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#1474226 - 07/14/10 02:51 PM Passing students on to the next teacher
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
My first early beginner is now moving on to his next piano teacher. He started when he was almost 5. Now he's almost 7. He has made it to Level 2A of Piano Adventures. The parent wants him to study with his best friend, and to have more motivation, more competition. Also my fees are more in line with the going rate...taking effect next month...so lessons are not the bargain for parents that they were 2 years ago (when he started lessons with me).

I understand his need to move on. Still, I feel sad. We had plans to enter festival and a competition this coming year, but I can see how the parent prefers a teacher experienced in this.

I would love to know who the new teacher is, but not sure whether it is appropriate to ask.

This is my first child to transfer. I am only prepared to take kids through early intermediate anyway. So either I will know it's time for them to transfer, or as in this case, the parent knows. It had to happen sooner or later, it was just sooner than I thought it would be.

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#1474240 - 07/14/10 03:12 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I am only prepared to take kids through early intermediate anyway.


Why don't you take more piano lessons or go back to school to get another degree? Then, you will be more prepared to take students to a higher level. And you will attract more students and keep students longer. smile

Personally, I cannot imagine taking students to the early intermediate level and then losing them. That's probably the hardest work, taking students to that intermediate level. After that, it's pretty much smooth sailing (of course, you'd start competing against other non-piano factors).
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1474288 - 07/14/10 04:11 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: AZNpiano]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
I have two students who will be at Level 4 this year. One is an adult, the other an older beginner...neither interested in competing. It's a good way for me to get experience teaching at this level. So over time I will get experience teaching through intermediate. For now, I am learning so much by teaching and improving my sight reading and getting more familiar with intermediate repertoire. That's how I'm preparing.I would be happy to see kids move on to their next teacher at some point in intermediate literature, but Level 2 was an unpleasant surprise.

I don't think a degree was the issue with this parent. He told me his child would only have lessons through 5th grade and he wanted him to "accomplish something". He needed someone he felt would push his child onward. I worked steadily, and patiently with his son, and I think he saw me as being too soft. I also have a nearly full studio, with a new student starting tomorrow. So I need to be confident that one parent leaving doesn't mean everyone else will. But over time I will see if I measure up to parents expectations. I've just started my 4th year of teaching...and it could all dry up tomorrow. But probably won't.

I'm trying to return to gratitude. Half of my studio has come to me through this parent's referrals, and then referrals from the new ones etc. This parent's desire to start his son in lessons at age 4 and 8 months gave me the opportunity to get experience teaching young beginners. It's been a lot of work to get this 6 year old to level 2. I just need to remind myself that I've done a good job. And it is OK for me to no longer be a good match for what this family wants.

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#1474338 - 07/14/10 05:32 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I would certainly encourage you to ask who's the new teacher.

Several reasons. You'll be wanting to pass other students along in the future, so you want to know how students do with this teacher.

Secondly, if your ego can handle it, I would contact the teacher and ask for feedback and evaluation on problems and pluses she finds and ask if she has any recommendations for you as a teacher of the very young beginner.

I'm curious, has the new teacher contacted you yet? This is an accepted courtesy observed by most quality teachers.
_________________________
"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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#1474358 - 07/14/10 06:04 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10406
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
Secondly, if your ego can handle it, I would contact the teacher and ask for feedback and evaluation on problems and pluses she finds and ask if she has any recommendations for you as a teacher of the very young beginner.


That's a very interesting suggestion. I like it.
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#1474399 - 07/14/10 07:15 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I would certainly encourage you to ask who's the new teacher.

Several reasons. You'll be wanting to pass other students along in the future, so you want to know how students do with this teacher.

Secondly, if your ego can handle it, I would contact the teacher and ask for feedback and evaluation on problems and pluses she finds and ask if she has any recommendations for you as a teacher of the very young beginner.

I'm curious, has the new teacher contacted you yet? This is an accepted courtesy observed by most quality teachers.


