Finland
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Originally Posted by keystring
I've been thinking about what is written here ever since this thread opened, and have read comments all along. I want to start with the part about male and female behaviour, which was Gary's response to Peter. It is something I've worked on, and it's a frequent topic of conversation with a friend who is 30 years my junior, a different generation, diff. country, yet we're wrestling with the same things.

The kinds of messages we learned were: be kind, don't hurt feelings, give the benefit of the doubt to the other person, anger is unseemly for a lady (be kind, don't hurt feelings), be generous (don't hurt the feelings of a greedy person), be grateful for little scraps you receive in life in the sense of not expecting or above all demanding things for yourself. This has some consequences: You can't call a spade a spade - you can't even recognize that it's a spade because of "see good in others/don't hurt feelings" - surely they meant something else. You self-censor anger before it can rise, and you're the healer-peacemaker even when you've been attacked or undermined.

First: Embrace your own worth. If you are a teacher or work freelance, that includes your authority. You can't call a spade a spade unless you know when your boundaries are being breached, and you can't know that if your own self-worth is fuzzy. Others also have a responsibility toward you. That includes the respect and non-hurtfulness that all folks should have toward each other, and if you're a teacher, co-operation with your guidance and instructions. It's not your job to fix things for them because they must be having a bad day (and how you feel doesn't matter), or whatever reason. Certainly if someone really just had a bad experience, you might overlook an outburst, but it's the chronic overlooking in order to be peaceable I'm thinking of. I think that calling a spade a spade, after recognizing it as a spade is one of the hardest things for many of us females.

In the present story, I'm at odds with myself about response. If in the middle of a professional transaction somebody brought up a private personal matter, such as marital status, by way of undermining me would I confront it right away? My problem there is that they are a master manipulator, and I haven't a manipulating bone in my body. It could turn into a circuitous conversation that I don't want. Or would I just open the door, and usher them out - let them think about it. I'm thinking the latter.

My hardest thing personally has been to even realize something nasty and manipulative is going on, wondering later why I feel down. That's why I started with "recognizing the spade", preceded by knowing one's own worth - how one should be treated and what the other's responsibility toward you is --- and then calling a spade a spade. Responding to what is actually happening, in the moment. (Showing the door is a response).

I'm interested in thoughts on this.


People frequently get my gender wrong in anonymous discussions. Does not bother me in any way, but it says something about expectations they have and how I fail to meet then...

Remarks of my personal life or marital status never bothered me either. If I was in a situation like the op I would probably answer: Not having any of my own maybe allows me to be more objective in matters about children smile

I do understand how it can feel insulting to others if speaking like that is not the cultural norm in the community. If you cannot shrug it off and forget about it, maybe it's better to avoid these people. Yet I think life is much easier if one learns to ignore and forget rude behavior in a professional setting if it does not really interfere with the work. I also think it's easier not to contemplate too much why someone says something and wonder about people's motives. Often people just say stupid things because they just aren't very smart and mean things because they feel threatened or are unsure of themselves smile

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: SchroedersCat] #2775565
10/25/18 11:12 PM
10/25/18 11:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 670
North Vancouver
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North Vancouver
The parents here know the basic rules between the teacher and themselves. The personal insults they have shown the teacher means they have no respect for the teacher .They also show no respect for thier child's feelings .
The teacher needs to end this strange relationship in the best possible way for the boys well being and for her own .

Re: Motherhood apparent requirement for teaching piano [Re: keystring] #2775567
10/25/18 11:28 PM
10/25/18 11:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 670
North Vancouver
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Lady Bird Online content
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North Vancouver
Originally Posted by keystring
I've been thinking about what is written here ever since this thread opened, and have read comments all along. I want to start with the part about male and female behaviour, which was Gary's response to Peter. It is something I've worked on, and it's a frequent topic of conversation with a friend who is 30 years my junior, a different generation, diff. country, yet we're wrestling with the same things.

The kinds of messages we learned were: be kind, don't hurt feelings, give the benefit of the doubt to the other person, anger is unseemly for a lady (be kind, don't hurt feelings), be generous (don't hurt the feelings of a greedy person), be grateful for little scraps you receive in life in the sense of not expecting or above all demanding things for yourself. This has some consequences: You can't call a spade a spade - you can't even recognize that it's a spade because of "see good in others/don't hurt feelings" - surely they meant something else. You self-censor anger before it can rise, and you're the healer-peacemaker even when you've been attacked or undermined.

First: Embrace your own worth. If you are a teacher or work freelance, that includes your authority. You can't call a spade a spade unless you know when your boundaries are being breached, and you can't know that if your own self-worth is fuzzy. Others also have a responsibility toward you. That includes the respect and non-hurtfulness that all folks should have toward each other, and if you're a teacher, co-operation with your guidance and instructions. It's not your job to fix things for them because they must be having a bad day (and how you feel doesn't matter), or whatever reason. Certainly if someone really just had a bad experience, you might overlook an outburst, but it's the chronic overlooking in order to be peaceable I'm thinking of. I think that calling a spade a spade, after recognizing it as a spade is one of the hardest things for many of us females.

In the present story, I'm at odds with myself about response. If in the middle of a professional transaction somebody brought up a private personal matter, such as marital status, by way of undermining me would I confront it right away? My problem there is that they are a master manipulator, and I haven't a manipulating bone in my body. It could turn into a circuitous conversation that I don't want. Or would I just open the door, and usher them out - let them think about it. I'm thinking the latter.

My hardest thing personally has been to even realize something nasty and manipulative is going on, wondering later why I feel down. That's why I started with "recognizing the spade", preceded by knowing one's own worth - how one should be treated and what the other's responsibility toward you is --- and then calling a spade a spade. Responding to what is actually happening, in the moment. (Showing the door is a response).

I'm interested in thoughts on this.

I agree do not let bullies get away with it !

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