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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2812918
02/09/19 10:36 PM
02/09/19 10:36 PM
Joined: May 2013
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Florida
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I agree with the difference between biweekly and semiweekly and thought those were clear but possibly not to everyone, which could explain the confusion.

I prefer biweekly leasons and have since I saarted for several reasons. One is that it saves a little money, second is that at first I didn’t know how committed I would be, third is I have a very busy schedule and often work long hours, making the time commitment tough, forth is the ability to work out everything between lessons adequately.

As I have been doing this for a few years, I can say that I am perfectly committed to spending 1-2 hours on average each day practicing and slacking off due to the 14 day interval has not been an issue. I also feel that even with that much practice, I need the full 2 weeks. Weekly lessons would not help me any more, would just waste the time of the teacher as I would not be ready with the assigned piece yet.

Regarding your (OP) scheduling, I can see the dilemma, and if you’re full, this might not be acceptable to you. I have not yet encountered a teacher who had a problem with this though.


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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2812921
02/09/19 10:47 PM
02/09/19 10:47 PM
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Finland
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There are several reasons we decided to try biweekly lessons this year and it seems to be a good decision. My playing won't be ruined by fewer lessons as it wasn't much affected by a 10 months lesson break (my teachers assesment). But I took weekly leasons for 6 years so I am able to work independently as well. Beginners are a different story...

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2812924
02/09/19 10:59 PM
02/09/19 10:59 PM
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Tyrone, I also take lessons twice a week and think I do practice more. One lesson is piano, the other we work on jazz chords, rhythm, and some other things to augment my learning of piano. At least once a week will help the student make corrections if he/she is practicing wrong, for me I need the reinforcement. Taking lessons for 24 times a year I think it would be more difficult to progress.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2812927
02/09/19 11:05 PM
02/09/19 11:05 PM
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BTW I hope no-one takes AZN's posts here seriously, he is clearly just presenting himself as an a-hole on purpose to provoke. Don't know his personal reasons for that, but in the context of other people being deadly serious about their learning or students, it's not very nice and it can further raise the bar for taking lessons if adults fear meeting someone who is actually mean to the students. On the other hand, maybe the purpose of the internet is to be able to be another version of ourselves smile

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: outo] #2812935
02/09/19 11:26 PM
02/09/19 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
BTW I hope no-one takes AZN's posts here seriously, he is clearly just presenting himself as an a-hole on purpose to provoke. Don't know his personal reasons for that, but in the context of other people being deadly serious about their learning or students, it's not very nice and it can further raise the bar for taking lessons if adults fear meeting someone who is actually mean to the students. On the other hand, maybe the purpose of the internet is to be able to be another version of ourselves smile

I'm being mean????

No way.

For some teachers, having bi-weekly students can pose a serious problem for scheduling. I have enough bi-weekly students where I can maneuver them to my liking, but if you have just ONE singleton, that would throw the wrench into the whole thing. Piano teachers are basically selling time slots. The aberrant students can take the outlier slots.


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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: DFSRN] #2812947
02/10/19 12:07 AM
02/10/19 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Taking lessons for 24 times a year I think it would be more difficult to progress.

That's if the student doesn't take the entire summer off to travel, and other breaks throughout the year. I think I see one of my adult students about 15 times a year--and it's only a half-hour lesson!!! You can guess what kind of "progress" he is making after four years of aberrant lessons.


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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2812951
02/10/19 12:16 AM
02/10/19 12:16 AM
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Adelaide Australia
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ANZpiano.. I read your posts with interest.. and a little trepidation.. I can't work out if you just present this persona to liven up the various discussions or if you are a burnt out teacher in desperate need of a holiday away from teaching... anyway, apologies to OP for getting a bit off topic!

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: AZNpiano] #2812959
02/10/19 01:07 AM
02/10/19 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by outo
BTW I hope no-one takes AZN's posts here seriously, he is clearly just presenting himself as an a-hole on purpose to provoke. Don't know his personal reasons for that, but in the context of other people being deadly serious about their learning or students, it's not very nice and it can further raise the bar for taking lessons if adults fear meeting someone who is actually mean to the students. On the other hand, maybe the purpose of the internet is to be able to be another version of ourselves smile

I'm being mean????