John, when you mention it being an accepted courtesy for the new teacher to contact the former one, are you specifically talking about a situation where the student has advanced and is moving on to a teacher who can work with him at this level?
I ask this because there are, of course, times when students change teachers for a variety of reasons. Case in point: I recently lost a student to another teacher. He was with me for one year, and had been with other teachers before me. The parent told me that she "changes teachers annually for her children" but doesn't tell teachers this till their year is over.
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Piano Teacher

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#1474415 - 07/14/10 07:42 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook

I'm curious, has the new teacher contacted you yet? This is an accepted courtesy observed by most quality teachers.
In all my years of teaching I've never had a teacher contact me in this circumstance, and I've had transfer students who don't want to tell me who their old teacher was (so I've been unable to extend this courtesy!).

I have had circumstances where I've helped arrange the new teacher, and this certainly allows for very easy communication all round....
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
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#1474417 - 07/14/10 07:47 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Barb860]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yes, I'm talking about any time a student changes teachers. The new teacher ought to be curious enough to learn about the student's background.

Within a community, especially. You wouldn't expect it if the student moves out of town.

I know at least 30 of our local/area teachers and at least a dozen more by reputation, even though I haven't met them. I would certainly contact them as a courtesy, in case the parents "forgot" to mention junior was leaving, and to learn what success the teacher had and potential problem areas which I need to flag and be prepared to work/help the student.

I wish Betty were still actively posting - she could help me out here, but I'm fairly certain this is in the code of ethics for MTNA members.

And not to intentionally resurrect the "student stealing" discussion we had earlier this year, but there are teachers out there who do actively solicit students, using any number of, shall we say, less than ethical methods, and then feign ignorance if you contact them and ask about it.
_________________________
"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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#1474421 - 07/14/10 07:57 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Barb860]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2419
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Barb860
The parent told me that she "changes teachers annually for her children" but doesn't tell teachers this till their year is over.


Presumably this parent doesn't care too much about the musical education their children get - makes you wonder why they bother in the first place!!
_________________________
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  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#1474425 - 07/14/10 08:10 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Yes, I'm talking about any time a student changes teachers. The new teacher ought to be curious enough to learn about the student's background.

Within a community, especially. You wouldn't expect it if the student moves out of town.

I know at least 30 of our local/area teachers and at least a dozen more by reputation, even though I haven't met them. I would certainly contact them as a courtesy, in case the parents "forgot" to mention junior was leaving, and to learn what success the teacher had and potential problem areas which I need to flag and be prepared to work/help the student.

I wish Betty were still actively posting - she could help me out here, but I'm fairly certain this is in the code of ethics for MTNA members.

And not to intentionally resurrect the "student stealing" discussion we had earlier this year, but there are teachers out there who do actively solicit students, using any number of, shall we say, less than ethical methods, and then feign ignorance if you contact them and ask about it.

This is the first I've heard of it. It is not common practice in this area, even if it is something we should do. No teacher has ever contacted me except when one was leaving town and she wanted to recommend a few students to me. She asked me about my teaching style and felt comfortable sending them my way. This was 3 years ago, and they're still with me smile. Other than that one instance, if a student has left my studio and studied with another teacher, I have never gotten a call from that teacher, even if it was someone I knew rather well.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1474442 - 07/14/10 08:47 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I would certainly encourage you to ask who's the new teacher.

Several reasons. You'll be wanting to pass other students along in the future, so you want to know how students do with this teacher.

Secondly, if your ego can handle it, I would contact the teacher and ask for feedback and evaluation on problems and pluses she finds and ask if she has any recommendations for you as a teacher of the very young beginner.

I'm curious, has the new teacher contacted you yet? This is an accepted courtesy observed by most quality teachers.


Thanks John. I will ask who the new teacher is. And yes I am very much interested in any feedback I may receive. I received my month's notice today. (I'll continue teaching this child through mid-August.) And the new teacher has not contacted me yet.

I looked over my e-mail notice again...having gone through feelings of insecurity. And I notice the parent told me "We will continue to refer you to other families we know."

The new child who started lessons today was referred to me by the family leaving. I felt odd when they told me...wondering if they would leave when they find out their friend is leaving. Then I got some perspective. The child leaving has surpassed his age mates, and will do better in the new situation where he will try to "catch up" with his friends. The new beginners have plenty of age mates at their level.

As I taught the new child today, it occurred to me that he, too, may only stay for primer and level 1. I hope it's not that short. But I need to enjoy the process, and keep some emotional distance. I care a great deal for the kids I teach, especially the one leaving who as I said was my first young beginner. But in reality, they won't remember me and I will go largely unappreciated. It's the way it goes I guess.

Well, if I'm laughing at times, and crying at times...just means I am alive. Can't go around trying to protect myself from emotional pain. But I'll have a second glass of wine anyway.

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#1474473 - 07/14/10 09:40 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Good for you, Ann. Just to amplify a bit on the teacher to teacher contact:

From MTNA's statement on teacher ethics:

COMMITMENT TO COLLEAGUES—The teacher shall maintain a professional attitude and shall act with integrity in regard to colleagues in the profession.

* The teacher shall respect the reputation of colleagues and shall refrain from making false or malicious statements about colleagues.
* The teacher shall refrain from disclosing sensitive information about colleagues obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.
* The teacher shall respect the integrity of other teachers’ studios and shall not actively recruit students from another studio.
* The teacher shall participate in the student’s change of teachers with as much communication as possible between parties, while being sensitive to the privacy rights of the student and families.

There's a lot of latitude here, but I like to err on the side of being helpful to all concerned.


Edited by John v.d.Brook (07/14/10 09:41 PM)
Edit Reason: Add paragraph.
_________________________
"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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#1474503 - 07/14/10 10:49 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Thanks for the info, John. Like I said, I have never been contacted by another teacher, even MTNA members, except for that one time. I know of only two students (siblings) who transferred to another teacher, and she never called me to talk about them at all. It would seem that it is a good practice, but not very much enforced around here.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1474535 - 07/15/10 12:05 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Morodiene]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 855
Well, Ann, I'll drink that wine with you. I think you may have dodged a bullet though. If the parent has already decided that his son will quit at a specific grade, he is a bit strange to begin with. I doubt your rate had much to do with it, because the next teacher will probably charge him more. It is very difficult to explain to parents that you have accomplished a lot with a child in the first year or two. There are so many things you teach them, including manners, focusing on your instructions, etc..

I think you did the best you could.

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#1474696 - 07/15/10 08:20 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Candywoman]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Thanks John. I've written down the highlighted section. It will give me confidence in asking to know who the new teacher is.

Candywoman, thanks for the spirit of joining me in drinking a glass of wine! Yes, to have a child's life planned out like that is odd and it leaves no room for a child's input. Thanks for your support.

About the rate change, this parent was the main one I was concerned about ahead of time. And the month notice was sent as a reply to the message about the rate change...the topic in the heading was still "upcoming rate change". But I have no regrets about the increase. Plus this child missed the spring recital and this summer has been arriving late for lessons. These were clues that my service was not as valued as it used to be. But strange how this parent has still been referring friends to me. Mixed messages.

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#1474722 - 07/15/10 09:29 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Hindsight is 20/20 they say, but once you see enough of the same behavior, you can see it coming when it happens again. Not showing up to recitals and showing up late could very possibly mean that lessons are not that important to the parent. However, they may refer you because they like how you teach and the child likes you. I think that they have been a blessing to you for referring all those students, and now it's best for them to move on. Don't take it personally, as often these things have little to do with you. In fact, I'm pretty sure they hung on this long because of how they liked you. I'm also sure that the increase of tuition was only a convenient excuse to bow out of lessons without hurting feelings.

Sometimes you can never really know what it is that causes someone to move on, but you can't think that it's always because you did something wrong, either. You only see the child 30 minutes or 45 minutes a week. They have the rest of the week to live their lives.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1474897 - 07/15/10 02:18 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Morodiene]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
You're right Morodiene. They have been a blessing to me, and now it's best for them to move on. Your statement "Don't take it personally, as often these things have little to do with you" is helpful. That will be my mantra for a few days or however long it takes. It's not about me.

This is about a parent wanting his child to have the motivation that comes from competing with a friend. This child had a friend to compete with, but ended up outpacing him (friend's parents have had 2 babies since they enrolled...no one requiring practice at home). The father said his child's "best friend" takes lessons from the new teacher...and is ahead...will challenge his son. So that is not my fault. I did not think this child was bored or unmotivated. But the parent may see it differently. A committed parent doing what he sees as best for his child.

Pitiful how one parent transferring overwhelms my view. Why not look at the child who transferred in (from out of state) whose mother lets me know her son has progressed well with me and "he likes you". I want to be open to learning anything I can about improving what I do...without getting insecure. I think I'll gain confidence this year as I venture out of home piano parties to recitals at a piano dealer and get kids involved with festival. Right now I feel scared over all of it. But I'll move ahead...and it will get easier the more I do it. I did not have anyone to talk all this over with, so thank you to my online acquaintances who have posted.

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#1474978 - 07/15/10 04:19 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1228
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
As I taught the new child today, it occurred to me that he, too, may only stay for primer and level 1. I hope it's not that short. But I need to enjoy the process, and keep some emotional distance. I care a great deal for the kids I teach, especially the one leaving who as I said was my first young beginner. But in reality, they won't remember me and I will go largely unappreciated. It's the way it goes I guess.

Well, if I'm laughing at times, and crying at times...just means I am alive. Can't go around trying to protect myself from emotional pain. But I'll have a second glass of wine anyway.
So bittersweet. But don't think you won't be remembered. As a student, I have to think it would be just the opposite. The teacher will go on to have many, many more students, but the student will have only one first teacher. And how could they ever forget the one who started them off?
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

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#1475026 - 07/15/10 05:27 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: MaryBee]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Amen to that. I still remember more overall from my first teacher than any of the subsequent teachers (not to diminish any of them - they were all great!).
_________________________
"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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#1475034 - 07/15/10 05:44 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Hmmm. It's possible they'll remember me. I've come to a peaceful state of mind about it. I have helped kids to myelinate some neurons and to gain skills in music that they may choose to build on. And that matters. It is enough.

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#1475227 - 07/15/10 11:16 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
My favourite test of successful teaching of brand new beginners: "Are they still doing music - any kind, any instrument, with any persons?". Ann in this case the answer is Yes! so you have succeeded in giving child a love of and engagemnt with music. A good start is very very important.

It is hard to say goodbye isn't it. Glad you're feeling more peaceful.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1475369 - 07/16/10 08:44 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Canonie]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Thank you Canonie for your post. What an encouragement to me this morning as I begin the day with a cup of decaf coffee!

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#1476798 - 07/18/10 11:17 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
It's hard to lose a student, Ann. I had a student for half a year, right when I was starting out, who quit. There were clear attitude problems with this 6th grader, and she clearly did not want to taking piano lessons. I ran into her dad a few weeks ago and he told me that she was now studying with someone else (a popular teacher who I have inherited a few students from as well.). I was just a little taken aback. My reaction, of course was "Oh, I'm so glad she's studying again". But I couldn't help but analyze if it was me, or the time in her life, or what. I didn't spend much time on it, and quickly let it go. But those of us who have not been teaching all that long(I've just finished my 4th year) I think do tend do be a bit insecure about these things.

Carol
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
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Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1476967 - 07/19/10 09:57 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: CarolR]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Thanks for your support Carol. Here's a update: The parent leaving is going to e-mail me contact info for the new teacher. And he said "You are an excellent teacher for beginners...I tell all my friends you are an excellent teacher for beginners". Maybe that will be my niche, but I surely hope to take kids through levels 2 and 3.

Insecurity comes and goes for me. Then I try to imagine how I'll feel after having 3 more years of teaching experience. I'll have a clearer picture of where my strengths (and limits) are, and more confidence.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (07/19/10 09:58 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#1476981 - 07/19/10 10:17 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: CarolR]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: CarolR
My reaction, of course was "Oh, I'm so glad she's studying again". But I couldn't help but analyze if it was me, or the time in her life, or what. I didn't spend much time on it, and quickly let it go.


That's a good attitude to have! Unfortunately, the longer you're in the teaching business, the more you're going to run into these scenarios. I have to keep reminding myslef that, the student comes and goes, and will quit piano eventually within ten years. But you'd have to deal with the same colleagues for much longer than ten years. It's healthier to develop a professional relationship with colleagues than to burn bridges and/or to hold on to grudges, etc.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1477086 - 07/19/10 01:01 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: AZNpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
It is a very wise policy to maintain a professional, positive attitude towards students and families who leave. Parents talk! If you badmouth, word will get around, and you'll wonder what happened.
_________________________
"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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#1477135 - 07/19/10 02:16 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
It is a very wise policy to maintain a professional, positive attitude towards students and families who leave. Parents talk! If you badmouth, word will get around, and you'll wonder what happened.


