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How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #934995
11/02/08 08:05 PM
11/02/08 08:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6
J
jennybear1978 Offline OP
Junior Member
jennybear1978  Offline OP
Junior Member
J
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6
Okay, so here is my question.

Do you send home progress reports of any kind with the children you teach? I feel that it's important to keep my students' parents involved in the loop, and anything that needs improving (if there hasn't been any responsiveness from the child after speaking with them about it).

How do the other teachers out there handle this? Phone calls? A little written report? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated...

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Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #934996
11/02/08 10:35 PM
11/02/08 10:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
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Stanny  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Sometimes I'll send a quick email at the end of a lesson, or I'll jot a note in the assignment notebook. I'm planning parent/teacher conferences the last week of the semester too, in place of their regular lessons.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #934997
11/02/08 10:37 PM
11/02/08 10:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Hi Jenny,

Welcome to the forum. And an interesting question. I generally talk with parents after recitals and other programs. We have many of them through the year, but I've noticed lately that parents tend to be in a rush to leave (over worked, over stressed?), and I'm talking about programs where multiple teachers are involved.

I have been thinking about having mid-year parent meetings, but then I wonder why. Sometimes, cut the lesson 5 or 10 min short and I walk out to the car and talk with mom or dad. Sometimes the parents come in and ask (usually when there's nothing but good to report). The students who regularly come up short seem to have "hard to find" parents.

I don't like discussing issues which may have negative connotations on the phone, because there's no body language to soften what may otherwise be a harsh sounding message. And as a Guild teacher, all my students receive a rather extensive report card at the end of the year from an independent teacher, based on their performance. So a January parental discussion would probably be in order if the student needs help from mom and dad with study/practice habits.

John


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #934998
11/02/08 10:48 PM
11/02/08 10:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
I talk to the parents during the lesson. Some parents, though, start talking on a tangent. Then I just call them on the phone. I try not to discuss anything overly negative in front of the student.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #934999
11/03/08 04:36 AM
11/03/08 04:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 304
Melbourne, Australia
L
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member
lotuscrystal  Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 304
Melbourne, Australia
Interesting thread...I've had a slight dilemma in this area..

I teach at home so keeping parents aware of progress is relatively easy as I see them every week or so.

But I also teach piano at a Private Girl's College (highschool) and that's much more difficult because I haven't even met most of the parents. I've proposed to our Head of Music, that as of next year, there will be mid year interviews with the parents of my piano students. That should go along way to building a rapor with them and ensuring issues and progress are discussed, and new practice systems implemented.

I personally find that parental involvement and awareness speaks volumes with regard to student progress...my home students, if I may say this, are much more dedicated, and are essentially better musicians. I'm sure that this, in some way, must be attributed to my relationship with the parents.

Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935000
11/03/08 07:10 AM
11/03/08 07:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
C
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
lotuscrystal, I work in exactly the same situation. For my school students I am required to write a report every term (3 times a year). Any other communications have to go through the head of department. Each student has an assignment book which I write in every week. It is hit and miss as to whether the parents read it or not.

For private students things are easier because they often sit in on the lessons. If not I will usually call them at the end of my teaching session.

What amazes me is how a parent can be unaware of their childs progress. They live with them and should hear them play every day. If they are not doing this then something is going wrong isn't it? I know people lead busy lives but if I had a child learnng an instrument I would make it a priority to listen to them regularly and keep good communication with the teacher.


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935001
11/03/08 07:25 AM
11/03/08 07:25 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 304
Melbourne, Australia
L
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member
lotuscrystal  Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 304
Melbourne, Australia
I write reports at my school, twice a year...but this does very little, if nothing, to enhance student progress. Probably because piano lesson reports are next to the math, english, history, and 'serious' subject reports. I think personal and frequent contact with parents is the key to student progress...

Perhaps parents who enroll their children in piano lessons at school, see it more as a leisurely 'past-time' extra-curricular activity, as opposed to home parents, who may see it as an investment to their child's future....just a thought.

Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935002
11/03/08 08:49 AM
11/03/08 08:49 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
Atlanta
M
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Minaku  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
Atlanta
I talk to the parents after every lesson, if I can. I try to get my parents to sit in so I don't have to talk to them as much afterwards, but every week I do make some contact and mention what the lesson was about, what the assignment is, and what the overall goal is that we're working for. Very rarely do I write evaluations.


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935003
11/03/08 09:46 AM
11/03/08 09:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,362
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Posts: 16,362
Boynton Beach, FL
I do try to talk with parents in person whenever possible, but if there is something that I think needs addressing than I will call the parent and discuss it over the phone. I haven't had a problem with miscommunication this way, so I feel comfortable with it. But there's nothing that I regularly send home or anything.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935004
11/03/08 11:53 AM
11/03/08 11:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
C
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline
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C
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
Quote
Originally posted by lotuscrystal:
Perhaps parents who enroll their children in piano lessons at school, see it more as a leisurely 'past-time' extra-curricular activity, as opposed to home parents, who may see it as an investment to their child's future....just a thought.
I have to say that some of these people want as little to do with it as possible. It is rare that I get any reply in the assignment books or acknowledgement that they hare read and understood it. Many of my 'private school' students turn up without books or forget to come to the lesson at all. It really is low priority. I'm sure it is low priority for the parents too. They are willing to sign the cheques but that's about it.


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935005
11/03/08 11:59 AM
11/03/08 11:59 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
keyboardklutz Offline
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keyboardklutz  Offline
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London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I've just started handing out letters to inform parents of exactly what time of the day little Johnny has decided to practice, what grade he's doing, when the exam is and could they encourage him etc. The award of the certificate has been the best indicator of progress.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: How Do You Keep Parents Informed of their Child's Progress? #935006
11/04/08 04:35 AM
11/04/08 04:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 304
Melbourne, Australia
L
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member
lotuscrystal  Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 304
Melbourne, Australia
Quote
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Quote
Originally posted by lotuscrystal:
[b]Perhaps parents who enroll their children in piano lessons at school, see it more as a leisurely 'past-time' extra-curricular activity, as opposed to home parents, who may see it as an investment to their child's future....just a thought.
I have to say that some of these people want as little to do with it as possible. It is rare that I get any reply in the assignment books or acknowledgement that they hare read and understood it. Many of my 'private school' students turn up without books or forget to come to the lesson at all. It really is low priority. I'm sure it is low priority for the parents too. They are willing to sign the cheques but that's about it. [/b]
From my experience, I would have to agree with you Chris...


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