I was referring to such comments as trying to make students feel miserable or fail on purpose. I find it hard to believe you really think that helps the kids with anxiety, motivation issues, stupid parents or too busy schedules. I do feel sorry that you seem to have a lot of students that do not meet your expectations. But a hypothetical teacher who does not want to help such students at all, just takes their money and makes them feel miserable on leasons, would be a little mean don't you think?

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: AZNpiano] #2812961
02/10/19 01:19 AM
02/10/19 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by DFSRN
Taking lessons for 24 times a year I think it would be more difficult to progress.

That's if the student doesn't take the entire summer off to travel, and other breaks throughout the year. I think I see one of my adult students about 15 times a year--and it's only a half-hour lesson!!! You can guess what kind of "progress" he is making after four years of aberrant lessons.


15 lessons a year seems far too little unless a more advanced student. But the summer breaks really should not be a big issue for adults. For 6 years I have always had a long summer break and that has not hindered my progress. I think the key to succeeding with such a schedule is to make sure the student learns good practice habits from the start and knows how to work independently on material suitable for his skill level. The summers were always a good time to sight read and browse through new music and polish some of the lesson pieces further than we normally would. Kids need more outside pressure but if an adult has no motivation to work on the piano without the pressure of a coming lesson, I wonder why they take lessons at all...

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2812992
02/10/19 04:54 AM
02/10/19 04:54 AM
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Posts: 97
United States
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Hi all,

I apologize for not mentioning his reasons for having lessons every other week (my definition of "biweekly") in my original post. He cannot commit to weekly lessons due to his busy schedule, which can involve going in and out of town every few weeks. Understandable.

I will gladly advise him of the bad habits that can occur in 14 days and will highly recommend doing weekly lessons for at least the first month or two, and then rescheduling lessons if he ever misses. Thank you pianist_lady. I also like outo's idea of simply telling my student that I may have to use his time slot if another student wants it.

To update, he canceled on me today due to a shift in scheduling for his business. This is probably my 5th adult student in the last 5 months who almost took lessons with me but backed out last minute due to other obligations. Though, he seems genuine that he will reschedule, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Man, these adult students, haha.

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 02/10/19 04:55 AM.

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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813019
02/10/19 07:33 AM
02/10/19 07:33 AM
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Florida
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Yep we can be tough. FWIW, though, my teacher cancelled on me 3 of the past 4 biweekly times. I may have to look around myself frown. That means I have had only one lesson this calendar year so far....even I recognize that's not enough. I've completed the two pieces we started 2 months ago (Goldberg Aria and Nocturne 72.1) on my own but really need some feedback on them to make sure I have the timing right, etc (esp the Goldberg).

So it's not always only students that can be flaky. This teacher teaches at a university but does gigs on the side, and cancelled once due to a time change in his performance at a Church, once for the flu, and once for an interview for a side job. Otherwise, I do enjoy his lessons and hope it works out.


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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813027
02/10/19 08:26 AM
02/10/19 08:26 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 272
Sweden
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I have a divorced friend. One week his children stay with him, the next week the children stay with their mother. (A very common situation for divorced families in Sweden.) During his child-weeks, he wants to spend time with the children, and he can hardly practise. When he is alone, he has enough time to practise and to have his bi-weekly lesson.


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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813067
02/10/19 10:49 AM
02/10/19 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
... He cannot commit to weekly lessons due to his busy schedule, which can involve going in and out of town every few weeks. Understandable...

To update, he canceled on me today due to a shift in scheduling for his business. This is probably my 5th adult student in the last 5 months who almost took lessons with me but backed out last minute due to other obligations. Though, he seems genuine that he will reschedule, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Man, these adult students, haha.


And at this point he's probably sure that his business, travel, and other obligations will not interfere with regular practice, right?

I don't have a horse in this race, but everyone should know going in what sort of progress he is likely to make with his schedule and his practice routine. As a teacher, I'd want to expect consistent compensation for my time, whether he fills it or not and whether he is able to progress or not.


Enough is as good as a feast.

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813106
02/10/19 01:26 PM
02/10/19 01:26 PM
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Minneapolis, MN
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Hi Ryan!
I am an adult student, and I totally understand your situation as a piano teacher. After reading the posts here, it is clear to me that there is a big difference between an adult student who is a beginner, and an adult student who is much more advanced with the piano.

I wouldn't be surprised if your adult student continues having problems with scheduling and committing to weekly lessons. If they are new to the piano, they can become discouraged with the learning process because they didn't realize how much time they have to put into it.

