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#2768048 09/27/18 11:04 PM
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Do you do it? Would you do it? Do you discount? Why or why not? What are the unique challenges? Unique benefits?


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One good benefit: They are willing to take hours that nobody else wants.

They are also unlikely to quit even if the kid has ZERO interest or talent in piano. But then, being the good friend, I should maybe let them know that they are wasting their money.


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I've done it before, and it didn't work out very well at all. Neither the child nor the parents took it seriously. I wouldn't completely rule out teaching a friends' children in the future, but I would certainly think twice. Thankfully, most of my friends are either childless, have grown children, or were clients before they were friends!


Austin Rogers, PhD
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I have done it in the past it works out well sometimes and sometimes not. Here are a few questions to ask yourself;

1) Are you willing to charge four friends the same amount as your regular students?

2) If not how long will you enjoy teaching for free or at a discounted rate?

3) Where will your friend be during the lesson (will this turn into a "visit")

4) What if your friend's child does not practice?

5) If the situation does not work out is your friendship strong enough to withstand this?

6) Are you willing to treat your friend's child professionally (not canceling lessons or expecting them to switch around?)

In order for it to work well, you have to put in the same amount of effort with your friend's child. You have to be able to separate the professional and the friendship aspects.

Give it a try.

Best wishes


Doreen Hall
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Hi Doreen, I have pondered those things and I'm not sure. I'm curious what your response to those questions are. Another problem comes up when the line of "friend" becomes kind of blurry. If they refer someone to me, am I obligated to treat them as a friend as well? There's also the question of whether parents will talk, and then it could get awkward if some are receiving preferential treatment.


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If a friend asked me to teach their children, I would expect them to pay the standard fee and abide by my policies just like any other student. And I would treat them fairly and professionally in return. If exceptions are made in scheduling or payment, I think some feelings of guilt/resentment would build up on both sides eventually, even if the relationship was solid to begin with. Boundaries are important, even (especially?) among friends and family.


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That is the 11th commandment.
Thou shalt not teach piano to children of your relatives or your friends.
That is asking for trouble.
Voice of experience.

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Can try it out. You have to talk to the parents upfront that you treat every student the same. No special treatment or favor.

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Originally Posted by hello my name is
Do you do it? Would you do it? Do you discount? Why or why not? What are the unique challenges? Unique benefits?


I have taught friends' kids in the past (those kids are all grown up now and have moved away), and it's worked out fine. I didn't discount or do anything different with their families than I did with others.

Unique challenges? None. I suppose there would have been if my friends got offended that I wasn't treating them differently than other studio clients, but my friends aren't like that at all. They weren't looking for special treatment.

Unique benefits? I had their full support when I needed to address certain challenges or issues that would come up with their children. This wasn't always the case with my general student population, but consistently was with my families with whom I was already friends before starting our business relationship.

I guess it all depends on the kinds of friends one has. I was blessed with supportive friends who wanted the business relationship to work as well for me as for them, just like our mutual friendship already did.

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One quick comment: There is a gender issue here. Men and women are not the same, and the male teachers have easy answers, basically drop kick this family to Mars and be done with it.

That's pretty much what I would do, worrying only about the boy, because children get caught in adult crossfire. But I have zero tolerance for any adult in the universe who decides to give me unsolicited advice.

Things like this are very different for my wife, who is a very kind, patient, decent person who loathes conflicts and who tries to fix things.

I'm not saying there are no take charge, take no nonsense women, but there are fewer of them. I believe for most women confrontation is harder. Unfortunately sometimes confrontation, even quiet confrontation, is necessary.

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I teach my next door neighbor s daughter .That is near enough .If it was a close friend it may be different. Although I do remember once teaching a friend to play .That turned out well .We were both in our 20,s .,I cannot remember if I reduced the fees .So who knows ?Perhaps it would work out if handeled professionally .


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