Yes, parents and students do "talk" indeed. I have had transfer students say negative things to me about previous teachers.(and stuff is probably said about me, too). I think it's important to not get caught up in the negativity. In the case of transfer students, find positive things to say about what their former teachers did with them and go from there.
Ann and Carol, it's still hard for me when students leave and I have been teaching for several years. Call it insecurity, whatever it is, it hurts to lose students unexpectedly and makes us question ourselves. Is questioning ourselves as teachers a bad thing? I don't think so. We are constantly learning and growing.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1477142 - 07/19/10 02:36 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Barb860]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
It is a very wise policy to maintain a professional, positive attitude towards students and families who leave. Parents talk! If you badmouth, word will get around, and you'll wonder what happened.


Yes, parents and students do "talk" indeed. I have had transfer students say negative things to me about previous teachers.(and stuff is probably said about me, too). I think it's important to not get caught up in the negativity. In the case of transfer students, find positive things to say about what their former teachers did with them and go from there.


This also extends to the teachers who are on the receiving end of transfers when it comes to the previous teacher. We know at least two examples of families who have switched teachers where the new teacher has had very uncomplimentary things to say about the previous teacher (not necessarily the person but the results of the teaching). Understandably, there are different teaching styles, performing styles, etc that are likely to be in conflict, but there is a big difference in saying to a new family "my pedaling technique differs from your previous teachers" vs "your previous teacher taught you how to pedal incorrectly". Parents do talk (as teachers also talk about parents/students) and openly disparaging other teachers also doesn't present a teacher in the best light either (though from a practical standpoint, there are definitely a class of parents that are definitely swayed by such talk, esp once things start getting competitive).

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#1477734 - 07/20/10 09:56 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Barb860]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
[/quote]


Ann and Carol, it's still hard for me when students leave and I have been teaching for several years. Call it insecurity, whatever it is, it hurts to lose students unexpectedly and makes us question ourselves. Is questioning ourselves as teachers a bad thing? I don't think so. We are constantly learning and growing. [/quote]

Hi Barb860. It was a surprise to hear that questioning ourselves continues...and that it's not necessarily a bad thing. Makes sense.

Another update: Yesterday I had 3 evening students/parents who are particularly appreciative, and my outlook today is bright. Today I am focused on choosing materials that current students will soon be using...and some that will be new for me to teach which is a lot of fun. So the focus is on students I have. I slept well (instead of being dogged by anxiety)--the enthusiasm I feel over current students is edging out remorse over the one I'm losing. Plus it is so nice to work with kids/parents who are whole heartedly on board with me.

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#1477746 - 07/20/10 10:24 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Overexposed]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Glad to hear that you slept well - that's always a good sign! Keep the focus on the good things you are doing right now with your current students. I hope your week continues to improve smile
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1477921 - 07/20/10 02:49 PM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Canonie]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Thanks Canonie!

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#1478837 - 07/22/10 12:07 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: Canonie]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
Sounds like you are going through a normal process, Ann.

I just found out today that I am losing another student. She was one of my very first students and has done well, but is going into high school and doesn't think she'll have time. I understand her choice. I was doubting whether or not she would find any time at all to practice, so I think teaching her would have been frustrating. I feel like I am starting to feel the 'cycle' of piano teaching - they get pretty good, and they give it up. Start more beginners.

So here's another topic: my studio is pretty much where I want it as far as size, but after having a waiting list for the last 3 years, I have had absolutely NO calls or inquiries in about 6 months! I don't know if it's the economy or what!
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1478843 - 07/22/10 12:23 AM Re: Passing students on to the next teacher [Re: CarolR]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: CarolR
I feel like I am starting to feel the 'cycle' of piano teaching - they get pretty good, and they give it up. Start more beginners.


The "circle of life" metaphor at work...

One of my colleagues describes her job as taking her students as far as they can go in music. We just hope that music doesn't end when lessons end. For me, I learned to enjoy the ride while it lasts.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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