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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: cmb13] #2813521
02/11/19 11:15 AM
02/11/19 11:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,907
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Doc, you just haven't had the right biweekly student yet!

I am sure these students exist somewhere in the universe, but all of my bi-weekly students past and present have been dreadful. They don't really care about piano, or have some stupefyingly asinine notion of what piano lessons are about.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
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Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: cmb13] #2813530
02/11/19 11:40 AM
02/11/19 11:40 AM
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Texas
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Doc, you just haven't had the right biweekly student yet!


cmb, I wish I had you as a student! You're the proverbial exception that proves the rule.

Come to think of it, I did have a serious biweekly student once, but it was on the five-string banjo, not piano. He was a very advanced banjo player, and what we did was more akin to master classes. I don't count him toward my 0% retention rate - he unfortunately passed away only a few months after starting lessons. I was really torn up.


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] #2813560
02/11/19 12:39 PM
02/11/19 12:39 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,069
Florida
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Well, then I guess there was attrition due to death and he can be counted in the loss column. (Sorry sick humor). Either that or you'd better adjust your stat!


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin Nocturne 72.1
Bach Goldberg Aria
Bach WTC Prelude D min
Piazzolla Invierno Porteno
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: outo] #2813568
02/11/19 12:55 PM
02/11/19 12:55 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.


He does lend credibility to the notion that maybe I should just stick with self-teaching.

I wonder when I'll reach the point when I can take the summer off to travel, and do other trips? I'm 54 and have a mother in a nursing home, with Alzheimer's disease. She's only two miles away but I am there each evening after work, and twice a day on weekends. No travelling for me! Piano practice is daily at 5 or 5:30 each morning.... How I wish my schedule still had the free time and unlimited flexibility I had as a kid. I am sure I am not alone.

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813571
02/11/19 01:00 PM
02/11/19 01:00 PM
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Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Late to this discussion, but as many of you know I teach mostly adults. About half my studio are adults taking twice-monthly lessons, while the other half are weekly. I would generally prefer to see everyone weekly, for all the obvious reasons, but for many adults, biweekly lessons feel like a better fit. They are more affordable, and there is less stress about lesson preparation (practicing) when you have 14 days between lessons rather than 7. It's a slower way to progress, to be sure, but still can work just fine.

I'll note that my students stay with me and stay with the piano for years and years, regardless whether they are weekly or twice-monthly. It is simply not true in my studio that the twice-monthly ones are not committed to their learning.

P.S. I do charge a premium for nonweekly learners, since they screw up my scheduling.

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813603
02/11/19 02:19 PM
02/11/19 02:19 PM
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$50 would be very low for my area but I don't know where Ryan is located. If you're within range of the market rate, it's totally reasonable that students who take more lessons end up paying less per lesson.

As a child, there was a period of time when I and two other family members (not all beginners) were going to a teacher 2 hours away and it was every other week. Maybe the teacher didn't have a full studio or had another "part time" family or something. Last year I had a family with 3 young children move an hour (ish) away who at first kept saying they still wanted to come (every other week and I'd have given them the last slot of a day). Good intentions but let's be realistic...

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813622
02/11/19 02:59 PM
02/11/19 02:59 PM
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Posts: 314
Quebec city, QC
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My point of view as a student would be different if I wanted biweekly lessons because of price (so paying more would me annoying) or because of busy schedule / any reason of that kind (I wouldn't mind much).

Anyway, it sounds legit to ask for a bit more considering the trouble of scheduling other student at the same time, on the other week, and if explained as such, the person will probably understand (and choose if it is ok for them or not).

You probably want to ask yourself if it is worth your time to accomodate that student. Do you need more students because you don't have much yet? Or is your studio already mostly full? The answer to that might influence what you will ask that student for.

If the question is simply "is it okay to charge more for biweekly lessons", I think the answer is yes.

As for the price... it really depends on where you live. If $65 is average market price in your area, then you don't have to worry about it.


The music school I have looked into in my area have a different policy, which could be another option you can consider: they accept biweekly lessons, but tells you you don't have priority on the schedule and if the weekly lessons take all the available time, then you won't be able to have lessons for a given semester. Also, biweekly is only available for 45 minutes and more lessons. Also, they don't ask more for every lesson, but they have a fixed fee each semester to manage your file (I guess this is to cover the salary of the secretary), so this fee represents a higher amount if you take biweekly lessons.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
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.

