2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Week Deals
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
68 members (c++, An Old Square, accordeur, BravoRomeo, 36251, anotherscott, 20 invisible), 621 guests, and 494 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 465
B
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 465
I scheduled my recital six weeks ago, and everyone said they could make it work. Now, three days before the recital, I get a call from one mom saying her daughter, a very talented senior, forgot to ask for work off for the recital and now can't get it off and so won't make it. Her other daughter, a few years younger, is in the cast of the school musical and has been told she "can't miss" practice on Thursday, so she's thinking she won't be there either. The younger daughter was planning to play a duet with another student. I guess I'll step in as the student's partner, but I can't help feeling like my twice-yearly recital is a bigger deal than either work or play practice. I have made it clear that recitals are required, and these students have never missed one before, to my knowledge.

I didn't know what to say. My senior has been working on movement 2 of Shostakovich's piano concerto #2 and plays it beautifully. I'm so sad she won't be performing it in the recital. She will be playing it for a small panel of judges in November, but it's not the same. frown

I'll take advice if you have it, but mostly I'm looking to vent.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,006
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,006
Aargh. A few details mingled with your OP below.
Originally Posted by Brinestone
I scheduled my recital six weeks ago, and everyone said they could make it work. Now, three days before the recital, I get a call from one mom saying her daughter, a very talented senior, forgot to ask for work off for the recital and now can't get it off and so won't make it.
"Forgot"? Maybe. I'm inclined to think she was afraid to ask for the time off and ran out the clock. I'm sympathetic to her situation, but she is letting you down. I think you should tell that it hurt you (unless I am reading your posting's tone incorrectly). I believe she should have asked for time off sooner and let you know if she wasn't going to be able to play in the recital.
Originally Posted by Brinestone
Her other daughter, a few years younger, is in the cast of the school musical and has been told she "can't miss" practice on Thursday, so she's thinking she won't be there either. The younger daughter was planning to play a duet with another student. I guess I'll step in as the student's partner, but I can't help feeling like my twice-yearly recital is a bigger deal than either work or play practice. I have made it clear that recitals are required, and these students have never missed one before, to my knowledge.
Hmmm. What are the possibilities? (1) She signed up for your recital, and she signed up for the school musical KNOWING she'd miss the recital. (2)Same as the first except the drama teacher hadn't developed out the full schedule yet. Once the full schedule was published your student realized she had a conflict and did nothing, or was afraid to do anything like going to the drama teacher to let her know she had a previous commitment on that ONE day.

Not sure how this would work with your particular students and parent, but... given that these two students have backed out of commitments, I would want to have a discussion with them (student 1, student 2, the parent) individually to find out WHY and to express disapproval. It might also be time to speak about commitment and probe what their commitment IS to piano and you and your studio. IMHO such criticism is as much part of our teaching as say, scales, or time signatures.

I certainly wouldn't just let it go without some discussion.

Hope you find this helpful
Originally Posted by Brinestone
==================SNIP=======

I'll take advice if you have it, but mostly I'm looking to vent.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
I Make Music that Lifts People Up & Brings Them Together
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 492
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 492
A high school student with a job should be responsible enough to own up to her mistake -- forgetting to ask off of work for an important upcoming event. I would put the responsibility on her shoulders to go ask her employer if she can get Thursday off this week. Maybe she might have to find a replacement to work for her, or accept that she might be docked some points at her job if she attends the recital instead of works that day.

This can be a good life lesson for her -- she needs to come up with a solution herself, and, IMHO, not be bailed out by mom, who calls you (and last minute, at that) and basically lets her daughter off the hook for the problem she created.

That said, if she decides not to play in the recital, could she make a video recording of herself playing her solo, and that video played somehow at the performance venue on recital night? Since you require recitals, maybe that could be part of your requirement -- if a student can't be there in person, they should submit a video to you that can be played at the event, assuming that's possible at the venue.

The younger daughter: what would the musical directors think if the tables were turned? "I can't be there for one of the musical performances because I have a recital practice that night." Somehow I don't think that would fly.

If you can play the younger daughter's half of the duet if she doesn't go to the recital, then why can't one of the musical directors read her part at play practice that night if she does attend the recital?

Sympathizing with you.

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 2,024
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 2,024
Originally Posted by Brinestone
these students have never missed one before, to my knowledge.

If it is a one-off, what to do. Everybody screws up sometimes. But not very nice for you. frown


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,047
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,047
People - of all ages except young children - decide for themselves what to prioritize.

When something is 'free' - like student recitals - it gets low priority. Piano teachers may think that student recitals that they organize should take priority above everything else (including students' jobs, or their standing amongst their peers and their schoolteachers) but in real life, it just doesn't work that way. A school musical rehearsal is obviously more important than a student piano recital for a kid who is seeing her schoolteacher and fellow cast members every school day. We might think that piano is more important, but that is not reality for the vast majority of students, no matter how how talented they are. My youngest sister, for example, is musically talented (far more so than me) but she gave up piano in her mid-teens when friends, fashion and social life became more important in her life, though by then, her musical skills, knowledge and sight-reading ability were so good that a few years later, she landed a job with a prestigious music publishing company, where her skills were put to good use, including proof-reading new music.

