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#1511551 - 09/08/10 02:41 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: AZNpiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: theJourney
No, but what good is scandalous gossip if it is not embellished, exaggerated and made juicy for the telling?


TJ--

Even though I disagree with 99.9999% of what you write, I do enjoy the occasions when you use clear logic and make intelligent references for your arguments. But when you degenerate into innuendo and name-calling, it's just not cool. tiki


I didn't name names, the previous poster did. I corrected them.

If you like logic rather than emotion, then you will love this post from another poster:

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Just to be clear, nothing that DarkDragon has written about the villainous Polish teacher suggests that she has been acting in this manner.


Do you disagree with it as well?

None of us were there, but when any of us start adding details to the account of the OP out of our own imagination, it is not constructive. Before we know it the Polish teacher will be reported to have kidnapped students leaving the auditorium and brainwashing them to only take lessons from the true heirs to Chopin's legacy.

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#1511589 - 09/08/10 04:01 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: keystring]
D4v3 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 501
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: keystring
Any professional organization runs on two premises. One is ethical behavior of members toward each other. The other is that the professionals do in fact possess the knowledge and skill needed to practice their profession, and that they are also doing so. Public confidence and trust rides on the assumption that the second is also true.


Adam Smith's invisible hand is making me type this (I have a degree in Economics). I would argue that a third premise exists and that is greed.




Let's assume you and I are thwe only two in the Oil business. Let's also assume that we respect each other for the big companies we are ( we wouldnt have gotten here unless we knew what we were doing ).

Let's assume that we have share holders that expect a return on their investment.

Greed will dictate that I go into a price war with you to win more marketshare and possibly put you out of business because I will be better off for it, and so will my investors. Notice how I am not bad mouthing you but at the same time your pain is my gain to some degree.

In a similar way piano teachers are individual businesses and it is in thier best interests to find those students who seem to be steady cash cows (long-term serious students). In doing so they increase their market share AND increase the return potential to their shareholders (thier families).

I doubt the OP would be upset if the Polish person took a student who was flakey. The OP is upset and is acting out of greed (self preservation) because a beloved student/cash-cow (yes,it can be both) is no longer there.

Thus we see that greed is a third premise, greed on the part of the teacher poaching and greed on the part of the teacher preserving.

This "greed" back and forth may not be good for the teachers involved but it can be good for the student because over a long enough period of time the more advanced teacher will probably win out causing the less advanced teacher to leave or to sharpen their skills to stay competitive(a benefit to the students).

I dont need a circut city and a best buy for me to be happy. They may be in the same business and respect each other but I the consumer dont need both to be happy if they both do the same thing. I will take the more professional one that can offer me the most and maybe at a discount. The two stores realize this and thus compete for my business ("greed" on their part) and I win.

But having only one company will mean they can be a monopoly and be unfair with prices; fine, enter a similar teacher with similar skills and that monopoly goes away, but the greed will always be there to keep each of the remaining businesses in check.


Edited by D4v3 (09/08/10 04:08 PM)
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#1511754 - 09/08/10 08:33 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11549
Loc: Canada
There is something essentially wrong with this theory. The parent was willing to pay both teachers and have his child study with both teachers. Since the first teacher was not facing any loss of income, greed cannot be involved.

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#1511923 - 09/09/10 12:57 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Speaking personally, I had a series of duffers - all highly qualified. I got sent to a specialist teacher for a couple of lessons and stayed. Couldn't believe my luck! My life changed forever. If she'd had a non-snatch agreement I'd be working in an office today.
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#1511929 - 09/09/10 01:17 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19637
Loc: New York
BTW: Good job by whomever, changing the TITLE of the thread. smile
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#1511976 - 09/09/10 03:26 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Every time I come back to this thread, its 4 pages longer lol.
I've worked over the years to develop my roster of students from nothing to where it is today, as many of you have. I guess I believe in advertising like normal people. I've never even thought about sniping off any other teachers current students. I'm not so angry of the "polish" teacher as much anymore. I'm equally as frustrated with the parents of the student (the father in particular). He was obviously interested in having his daughter be successful. I remember there were issues with him not accepting my advice at first about extending the lesson time. I remember when I first found out about these "free" lessons during my lesson with the student. I was not a happy camper, even though she was one of my best students.