It has been said that learners on this forum are not the average students.
I'm not ashamed of that truth. And if the observation can be useful to others, I'll gladly share it. smile

I don't know if it applies to everyone though.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: Pau Gasol] #2813636
02/11/19 03:29 PM
02/11/19 03:29 PM
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Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
He does lend credibility to the notion that maybe I should just stick with self-teaching.

Gee, nice to meet you, too. If you look hard enough, you'll find piano teachers who are willing to screw up their weekly schedules to meet your needs. I'm astute enough to include such aberrant students since I can manipulate their schedules to meet my needs.

Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
I wonder when I'll reach the point when I can take the summer off to travel, and do other trips?

That one adult student I have is a teacher. Teachers have 3 months off, and many of them take long trips during the summer.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813740
02/11/19 06:18 PM
02/11/19 06:18 PM
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Toronto, Ontario
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Regarding Ryan's original post, I'd say that if he has a sufficiently full studio, maybe he should just avoid offering twice-monthly lessons altogether. But charging a 30% premium is great, and then hopefully he can fill the other "half" of that weekly slot (with another adult student also paying 30% premium).

Or he can try his first adult biweekly student for the duration of this winter/spring semester, and can reevaluate after that. It could be that next fall he tells this student that lessons will have to be weekly, going forward.

As others have noted, a variable here is how much Ryan likes his prospective student, and desires to work with him, even if it makes scheduling a bit awkward.

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813792
02/11/19 07:54 PM
02/11/19 07:54 PM
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Bennivis, I think, mentioned that a lesson every other week for kids is bad because they can screw up things in two weeks, which I entirely agree with. But so can adult students. There are exceptions, but in general people who want lessons every other week are not going to pay enough extra money or be cooperative enough with my schedule not to make everything extremely uncomfortable, so I don't do it.

With a very unusual student it might be different.


Piano Teacher
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: AZNpiano] #2813808
02/11/19 08:31 PM
02/11/19 08:31 PM
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Virginia
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AZN, I was one of those students that did not care about piano lessons as a child. However, my parents made me play both piano and violin. I thank God for those teachers who put up with me and my parents, who I lost within a year of each other recently. Because I wanted to let them know how much I appreciated them, I hired my piano teacher to play at the nursing home my dad was in and we played a few duets and he did a concert for an hour. Honestly, I sound better with a duet with my teacher than solo and I wanted dad to hear me play well. At the time I was playing about 3 years. I knew my dad was dying, and I told him I appreciated all those piano lessons now that I am an older adult, thank you for doing that for me I will be forever grateful.

Even though children may not really want to be taking lessons, the impact you will have on their life by exposing them to music is ever lasting. My parents took me to plays and musicals. I told my husband if I lived in a big city I would spend all my money on musicals. This love for music came from the education I really didn't appreciate at the time when I was a child.

As an adult, if I was not interested I would not take lessons no sense in spending money on equipment and lessons. However, looking it from a business prospective, you are booking lessons as a business, you can offer education and music development. Then it is up to the adult, if they want to pay and not benefit, that is an individual choice. I understand it can become disheartening when your teaching your passion and there is no interest, it is like why am I wasting my time, however with children you will really never know your impact. I wish I could go back and thank my teachers.

I am very fortunate, I have a teacher who is vested. He is hired by a nursing home to play once a month, I play either a solo or a duet. I am learning how to play in front of people. Basically, you cannot make people want to learn, all you can do is offer the education.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2813814
02/11/19 08:41 PM
02/11/19 08:41 PM
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Peter, I pay more as an adult, $10 more an hour. I was informed that adults are harder to teach. I have been at the studio going on 5 years. I am guessing part of that is she informed me adults generally last a year. Maybe she charges more because of the turnover of adults. However, she has not raised my rates in 5 years so I really can't complain too much.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: DFSRN] #2813820
02/11/19 09:01 PM
02/11/19 09:01 PM
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Posts: 7,907
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Peter, I pay more as an adult, $10 more an hour. I was informed that adults are harder to teach.

Hey, your teacher and I think alike!!!!

As for your other comments, I'm not sure why you addressed that to me. Are you referring to my awful students? Or their decrepit parents? Thankfully, they are in the minority, and I'm almost at a point where I can dismiss students at will, so they will be first on the chopping block. I already kicked one asinine kid out this week.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813837
02/11/19 10:08 PM
02/11/19 10:08 PM
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Adelaide Australia
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I am feeling very fortunate that I seem to have found one of the few good teachers in the known universe that doesn't have a prejudice against adult beginner students and in particular those requesting fortnightly lessons. I wonder how much this negativity affects the teacher / student relationship moving forward right from the start. 😥

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: RyanThePianist] #2813868
02/12/19 12:51 AM
02/12/19 12:51 AM
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This idea of paying more because you are an adult would have drove me out of this teacher. But everyone is free to set their own rules (well, in that case, I wonder if you could sue for discrimination... but no one would bother, even if you could).

I feel like teaching to different clientele is more a personal preference than an objective fact.
I'm not confortable around children. I don't know how to interact with them (I have 5 nephews and nieces). It always feel awkward. But I've been tutoring in college in math. It was way easier to help a young adult (18 years old or so) with integrals than to explain multiplication table to a 8 years old!

On another forum, I saw some people complaining about the fact they weren't put in front of a piano younger. But I really feel like the fact that I've started piano at 28 is what allowed me to progress faster : I know how to practice efficiently, I'm truly motivated, I have clear goals, ... of course, my prior experience in music has a lot to do with my progress too (heck, knowing how to read music when starting off!). But if I go back to how I played music at 8 years old... barely practicing (despite liking it), no self discipline, no method, and no parents to put any structure (how could you expect a 8 years old to practice efficiently and regularly all by himself?). By the end of my second year of lessons, I was still playing Twinkle twinkle and was barely able to hit higher register (at the clarinet).
I know there are many adults out there trying out musical instrument, not knowing what they are hopping into, and giving up quickly. But I feel like there is some confirmation bias. There must be a lot of children barely practicing or coming to lessons only because parents push them into it. Is it really better to teach those?

That everyone has personal preference is normal. But I doubt there is a general rule that applies to every adult and every child.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2813881
02/12/19 01:51 AM
02/12/19 01:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,907
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Online happy
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
confirmation bias.

Statistics don't lie. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
There must be a lot of children barely practicing or coming to lessons only because parents push them into it. Is it really better to teach those?

It depends on the kids. If they are good kids and likable, I'll keep working with them. But if they have a horrible attitude and their parents are dimwits, then no.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: Bett] #2813978
02/12/19 08:34 AM
02/12/19 08:34 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 86
Canada
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Originally Posted by Bett
I am feeling very fortunate that I seem to have found one of the few good teachers in the known universe that doesn't have a prejudice against adult beginner students and in particular those requesting fortnightly lessons. I wonder how much this negativity affects the teacher / student relationship moving forward right from the start. 😥


I think what teachers are trying to say is that it's not prejudice against adult students, it's learning from experience. I have not taught adult students for about five years, but before that I had some really great adult students who made progress and were pleasant to deal with. What they had in common were specific goals for taking lessons: being able to help their children with practice, learning to read music, preparing for an exam, etc. Once the goals were met, they stopped taking lessons but they learned what they needed and I felt like I made a difference. This was maybe a handful of people, though. The majority of adult students came with vague ideas like having something to do during retirement or wanting to sit down at the piano and "just play". Even scheduling these students at non-peak times doesn't make it easier when they don't practice or cancel at the last minute every other week.
I'm happy to teach any student who is willing to learn and put in the effort, but my studio is only school-aged students now and most of them attend lessons consistently and are a joy to work with. In the end it's just an easier way to run my business.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: AZNpiano] #2814041
02/12/19 11:42 AM
02/12/19 11:42 AM
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Posts: 314
Quebec city, QC
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
confirmation bias.

Statistics don't lie. Ha. Ha. Ha.


Where are those stats?

-

@pianist_lady: wouldn't a clear policy about no-show solve the scheduling problem? Music schools I know all have a policy which look like: only one lesson per semester can be moved and you must warn the school at least 24 hours in advance.