On the other hand, I returned to the piano after a 35-year hiatus. I had 13 years of classical training prior to that, and continued playing at home until my piano die., I had to focus more of my time on my career and had to let go of piano

When I finally decided to return to the piano nearly 10 years ago, I knew I would need a teacher who could get me back on track again. However, I knew I couldn't take weekly lessons because of my job. I did know how much practice time I needed to put in. I went ahead, bought a new digital keyboard, and pursued re-learning an old intermediate recital piece I performed in high school. Once I mastered that, I knew I had something to present to a teacher who could see that I can work independently on my own.

After a lengthy search for a teacher who could work with me on an occasional basis, I had success. I can't go every week. However, we agree on the work I should be doing until the next scheduled session. I usually schedule every other week with him. However, I call him at the beginning of the week to see if he has some time slots available that week or the next. I take "pot luck!" That was nearly nine years ago!

Now I'm retired, I have even more flexibility with my schedule, and I have the same teacher! He's moved into a different career, and has little time to teach piano anymore. However, I'm one of the few students he's still working with. The scheduling continues to work great for both of us! He's gotten me to a whole new level!!

Ryan, I think you are being realistic with your concerns about with what appears to be a beginning adult student. I don't think this necessarily work at all for most beginning adult students, however.


Carl

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813164
02/10/19 04:17 PM
02/10/19 04:17 PM
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I think weekly lessons are almost essential for a complete beginner, not so much to keep them motivated to practice but also to give them insufficient time to develop bad habits between lessons. After one year of weekly lessons, even a summer break of two months should not cause any setback - as long as the student keeps playing, even if not necessarily 'practicing'. Assuming, of course, that the student had applied himself/herself during that year of lessons. Students may need help to be motivated to keep playing - for instance, given suggestions on what they might enjoy trying for themselves, or look for stuff themselves.

After all, most kids will have long summer breaks, as well as many teachers (whether or not they go away on vacation). When I was a student, that was the case when I was at boarding school. I simply had fun learning stuff by myself, playing duets with my cousins when I stayed with them, sight-reading through their music, playing by ear/improvising etc. But I didn't practice scales & arpeggios or 'assigned pieces' or exam pieces - partly because they were never given to me prior to the holidays by my teachers.

And I always returned to lessons playing better after the summer break than before....


"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: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: AZNpiano] #2813359
02/11/19 02:05 AM
02/11/19 02:05 AM
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Quebec city, QC
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
. But I've quickly realize that, when I do that, I practice even less in the second week.

What an honest answer!

Well... yes. But why is it surprising that I'm being honest?


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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813465
02/11/19 08:54 AM
02/11/19 08:54 AM
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Ryan, to address your original question, I think that charging $65/hr (as opposed to $50/hr) for a once-every-two-weeks student is just fine. (And you should consider raising your rates across the board...)

However, my experience is that once-every-two-weeks students don't last. EVERY SINGLE ONE of my students that either started once-every-two-weeks or switched from once-a-week to once-every-two-weeks has wound up petering out; not a single one has stayed with me for more than a month after going once-every-two-weeks. IOW, my retention rate for once-every-two-weeks students is 0%.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813481
02/11/19 09:33 AM
02/11/19 09:33 AM
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Doc, you just haven't had the right biweekly student yet!


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Chopin Nocturne 72.1
Bach Goldberg Aria
Bach WTC Prelude D min
Piazzolla Invierno Porteno
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2813490
02/11/19 09:48 AM
02/11/19 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Ryan, to address your original question, I think that charging $65/hr (as opposed to $50/hr) for a once-every-two-weeks student is just fine. (And you should consider raising your rates across the board...)

However, my experience is that once-every-two-weeks students don't last. EVERY SINGLE ONE of my students that either started once-every-two-weeks or switched from once-a-week to once-every-two-weeks has wound up petering out; not a single one has stayed with me for more than a month after going once-every-two-weeks. IOW, my retention rate for once-every-two-weeks students is 0%.


That also is my experience 100%..

When a weekly student wants to go every two weeks, I consider it a sign that they are leaving.


Piano teacher.
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2813519
02/11/19 11:10 AM
02/11/19 11:10 AM
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Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Well... yes. But why is it surprising that I'm being honest?

Not a surprise, per se, but rather refreshing to hear truth being spoken.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
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