There have been a number of posts talking about how if I was like a store, what does it matter what store they go to if they get similar product (results)? She knew the holes that she needed to plug. She knew that there was a lot more for her to learn, but now...not from me.

One other thing.

If this teacher sniped one of my less advanced students, I would still be upset. A LOT of people say "its all about the students". For me, this is still a business. My entire income is based on what I earn from teaching. I get to be somewhat bummed out by that loss of income no? Sure I'll find a replacement for the time slot, but geez....I really enjoyed my sessions with that girl. I'm pretty sure I care "too" much

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#1511989 - 09/09/10 04:15 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Perhaps the lesson learned here is that the relationship you develop with the parents (or those who are actually paying the bill) can be as much or more important than the one that you develop on the piano bench with the student in terms of retaining students.

Relationships are built in part on mutual understanding, trust and face-to-face exposure and experience with each other. If the father was not willing to take your advice then something was clearly missing in the trust or relationship department. Or, perhaps he interpreted the request to extend lesson time as a sign of weakness or of not being able to get the job done rather than understanding the fact that the kind of progress possible and desired meant more teaching/coaching time. Any reasonable person when evaluating this kind of one-way request from you to extend the lesson length or frequency would ask themselves questions like: Do we need more of the same? Or do we need something supplementary? Or do we need something different?

How much time do you spend with the parents? Do you know what motivates them and makes them tick? Do you understand their relationship with their children and their motivations? Do you have regular telephone conferences and base touching on progress? Do you plan some serendipity time between lessons to allow you to interact with the parent before or after the lesson? Do you meet with them formally at least once per year to really listen to them and to discuss objectives and determine plans together? Do you organize social time before and after recitals to build relationships with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine?


Edited by theJourney (09/09/10 04:17 AM)

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#1512631 - 09/10/10 02:54 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: theJourney]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
I spent quite a bit of extra time with this family. I heard their requests and I informed them of what we needed to do to make that happen. Although a very good student, she did need to realize that practicing hard just leading up to her exam did not make up for the lack of effort the few months prior. She had talent, so maybe she could have thought that she could put it off.

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#1512684 - 09/10/10 06:59 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
I would still maintain contact with her and/or the family demonstrating your sincere personal interest in her further development. Wouldn't surprise me if you have her again as a student in future. Who knows if the new teacher will even stay in town or will truly meet the family's needs?

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#1512717 - 09/10/10 08:34 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11404
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon
I spent quite a bit of extra time with this family. I heard their requests and I informed them of what we needed to do to make that happen. Although a very good student, she did need to realize that practicing hard just leading up to her exam did not make up for the lack of effort the few months prior. She had talent, so maybe she could have thought that she could put it off.


Perhaps this other teacher will tell her the same thing in time and the parents will then realize the lack of progress this girl was making when compared with her potential was due to her daughter not putting forth the effort - and not her teacher at the time!
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#1512746 - 09/10/10 09:56 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
acortot Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 459
Loc: Italy
Maybe the parents and the student percieved that the other teacher might have helped the student in a way which you cannot, and thus were leaning towards the other teacher

maybe they were trying to be nice when they wanted to continue lessons with you, but were seriously considering changing teachers.

was the student under contract? were you paying the student to be tied exclusively to you?

especially in the arts one should be free to collaborate and 'dump' with anyone they wish to.

I realize that modern classical music is often the other way around: the students are tied-down to their teachers who will push the students via political connections.. but in ART this sort of thing should never happen IMO
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#1512757 - 09/10/10 10:13 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: acortot]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11404
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: acortot
Maybe the parents and the student percieved that the other teacher might have helped the student in a way which you cannot, and thus were leaning towards the other teacher

maybe they were trying to be nice when they wanted to continue lessons with you, but were seriously considering changing teachers.

was the student under contract? were you paying the student to be tied exclusively to you?

especially in the arts one should be free to collaborate and 'dump' with anyone they wish to.

