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#1420806 - 04/20/10 08:41 PM Teacher trying to get a piece of my student
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
I have a student I've been working with for maybe 3 years now. She is a very good student, but does need more lesson time and more practice time.
The father suggested today that they could get supplementary lessons from this other teacher down the street. She studied in Poland and could help my student.
I didn't want to say anything rash on the spot because I've never been in this spot. After thinking about it for a bit, I'm not very impressed, no matter what kind of background this teacher has. I've been working hard with this student for years and I'm not about to let another teacher needlessly come and interfere with my students progress in anyway just because its convenient for her.

Thoughts?

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#1420833 - 04/20/10 09:17 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Down the street from you or down the street from them?

I'm guessing the teacher, not the Dad, initiated this. We've had an ongoing problem with teachers from the former Eastern Block nations trying to "steal" students. I chalk it up to a difference in ethical standards and backgrounds; I'm sure they don't realize how totally offensive it is.
_________________________
"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

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#1420838 - 04/20/10 09:23 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Down the street from them. I sent my student to the festival to watch the concert etudes class, she said she will enjoy it. I will speak to the father tomorrow or Thursday for the 2nd lesson this week and discuss this with him. I tend to fly off the handle a bit, so I want to think about this rationally before I say anything about this matter to him. So far, I'm rather upset about another teacher moving in on a student that is clearly mine. Every time I meet a piano student, I never suggest that I could teach them extra lessons if I already know they have a teacher. Regardless if I am better or worse, that's not good in my books.

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#1420858 - 04/20/10 10:02 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Did the other teacher approach your student first? Or did your student's father approach the teacher?

A couple of random thoughts come to mind:

We do not "own" our students. They are free to do what they want.

Luring students away from other teachers is considered unethical, especially when accomplished through devious means. (Bad-mouthing the current teacher, undercutting the market rate, etc...)

Everybody loses students to other teachers from time to time; and everybody receives students from other teachers from time to time. When done ethically and gracefully, it's a good thing for everyone involved. When not handled well, it can cause deep rifts and a fearful or antagonistic attitude within the community.

If you're a member of your local music teachers' association, there may very well be a code of conduct or ethical guidelines that, if breached, could mean certain sanctions against this other teacher. If you're not a member of an organized group and have no legal contract with your student, then there's pretty much nothing you can do. (It's a free country, and people can do as they please, even when it's unethical, unkind and unpopular.)

Be careful.
_________________________
"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)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1420865 - 04/20/10 10:11 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Kreisler]
elfenbein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 45
Loc: USA
Kreisler, I am sure you mean to say, "If *this other teacher* is a member of your local ..." because unless he/she is, there's nothing any MTA can do.
_________________________
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#1420928 - 04/20/10 11:51 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: elfenbein]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
I don't want some organization to come into the mix. This has never happen to me before and I've been at this for 12 years. I don't know who approached who, but I know the lessons have already start as my student was demonstrating how the teacher was showing her dominant 7th arpeggios. This "might" be a different story if I couldn't handle teaching this student in any way, but I have a handle on everything and don't need someone else coming in and doing this.
I may not own this student and they are free to make whatever decisions they want. If you want to switch to another teacher after being referred to me from their previous teacher, go ahead. But for the other teacher to know that she was my student and start lessons before I was informed was a big no-no. I've spent a lot of time un-doing other teachers mistakes (easy there smile ) and I don't want to re-teach my student something because it was already taught by someone else.
I'm already re-writting my studio policy. I never thought I would have to mention something about this in it. Everyone I've talked to said they would be upset if they were me.
Haven't even mentioned how a move like this could affect my income. The dad is getting a call tomorrow morning and not at the next lesson, I had my cool down period at the gym smile

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#1420937 - 04/21/10 12:07 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
elfenbein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 45
Loc: USA
Would you share how you are addressing this issue in your studio policy?
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www.notes.sibyllekuder.com

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#1420971 - 04/21/10 12:50 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 855
I can empathize with you. Here's my advice based on having been in the exact same position. Call the father and state that you are upset he has gone this route of hiring another teacher. Explain that to get a second opinion is a good idea and commonly done for one performance. But to hire a second teacher is not usual. Then state you will continue as their teacher ONLY if you are their only teacher. Then pause or give them some time to think. But do not continue as you are.

I did, and it was a big mistake. The student became confused. I stated that a certain piece required pedalling. The other teacher wanted no pedalling. The student would begin to doubt me or ask me to defend my teaching decisions. I taught an arpeggio with a certain fingering but my student would use the other teacher's fingering. It's better to cut your losses and get out of the situation immediately.


Edited by Candywoman (04/21/10 01:21 AM)

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#1420975 - 04/21/10 12:57 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Candywoman]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I'd flat out tell the father how insulting this behavior is and that if they are unhappy with the child's progess with you, they should just say so and be done with it.
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#1420991 - 04/21/10 01:38 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Minniemay]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Maybe she's a better teacher?
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1421005 - 04/21/10 02:13 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keyboardklutz]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Even if she was, who cares. I have taught this student for 3 years, there is a connection that no amount of outside experience can compare to. She's happy with me, so where is the need to get outside help? What if you found out today that I started teaching one of your students without anyone informing you till after the fact? And before anything was said, how would you feel if some random person suggested that maybe me stealing your student for "supplementary" lessons was because I was a better teacher?
I think if you weren't absolutely outraged by this, I should do this with a lot of your students until you became outraged.

New thoughts?

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#1421026 - 04/21/10 03:12 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
Is it possible to get fuller perspective on this?

You wrote that this student needs more lesson time than she is getting. If that is so, have you offered her more time, or extra lessons to fulfill that need?

Second: I'm reading about supplementary lessons, which means extra or additional lessons. However, there is a lot of talk about stealing your student, which suggests your student leaving you or having less time with you, and the other teacher replacing you. I get this sense from a number of teachers.

So what does "supplementary" mean to a parent or student? (I've been both). It can mean that you are totally loyal to your teacher whom you see as your teacher, but someone else may offer some new angle which will round out what you are learning. Think of the fact that teachers send their students to masterclasses without thinking that this teacher is "getting a piece" of their student. The only thing that a teacher does is to * give * knowledge - not take away. If you are intent on learning, then you want to grab opportunities that come up. It is not meant as a slight to the teacher. In fact, you may think that the original teacher will be pleased that his student is learning as much as he can from wherever he can. This is a student/parent perspective.

Where is the problem in this? Can the other teacher confuse your student by teaching things differently than you do? Might that teacher introduce things that you want to wait before touching - interfere with what you are teaching? Non-teachers will not be aware of it, so you have to let them know.

Otoh, how would you feel if you knew of a teacher who teaches some specialized areas that you don't teach? Would you be enthusiastic on behalf of your student, wanting her to learn these additional things on top of what you teach? Students would probably expect that attitude from their teachers. We would not want to feel held back from opportunities because a teacher needs to be the exclusive teacher unless there was sound reason.

I think a fair number of students would not be aware of teachers feeling the way that you do. The very fact that the father has told you, and the student has shown you what she has learned, is proof that they have no idea this would upset you.

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#1421047 - 04/21/10 03:45 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 359
Loc: Sweden
This is a discussion I should not interfere in, so feel free to ignore my comments if you like.

As a student, I first want to say that I do understand your concerns and why you are upset about the situation. What I also can see is that this might maybe not at all be obvious to nonteachers. My suggestion is that you first find out why they decided to go for a second teacher for the student, and really try to listen to the answer without drawing conclusions to fast.

This might sound a little insensitive, but as you said that the student could use more lesson time, maybe the parents thought that a different teacher would be a good choice. Even if I have a great relationship with a teacher, such a thing might get me into thinking that the teacher "wants" the income. If more lesson time is needed, why is the teacher not happy about that we arranged for it?! I am very sure that Dark Dragon has the very best intentions for the students, so be prepared for that they might think they did a good thing by hiring a second teacher.

They might think that for supplementary lessons they don't need to have the very best teacher. That it is enough to have someone a little cheaper. Getting a second teacher might not at all mean that they are thinking about switching or are not happy.

They might also see it as a way to get a different perspective, which in most cases is a good thing. They might be thinking, howcome you think you know it all, and that a different teacher has notthing of value to teach at all?

They might be thinking that theachers will be working on different materals, or styles, and that that means that there shouldn't be any conflict between what is taught.

You need to take a deep breath, and to give friendly and open examples of that there really can be a problem with having two teachers. If you can see why they are thinking it is a good idea, you can start there and show that the result will not really be what they assumed. If the parents are not musicians, they might have a hard time understanding the process of learning an instrument. Maybe involve them more, so that it becomes more clear to them how skills are built, and why for example more practice time might be needed. If the parents are not interested, it might be difficult, but I think it would make everything a lot easier for you in the long run.

