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Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
#3030429 09/29/20 10:27 PM
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I've received an inquiry from a parent of an 18 year old son. She asked many questions, which caused me to think of my theory: " the more questions a prospective piano parents asks, the less commitment she or her child has."

Anyhow, the mother wants her son to study for exams at the advanced level.

I wondered why her son was not making the inquiries.
I would hire teachers by myself when I was thirteen.

So I'm wondering if teachers here would ask the mother to have the son call them directly to make arrangements.

This is what I did, because I see these types of mothers as being at odds with their son (hence the lack of commitment) or as being helicopter parents, trying to run their child's life for him.

How do teachers here respond to these types of inquiries?

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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3030434 09/29/20 10:53 PM
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FWIW --

My snap answer to the question asked:

. . . It depends on the 18-year-old.

You won't know who _that_ is, until you meet him for a lesson. The only way to know if Mom is blowing smoke, is to hear the young man play. And maybe teach him for a while, and see how much commitment he shows to learning _from you_.

Some kids achieve high levels of performance, and the day they leave home is the last day they play.

. . . I don't think anyone can predict who'll behave like that.


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3030464 09/30/20 02:00 AM
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Most 18 year olds nowadays are still very much kids.

I mean I know 20-25 year olds that still depend on their mom to book plane tickets. or looking for apartments, or heck, even just to do laundry. This doesn't even seem to be particular outliers.

With the latest generation, maybe because of parenting trends, kids in general seems to remain dependent on their parents for much longer.

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
rkzhao #3030497 09/30/20 07:57 AM
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This generation is a bit different.

I didn't believe it until I recently read this fascinating book:

https://www.amazon.com/iGen-Super-Connected-Rebellious-Happy-Adulthood/dp/1501151983


gotta go practice
Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
rkzhao #3030540 09/30/20 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rkzhao
Most 18 year olds nowadays are still very much kids.

I mean I know 20-25 year olds that still depend on their mom to book plane tickets. or looking for apartments, or heck, even just to do laundry. This doesn't even seem to be particular outliers.

With the latest generation, maybe because of parenting trends, kids in general seems to remain dependent on their parents for much longer.
This seems like a self-reinforcing cycle of ever-increasing dependency that is not doing the adult offspring any favors.

An eighteen-year-old should be talking to the prospective teacher.


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3030542 09/30/20 11:01 AM
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This part of the post bothered me:

Originally Posted by Candywoman
Anyhow, the mother wants her son to study for exams at the advanced level.

Does that mean the son has never taken an exam until now, and he's taking the advanced level without having done all the levels leading up to it?

Or is this the case of switching teachers just because?


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3030556 09/30/20 11:39 AM
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I'm not a teacher. But people are different. Your student may be a brilliant pianist with a chaotic mind. Or, the student may be capable enough, but the parents pay for the teacher and want to make sure they hire someone who is worth it. My advice: wait and see before you judge.


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3030748 09/30/20 09:43 PM
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I'm way older than 18 and would love to have someone manage my calendar!


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
malkin #3030749 09/30/20 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
I'm way older than 18 and would love to have someone manage my calendar!
Some people have people for that.


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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
AZNpiano #3030794 10/01/20 03:01 AM
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He's done all the levels leading up. The inquiry was by email, which is why it's so aggravating because I have no sense of things, the parent questions everything, and doesn't respond back.

I believe I'll tell the referring piano teacher to always give people only my phone number. But nowadays, people want to type everything and have no voice contact. It's difficult for me.

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3030892 10/01/20 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
He's done all the levels leading up. The inquiry was by email, which is why it's so aggravating because I have no sense of things, the parent questions everything, and doesn't respond back.

I believe I'll tell the referring piano teacher to always give people only my phone number. But nowadays, people want to type everything and have no voice contact. It's difficult for me.

I'd be willing to bet the 18 year old will neither call nor email. He's probably more adept at Twitter, Instagram, or several other things I never heard of.


gotta go practice
Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
TimR #3030915 10/01/20 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Candywoman
He's done all the levels leading up. The inquiry was by email, which is why it's so aggravating because I have no sense of things, the parent questions everything, and doesn't respond back.

I believe I'll tell the referring piano teacher to always give people only my phone number. But nowadays, people want to type everything and have no voice contact. It's difficult for me.

I'd be willing to bet the 18 year old will neither call nor email. He's probably more adept at Twitter, Instagram, or several other things I never heard of.


I don’t know why there’s an assumption that all 18-year-old are alike. They are individuals just like 50 yo are. This one has obviously been playing for years and has reached an advanced level. It remains to be seen if this was parental pressure or not, But he obviously has not been hanging out on social media


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3031003 10/01/20 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
He's done all the levels leading up. The inquiry was by email, which is why it's so aggravating because I have no sense of things, the parent questions everything, and doesn't respond back.

I believe I'll tell the referring piano teacher to always give people only my phone number. But nowadays, people want to type everything and have no voice contact. It's difficult for me.

What email? The last 20 students I got all called me or texted me. Nobody uses email anymore.