I realize that modern classical music is often the other way around: the students are tied-down to their teachers who will push the students via political connections.. but in ART this sort of thing should never happen IMO


If you read the previous topic when this first came up, you'd know that the OP is not claiming the student, but simply stating that having two teachers at once can be detrimental. I agree. Also, they were objecting to the teacher actively pursuing the student, knowing full well that they already study with someone else. This practice is unethical. It is one thing if the parent or student seeks someone else out for whatever reason, and quite another if they are not looking and are convinced by another teacher to study with them by offering free lessons.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1512783 - 09/10/10 11:02 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Morodiene]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
If you read the previous topic when this first came up, you'd know that the OP is not claiming the student, but simply stating that having two teachers at once can be detrimental. I agree. Also, they were objecting to the teacher actively pursuing the student, knowing full well that they already study with someone else. This practice is unethical. It is one thing if the parent or student seeks someone else out for whatever reason, and quite another if they are not looking and are convinced by another teacher to study with them by offering free lessons.


First, stating that you only work with a student if they have no other teachers and it is your way or the highway IS claiming a student.

Secondly, at the very least there is the belief and perception by a number of posters on this forum that teachers targeting other teachers' students is unethical if they do so by inviting themselves to recitals and approaching students directly or by making disparaging remarks about teachers or students' progress.

However, some believe that targeting students through, for example, advertising for students (where clearly advertisements are going to also reach students and parents who already have teachers) is not unethical. Sending mail to piano owners or lists of students obtained from legal sources has not been called out as unethical here either.

The question is: where do you draw the line? The idea that it is unethical for one studio to target the students of another studio is understandable from the point of view of the teacher whose students are being targeted who wants to protect their student under monopolistic conditions. However, it seems unfair to students that some cabal of teachers organized around their own benefit might make it impossible for students to explore options or move to another teacher by threatening teachers who take on new transfer students with banning or blacklisting as has been suggested upthread.

I am curious if teachers who believe that targeting students is unethical also believe that the various coupons, mail offers and personal promotions that they receive every day of the week are also unethical. If they receive a personalized offer from one mobile phone company to switch from their current provider (with six months free or at a lower rate plan) does that make the mobile phone company making the offer "unethical" and should they be prevented from competing for customers knowing full well that you already have a mobile phone provider?

If you buy high blood pressure medicine from one pharmacy, should it be considered unethical if another pharmacy calls you up and offers to fulfill your prescriptions at a discount? After all, they are targeting customers of another pharmacy that already has built a relationship with you for years.


Edited by theJourney (09/10/10 11:04 AM)

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#1512811 - 09/10/10 11:58 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11549
Loc: Canada
Nobody has ever responded to what I put out on the topic of "stealing" students - I forget which thread. Namely: informed students and parents.

True unethical stealing involves false claims, promises of things that are not necessary or that are actually detrimental. Stating that you have the one and only true solution and cure-all for everything that ails is a false claim - this does not exist. Showing that your students advance faster through the grades may also mean that essential skills are being missed. A parent who is informed will know what things are actually desireable, and will also be able to spot hocum.

Secondly, an informed parent or older student will be able to talk to the teacher and problems will be more readily identified. Supposing that the teacher is taking the time to build foundations and the child is not zipping through the grades like the neighbour's kids. An informed parent will appreciate this. Supposing that an adult student's teacher thinks that fast results are desired and the adult has a nagging feeling that something is missing. If you don't know much and if you have misgivings, you will not be able to verbalize that to the teacher who is the first recourse for resolving issues. It also lays you wide open for anyone wanting to take advantage of the situation.

Does no teacher have thoughts about parents and students being informed, and also communicating with them first? We may be your source of income. But we are not like a farmer's cattle, a real estater's property, or a grocer's brand name Ketchup. We are not unthinking objects that can be grabbed for profit. We are a thinking part of the equation and have a say in what happens to us or our children in these dealings. If we are uninformed, then we *are* more like a wheat field or a herd of cattle. What do you think?

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#1512829 - 09/10/10 12:19 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: theJourney]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11404
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
If you read the previous topic when this first came up, you'd know that the OP is not claiming the student, but simply stating that having two teachers at once can be detrimental. I agree. Also, they were objecting to the teacher actively pursuing the student, knowing full well that they already study with someone else. This practice is unethical. It is one thing if the parent or student seeks someone else out for whatever reason, and quite another if they are not looking and are convinced by another teacher to study with them by offering free lessons.


First, stating that you only work with a student if they have no other teachers and it is your way or the highway IS claiming a student.

Secondly, at the very least there is the belief and perception by a number of posters on this forum that teachers targeting other teachers' students is unethical if they do so by inviting themselves to recitals and approaching students directly or by making disparaging remarks about teachers or students' progress.

However, some believe that targeting students through, for example, advertising for students (where clearly advertisements are going to also reach students and parents who already have teachers) is not unethical. Sending mail to piano owners or lists of students obtained from legal sources has not been called out as unethical here either.

The question is: where do you draw the line? The idea that it is unethical for one studio to target the students of another studio is understandable from the point of view of the teacher whose students are being targeted who wants to protect their student under monopolistic conditions. However, it seems unfair to students that some cabal of teachers organized around their own benefit might make it impossible for students to explore options or move to another teacher by threatening teachers who take on new transfer students with banning or blacklisting as has been suggested upthread.

I am curious if teachers who believe that targeting students is unethical also believe that the various coupons, mail offers and personal promotions that they receive every day of the week are also unethical. If they receive a personalized offer from one mobile phone company to switch from their current provider (with six months free or at a lower rate plan) does that make the mobile phone company making the offer "unethical" and should they be prevented from competing for customers knowing full well that you already have a mobile phone provider?

If you buy high blood pressure medicine from one pharmacy, should it be considered unethical if another pharmacy calls you up and offers to fulfill your prescriptions at a discount? After all, they are targeting customers of another pharmacy that already has built a relationship with you for years.


First of all, I do not do marketing directly to anyone that I know is studying with someone. Putting an ad in a paper is not targeted marketing, and so I do that when I need students. I draw the line where someone approaches a student of someone else regarding studying with them. If the student initiates the contact, then fine, or if the teacher approaches and finds out that the student is studying with someone and backs off, fine. But if they persist in soliciting, then it's not fine in my book.

I do not appreciate direct marketing by other businesses either. I throw out all junk mail solicitations without reading them (although I shred the credit card offers), but I don't think they are unethical. No matter how targeted they want to be, it still leaves the impetus in the solicitee's hand to act or not. When approaching someone in person or on the phone, however, a solicitor can handle arguments and try to convince the person to buy what they're selling. All solicitors are taught how to do this, and many people will give in especially when there's a "free" something to be gained from it. Some will simply agree to get the person off their back about it. I don't know how persistent this other teacher was, but obviously enough to convince them to try her services.

There was a gentleman who handled our retirement portfolio at our bank and had left the bank on bad terms. He then sent letters to all his former clients telling them that he had moved and offered to continue handling our portfolio. This seemed very odd and I spoke to our banker and she explained that he had done that with all the clients when he left. Apparently bankers think this is unethical too. I know of a man who owns a landscaping business, and his employee left and took with him the list of clients and contacted all of them when he left offering to do work for them. This is also unethical in the landscaping world I guess.

If you don't think it's unethical, then I suppose you'd be the inclined to do these things as the above people were. However, music organizations like MTNA and NATS have very clearly outlined that they deem this behavior unethical and do discipline their members who cross that line.
_________________________
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www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1512837 - 09/10/10 12:43 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: theJourney]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Quote:
I am curious if teachers who believe that targeting students is unethical also believe that the various coupons, mail offers and personal promotions that they receive every day of the week are also unethical. If they receive a personalized offer from one mobile phone company to switch from their current provider (with six months free or at a lower rate plan) does that make the mobile phone company making the offer "unethical" and should they be prevented from competing for customers knowing full well that you already have a mobile phone provider?

When I send out mailers, advertise in the paper, etc., and am contacted by a potential student, one of the first questions asked is to the effect: "Are you studying with another teacher now?"

If the answer is affirmative (it seldom is), then I either politely decline further discussion or try steer the conversation to explore reasons they want to leave their current teacher. In other words, I happened to be a target of opportunity for them - they were preparing to leave anyway. Even so, I would be extremely uncomfortable accepting them as a student, and at least to this point in time, have not done so. I have helped literally dozens and dozens of students find an appropriate teacher other than myself.