I apologize again for meddling into something that is not my business. smile I wish you good luck, and that things work out for the best.
_________________________
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1421060 - 04/21/10 04:16 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keystring]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
There is a very clear difference between me sending a student to a teacher that I've recommended if I felt there was an area of expertise that they had that I did not. I am by no means the ultimate teacher, but I really do not need assistance with my student. I think parents somehow forget that students need to connect with their teachers and that that connection does not happen with any teacher. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Supplementary lessons by another teacher with my referral or advice could be beneficial if I know the teacher and his/her expertise etc.

Teachers who thinks its ok to undermine me and do supplementary lessons with my student without my prior knowledge, causes me to lose respect for that teacher immediately. No phone call, no letter, no notice of any kind about this matter. By being this disrespectful to me, why am I not to think that this teacher isn't out to steal my student? If I was going to teach a student (who already had a teacher) in good faith, I would surely contact the teacher before hand, wouldn't you? I have a student at my private school who now goes to someone else. I could easily teach her on my spare time, but this thing called respect and ethics kind comes up, you know?

I sometimes hear my students say "well my music teacher said" or "my old piano teacher said". I stop them right there and say "they are not your piano teacher, I am". I don't think this is a power trip, I just want to make it clear who is in charge and who is not. If the money is given to me, I believe my say should come before any other teacher.

Ok here is the full story

My students dad insists that my student write her grade 6 piano exam in June after starting it roughly January. I personally feel this is rather rushed. We have 2 half hour sessions a week. Usually it is 1 for rep/studies, 1 for technique, ear training, sight etc..... Due to the timing of the recent festival, I've had to make sure her pieces were ready to go so that she would have a positive experience. Festival was a check.
I've mentioned to the father that I am concerned that his daughter won't be as prepared as we all would like her to be. I stated why she is where she is at. Before we get into extra lesson time, he has clearly stated that she has not practiced nearly as much as she did for her previous grades (thus the mediocre grade for grade 5 piano in Jan). So needless to say, we needed to improve her practicing habits before we extend the lesson time. Her practicing had improved the few weeks before the festival and we were all happy.
The father says today that someone told him to talk to this Polish teacher who was near by to them. She trained in Poland and they are Polish too. He asked me what I thought about supplementary lessons. I told him I did not have time to discuss this because I wanted to get to my lesson with the daughter on time. The daughter wanted to show me her arpeggios that she learned. She wanted to see that I was impressed and showed no sign of ill intent (for definite lack of a better word smile ).

Just another side note. I was referred by their long time piano teacher who retired. This new teacher was referred by a friend/neighbor.

Finally....

This student does not need something from another teacher that I cannot already provide. It's grade 6 RCM for crying out loud. I'm more than capable and the thought that my ability is remotely questioned has really set me off. Hope that doesn't sound like a power trip frown

All this girl needs is more time with me, recommending extending current 30min sessions to 45min sessions twice a week. We have less than 8 weeks and I think we can do it.
She needs to make sure her practicing is not in question as it was prior to the festival.

There are many reasons why I insist on being the exclusive teacher. The #1 reason is that I have a method, you have a method, we all have our unique ways of teaching. No need to discuss which method is better as we all know there are many ways of teaching successfully. Wither she is taught successfully or not, my method will more than likely conflict and I do not want to spend a minute helping the poor girl un-learn this other teachers method. "but she said...." She should go put out flyers and start from scratch like many of us did years ago. If she is so great and educated in "Poland", she shouldn't have a hard time building up the clientele no? I put in a LOT of hard work to get my clientele and to build my business to where its at. I haven't said much about the prospect of losing a student and income in this manner, but the idea alone gets me going.
BTW What part of studying in Poland gives this teacher any advantage of a teacher who has studied RCM in Canada? Doesn't look like Poland around.

In my opinion, this other teacher needs to back off. As another member stated, the father needs to commit to me 100% or not at all.

Really, really don't want to sound like a jerk in any way, but if you put yourself in my shoes, you'd find it hard not to be fuming.

I've been at this reply for a long time. sorry for the length, but now you guys have the full details (I hope).

Looking forward to the reply to this monster smile

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#1421065 - 04/21/10 04:46 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Regardless of any other considerations, I think that, at her level, having two teachers is a terrible idea
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#1421069 - 04/21/10 04:58 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Bart Kinlein]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
DD--

Your posts come across as extremely insensitive toward the people of Poland. Your argument would have been stronger if you had left out the nationality of this piano teacher.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1421071 - 04/21/10 05:01 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 359
Loc: Sweden
Note that the parents perspective the secondary teacher does not nessecary have to be better then you, just good enough to give the extra support. Something like when you have a hard time in maths or history you might offer an older student some money for extra tutoring. (I do see why this would be a mess, but the parent might see it.)

Who is the better teacher is not relevant here I think, because it is probably not that that has caused them to hire the Polish teacher. You need to take the time to communicate with the parents here. I assume they just don't get the problem, not that they want to mess up your planning. In either case, you want to be sure of their reasoning.

(BTW, maybe consider getting to know the Polish teacher? You don't know how the parents presented the situation, or what he/she was thinking about it. It could be relevant for you to find out for the future.)
_________________________
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1421082 - 04/21/10 06:11 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon

BTW What part of studying in Poland gives this teacher any advantage of a teacher who has studied RCM in Canada? Doesn't look like Poland around.


Not to pour fuel on the fire, or to question your qualities. But don't forget, Poland is the country of a certain Chopin, a certain Rubenstein, Paderewski, Zimmerman, just to name the "household names". This tradition is very much alive. I have no doubt, not the slightest, that this teacher possesses something of this gigantic pianistic-musical capital, which is no small reference.

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#1421084 - 04/21/10 06:16 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Bart Kinlein]
Ben Crosland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
Originally Posted By: Bart Kinlein
Regardless of any other considerations, I think that, at her level, having two teachers is a terrible idea


Me too. I've had a couple of students over the years that have done this - from what I can tell, it's usually because they've been offered cheap lessons at school and the parents, in their innocence, think that more music lessons can only be a good thing. I always discourage it, citing the analogy of 'he who tries to sail in two boats by putting one foot in each will end up getting his arse wet'.
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#1421090 - 04/21/10 06:34 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: landorrano]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon

BTW What part of studying in Poland gives this teacher any advantage of a teacher who has studied RCM in Canada? Doesn't look like Poland around.


Not to pour fuel on the fire, or to question your qualities. But don't forget, Poland is the country of a certain Chopin, a certain Rubenstein, Paderewski, Zimmerman, just to name the "household names". This tradition is very much alive. I have no doubt, not the slightest, that this teacher possesses something of this gigantic pianistic-musical capital, which is no small reference.


LOL. Good God. Who cares where the teacher is from. It doesn't matter if she's from Poland, Timbuktu, or Antarctica. I have no doubt that you know NOT, one way, or the other, if this person possesses anything of some so-called tradition. It's not as if it's floating through the air in Poland and some just happen to catch it. Now, if you had some concrete evidence that her education stemmed from specific sources, then I'd say it MIGHT make a difference. The fact that a person is/was educated in a specific geographical location bears carries with it no magical bonus.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1421095 - 04/21/10 06:44 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: stores]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: stores
It doesn't matter if she's from Poland, Timbuktu, or Antarctica.


Oh yes, it does.

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#1421112 - 04/21/10 07:27 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
Taking the practical useful things first, it sounds as if the student needs to practise more before she needs more lessons from you or anyone else. Also, that the father is bulldozing for external results (passing a test) and thinks that throwing money at a second teacher will make it happen. Also, that taking lessons with another teacher may harm your student's progress because of possible conflicting advice.

Therefore you need to communicate to the father that having a second teacher can be harmful to his daughter's progress because she will be pulled in two directions and it interferes with your ability to teach effectively. You could also stress that success comes through practice and that there are no shortcuts. In fact, having two teachers requires more practice of a student. If she cannot even practice what you give her sufficiently, how can she expect to practice material given by two teachers? Since success and progress are this father's priorities, this is what you should address. Having two teachers hinders progress. More effective and consistent practising helps progress - therein lies problem and solution.

You probably made a mistake by deciding you did not have enough time when they first wanted to talk about having another teacher. Since you didn't discuss it, they made the decision without you. Now you need to rectify this, without emotion or anger. The way this girl is showing you what she learned and the father not hiding it from you proves that they have no idea that this is a bad thing.

I would want to lose the anger toward the other teacher. You don't know how it came about, why he has done this, or whether he actually is out to lure your student away. By entertaining such thoughts you make yourself angry and resentful, which is not a good emotion, and it might come across to your student and the father - which is not a good vibe.

Quote:
... and the thought that my ability is remotely questioned has really set me off.

That is understandable. It's hard to tell whether the father questions your ability, or is looking for quick fixes and rapid progress coming from more teachers. It comes from practice.

Quote:
All this girl needs is more time with me, recommending extending current 30min sessions to 45min sessions twice a week.

