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parents who don't answer texts, emails #2854218
05/31/19 12:08 PM
05/31/19 12:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,944
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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This parent doesn't answer any of my texts or emails unless i follow up with another text. Last month, I asked for a better way to communicate, and for that month, she answered within 24 hours. Back to normal again, she doesn't confirm receipt of my messages regarding lesson changes or cancellations, or payment reminders. I would drop them, but I really care for the student. I suspect she will claim she didn't get the message that lessons are rescheduled and ask for a credit.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
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Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2854253
05/31/19 01:44 PM
05/31/19 01:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
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She’s definitely receiving them? We have had similar in reverse with my son’s guitar teacher, the text service is just really unreliable.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2854258
05/31/19 01:47 PM
05/31/19 01:47 PM
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Try a phone call.


Semipro Tech
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: BDB] #2854266
05/31/19 01:59 PM
05/31/19 01:59 PM
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UK
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I’m totally with the OP on preferring (I presume) written communications. That way there is a record so they’re covered in case of payment disputes, plus it’s a pain in the neck trying to catch people on the phone. Personally I avoid phone calls and I don’t like receiving them either!


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2854270
05/31/19 02:06 PM
05/31/19 02:06 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,018
Florida
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I text from an iPhone and have SMS texting enabled. Even so, I send texts that are not received by non-iPhone users. I would suggest an email with read receipt notification enabled. I would also consider adding a text:

Failure of notification that this re-scheduled time is not acceptable will not entitle the student to a missed lesson credit’

P.S. I am not a piano teacher


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2854311
05/31/19 04:16 PM
05/31/19 04:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,842
Boynton Beach, FL
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I've had this happen, too, but the best you can do is just follow up and ask if they received your previous text and restate the previous text. A lot of people don't check their emails unless they're expecting an email. I'd try all forms of communication if it's a change in schedule, including a note home with the student (if you know a week in advance).


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: ShyPianist] #2854340
05/31/19 05:48 PM
05/31/19 05:48 PM
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Posts: 1,944
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I’m totally with the OP on preferring (I presume) written communications. That way there is a record so they’re covered in case of payment disputes, plus it’s a pain in the neck trying to catch people on the phone. Personally I avoid phone calls and I don’t like receiving them either!


Most of the time, people are working when it's appropriate to call, or having dinner, etc. I also never answer the phone, unless it's expected. And texting provides a record for me that I did contact my families.. All my families say they prefer texting. This is an absent parent -- never shows up for kid's lessons. Only texts me for the "results." She uses her kid's lesson time to shop.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2854342
05/31/19 05:50 PM
05/31/19 05:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,944
USA
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Argh, she NEVER replies to emails.

dogperson, I like that suggestion. I will use it! Thanks.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2857161
06/10/19 04:44 AM
06/10/19 04:44 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 41
Australia
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Mariner Online content
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I find the same with piano teachers. Their phones almost always go unanswered so I leave voice messages, SMS or missed phone calls and half of them never bother responding. They could potentially be teaching my children for the next decade so I’m surprised they don’t bother trying.

I get no feedback or contact from our music school other than for fee payment. When I cancel our account at the end of the term I wonder if they’ll decide to call to try talk us out of it.

Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: Mariner] #2857189
06/10/19 09:14 AM
06/10/19 09:14 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 129
Canada
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Originally Posted by Mariner
I find the same with piano teachers. Their phones almost always go unanswered so I leave voice messages, SMS or missed phone calls and half of them never bother responding. They could potentially be teaching my children for the next decade so I’m surprised they don’t bother trying.


Not to excuse that behaviour, because it's frustrating, but those teachers probably are probably extremely busy and have full studios. I don't respond to phone calls while I'm teaching, and if I see a voicemail at 8:00 or 8:30pm after my last student or rehearsal, I'm definitely not going to deal with it until the next day or so. If it's a busy performing season and my studio is full anyway, those phone calls are at the bottom of the to-do list. Email is much better because I can use pre-written responses to inquiries and reply when convenient.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: pianist_lady] #2857196
06/10/19 09:47 AM
06/10/19 09:47 AM
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Posts: 83
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mostlystrings Online content
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By the nature of this forum, we would expect that teacher observation of parent behavior occurs and is reported on more often than parent observation of teacher or school behavior. I interact with 30-40 families on a regular basis but would hope that a student finds a teacher long before having contacted 30-40 teachers.

Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Not to excuse that behaviour, because it's frustrating, but those teachers are probably extremely busy and have full studios. I don't respond to phone calls while I'm teaching, and if I see a voicemail at 8:00 or 8:30pm after my last student or rehearsal, I'm definitely not going to deal with it until the next day or so. If it's a busy performing season and my studio is full anyway, those phone calls are at the bottom of the to-do list. Email is much better because I can use pre-written responses to inquiries and reply when convenient.

Same for me. There is a contact form on my website that asks for (among other info) email and phone, music background if any, the desired class or level or observation schedule, where you found me, and best time to call although in most cases I respond by email. If I get a direct phone call, I just have to make sure I find out all those things, then I will still ask for an email for schedule and logistics.

Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2857309
06/10/19 04:43 PM
06/10/19 04:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,116
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
I make it a point to answer phone messages, texts, and e-mails within 24 hours at the absolute latest. I don't take calls or answer texts during lessons, obviously, but I check between students.

Several of my students' parents are very bad at answering texts, so I text the kids directly. I get a much faster response that way.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: pianist_lady] #2857340
06/10/19 06:34 PM
06/10/19 06:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,842
Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by Mariner
I find the same with piano teachers. Their phones almost always go unanswered so I leave voice messages, SMS or missed phone calls and half of them never bother responding. They could potentially be teaching my children for the next decade so I’m surprised they don’t bother trying.


Not to excuse that behaviour, because it's frustrating, but those teachers probably are probably extremely busy and have full studios. I don't respond to phone calls while I'm teaching, and if I see a voicemail at 8:00 or 8:30pm after my last student or rehearsal, I'm definitely not going to deal with it until the next day or so. If it's a busy performing season and my studio is full anyway, those phone calls are at the bottom of the to-do list. Email is much better because I can use pre-written responses to inquiries and reply when convenient.




Same here. I try to respond within 24 hours, and I prefer text messages so I can respond, rather than email which I do at my computer which I don't see as often. But I do not respond to anything while I'm teaching, which can go well into the evening. If I'm performing, I may not get home until it's too late to respond (I usually don't respond after 9pm).


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: AZNpiano] #2857342
06/10/19 06:37 PM
06/10/19 06:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,842
Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I make it a point to answer phone messages, texts, and e-mails within 24 hours at the absolute latest. I don't take calls or answer texts during lessons, obviously, but I check between students.

Several of my students' parents are very bad at answering texts, so I text the kids directly. I get a much faster response that way.

Yes, I'm finding it much easier to text the older students than to text the parents. There are some kids I don't think I've ever met or talked with them - not even at recitals!


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: Mariner] #2857877
06/12/19 04:54 PM
06/12/19 04:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,944
USA
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mariner
I find the same with piano teachers. Their phones almost always go unanswered so I leave voice messages, SMS or missed phone calls and half of them never bother responding. They could potentially be teaching my children for the next decade so I’m surprised they don’t bother trying.

I get no feedback or contact from our music school other than for fee payment. When I cancel our account at the end of the term I wonder if they’ll decide to call to try talk us out of it.


I once attended a monthly meeting where the chairperson stated that she never takes phone calls. I prefer to speak directly to parents if it's regarding their child's progress or lack thereof, but for lesson scheduling, makeups, etc. text works best as it serves as my record of what was discussed, and often, time is of the essence, and phone calls/emails aren't always received as quickly as texts.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2857879
06/12/19 04:56 PM
06/12/19 04:56 PM
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Posts: 1,944
USA
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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I usually answer all text messages immediately, when possible, or at least by the end of the day.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2858063
06/13/19 08:29 AM
06/13/19 08:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 272
Texas
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Texas
I'm very much an anachronism - I don't send or receive texts at all. I tell all my students that an old-fashioned voice phone call is the most reliable way to reach me. My wife mans the phone while I teach, and in the worst case scenario, they can leave a message on the (equally old-fashioned) answering machine.

I can actually send and receive texts, but I have to get on a computer and log in to Google Voice to do so. I only check it once a week or so.

I do not use one of those fancy new stupid-phones. I've never understood why on earth anyone would want such a leash around their neck!


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2858131
06/13/19 11:03 AM
06/13/19 11:03 AM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Dr. Rogers, I teach primarily young students and their parents are very tech-savvy. They rarely answer emails, almost never answer their phones, and I quickly had to adjust and learn that texting works best.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: chasingrainbows] #2858155
06/13/19 11:39 AM
06/13/19 11:39 AM
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Do schools and other large organizations have mass texting systems now (robo-text, rather than robo-calls)? Surely parents don't expect dance class or sports to text them individually about schedules and things. How else do they manage to get information - is it sent out by email, sent home on a piece of paper, put on a website? I have never once communicated with a doctor or dentist via text either, nor utility companies, very rarely a plumber/electrician/contractor type.

Re: parents who don't answer texts, emails [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2858169
06/13/19 12:18 PM
06/13/19 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
I'm very much an anachronism - I don't send or receive texts at all. I tell all my students that an old-fashioned voice phone call is the most reliable way to reach me. My wife mans the phone while I teach, and in the worst case scenario, they can leave a message on the (equally old-fashioned) answering machine.

I can actually send and receive texts, but I have to get on a computer and log in to Google Voice to do so. I only check it once a week or so.

I do not use one of those fancy new stupid-phones. I've never understood why on earth anyone would want such a leash around their neck!


Here is why email and text work for me:
Asynchronous: sender can send message at his or her convenience and I can receive the message at my convenience. Same for the reply.
Speed: Reading a written message is considerably faster than listening to a spoken message whether live or recorded. The more messages there are, the more significant the time savings.


Learner
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