Although I get my share of transfer students, to be real honest with everyone, most transfers come with tremendous baggage and it's often hard work and frustrating correcting ingrained problems. It is so much preferable to search for new students and have a blank sheet to work with.


Edited by John v.d.Brook (09/10/10 05:52 PM)
Edit Reason: correct really bad typo!
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#1512844 - 09/10/10 01:03 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook

Although I get my share of transfer students, to be real honest with everyone, must transfers come with tremendous baggage and it's often hard work and frustrating correcting ingrained problems. It is so much preferable to search for new students and have a blank sheet to work with.
There's the nub - there shouldn't be such 'tremendous baggage' and teachers shouldn't be allowed to get away with such a poor product. What exactly does it say on the label anyway?
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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1512846 - 09/10/10 01:10 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11404
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Quote:
I am curious if teachers who believe that targeting students is unethical also believe that the various coupons, mail offers and personal promotions that they receive every day of the week are also unethical. If they receive a personalized offer from one mobile phone company to switch from their current provider (with six months free or at a lower rate plan) does that make the mobile phone company making the offer "unethical" and should they be prevented from competing for customers knowing full well that you already have a mobile phone provider?

When I send out mailers, advertise in the paper, etc., and am contacted by a potential student, one of the first questions asked is to the effect: "Are you studying with another teacher now?"

If the answer is affirmative (it seldom is), then I either politely decline further discussion or try steer the conversation to explore reasons they want to leave their current teacher. In other words, I happened to be a target of opportunity for them - they were preparing to leave anyway. Even so, I would be extremely uncomfortable accepting them as a student, and at least to this point in time, have not done so. I have helped literally dozens and dozens of students find an appropriate teacher other than myself.

Although I get my share of transfer students, to be real honest with everyone, must transfers come with tremendous baggage and it's often hard work and frustrating correcting ingrained problems. It is so much preferable to search for new students and have a blank sheet to work with.


If a student approaches me about lessons and they currently study with someone else, I will certainly explore the reasons for leaving. However, they approached me, and if they want to study with me, then I have no problem with that itself. If I do not feel that we would be a good match, however, then I do not take them in my studio just as I would do for a new student.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1512873 - 09/10/10 01:56 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Morodiene]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Also, they were objecting to the teacher actively pursuing the student, knowing full well that they already study with someone else. This practice is unethical.


I want to draw attention to the fact that nothing that Dark Dragon has written permits one to assert that the villainous Polish teacher actively pursued the student with the objective to convince her to abandon Dark Dragon and to join her villainous Polish studio.

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#1512921 - 09/10/10 03:49 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Morodiene]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
First of all, I do not do marketing directly to anyone that I know is studying with someone. Putting an ad in a paper is not targeted marketing, and so I do that when I need students.

As soon as you decide to put an ad in the local music store or church newsletter instead of the Wasau Daily Herald or an ad in the Herald instead of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that is targeting. It is simply a matter of degree. Presumably you put your ads where you think they will reach the most promising prospects as students, which means that you are, wittingly or not, targeting the students of other teachers with your advertisements. It doesn't matter that you don't address them "personally" by name.
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I draw the line where someone approaches a student of someone else regarding studying with them. If the student initiates the contact, then fine, or if the teacher approaches and finds out that the student is studying with someone and backs off, fine. But if they persist in soliciting, then it's not fine in my book.

Yet you yourself admit to soliciting. If someone (whether or not they are or were studying with another teacher) reacts to your advertisement, they are reacting to your initiation of contact. Isn't that the idea of the advertisement?

Wouldn't it be fairer if you put under your telephone number in the advertisement "If you already had or have a teacher, even if you are unsatisfied or are serious about making a change, please do not contact me because that would be unethical and the association might decide to make me wear a scarlet letter and be banned."


Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I do not appreciate direct marketing by other businesses either. I throw out all junk mail solicitations without reading them (although I shred the credit card offers), but I don't think they are unethical. No matter how targeted they want to be, it still leaves the impetus in the solicitee's hand to act or not.