Anway, I wouldn't try to convince anyone that adults or children are better than the other, since I don't think any of those statements are true and that the important is to focus on what is the best for oneself.
I'm really happy that your studio is running the way you like and wish that to every teacher! smile

And I'm glad I found a teacher who seems to love me as a student. Even if it sometimes include last minute rescheduling (yes, he is the one rescheduling).


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: AZNpiano] #2814164
02/12/19 04:09 PM
02/12/19 04:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,458
Canada
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
confirmation bias.

Statistics don't lie. Ha. Ha. Ha.


This side of the discussion which has come into the thread for a few days, has become silly and destructive. Can we sort this out, please?

The original question involves lessons twice a month, and only involves adults in the sense that parents don't usually ask for this for their children. Charging more is a business decision since it ties up a time slot, so it is in fact a monthly 50% income loss for that slot. Charging 25% more is actually generous. When you receive two airplane seats for you and your cello, I believe you pay full price for the two seats.

If a student comes weekly, then charging more because of the age of that student is discrimination and prejudicial (if that is what the cited teacher does). That is unacceptable. If I turn out to be an excellent student and better than your child students, will he offer me a discount? wink Unlikely. It has to go both ways.

If a student wants lessons only twice a month, then the reasons - and whether the student is a beginner - will predict how that will work out. If it's because of an overfull, super busy work schedule, he won't have time to practise and keep up the commitment consistently for a long time. That's the real factor. If he's a beginner, he needs frequent regular feedback so that it doesn't go off the rails. If he had excellent lessons as a child but had to stop at gr. 5 or whatever, it's different again.

What if the student is a 2 hour drive away, meaning a 4 hour commute? In this case, weekly lessons are more likely to cause him to quit after a while, than less frequent lessons. What about "Skype" in between if he's sincere enough to drive 4 hours?

Those are real things.

The effect of the way part of this discussion is going, is destructive, imho. The blanket statements are silly. Because I don't think you actually think that way. If an adult student walked in asking for lessons, you may have grave doubts because of past experiences, but I think you would take that student on, and then see what he or she is made of. smile

Re: Biweekly Adult Student - Scheduling Issue [Re: keystring] #2814192
02/12/19 05:13 PM
02/12/19 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
confirmation bias.

Statistics don't lie. Ha. Ha. Ha.


This side of the discussion which has come into the thread for a few days, has become silly and destructive. Can we sort this out, please?

The original question involves lessons twice a month, and only involves adults in the sense that parents don't usually ask for this for their children. Charging more is a business decision since it ties up a time slot, so it is in fact a monthly 50% income loss for that slot. Charging 25% more is actually generous. When you receive two airplane seats for you and your cello, I believe you pay full price for the two seats.

If a student comes weekly, then charging more because of the age of that student is discrimination and prejudicial (if that is what the cited teacher does). That is unacceptable. If I turn out to be an excellent student and better than your child students, will he offer me a discount? wink Unlikely. It has to go both ways.

If a student wants lessons only twice a month, then the reasons - and whether the student is a beginner - will predict how that will work out. If it's because of an overfull, super busy work schedule, he won't have time to practise and keep up the commitment consistently for a long time. That's the real factor. If he's a beginner, he needs frequent regular feedback so that it doesn't go off the rails. If he had excellent lessons as a child but had to stop at gr. 5 or whatever, it's different again.

What if the student is a 2 hour drive away, meaning a 4 hour commute? In this case, weekly lessons are more likely to cause him to quit after a while, than less frequent lessons. What about "Skype" in between if he's sincere enough to drive 4 hours?

Those are real things.

The effect of the way part of this discussion is going, is destructive, imho. The blanket statements are silly. Because I don't think you actually think that way. If an adult student walked in asking for lessons, you may have grave doubts because of past experiences, but I think you would take that student on, and then see what he or she is made of. smile

Let me cut to the chase. Everything you wrote is correct or logical, but you won't be answered by any of the people in this discussion because they are not interested in a real dialogue, and they won't read more than one or two paragraphs. Even if they do, you will get a short, meaningless reply.

No one I know charges extra money to teach adults. That's a red herring. I do charge more for people who can't make weekly lessons because it destroys my schedule.


Piano Teacher
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