Piano teachers in the UK, including myself, don't do student recitals. Perhaps there are a very few here who do, but I don't know of any. But what we all expect our child students to do are graded piano exams (ABRSM or Trinity), for which their parents pay for them to enter. (And pretty much all parents want their children to do them too.) Everyone here - including those who know nothing about music education - knows about music grades and exams, and they are pretty much ubiquitous. And because there is a cost involved in doing them, students don't just not turn up or 'cancel' late, because they'll lose the money.....


"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."
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,317
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,317
A bit of advice here. Mention a recital at every lesson, talk about it as of a big event. Ask girls what dresses they're going to wear at a recital. Ask parents persistently to come.


If the lessons started in September it may be a bit early for a recital now.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,513
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,513
This has to be very disappointing for the teacher, who's put a lot of effort into scheduling this and preparing the students.

But.

It seems to be an event that is very rewarding for the teacher and not at all for the student.


gotta go practice
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 9,102
Gold Subscriber
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 9,102
Originally Posted by TimR
This has to be very disappointing for the teacher, who's put a lot of effort into scheduling this and preparing the students.

But.

It seems to be an event that is very rewarding for the teacher and not at all for the student.


And you’ve drawn this conclusion from two students. … which seems unjustified


"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
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 492
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 492
The younger daughter's bowing out isn't very considerate to her duet partner. How would the younger daughter feel if her duet partner had bailed on her?

In my opinion, the mom and the two girls need to be asked some key questions that get them thinking. They might not listen to your perspective, suggestions for a remedy, etc., but if you can raise open-ended questions to get them to think about these things -- commitment, consideration of others, and so on -- that might be more effective.

Also, this:

Quote
I scheduled my recital six weeks ago, and everyone said they could make it work.

The mom said she could make it work. I'd remind her of that.

Last edited by Andamento; 10/19/21 08:49 AM.
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,513
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,513
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by TimR
This has to be very disappointing for the teacher, who's put a lot of effort into scheduling this and preparing the students.

But.

It seems to be an event that is very rewarding for the teacher and not at all for the student.


And you’ve drawn this conclusion from two students. … which seems unjustified

No, I drew that conclusion from one teacher.

Were these by chance students that never wanted to do a recital, but did not feel able to say no?


gotta go practice
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,047
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,047
Originally Posted by Andamento
In my opinion, the mom and the two girls need to be asked some key questions that get them thinking. They might not listen to your perspective, suggestions for a remedy, etc., but if you can raise open-ended questions to get them to think about these things -- commitment, consideration of others, and so on -- that might be more effective.
That would depend on which commitments and consideration of others are more important: to their job and their schoolmates and teacher......or to their piano teacher?


"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."
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,534
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,534
Just a thought that occurred to me. It might be good to spell out preparations that students/parents should make for a recital because even if it's obvious, they may not think of it. I.e. if you have agreed to be part of a recital on (date) make certain that your schedule is free on that date; check your calendar, etc. Not everyone is organized, and some people are quite disorganized and don't know how to plan and prepare for things.


Another factor can be what Tim suggested: students not wanting to participate in the first place, and making excuses to get out of it. I see in the OP that recitals are required. That can put students in a catch-22 situation. They want to learn how to play the piano, but must also participate in an activity that doesn't teach them how to play the piano, and can't get lessons unless they agree to that activity.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,343
C
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,343
Perhaps try Sunday afternoon instead of Thursday night for future recitals.

But I've certainly been as disappointed as you are. Perhaps have another recital for them and a few other students of similar level at your home within a month. Pre-covid, I would have said at a nursing home.

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,148
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,148
It might be useful to consider what participation in the recital means to you and what it means to your students, because it sounds like these may be very different.

Perhaps with discussion you can communicate to your students and their families the importance of the recital.

Perhaps they can communicate to you where the recital fits into their lives.


Learner
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 465
B
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 465
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
A bit of advice here. Mention a recital at every lesson, talk about it as of a big event. Ask girls what dresses they're going to wear at a recital. Ask parents persistently to come.


If the lessons started in September it may be a bit early for a recital now.

I have. Every single lesson since September. And lessons have been ongoing for these two students for 8-10 years. My newest students started in June. They're ready. That's not the issue.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 465
B
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 465
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Perhaps try Sunday afternoon instead of Thursday night for future recitals.

But I've certainly been as disappointed as you are. Perhaps have another recital for them and a few other students of similar level at your home within a month. Pre-covid, I would have said at a nursing home.

I like Saturday mornings for mine, so that's what I scheduled, way back last March. And then everyone told me two months ago that the Saturday I picked was Fall Break for our state and half of them would be out of town. I took what was left at the venue, which was Thursday, unfortunately.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
Pianos - Organs - & Keyboards, Oh My!
My first professionally recorded piece
---------------------
Visit Maine, Meet Mr. Piano World
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Cateen plays I Got Rhythm
by pianoloverus - 12/02/21 04:38 PM
Cateen plays I Got Rhythm
by pianoloverus - 12/02/21 03:44 PM
My tech knows I am OCD
by RobAC - 12/02/21 02:09 PM
A little OT - a Thanksgiving Day piano float
by Rich Galassini - 12/02/21 01:50 PM
Preventing noise transmission
by happyhacker - 12/02/21 01:35 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics210,354
Posts3,150,268
Members103,492
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5