Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
Who's Online
149 registered (accordeur, anamnesis, anotherscott, Alkanaut, 36251, Anita Potter, 48 invisible), 1738 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#1247616 - 08/11/09 11:23 PM 3 Things you wish you knew then...
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Curious to all you teachers, 3 things you know now that you wish you knew when you first started teaching privately.

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1247629 - 08/11/09 11:44 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
1. A written piano teaching policy.
2. Treat friends that become students exactly the same as anyone else or refer them to an objective teacher. (No "friend" rates, extra time just because you like them, or letting them get away without practicing....I have just learned this lesson the past year. Yes I did all those things! Silly me!)
3. Take time to talk to potential students, meet them and make sure it's the right match.
_________________________
M. Katchur

Top
#1247638 - 08/12/09 12:03 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Pianos_N_Cheezecake
Curious to all you teachers, 3 things you know now that you wish you knew when you first started teaching privately.


1. The need to set boundaries with parents. (still working on it after 18 years)
2. How to set boundaries with parents. (an on-going work-in-progress as well)
3.Keep my mouth shut more often (still working on that, too)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1247657 - 08/12/09 12:20 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Barb860]
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
What do you mean set boundaries with parents? As in letting them sit in on lessons?

Top
#1247683 - 08/12/09 12:51 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5593
Loc: Orange County, CA
1. Instead of being a mean teacher who yells all the time, you can be a more effective teacher if you make the student care about what he is doing at the piano.

2. You can't fix every problem that comes with a transfer student. You can't place enough blame on the student's previous teacher(s). Some bad habits are just impossible to break.

3. You can raise your fees on a regular basis without losing students.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1247869 - 08/12/09 10:55 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Pianos_N_Cheezecake
What do you mean set boundaries with parents? As in letting them sit in on lessons?


Setting boundaries with parents as in: paying on time, arriving to lessons on time, picking up kids on time, constant rescheduling requests, talking through lesson time.
I welcome parents to sit in on lessons if they so desire.
Then I get to work with them on keeping their mouths shut along with my own smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1247946 - 08/12/09 01:23 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Barb860]
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Ah, I see. I heard someone say, maybe even on this forum, that they let parents sit in on 1 lesson a month to avoid distractions etc.

Top
#1247960 - 08/12/09 01:52 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
beccaY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/09
Posts: 23
1. Providing a policy, that clearly states your expectations of the parents and students; important dates in the studio, and have it signed by the parents and students. Let them keep a copy and give the signed copy back.

2. Don't let your students get away with anything, and don't let them make excuses for not practicing, not being prepared. Students will live up to the standards you set, so push them hard but not too much or they will get discouraged.

3. Parents need to know you are the teacher and you set the policy and boundaries. But treat your parents with respect and most of the time they will respect you and the boundaries your create.

Top
#1248024 - 08/12/09 04:22 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: beccaY]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
1} Always go with 45 minute lessons as the "norm" and 30 minutes as an alternative.

2} Bill quarterly rather than monthly, and bill it a week before the quarter starts so as to never give a lesson "free".

3} Policies are to be signed by student and parent, and returned.

Sorry... but can I add another one?

4} I also only allow 2 make-up lessons per quarter now. They were getting too numerous.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

Top
#1248060 - 08/12/09 05:14 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
beccaY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/09
Posts: 23
Yes! I agree with ebony on #4. I do the same thing, except I do 2 make-ups every semester.

Top
#1248069 - 08/12/09 05:30 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: beccaY]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Do they pay you for those makeups or is that factored into the overall fee, that is, you're really charging for 14 lessons but telling parents it 12 lessons and 2 makeups?

Do students who make every lesson also get a makeup?
_________________________
"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

Top
#1248077 - 08/12/09 05:40 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
My policy is "with 48 hours notice, you will not be required to pay for the lesson" so it falls into that category. They can either get a credit (Ie: for a vacation) or rearrange it(Ie: Dr. appt and stuff like that). It stinks, but if they're sick, they don't get a credit. Some kids were getting sick after school on Wed too often lol.

What do you mean with your last question? If they came to every lesson, there isn't anything to make-up...
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

Top
#1248131 - 08/12/09 08:11 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
1. Don't charge by the lesson, do monthly payments

2. Learn the repertoire - a LOT of it - and don't trust what anything says about what "level" things are.

3. "You're going to screw up, a parent will eventually yell at you, and students will quit. Learn to know when it's your fault and when it isn't. If it's your fault, learn your lesson and do better. If it's not your fault, get over it because there's NOTHING you can do about crazy people."

4. Don't bloat your studio policy, and don't expect people to read it and follow it closely. Remember, people read and remember policy statements about as well as you read and remember the fine print on the back of your credit card statement. The fewer "rules" you have, the easier they are to remember. The more "rules" you have, the harder they are to remember (and follow.)