That makes sense. I cannot imagine such short lessons. Is this your window? If the father is already paying for extra lessons (which can harm the student) then that same money could go toward extended lessons. Perhaps you can use what is happening to push through a new start:
- longer lessons
- more effective and consistent practising (and studying theory?)
- addressing the father's goals for his daughter (... and she feels how about it herself?)

There is an expression: "When handed a lemon, make lemon-ade." Unpleasant things can be opportunities if they are grabbed the right way.

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#1421117 - 04/21/10 07:40 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: stores]
LimeFriday Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Australia
It honestly sounds more like parental 'freaking out' than a case of the other teacher poaching your student.

Parents pushing for grade 6 in six months after a mediocre grade 5 exam - parents freaking out wanting more lesson time. You not having the time (at that particular moment) to discuss extending lessons. Parents hear about a teacher close by who can do supplementary lessons - problem solved!! From the parents perspective that is.

They may not have any idea that having two teachers can do more harm than good - and may just need sitting down and talking to them about that.

You don't know what this other teacher has been told. She may be aware of your long term commitment to your student.

If she did know - then yep... I too would be somewhat miffed at the situation too. But it might be easily fixed by talking to your student's father.

In a similar vein - I work as a therapist - and sometimes clients think that seeing two therapists is a good idea - two different perspectives. It's not that they deliberate try to mess up our relationship - it's just they don't understand the risks inherent in having two different therapists. But if another therapist was to go out of their way to take over my client - I'd be p*ssed.

But hopefully in your situation its more just a case of the parents being overinvolved - and it can be sorted out.

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#1421129 - 04/21/10 08:18 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon
I have a student I've been working with for maybe 3 years now. She is a very good student, but does need more lesson time and more practice time.
The father suggested today that they could get supplementary lessons from this other teacher down the street.


You and the parent agree that the student needs more lesson time. If you're both in agreement, then offer the additional lesson time.

As others have pointed out, there will be problems for a child when two teachers are giving different advice. It would make sense to see if the parent really wants "more lesson time" and see if you can meet that need.

Putting the child first, would mean parent choosing one teacher who can meet their lesson time expectations. It sounds like it's time for the parent to make a choice. I wouldn't get caught up in blaming the other teacher. Just focus on seeing whether you can meet the child/parent needs and see if they choose you to continue.

Getting irate over the situation doesn't do you any good. I've heard it explained that resentment is like drinking poison..."I'm so angry at you that I'm going to drink poison"...it hurts only you, not the other person.

The fear you have is that you will lose this student, and lose the income. In any relationship, one can drop out. You have no control over whether the other person leaves the relationship. Do your best to meet their needs, and let them make their choice.




Edited by Ann in Kentucky (04/21/10 08:35 AM)

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#1421132 - 04/21/10 08:25 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Overexposed]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Teachers are there to provide a service. Students should be free to receive opinions wherever they wish. You don't own your students. The idea of the other teaching having behaved wrongly is utter nonsense. If someone came to me and asked for a lesson am I seriously supposed to contact their teacher and ask their 'permission' to give a lesson? Who do you think you're kidding?

Sorry, but I feel no sympathy whatsoever- considering the attitude you have about this. It can be frustrating to feel you are losing a student, but if you can't cope with that, you are letting yourself down both personally and professionally. Venting your rage only makes you look like you are under the impression that having taught someone for a few years gives you a divine right to control their every move. It does not. Even if she's a better teacher who cares? Yeah, because it's all about your pride and sense of power and that comes first? Honestly, your attitude disgusts me in more ways than I can describe. The parents even raised this with you before and you told them you were to busy to discuss it- and then you complain about it? Unbelievable. If I had a teacher with such a self-important (not to mention xenophobic) attitude then I wouldn't be with two teachers for very long. Guess which one I'd be stopping with...
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#1421153 - 04/21/10 09:15 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Lollipop Offline
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Loc: Georgia
My nephew takes from two teachers. I had a fit, and explained to my sister-in-law why I thought it was wrong. What happened was both my nephews were taking from a lady down the street from them. I wasn't thrilled with her method (John Thompson only, one piece at a time), and told SIL that I felt they needed a different teacher. SIL found a different teacher for the older (Russian, since we're mentioning nationalities), but felt she was too strict for the younger. She then found a young male, new grad, who came to the house for the younger son. Older son was jealous, because his brother got to play a lot of fun stuff. So SIL has allowed her older son to also take from this young man. She says the two teachers do different things, so it complements. My nephew plays different music with the teachers (Chopin with the Russian teacher, Linus & Lucy with the other.)

The key is that she knows it's wrong, and that the Russian teacher would have a fit, so her son has been instructed to not tell. To me that is the greatest problem of all - that her son is being asked to be deceptive. The other issue is that he practices the fun stuff more. And that teacher is not as picky about technique, so he is developing some bad habits.

But they aren't my kids. I've noticed they quit talking to me about it, knowing I disapprove. But they also seem so shocked that their son has started lying to them or being sneaky about things. Why not? Isn't this a family value?

Point of my story is that I've had plenty of time to think about this. I have in my policy that it is not considered professional for one teacher to teach the student of another without discussion beforehand. And that I will not knowingly accept a student who is currently in another's studio, and that I appreciate being told in advance when a child is considering switching teachers.

In your particular situation, I see a few things:

Nationality is important only in that it appears to matter to your student's father. There is a connection there that appeals to him. You can't do anything about this.

The father is trying to help his daughter. He may not know this is the right way to do things. Some gentle education on this matter might be enough.

You might also try calling the other teacher, and explaining the problem. If she is professional, she may not wish to earn a bad reputation at this point.

You need to decide if you are willing to lose this student. Because if you issue an ultimatum, they may decide to switch. Perhaps out of national loyalty, perhaps out of convenience to the teacher down the street, or perhaps out of embarrassment at being called out.

If you are willing to compromise, you might divide and conquer. Ask the other teacher to NOT work on the pieces you are working on. Perhaps you can enlist her help to work on specific theory, or scales, or something that would allow you time to work more intensely on the pieces. And I would ask the teacher and the father to discontinue the double-dipping after the June event.
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#1421159 - 04/21/10 09:26 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Lollipop]
R0B Offline
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It seems to me that the biggest loser here, is likely to be the student.

Any 'professional' posturing and stance taking, can only cause damage in the long run, and may put the student off piano, for life.

You either work in tandem with the other teacher, and complement each other, ( with the student's complete and open agreement) or you cut the student loose, while wishing them well with their new teacher.
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#1421181 - 04/21/10 09:56 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Lollipop]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lollipop
Point of my story is that I've had plenty of time to think about this. I have in my policy that it is not considered professional for one teacher to teach the student of another without discussion beforehand.



I don't think that is a professional matter, but a personal one. If a student of another teacher in the school where I work asked me for a lesson then I would tread carefully and take care not to step on the other teachers toes. However, that is not a professional issue so much as because I know them personally and would not wish to cause resentment among acquaintances. Perhaps in a very small town with not many piano teachers, the same might apply in general- where most other teachers are very likely to be known to you personally.


However, if someone were to call me and ask for a lesson, I would not consider it my professional duty to find out whether or not that person had another teacher or not and find a private investigator to locate them and put me in touch with one of the hundreds of teachers in my city to get permission. So in that respect, I see nothing remotely unprofessional about the other teacher's behaviour. It is wise to be careful not to sour relations with those you know personally but I really do not see anything faintly unprofessional about providing a service to anyone who comes to you and asks for it. You might as well say that a dentist who takes patients who had formerly been to other dentists has been 'stealing' patients. It's a service. There's nothing unprofessional about taking on a new client who requests that service. If anyone else objects thats a personal matter- not one of professional ethics. If you have not used to underhand tactics to wrench a student away from a teacher with whom you are not aquainted, but they have gone ahead and approached you for a lesson, you have no obligations other than to provide them with what they came for. On a professional level you should only answer to what your client asks of you. Anything else is about personal relationships, not professionalism. It's a free economy.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (04/21/10 10:02 AM)
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#1421200 - 04/21/10 10:15 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Lollipop Offline
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I disagree.

I think the free economy certainly comes into play when choosing which teacher to study with.

Since you brought up dentistry, and my background is medical, let me say that you are certainly free to switch dentists or doctors. But visiting two dentists or doctors simultaneously for the same condition will probably wreak havoc. Even when obtaining second opinions, it is usually preferable to tell the first doctor that you want to do this, and even ask for recommendations.

My son has found it helpful over the years to obtain occasional lessons with teachers other than his primary. In every single case, he has approached his primary teacher first, to ask. He has always received permission, but it is considered appropriate to ask first. Studying for any length of time with two teachers would not have been approved.

College students who wish to transfer from one music school to another are required to have a signed permission from the first college's teacher before the second will even consider them.

Our local music teacher's association has it in their by-laws.

In other words, it seems to be a professional consideration in my experience.
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#1421204 - 04/21/10 10:21 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Andromaque Offline
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N
you are overlooking the fact that it is not a one time service or a "second opinion" but rather a long term "relationship". Switch shoes for a moment and consider how you would feel if you were investing time and effort into a student's piano education, especially if they are young and in the earlier phases of their studies, then have them "answering" to a second teacher with probably a different approach and strategies (say, kbk is in their neighborhood laugh ).. I would think that after a couple of lessons you or the other teacher would have to find each other and figure out how to handle it.. Private detective not needed since you can ask the student for the coordinates of the other teacher.
I think Lollipop summarizes the relevant arguments overall. I know for a fact that my teacher would not agree to dual teaching unless I wanted to study something like theory in greater depth, which he has been encouraging..

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#1421207 - 04/21/10 10:26 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Legal Beagle Offline
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Posts: 776
I should probably stay out of this also, but from a student's perspective...

Quote:
Teachers are there to provide a service. Students should be free to receive opinions wherever they wish. You don't own your students... Who do you think you're kidding?


I couldn't agree more with Nyiregyhazi. You sell piano lessons. Period. If I as a student want to buy them from another teacher also... or from five other teachers and three online courses and a video seminar and a correspondence course on theory and a class at the local community college... what business is it of yours? If I pay you, either give me a lesson or don't. If not, I won't pay you anymore.

If you're claiming that this other teacher is some sort of vulture who's trying to lure your students away, that's a different story... but I don't hear you saying that.
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#1421210 - 04/21/10 10:28 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Lollipop]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Maybe having two teachers is healthy or maybe it isn't. Also, from the student's point of view it's certainly courteous to tell your teacher if you go for lessons elsewhere. I agree entirely. However, the point I am making is that it is the client's decision and that it is not professionally unethical to receive a client- as a dentist or as a teacher. If you don't want to tread on another's toes that is a personal issue. It is not unprofessional to receive a student and provide what they ask you to do. However, it is very unprofessional to start mouthing off if a student seeks help elsewhere and complain about that teacher and accusing them of 'stealing' students unethically. Nobody likes such a situation but the only professional way to act is to behave with dignity.

The thing about transfers sounds absolutely insane to me. It's clearly geared more towards the teacher than the student's wellfare. Totally wrong, in my opinion. Teachers are supposed to serve students. Not form a special mafia style-club to protect their turf.
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#1421213 - 04/21/10 10:31 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Legal Beagle]
Andromaque Offline
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Loc: New York
I don't think anyone is saying they can't, "legally". Just that there should be communication between the 2 teachers and the teacher in question is also free to refuse the duplication. Furthermore, I believe that professionalism does have something to do with it. I am actually well aware of the "service" aspect of my lessons but I value my teacher's commitment and professionalism, which, perhaps arguably to some, go beyond the pay for play deal..

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#1421216 - 04/21/10 10:37 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Andromaque]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
N
you are overlooking the fact that it is not a one time service or a "second opinion" but rather a long term "relationship". Switch shoes for a moment and consider how you would feel if you were investing time and effort into a student's piano education, especially if they are young and in the earlier phases of their studies, then have them "answering" to a second teacher with probably a different approach and strategies (say, kbk is in their neighborhood laugh ).. I would think that after a couple of lessons you or the other teacher would have to find each other and figure out how to handle it.. Private detective not needed since you can ask the student for the coordinates of the other teacher.



If they don't bring the other teacher into it, I won't ask questions. I see no obligation to do so. Perhaps the mafia is strong enough in some parts that this would be enough for someone to order a hit on me, but it doesn't work that way here.

I've lost students before after a few years of work. Nobody likes it. I also have students who take lessons from other teachers in their home country during the holidays. Good on them. I do not expect a formal request from the other teacher to go ahead in either situation. I'd have all sympathies if the poster did not choose to reach out for someone to have a go at, rather than deal with the loss. Such things come with the job. To look for a scapegoat is one thing, but I find the sheer extent of the tone in those posts absolutely disgusting. I am not going to withold honesty in my response. That poster need to hear it as it really is- if he's going to deal better with such things in the future. Teachers need to remember what they are- ie. providers of a service and not god-appointed musical guardians.

We may be in charge during the lessons- but ultimately the client is buying a service and they are really the master in the relationship. If you forget which way around that balance stands, you're going to give yourself a needlessly hard time when it comes back to remind you. If you perceive yourself as master instead of servant, you're simply digging your own grave.
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#1421218 - 04/21/10 10:43 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Lollipop Offline
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Loc: Georgia
I missed the part about the Mafia hit. Perhaps you live in a lot tougher neighborhood than I do. Here the preferable method of dealing with things is discussion.

I don't generally ask my students if they are studying with another teacher. But in the OP's case, it seems that the other teacher is aware. That being so, I think she should have at least asked if it was okay with the primary teacher.

My guess is that she didn't know any better, so I'm not as willing to vilify her. But neither do I think she can claim that since she didn't hire a private investigator she therefore had no way of knowing the student had another teacher.
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#1421221 - 04/21/10 10:50 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: R0B]
Piano*Dad Offline
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I don't think this is a stable situation.

First, I suspect it's very inefficient to be bouncing back and forth between perspectives, especially when the two teachers may not share a common approach to technical development or to musical interpretation. For a young student this has got to be confusing.

It's not stable on an emotional level either. If the young one comes in bubbling about something new from the other teacher, and you think it's the wrong approach, you must come off badly no matter what you do. Competition for the affection of the child and their family is probably destructive all around, and given what I'm reading from DD, it provokes all sorts of unfortunate suspicions and emotions.

Next, how could the other teacher not realize that this was poaching? Perhaps eastern European teachers regard poaching with a certain nonchalance ... it's the game, after all, .... but I would have difficulty accepting the idea that this other teacher was blissfully unaware that a competition for this student was underway. I have difficulty believing that the other teacher finds this shared solution optimal either. I would assume, absent strong evidence to the contrary, that this other teacher eventually will make a play to get the student formally to switch teachers.

Having said all this, I do think Kreisler is right. DD does not own this student. Families are perfectly free to structure their use of professional teachers as they see fit. If DD wants to maintain an exclusive relationship, I think s(he) should lay out the issues to the family and ask them to choose. Explain the problems of shared control and suggest that the best solution is for the family to focus on one teacher's approach. Then get the ego out of the way.

They may choose this other teacher, and the reasons for their choice are whatever they are. They may opt for this teacher because they all make small talk in Polish about Pierogies and Kielbasa after the lesson. They may prefer the other teacher's sense of humor, or discipline, or whatever. Heck, maybe all people who have grown up in Poland are simply superior musicians, like Chopin .... yeah, right.

It really doesn't matter. At some point things that can't go on, won't. You just need to find the best way to get the family to that point, and get there with full information and minimal rancor.
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#1421225 - 04/21/10 10:53 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Lollipop]
Morodiene Offline
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I had a somewhat similar experience this past fall. A very hard-working student decided to take the previous summer off from lessons and when he returned, he played a piece he learned from some teacher at his camp. It was pretty complicated for his level of playing, and she had taught it to him by rote. It was obvious that she had spent lots of time with him. Because they had decided not to take summer lessons, I felt a bit miffed. After some questions I discovered that this teacher was aware that the student was taking lessons already.

I decided not to take it up with the mother, and instead started giving him more difficult pieces to play. He still takes from me, and when the issue of summer lessons come up again, I will remind the mom of this to point out that he obviously wants to keep learning over the summer.

Many teacher organizations have ethical statements to the effect of saying that every student has the right to choose what teacher they want. However, they also do not condone stealing students. I would call up the teacher, but be careful to not be accusatory in your tone. Work out a plan for the student and find out what this teacher is offering to the student. I woud then speak to the father and let him know why this will or won't work. Be sure you remain calm and try to keep It professional.
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#1421230 - 04/21/10 11:06 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Next, how could the other teacher not realize that this was poaching? Perhaps eastern European teachers regard poaching with a certain nonchalance ... it's the game, after all,


How much flagrant xenophobia does this thread need? Perhaps on the converse side, all you power-hungry American/Canadian types (cause you lot are like all the same sort at the end o' the day really, innit), are governed by mob style policies of self-protection and place personal earning before the students wellfare? So much for the American dream of the free capitalist economy eh? Looks like you're more likely to find that in Poland...

I can't speak for Poland but in Britain the idea of accepting a student is not traditionally regarded as "poaching".
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#1421236 - 04/21/10 11:15 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Piano*Dad Offline
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If you think my statement was xenophobic you don't know me, and you don't understand my point. I'll state it more clearly so someone outside North America has a chance to comprehend. It doesn't matter whether the teacher is from Poland or from Mars, I don't think any normal human being could miss the obvious. Now perhaps the dad didn't tell this other teacher that his child already was studying with someone else. That's possible, but week after week the deception would become progressively more difficult to maintain. And if the other teacher is blissfully unaware that the child has two teachers simultaneously, the dad needs to be informed of the problems (in DD's view) that this is creating.
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#1421238 - 04/21/10 11:24 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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It may be 'obvious' to you that this is wrong, but I certainly don't live in a community where this would be regarded as "poaching" or where anyone would be accused of it for accepting a client.

As I say, perhaps in small communities where all the teacher know each other, this would be an issue. That serves to show that it's a personal matter, not an issue of business ethics. In the large city in which I live, I don't think many teachers would be under the impression that they might be breaking some kind of unwritten universal moral code by accepting somebody as student. Sorry, but it's highly offensive to claim that eastern-european teachers in general are inclined to knowingly poach students, contrary to moral instincts. I'd certainly have thought that would be 'obvious'. Not everyone abides by the unwritten codes of each locale- and not every one of those unwritten codes constitutes universal moral axiom of truth.
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#1421244 - 04/21/10 11:33 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Piano*Dad Offline
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You are turning this into a moral issue. I have never described it that way. Please read carefully what I have posted before you completely mischaracterize what I say and sarcastically denigrate me as a racist or xenophobe.

I have argued that this dual enrollment is not likely to be stable or productive. I have made some fairly clear arguments about why I think this. You are free to disagree with those arguments. But I have never said anything about the morality of behavior. Switching teachers is fine. Accepting new students from other teachers is fine. Dual enrollment is problematic. And the problems it creates can get ugly. This is not helpful.
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#1421255 - 04/21/10 11:45 AM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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"Perhaps eastern European teachers regard poaching with a certain nonchalance ... it's the game, after all"

Had the teacher been black, would have said "perhaps black teachers..." I doubt it. I'm really not saying you a registered member of the KKK, but why make such a sweeping generalisation based on one single teacher? I find that really quite inappropriate. To use a word as inherently judgmental as "poach" makes it very much a moral issue.

I basically agree with the rest of what you say- but sometimes it's good to try a few teachers and see how things go. However, I'm not saying that this is better or worse. What I'm saying that anyone who'd have a go at a teacher for accepting a student who also goes to another teacher is totally in the wrong. There's a difference between spreading rumours that so and so is a paedophile, say in the hope of getting their students and simply accepting a student who comes to you.
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#1421264 - 04/21/10 12:04 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Sarcasm, N, sarcasm. I also made reference to Pierogies and Kielbasa later on. You'll also recall another poster (landorrano) stating categorically that Polish teachers must have something going for them because Chopin was Polish. This all feeds into my writing style in that post. I don't care what the teacher's background happens to be (either one of 'em, actually).

We don't have a lot of information here. We do not know, for instance, whether this Polish teacher actually knows what's going on. I have speculated, perhaps correctly, that she probably does know. If so, I have outlined what I think would be the problems of that 'arrangement.' It would actually bother me if a teacher enrolled another student simultaneously without being up front with the family about the long term issues this creates. I think clarity is important. Students moving between teachers is normal and quite common. My own son has moved between teachers. But we have always been up front with the teachers, and the teachers have been clear with each other.
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#1421313 - 04/21/10 01:23 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
landorrano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Heck, maybe all people who have grown up in Poland are simply superior musicians, like Chopin .... yeah, right.


Maybe I should state that more clearly so that someone in North America has a chance to comprehend !

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#1421315 - 04/21/10 01:28 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Kreisler]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Kreisler

We do not "own" our students. They are free to do what they want.


That comment is probably worth repeating in large colored print:

We do not "own" our students. They are free to do what they want.

This debate is so reminiscent of that controversial thread that came up a while back about the teacher who was distraught to discover that his/her student had participated in another teacher's recital. Anybody remember that one?

My view then, as it is now, is that students have the right to choose the music they play and the teacher(s) they take lessons from. So I see the student, and the student's family, in the current case as behaving entirely appropriately.

Of course, the following is *also* true:

Teachers have the right to set their studio policies however they wish.

Apparently it is extremely distressing to DarkDragon that the student is taking lessons simultaneously from another teacher. The proper solution to that dilemma is for DD to tell the student that his/her studio policy requires that students do not take lessons from anybody other than DD while enrolled in DD's studio. The ball is in then in the family's court as to whether they wish to continue taking lessons from DD under such constraints.

I know what my answer would be. I tend to get my dander up when others try to dictate what I can do in my own hours. smokin

As for the other teacher, I am in agreement with those here who hold him/her blameless. Student poaching surely violates professional ethics, but if the first contact was made by the student's family (which by all accounts it was), the teacher has, imo, behaved appropriately.
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#1421324 - 04/21/10 01:36 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Monica K.]
keystring Online   content
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The bottom line in any profession is that the welfare of the client matters, and that the professional will exercise his/her judgment according to knowledge in the field. If it is harmful to the student's progress to have two teachers and the teacher knows this to be so, but the parents (who are not teachers in the field) don't know it, then this should be communicated. It is not a matter of anyone being "boss". In the same way, if a doctor tells you not to mix medication and alcohol, or advises to lose weight and exercise, this is professional advice. A teacher going on an ego trip is one thing. A teacher who has legitimate concerns about being able to do his job properly is another matter.

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#1421330 - 04/21/10 01:43 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Sarcasm, N, sarcasm. I also made reference to Pierogies and Kielbasa later on. You'll also recall another poster (iandorrano) stating categorically that Polish teachers must have something going for them because Chopin was Polish. This all feeds into my writing style in that post. I don't care what the teacher's background happens to be (either one of 'em, actually).

We don't have a lot of information here. We do not know, for instance, whether this Polish teacher actually knows what's going on. I have speculated, perhaps correctly, that she probably does know. If so, I have outlined what I think would be the problems of that 'arrangement.' It would actually bother me if a teacher enrolled another student simultaneously without being up front with the family about the long term issues this creates. I think clarity is important. Students moving between teachers is normal and quite common. My own son has moved between teachers. But we have always been up front with the teachers, and the teachers have been clear with each other.


Okay, fair enough. I think we basically agree. I'd just say that in such situations it's the client who is behaving badly, if they are not open with both teachers about the arrangement. I don't think it's justified to frown upon anyone who knowingly takes a student who also works with another teacher- or to refer to it as 'poaching'.
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#1421338 - 04/21/10 01:52 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Monica K.]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Student poaching surely violates professional ethics, but if the first contact was made by the student's family (which by all accounts it was), the teacher has, imo, behaved appropriately.


I agree entirely, but how would you define "poaching"- out of interest? I'm struggling to see how anything could really be professionally wrong- other than lying and being unreasonably derogatory about other teachers or making promises that you know you cannot keep etc. If the teacher does not deceive the student, obviously they are going for something that they like- and which may very well be to their benefit. I don't see what a teacher who is comfortable in their abilities and who has the interests of the students placed first could possibly fear- other than outright deceit. What is your own definition of "poaching"?
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#1421356 - 04/21/10 02:18 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
dumdumdiddle Offline
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Teachers are there to provide a service. Students should be free to receive opinions wherever they wish. You don't own your students. The idea of the other teaching having behaved wrongly is utter nonsense. If someone came to me and asked for a lesson am I seriously supposed to contact their teacher and ask their 'permission' to give a lesson? Who do you think you're kidding?



Wow, this attitude goes against the standards of MTNA and other professional music teacher organizations, which represent thousands of teachers in the US.
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#1421365 - 04/21/10 02:24 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: dumdumdiddle]
janiveer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/09
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Teachers are there to provide a service. Students should be free to receive opinions wherever they wish. You don't own your students. The idea of the other teaching having behaved wrongly is utter nonsense. If someone came to me and asked for a lesson am I seriously supposed to contact their teacher and ask their 'permission' to give a lesson? Who do you think you're kidding?



Wow, this attitude goes against the standards of MTNA and other professional music teacher organizations, which represent thousands of teachers in the US.



surely an indictment of MTNA policy


Edited by janiveer (04/21/10 02:43 PM)

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#1421366 - 04/21/10 02:24 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Teachers are there to provide a service. Students should be free to receive opinions wherever they wish. You don't own your students. The idea of the other teaching having behaved wrongly is utter nonsense. If someone came to me and asked for a lesson am I seriously supposed to contact their teacher and ask their 'permission' to give a lesson? Who do you think you're kidding?

Sorry, but I feel no sympathy whatsoever- considering the attitude you have about this. It can be frustrating to feel you are losing a student, but if you can't cope with that, you are letting yourself down both personally and professionally. Venting your rage only makes you look like you are under the impression that having taught someone for a few years gives you a divine right to control their every move. It does not. Even if she's a better teacher who cares? Yeah, because it's all about your pride and sense of power and that comes first? Honestly, your attitude disgusts me in more ways than I can describe. The parents even raised this with you before and you told them you were to busy to discuss it- and then you complain about it? Unbelievable. If I had a teacher with such a self-important (not to mention xenophobic) attitude then I wouldn't be with two teachers for very long. Guess which one I'd be stopping with...


I still have a few pages to read, but your's I will respond to first.
Tell you what. I'll make a move on your students without letting you know, and ultimately I will steal them off you because you will let them go without defending yourself in any way. It's all about the students right? I won't contact you and when "your" student comes to your lesson, he/she will be showing you things that I have taught her.

Why can't I vent and be angry? Is this not the place for me to vent and be angry? If I can't share my frustration with fellow teachers online, then (referring back to my festival argument) why would I even want to have this issues with teachers face to face? Is this not the place for me to deal with things in a mature and immature way so that when I speak to the father, I will have thought long and hard about what I'm going to say about this matter.

I only said I didn't have time at the start of the lesson yesterday. This intrusion on my students progress came BEFORE I was notified of anything. Am I not allowed to have a single night to think about the situation before saying something?

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#1421371 - 04/21/10 02:33 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
What is your own definition of "poaching"?


Poaching would be Teacher A approaching a student individually whom Teacher A knows already to be taking lessons from Teacher B and then suggesting to the student that the student take lessons from Teacher A.

Simply advertising would not be poaching, nor would making an overture in a group context (e.g., giving a recital and then announcing that one has openings in one's studio at the present moment).
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#1421383 - 04/21/10 02:58 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Monica K.]
farnorth Offline
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Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 5
Loc: North of Wa.,West of Canada
So I was in a piano gallery last week playing some pianos. The owner and I had been talking and she knows my teacher. After talking for a while she suggested that I take lessons from one of her teachers in addition to my own teacher, even though she SEEMS to think highly of my teacher(She stated that people do this all the time). Is this poaching?

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#1421389 - 04/21/10 03:06 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: farnorth]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Ask your teacher what s(he) thinks of such an arrangement. smile
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#1421392 - 04/21/10 03:10 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Lollipop Offline
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Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I did a quick Google search of piano teacher policies. This seems to be about standard:

Quote:
Teachers should not solicit as pupils those persons whom you know to be pupils of fellow teachers. However, members of the public have the right to choose their own teachers and, if they wish, transfer from one teacher to another.

When a student of one teacher wishes to transfer to another, it is the responsibility of the new teacher to be satisfied that the pupil has satisfactorily terminated all obligations with the previous teacher. New teachers should therefore ensure that all fees have been paid and any property such as books or audio-visual material returned to the previous teacher and that there is no professional reason why that pupil should not be taken on.


This is from the ISM website, "the UK’s professional body for musicians."
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#1421394 - 04/21/10 03:12 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Monica K.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Poaching would be Teacher A approaching a student individually whom Teacher A knows already to be taking lessons from Teacher B and then suggesting to the student that the student take lessons from Teacher A.
At what point is Teacher A allowed to transgress this rule? When the student's in dire pain? When their career is heading down a chute?
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#1421396 - 04/21/10 03:17 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Lollipop]
Piano*Dad Offline
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That notice recognizes all the common sense issues that can plague this kind of market. You cannot easily legislate good professional behavior, but a code like that at least recognizes the basic forms of behavior that would make this market work smoothly while preserving mobility.
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#1421397 - 04/21/10 03:17 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keyboardklutz]
Lollipop Offline
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Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
As I understand the rules, there is nothing to prohibit teacher A from suggesting to the student that he/she might be better off with teacher C. It is only when your suggestion directly benefits you that it becomes a problem. So by all means, if you see a student struggling for all the wrong reasons, feel free to suggest an alternative, as long as that alternative isn't yourself.
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#1421399 - 04/21/10 03:19 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keyboardklutz]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Poaching would be Teacher A approaching a student individually whom Teacher A knows already to be taking lessons from Teacher B and then suggesting to the student that the student take lessons from Teacher A.
At what point is Teacher A allowed to transgress this rule? When the student's in dire pain? When their career is heading down a chute?


I think it depends on whether Teacher A belongs to a professional organization that contains a set of ethics rules like the ones Lollipop quoted. If so, the answer is "Never." Of course, we could then start a huge philosophical debate about rule-breaking in the service of a greater need, etc., at which point I will be happy to bow out of the debate.
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#1421408 - 04/21/10 03:28 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Monica K.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Of course, we could then start a huge philosophical debate about rule-breaking in the service of a greater need, etc., at which point I will be happy to bow out of the debate.
I thought we had started that debate.
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#1421409 - 04/21/10 03:30 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keyboardklutz]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Poaching would be Teacher A approaching a student individually whom Teacher A knows already to be taking lessons from Teacher B and then suggesting to the student that the student take lessons from Teacher A.
At what point is Teacher A allowed to transgress this rule? When the student's in dire pain? When their career is heading down a chute?


The answer's obvious. Teacher A should send the student to the drop-and-scratch guy in London laugh

j/k

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#1421413 - 04/21/10 03:32 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Phlebas]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Originally Posted By: Phlebas
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Poaching would be Teacher A approaching a student individually whom Teacher A knows already to be taking lessons from Teacher B and then suggesting to the student that the student take lessons from Teacher A.
At what point is Teacher A allowed to transgress this rule? When the student's in dire pain? When their career is heading down a chute?


The answer's obvious. Teacher A should send the student to the drop-and-scratch guy in London laugh

j/k

I'm not catching this. How is this helpful?

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#1421414 - 04/21/10 03:35 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keystring]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Phlebas
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Poaching would be Teacher A approaching a student individually whom Teacher A knows already to be taking lessons from Teacher B and then suggesting to the student that the student take lessons from Teacher A.
At what point is Teacher A allowed to transgress this rule? When the student's in dire pain? When their career is heading down a chute?


The answer's obvious. Teacher A should send the student to the drop-and-scratch guy in London laugh

j/k

I'm not catching this. How is this helpful?


???????

Just a joke - as indicated with the smiley, and the j/k. I like KbK.

However, the real answer is basic business ethics. You don't suggest a teacher is bad/doing harm/etc in a way that directly benefits you. You should suggest that maybe the student would benefit from a different teacher. Even then, you need to be careful because it's a small world.


Edited by Phlebas (04/21/10 03:39 PM)

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#1421419 - 04/21/10 03:44 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Phlebas]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Phlebas
Even then, you need to be careful because it's a small world.


Yes! That is very true in the piano community. I am very careful with what I say. Before I send out any e-mails to other teachers or parents, I have to read them twice before hitting SEND. You never know when your words will come back to bite you.
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#1421420 - 04/21/10 03:45 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Phlebas]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
grin grin from the drop and scratch guy in London.
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#1421422 - 04/21/10 03:49 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keyboardklutz]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Of course, we could then start a huge philosophical debate about rule-breaking in the service of a greater need, etc., at which point I will be happy to bow out of the debate.
I thought we had started that debate.


We had. But that was before I realized what a quagmire it was once you start tossing rules around. laugh
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#1421426 - 04/21/10 03:56 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Monica K.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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There should be a sticky - To Poach or Not To Poach.
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#1421468 - 04/21/10 04:59 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keyboardklutz]
Biff Baxter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 47
Loc: California
John v.d.Brook,

“We've had an ongoing problem with teachers from the former Eastern Block nations trying to "steal" students. I chalk it up to a difference in ethical standards and backgrounds; I'm sure they don't realize how totally offensive it is.”

Wow. How totally offensive is that. And I would bet you consider yourself cultured and sophisticated. What extreme irony.

Biff


Edited by Biff Baxter (04/21/10 05:02 PM)
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#1421473 - 04/21/10 05:06 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Biff Baxter]
Biff Baxter Offline
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Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 47
Loc: California
Dark Dragon,

After reading your comments, it seems abundantly clear that some therapy is in order. Do yourself a favor. Life is short.

Biff
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#1421481 - 04/21/10 05:21 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Biff Baxter]
janiveer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/09
Posts: 10
DarkDragon, Since the student, their parents and this other teacher don't have a problem with this kind of multi-teacher relationship,why should they be expected to modify their choices to suit you,or some music teachers Association?
Instead of damning others for some ethical breach and expecting them to change their choices, why don't you simply arrange your student relationships,exclusive or not,wrong or right,by your own judgement and they can do the same. Isn't that enough?


Edited by janiveer (04/21/10 05:27 PM)

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#1421483 - 04/21/10 05:27 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon
I still have a few pages to read, but your's I will respond to first.
Tell you what. I'll make a move on your students without letting you know, and ultimately I will steal them off you because you will let them go without defending yourself in any way. It's all about the students right? I won't contact you and when "your" student comes to your lesson, he/she will be showing you things that I have taught her.


If my students feel they have something to learn from you, they are welcome to seek you out. I would consider it my duty to allow them to seek advice wherever they wish. I am an advisor, not a commander. I think the definition offered- where a teacher specifically goes out of their way to obtain students from another does make sense, although I wouldn't be hugely troubled. I am comfortable that my students feel they have something to learn from me. Anyway, do you have a jot of evidence that this occurred? It sounds to me like someone else recommended this teacher from "Poland" (not quite sure why you used quotation marks for that word).


Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon
Why can't I vent and be angry? Is this not the place for me to vent and be angry? If I can't share my frustration with fellow teachers online, then (referring back to my festival argument) why would I even want to have this issues with teachers face to face? Is this not the place for me to deal with things in a mature and immature way so that when I speak to the father, I will have thought long and hard about what I'm going to say about this matter.



You are welcome to feel hurt and say so. However, if you think I'm going to hold your hand while you vent your rage so appallingly xenophobically, then forget it. Your posts contain vastly more unprofessionalism than they suggest of the teacher who you are making your scapegoat. If you want to avoid such feelings in the future, I'd advise you to consider what I said about who is the master and who is the servant. Remember how teaching actually works. If you accept what it is, you have a far easier time than if you treat it as your chance to wield power. If that's how you treat it, you're in for a major disappointment when circumstances (inevitably) serve to remind you that it doesn't all revolve around you.

"I only said I didn't have time at the start of the lesson yesterday. This intrusion on my students progress came BEFORE I was notified of anything. Am I not allowed to have a single night to think about the situation before saying something?"

By all means feel aggrieved by the parents actions. You would have my sympathy. However, if your response it to make scarcely veiled slurs about ethnicity and to have a go at another teacher who you evidently know little about then you lose my respect at once.If you want to vent rage in a totally unprofessional manner, I don't see what makes you think this forum is the place. God forbid that the average student should stumble across such a post and think that this is how teachers behave. Do these people know how openly you judge people based on their country of origin? I'm amazed they stuck with you for so long. If you want support during the more difficult moments, then act with dignity. Such situations are part and parcel of teaching. If you deal with them by going on a rant about having your power challenged and by casting stones left, right and centre, they are not going to become any easier.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (04/21/10 05:34 PM)
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#1421487 - 04/21/10 05:32 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: janiveer]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Wow some people are making it seem like I don't care about the student at all and that I'm just looking out for #1, me smile lol
Am I some slave to society that gets paid to teach a lesson and then is tossed away with no regard all in the interest of the student? The reason all my clients pay in full, in advance is because they are using my services for the long term. I am not just the teacher during the lesson. I am the teacher all the time and my student has access to me all the time (you know what I mean lol). It definitely is not all about what the client thinks is best for their daughter, because they don't really know enough about music to make that decision. That is what we are for. We educated the students and parents so that they can make informed decisions. When my client is referred by a non-musician to take lessons from some teacher who will be clearly interfering with my work, that is a big deal. The parents need to know that I'm going to have an issue when my work with a student is essentially being compromised by a third party.

On a mini side note...

I saw my old student today at my school. Just for fun, she decided to play me a song her new teacher taught her. Did I correct her, teach her something different, modify anything for the better of the student??? Not my place. She has a teacher, as my student has me.

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#1421489 - 04/21/10 05:35 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Biff Baxter]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Biff Baxter
John v.d.Brook,

“We've had an ongoing problem with teachers from the former Eastern Block nations trying to "steal" students. I chalk it up to a difference in ethical standards and backgrounds; I'm sure they don't realize how totally offensive it is.”

Wow. How totally offensive is that. And I would bet you consider yourself cultured and sophisticated. What extreme irony.

Biff


Are you saying we don't have an ongoing problem with former Eastern Block teachers attempting to steal our students? If so, may I ask how you arrived at that conclusion?

Or are you saying that they are not doing so because of differences in ethical standards and backgrounds but some other reason? Could you share with us what those reasons might be?

Thank you.
_________________________
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#1421494 - 04/21/10 05:40 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
I think the problem for me is that concern for the child's development did not exactly come across as number one priority- judging from the tone of your posts.

eg. "Teachers who thinks its ok to undermine me and do supplementary lessons with my student without my prior knowledge..."

It sounded far more to me like the challenge to your authority was the number one issue. If this does stem out of sincere concern for the student (rather than your own insecurities) you need to think long and hard about how you're going to convey that to the parents. When a teacher considers the idea of a student having a lesson from another teacher to be a case of undermining them, I'm wondering why the teacher is so scared of being undermined. If another teacher suggested something different, I would either show them a valid reason why my alternative is better or I would just say fine. I would not feel challenged at all by alternate ideas.

The problems come in when the student has an alternative and you want them to do it your way- but you can't give any good reason as to why. At that point, you either start thinking about alternative possibilities and expand your understanding, or you stamp your foot and declare that nobody else must interfere with your authority. Maybe that's the case here, maybe it isn't. But this always springs to mind when a teacher is protective about interference. I usually wonder whether the kind of 'interference' that the student must be 'protected' from is better ideas.
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#1421505 - 04/21/10 05:51 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Biff Baxter]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
The teacher who posted this topic probably will never be able to forget the "sin" of the father who took his child to a new teacher without telling the teacher of his plans. After 3 years with a teacher, the father is either satisfied with the teacher or he isn't and is testing the waters with another teacher. For whatever reason he has, the father and the child, have already taken steps to leave.

That the new teacher speaks the same native language and lives close to them and has done a good job so far in working with a transfer student is beneficial to the new teacher and the family. The only thing to verify at this point is to compare costs and to project future plans in the student's education.

With the present teacher holding onto one arm and the new teacher standing in the wings, it's likely the student is going to feel juggled about in the wings before the distress is over.

What does the student want to do? If father, mother, student can discuss among themselves what they have received from the first teacher, where that is going in the future, and then to consider, is it time for a change and is this 2nd teacher the ideal candidate as the next teacher.

No one "owns" a student, but we often "invest" a lot in our students and we are disappointed when a student leaves before we feel it's time. If we want to avoid abrupt or hostile departures from our students leaving with little to no notice, we must be communicating with the parents and the students at all times about what is good and what is an issue in our relationships.

It's one thing as a business person and a piano teacher to speak, think, behave so that problems can be avoided in the first place, or best, handled to a mutually respectable conclusion that is best for the student's needs.

It's already too late, I think. It's just that the barn door has not been shut yet. Why someone would "dangle" between two teachers is not clear to me. It's costly financially to do that and it could work out that neither teacher will be interested in the father and student.

Wherever there are happy people participating in music lessons, and a good fit between giving and receiving good instruction, and good communication skills, this kind of thing is not the least bit likely to happen.

As far as teachers actually "stealing" students, it's been known to happen. Clients of such teachers should be aware that that is a "clue" as to what they will be purchasing. A piano teacher with proven reputation and integrity is going to be the best choice. These teachers usually associate with others like themselves who have the same kinds of interests in competitions, festivals, student events, and they work toward the best outcome for all within their peer groups. Teacher associations exemplify the cooperativeness and intentions of giving piano education to students in a professional and ethical forum of similarly minded musicians and teachers. Ethics are important.

Some clients may have not met that best teacher yet as it's hard to search through the chaff of what is being offered as piano lessons in our world.

"Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student" emphasizes what is wrong and unnecessary in the guize of established music education. There are a whole lot of "mavericks" out there. Caveat emptor.

Betty Patnude

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#1421513 - 04/21/10 06:04 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
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Loc: Canada
Dark Dragon, I'd like to reiterate what I suggested before.

This is an opportunity. You would like the lessons to be longer, and for the student to practice more, because this is needed for her progress. Seeing a second teacher is similar to having longer lessons, and signals that the father is seeing a need for more. So you use that. Explain the need for consistent lessons in one style by one teacher, and that instead of working with a second teacher, it's more effective to work longer with the first teacher, and make changes in practising. Link this to the father's goals for his daughter's progress. In a sense you are on the same page.

What are the little girl's goals?

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#1421514 - 04/21/10 06:05 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Are you saying we don't have an ongoing problem with former Eastern Block teachers attempting to steal our students? If so, may I ask how you arrived at that conclusion?

Or are you saying that they are not doing so because of differences in ethical standards and backgrounds but some other reason? Could you share with us what those reasons might be?

Thank you.


You cannot 'steal' students because they are not any person's property. I'm not aware of any basis for believing them to be so- be it ethical or legal. Sure, mafia-style organisations may try to dictate synthetic, self-protecting guidelines and try to enforce them on people. But there is no more "ethical" reason why a person cannot tout for business as a piano teacher than as a doctor or personal trainer. Theft does not come into this.

The only issue is a personal one. You would not seek to to take business off a personal acquaintance- just as you would not set up a rival burger bar in the same street as one that is run by your best friend. If someone tells me they learn piano with a teacher I don't know, I'm not going to say "I bet your teacher is rubbish". However, neither am I going make a secret of the fact that I am a teacher, through fear of breaking an imagined ethical boundary- should they go on to ask for a lesson.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1421519 - 04/21/10 06:08 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Biff Baxter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 47
Loc: California
John v.d.Brook,

"Are you saying we don't have an ongoing problem with former Eastern Block teachers attempting to steal our students? If so, may I ask how you arrived at that conclusion?

Or are you saying that they are not doing so because of differences in ethical standards and backgrounds but some other reason? Could you share with us what those reasons might be?"


I am saying that characterizing Eastern block teachers as a group that is attempting to steal or is attempting to steal more than another group is patently offensive. I am saying that suggesting they have ethical standards that are accepting of stealing is seriously offensive. I am saying that you personally are unevolved, unsophisticated, severely limited and offensive. I am saying that living a life that has been centered around a piano has given you a distorted perspective of yourself as somehow more than Neanderthal.

I hope I have been clear. I have been told that people with the name of van der Brook are part of a group that are slow to learn, unable to learn or only capable of learning the most base concepts not related to the piano.

Biff
_________________________
Bloviator of Platitudes
Casio CDP-100

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#1421535 - 04/21/10 06:30 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Biff Baxter]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Biff Baxter
I am saying that characterizing Eastern block teachers as a group that is attempting to steal or is attempting to steal more than another group is patently offensive. I am saying that suggesting they have ethical standards that are accepting of stealing is seriously offensive. I am saying that you personally are unevolved, unsophisticated, severely limited and offensive. I am saying that living a life that has been centered around a piano has given you a distorted perspective of yourself as somehow more than Neanderthal.

I hope I have been clear. I have been told that people with the name of van der Brook are part of a group that are slow to learn, unable to learn or only capable of learning the most base concepts not related to the piano.

Biff


Well, Biff, you're entitled to your opinion. Teaching in Germany as I was after the Wall came down, and the flood of unemployed musicians came in from the East, looking to earn a living anyway possible, I heard over and over again from my German colleagues about problems they were having.

Moving here to Olympia, I heard similar stories. Then I had an encounter with a teacher who actually cruised student recitals, trying to recruit students. In your world, that may be ethical behavior. In mine, it is not.
_________________________
"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

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#1421541 - 04/21/10 06:36 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
One question- Had he been black, would you have made the same generalisation about black teacher? Going specifically to a recital to tout for business would go beyond my personal yardstick, but it's not reasonable to judge a mass of people based on the geographical background of one particular person who behaved in a certain way.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1421566 - 04/21/10 07:01 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Biff Baxter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 47
Loc: California
John v.d.Brook,

Hmmm. So while you were living in Germany you found some Germans that were having a problem with other Europeans. I can't quite put my finger on it but that somehow sounds familiar.

Biff


Edited by Biff Baxter (04/21/10 07:02 PM)
_________________________
Bloviator of Platitudes
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#1421571 - 04/21/10 07:05 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10406
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Look, I don't like cheap shots at 'Poland' (in quotes, even). Heck, my wife is Polish! But I'm also detecting the PC police out in force. Biff, your comments to John are ad hominem in the extreme. In my book they are moderator bait.

Groups can have characteristics. A flood of people moving into new circumstances can indeed cause some turmoil if the behavioral norms of the two groups differ. I don't know the facts here, but John does indeed have personal experience of behavior that most of us 'Americans' would find over the line. Cruising the recitals of other teachers would qualify, in my book. I would not blithely categorize all eastern Europeans as unethical poachers because of this, but I would be prepared to believe that it might (accent on might) be a more frequent approach in a new group moving into new territory. To say that this is simply impossible smacks of political ideology more than anything else.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1421580 - 04/21/10 07:17 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
How many people from this group of people have been known to cruise recitals for this purpose? Considering it said 'a teacher' I'm guessing the answer is one. Hardly a basis for such a sweeping generalisation. Some trends are indeed born out by statistics. But one recorded instance is hardly much of a pool of data. Are we going to make the same generalisations about others who are also male, those who have similar dress sense and those who have the same penis length as the particular offender?
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1421582 - 04/21/10 07:19 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Biff Baxter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 47
Loc: California
Piano*Dad,

John v.d.Brook said that Eastern Europeans have lower ethical standards and backgrounds that are relatively OK with stealing. Give me a break. I'm not remotely PC.

My subsequent attacks on him were absolutely personal. He is ******* offensive.

That's an IQ test. What's more offensive? Me insinuating swearing or him defaming Eastern Europeans?

Biff


Edited by Ken Knapp (04/21/10 07:42 PM)
Edit Reason: remove reference to vulgarity.
_________________________
Bloviator of Platitudes
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#1421585 - 04/21/10 07:23 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Biff, your comments to John are ad hominem in the extreme. In my book they are moderator bait.

+1. And I'm not going to apologize this time. I have seen enough. What happens to respectful disagreements? I admire John for taking the bullet and yet remain calm and collected; not bring himself down to your degrading, name calling level.
_________________________
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#1421587 - 04/21/10 07:27 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nguyen]
Ken Knapp Online   content



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2278
Loc: Pennsylvania
Biff,

Back off. You are putting words in John's mouth.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

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#1421588 - 04/21/10 07:29 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nguyen]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Momentary teaching break -

Biff, if you reread my post, you'll note I said different, not lower. Those are your words, not mine.
_________________________
"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

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#1421591 - 04/21/10 07:31 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Biff Baxter]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Swearing in public, even vobally isn't civil, much less written. Now I know who's offensive to this entire thread if not the whole teacher forum.
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1421592 - 04/21/10 07:33 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
"Different" enough to accomodate stealing? I don't think that's a much less weighty slur against Eastern Europeans. Perhaps a "different" slur, rather than a lesser one?
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1421595 - 04/21/10 07:38 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nguyen]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Dark Dragon,
You were smart to wait before reacting impulsively. It's better to avoid burning bridges when we can. I had a previous teacher who was very angry when I transferred to a new one and impulsively said very negative things about my new teacher. However, circumstances came up in such a way that it would not be in his best interests to alienate her. He called my parents to ask them not to reveal anything he had said about her and to mend bridges if we had. Luckily for him, we are not the gossiping type and nothing had been said. Since you have a good rapport with your student, it may be possible to keep her if you handle the situation correctly.

Perhaps you can start by addressing some reasonable concerns with the parent (e.g. I don't want to confuse her having her hear conflicting methods because every teacher has an individual way of teaching piano) and asking whether you could have the new teacher's contact information. It's within your rights to refuse to teach the student if they don't comply, but you don't own the student and you cannot force her to take lessons exclusively from you. Her dad may well choose the other teacher. In that case, cut your losses and move on.

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#1421598 - 04/21/10 07:39 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: keystring]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Indeed. How would all the male teachers in this group feel if they were put out of work, as a result of the fact that virtually all paedophiles are male? That's certainly easy to prove with statistics. So, would you like to be judged by such a generalisation about male teachers being overwhelmingly more likely to be paedophiles than any female alternatives (probably at least 100 to 1000 times more so. Hell, I'm actually just guessing, but this is a generalisation- so who cares about something as unimportant as accuracy!)? If not, I certainly don't see any place for judging Eastern Europeans on equivalent generalisations or speculating along the lines of "yeah, if he's one of them Polish lot then I bet he approached the Dad to nick your student- after all that's what them lot do". I didn't exaggerate that vastly beyond the original comment...
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#1421599 - 04/21/10 07:40 PM Re: Teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Ken Knapp Online   content



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2278
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
"Different" enough to accomodate stealing? I don't think that's a much less weighty slur against Eastern Europeans. Perhaps a "different" slur, rather than a lesser one?


"Different" in that they do not view it as stealing. It may be the way they naturally do business and would think nothing of someone else doing it to them.

But in our culture we view it as stealing. I would venture a guess that if they saw it through our eyes they would not engage in the practice.

You say potAto and I say potAHto. laugh

Ken
_________________________
Ken

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#1421604 - 04/21/10 07:47 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: Ken Knapp]
janiveer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/09
Posts: 10


"But in our culture we view it as stealing."


Then if it really is "stealing" why not demand police protection? -the word "Stealing" has an actual meaning.No one is describing anything that fits that meaning being perpetrated.


Edited by janiveer (04/21/10 07:51 PM)

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#1421607 - 04/21/10 07:53 PM Re: Polish teacher trying to get a piece of my student [Re: janiveer]
Ken Knapp Online   content



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2278
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: janiveer
Originally Posted By: Ken Knapp
[quote=Nyiregyhazi]"Different" enough to accomodate stealing? I don't think that's a much less weighty slur against Eastern Europeans. Perhaps a "different" slur, rather than a lesser one?


"Different" in that they do not view it as stealing. It may be the way they naturally do business and would think nothing of someone else doing it to them.

But in our culture we view it as stealing. I would venture a guess that if they saw it through our eyes they would not engage in the practice.


"But in our culture we view it as stealing."


Then if it really is "stealing" why not demand police protection? -Stealing has an actual meaning.No one is describing anything that fits that meaning.


Because you and I both know that there is a difference between ethics and criminal acts.

You know. we can debate all night on what someone's definition of is is. We can mince words until they are mush.

But we're not going to. This topic is closed.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
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