And your student's inquiry is strange. Why would they want to change teachers if they have been passing all the levels? This is highly unusual. You should demand to know why they want to change teachers.


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3031079 10/01/20 06:12 PM
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Maybe the former teacher died or moved or changed schedule or raised fees.


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
malkin #3031106 10/01/20 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Maybe the former teacher died or moved or changed schedule or raised fees.
Or the teacher wasn't able to teach him to the next level.

After I finished with Grade 8 ABRSM, I had to change teachers to take me to diploma level. (My last teacher was a concert pianist who only taught advanced students.) None of the peripatetic music teachers at my high school taught beyond Grade 8.


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
AZNpiano #3031143 10/02/20 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Candywoman
He's done all the levels leading up. The inquiry was by email, which is why it's so aggravating because I have no sense of things, the parent questions everything, and doesn't respond back.

I believe I'll tell the referring piano teacher to always give people only my phone number. But nowadays, people want to type everything and have no voice contact. It's difficult for me.

What email? The last 20 students I got all called me or texted me. Nobody uses email anymore.

And your student's inquiry is strange. Why would they want to change teachers if they have been passing all the levels? This is highly unusual. You should demand to know why they want to change teachers.

This is a highly unusual post. I don't have texting. Why would you assume I do? And how would it be any more personal than email? The basic problem is they can leave the conversation at any point, and you can never ask your questions about them, including their history. I would never demand that information. If a student came to me after success with another teacher, I would take it they had closed things with their former teacher. They are free people. They can move on to a better teacher. lol.

Last edited by Candywoman; 10/02/20 12:04 AM.
Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3031452 10/02/20 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
If a student came to me after success with another teacher, I would take it they had closed things with their former teacher.

You know what they say when you assume...


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
AZNpiano #3031460 10/02/20 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Candywoman
If a student came to me after success with another teacher, I would take it they had closed things with their former teacher.

You know what they say when you assume...


Personally, I would not want to answer the question about why I left a previous teacher or even provide the teacher's Name,


"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
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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3031510 10/02/20 11:05 PM
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Better to be polite. It will become apparent through time why they left their former teacher. What difference would it make to know? I'd still give them a try, and they need to save face if they were the ones to blame.

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3031681 10/03/20 01:46 PM
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FWIW - it's your decision. This parent is already causing you angst, and you haven't even met the student yet!

If the parent "...questions everything, and doesn't respond back", I would send one potentially final email response. "Thank you for your clarifying questions. Since your son is legally an adult at 18 and is ultimately responsible for any arrangements himself irrespective of who is paying, our next step is for him to contact me himself. This is not negotiable. The absence of an affirmative response from him within [pick a time frame] will be taken as a decision not to proceed with me. Blah, blah, blah, sincerely, Teacher Candywoman".

I've also had students younger than 18 (though I don't think as young as 13), call me to make arrangements. I always ask, "How old are you?", and if the answer is under 18, I patiently educate the prospective student on the legalities of entering into contractual agreements, and that I cannot make such an agreement with a minor. Can you please put Mom, Dad, or your Guardian on the phone so we can finalize things?


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Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Candywoman #3031758 10/03/20 06:29 PM
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I used to have private students to tutor in a non- music field. If the parent is footing the bill, they may as well get involved in the planning because I wouldn’t want to get stuck in between the student and the parent... and possibly not get paid. I have treated all high schoolers as minors and involved the parents as such, and all college students as independent adults. I prefer texts but if a client wants to email, I usually go along although I would drop hints that they switch to texting. I agree that some parents are way too overbearing, but it’s not my job to change their parenting style...

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Charles Cohen #3031764 10/03/20 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
FWIW --

My snap answer to the question asked:

. . . It depends on the 18-year-old.

You won't know who _that_ is, until you meet him for a lesson.
What has made the most sense to me.

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
Seeker #3031804 10/03/20 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
FWIW - it's your decision. This parent is already causing you angst, and you haven't even met the student yet!

If the parent "...questions everything, and doesn't respond back", I would send one potentially final email response. "Thank you for your clarifying questions. Since your son is legally an adult at 18 and is ultimately responsible for any arrangements himself irrespective of who is paying, our next step is for him to contact me himself. This is not negotiable. The absence of an affirmative response from him within [pick a time frame] will be taken as a decision not to proceed with me. Blah, blah, blah, sincerely, Teacher Candywoman".

You are right. It is my decision. I might think the things you wrote, but would never state them.

Re: Should 18 yr olds book their own lessons?
K8KT #3031805 10/03/20 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by K8KT
I agree that some parents are way too overbearing, but it’s not my job to change their parenting style...

That's where we differ. I do believe my role is to change people and their parents. I like the role of mentor. Naturally, it's done very subtly over a long period of time. But many overbearing parents need a lesson in treating their children better. And the children need to learn to not cave in to their overbearing parents.

Since very few people actually learn to play the piano, I might as well teach adult students to step up, and their parents to step away.

Last edited by Candywoman; 10/03/20 10:16 PM.
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