Sorry...I could probably come up with a few dozen more, but I need to get back to practicing. laugh
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#1248137 - 08/12/09 08:28 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: beccaY]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
what everyone else has said, plus always try to find something positive to say at every lesson. End each lesson on a positive note.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

Top
#1248218 - 08/13/09 12:56 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Stanny]
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Kreisler! I like number 3... Never thought about that!

Top
#1248471 - 08/13/09 12:34 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Kreisler]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12219
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Kreisler


4. Don't bloat your studio policy, and don't expect people to read it and follow it closely. Remember, people read and remember policy statements about as well as you read and remember the fine print on the back of your credit card statement. The fewer "rules" you have, the easier they are to remember. The more "rules" you have, the harder they are to remember (and follow.)


This is one I still struggle with. My policy is now one page, front & back. I have a separate sheet for my rates, and a separate calendar. My policy sheet contains the payment policy, attendance policy, termination policy, and information on group lessons and swapping lesson times. This is actually the shortest my policy has been in a while! It seems like each time something came up and I referred to my policy, I found something else was not very clear, and would make a change. It is very hard for me to find a balance between clarity, detail, and being concise.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1248559 - 08/13/09 02:48 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Morodiene]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Is more than 3 ok?

You have to learn to pace yourself in your teaching day so there will be enough of you to last the entire teaching day.

Don't let anyone upset you on a teaching day. Note the circumstances and delay your response to a more appropriate time.

You can choose the right time to take on a conversation or work out an issue with someone. It does not have to take place at the time you first become aware of it. It is better to be well thought out before taking on an issue that has a serious outcome.

Being serene, calm and positive is one of my highest intentions - but it can easily go amok depending on who and what has thrown you a negative moment. Don't crash in the moment of distraction. It is very important that you remain objective and conscientious to your teaching agenda. If you practice this discipline daily, I think most people who are with you in the teaching situation learn how you conduct yourself and your music teaching. Their respect and cooperation follows.

We cannot operate like the "pitch" game at the carnival that is trying to send the person sitting on the stool into the water. Things do happen in our relationship with our clients that feel greatly to our disadvantage...handle it with concern and decision...on your part. You won't regret it. Troubled times will happen and you must be at your best then as well as during the good times. Stay positive! And, remember, this is your piano studio, and you are the owner of all that goes on in your teaching environs. It's a big responsibility - but it is also a great joy to teach music and a credit to your business enterprise and abilities when done well.

Top
#1248867 - 08/14/09 12:19 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Betty Patnude]
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
These responses are great... PLEASE keep them coming.

Top
#1253699 - 08/21/09 08:48 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
1) Be specific with homework. Write it down. Most of time vague "this piece" isn't enough. It's also nice for you and the student to be able to see very real progress.

And since you said three...

2) Not everything is your fault.

3) Don't let students practice on "toys"--better to draw a keyboard on a piece of paper and use that. (I had one student do absolutely horrible in a concert since what she played at home had tiny keys.)

I'm afraid I'm still in the process of making mistakes with the rest.

Top
#1253737 - 08/21/09 09:41 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
1. I wish I would have known how much I would enjoy doing this for a living. I would have jumped into it sooner.

2. I should have started with a stricter policy and higher rates. I am now "no nonsense". It pays as I have better students and I find parents appreciate clear guidelines.

3. In the beginning i allowed keyboards. Changing that policy was a very good decision. My students are much more succesful and less likely to drop piano.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


Top
#1254146 - 08/22/09 05:14 PM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: Mrs.A]
MrsCamels Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 176
Loc: Los Angeles
These are great responses.

My big one is keep my own notes about homework etc. for the inevitable "I left my notebook at home".
_________________________
Teaching since 2004
Private studio owner since 2008
www.ecsorota.com

Top
#1254925 - 08/24/09 04:05 AM Re: 3 Things you wish you knew then... [Re: MrsCamels]
ToriAnais Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Australia
That I am harder on myself than 80% of parents will be.

That racing kids through the easy levels is a bad idea. Hitting a long plateau sucks for everyone. Better to have them gradually increasing their skills and feeling clever and competent and enjoying the process.

That it's easier on me to win a difficult kid over with love than to suffer them with inndifference (a work in progress smile )
_________________________
Piano teacher since August 2008.

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
Christmas Lights at Piano World Headquarters in Maine 2014
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Pearl River vs. Samick
by Zekk
12/21/14 03:41 PM
Kawai vs. Yamaha: what to choose
by SeeSharp
12/21/14 02:19 PM
Disklavier Pro Alternatives? C5X Value for money?
by bryan77
12/21/14 01:15 PM
piano sound is the result of more than just the hammer speed
by Keith D Kerman
12/21/14 01:05 PM
piano sound is the result of more than just the hammer speed
by Keith D Kerman
12/21/14 01:05 PM
Forum Stats
77388 Members
42 Forums
160044 Topics
2350255 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
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 | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission