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#1420461 - 04/20/10 07:00 AM Re: Persuading parents [Re: elfenbein]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10726
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: elfenbein
In defense of Juliet et al., I don't think anyone was *blaming* their parents. I think it was simply an acknowledgment that there wasn't enough support. My mother made sure I had a good piano and an excellent teacher (whose tuition was almost more than she could afford) but when I excitedly asked her after a recital what she thought of my Bach Italian Concerto, even she managed to say, "well, you know ... that's not really my style of music ..." I was crushed. She wasn't terribly diplomatic ...

Saying "this is how it was and I wish it had been different" is not the same as *blaming* one's parents.

Yes, I see how you could think we were blaming Juliet, in some sense. I won't speak for anyone else, but for my part I apologize if I left that impression. Actually, that wasn't my point. People are complex, and so is life. You cannot encapsulate it in one three paragraph post on an internet forum. Juliet's post struck a chord in a number of us. It was merely a starting point for our own walk down memory lane. I suspect Juliet and others would have much more to say about their early lives if offered a book length space.

Again, for my part, I was just ruminating on my own early experience in light of what Jeff mentioned. In my case, getting older (and watching one's own kids change and develop) offered some new windows on my own early experiences.

And since I too could have written much more (but spared you the excess prose), the fact that I can no longer talk to my parents does not mean I was never able to communicate to them my appreciation and my understanding. I was in my forties when they passed.

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#1420717 - 04/20/10 05:10 PM Re: Persuading parents [Re: Nguyen]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Nguyen

For those parents without musical background or interests, I guess there aren’t much teachers can do. I do think they value music somewhat because their kids are having lessons.

Educating parents is a good point but I don’t think it should be a teacher’s burden. If parents are interested, they would find ways to educate themselves already. What do to? I hope we will do our best to inspire musical love & passion. Who knows, you might end up with a few great first generation musicians. smile

I disagree...if you accept a student I would consider it part of the territory to try to assess the parent's understanding of what piano lessons involve and at least *offer* them basic information. Who else is better positioned to educate the parents along with the child?

I don't know any sports coaches who would shrug their shoulders and say, "well if parents don't understand what we need from them I guess we're just stuck, it's not our job to tell them"...

In my case, at least, my mom (my dad wasn't very involved in the decision making about lessons and piano) didn't *realize* how misinformed she was. And, as surprising as it is in this age of technology, there are a lot of people out there who would not think of jumping on the internet to research things like "how to be a parent of a piano student".

Not just parents, either. I don't think it's any big coincidence that, literally, *the day* I explained to my husband why a digital piano could not give the fine gradations of response that an acoustic piano could (he asked me why I didn't like practicing at home), we bought an acoustic piano. I wasn't lobbying either. It was a simple explanation.
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

#1421068 - 04/21/10 04:53 AM Re: Persuading parents [Re: ProdigalPianist]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6509
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ProdigalPianist
Not just parents, either. I don't think it's any big coincidence that, literally, *the day* I explained to my husband why a digital piano could not give the fine gradations of response that an acoustic piano could (he asked me why I didn't like practicing at home), we bought an acoustic piano. I wasn't lobbying either. It was a simple explanation.

You're lucky that your husband is so understanding!

I just wasted another 10 minutes today on the phone with a parent of my student. I helped her pick out a piano about a year and a half ago, but I did tell her at that time that this piano--while a GREAT bargain--needs more prepping from a tech to realize its full potential.

I've been reminding this parent to call my tech for the past 17 months. Then she said she'll settle for a tuning. I asked her how many times has the piano been tuned since it got to her house. Once. I almost had a heart attack.

It's like, I've already upgraded the piano, what else do you want??
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#1423288 - 04/24/10 11:58 AM Re: Persuading parents [Re: landorrano]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4461
LOL I have a bit of different view on a few things

1) Get a better piano.
1a) Get your piano serviced by a technician!!
1b) When's the last time you got your piano tuned?

Suggest the parents that the instrument is holding back his progress. Not much more you can do. Maybe they don't have the money for it.

2) Stop changing lesson times to suit the kid's other activities.

Just put a limit on the changing time, e.g. at least 24 hours in advance. Charge the full lesson if they try to change later.

3) 30-minute lessons are for beginners, not kids who are playing sonatas.

You do not have to bring it this way. Just state why 30 minutes would not work for you.

4) Do kids in second grade really need five extracurricular activities?

This is entirely NOT your business. But you CAN demand them to do practicing. Well of course you then risk that they take another teacher but this is up to you.

5) Does it take three weeks to get a freakin' book?

As above. Maybe ask them to phone when they have got the book and then make an appointment for a lesson? And is this freakin' book so damn important?

6) Show up on time! I really hate giving 54-minute lessons.
Yes it is not polite to be late but there might be other factors playing here (traffic jams? delays in public transport?).

Generally, why are you so troubled by having less time for the lesson?

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