Precisely. Which is why I find it difficult to understand why you are saying something 180 degrees the opposite regarding piano teachers. Why are they a special exception to all the other rules?
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

When approaching someone in person or on the phone, however, a solicitor can handle arguments and try to convince the person to buy what they're selling. All solicitors are taught how to do this, and many people will give in especially when there's a "free" something to be gained from it. Some will simply agree to get the person off their back about it. I don't know how persistent this other teacher was, but obviously enough to convince them to try her services.

So, what you find unethical is when your competitors have persuasive communications skills and are able to market themselves effectively?
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

There was a gentleman who handled our retirement portfolio at our bank and had left the bank on bad terms. He then sent letters to all his former clients telling them that he had moved and offered to continue handling our portfolio. This seemed very odd and I spoke to our banker and she explained that he had done that with all the clients when he left. Apparently bankers think this is unethical too. I know of a man who owns a landscaping business, and his employee left and took with him the list of clients and contacted all of them when he left offering to do work for them. This is also unethical in the landscaping world I guess.

These would seem to be completely different examples as they have to do with an employee/employer relationship. In general, any restrictions on soliciting business from customers from one's previous employer is covered by the employment and severance contract. If there is no mutual agreement, then it is quite common that clients leave with key employees. Even if there is a contract, then there are also laws in most countries against allowing employers to force employees to sign away the rest of their lives and lose their ability to make a living just because they happened to work for someone else for a period of time. The days of indentured slavery and serfdom are supposed to be behind us.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene

If you don't think it's unethical, then I suppose you'd be the inclined to do these things as the above people were. However, music organizations like MTNA and NATS have very clearly outlined that they deem this behavior unethical and do discipline their members who cross that line.


It is not about what I think, but what is reasonable in the circumstances.

I agree that teacher's unions take the stance that competitive behavior between teachers is bad for teachers. Just like the airlines have convinced the government that competition between airlines is bad for airlines and health insurance companies have lobbied that competition is bad for health insurance companies. The point is that competition and mobility between teachers is not necessarily bad for piano students -- nor their teachers. What some are calling "unethical" here is rather "inconvenient" and "challenging" for the teacher.

I think that the question upthread about "how much are you paying the student for your claim of exclusivity" is a good one.


Edited by theJourney (09/10/10 03:53 PM)

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#1513053 - 09/10/10 08:06 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: landorrano]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Also, they were objecting to the teacher actively pursuing the student, knowing full well that they already study with someone else. This practice is unethical.
I want to draw attention to the fact that nothing that Dark Dragon has written permits one to assert that the villainous Polish teacher actively pursued the student with the objective to convince her to abandon Dark Dragon and to join her villainous Polish studio.

I didn't think so either, but I figured I must have missed some stuff.

This thread has spurred some great and interesting discussion, but I've thought that much of it is unrelated to DD's situation.
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#1513065 - 09/10/10 08:24 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
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Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Competition between mentors in a child's life is almost always damaging. Just sayin'.
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#1513072 - 09/10/10 08:36 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Mark, you're correct. The discussion broke into several branches. DD's immediate situation, which was a continuation from a previous thread; a general discussion on the propriety of trolling for other teachers' students, the right of a student to change teachers and several other peripheral issues. Several posters used clever rhetorical techniques, including rationalization, equivocation and building straw man arguments, to try to legitimize bad behavior some teachers exhibit and which our professional organizations try to minimize, for the benefit of both student and teacher.
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#1513095 - 09/10/10 09:43 PM Re: Teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
Stanny Offline
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Registered: 11/08/06
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Very concisely and well stated, John. thumb
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#1513097 - 09/10/10 09:51 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: landorrano]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Also, they were objecting to the teacher actively pursuing the student, knowing full well that they already study with someone else. This practice is unethical.


I want to draw attention to the fact that nothing that Dark Dragon has written permits one to assert that the villainous Polish teacher actively pursued the student with the objective to convince her to abandon Dark Dragon and to join her villainous Polish studio.


I was just thinking the same thing. The only factual story I could find was as follows:

The parents/student wanted to study with two teachers.

DD placed a condition on his willingness to teach the student, i.e. no other teachers, as is his right.

The parents/student were not willing to meet that condition, and stopped lessons with DD, as is their right.

DD is angry at the parents and the other teacher.

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#1513148 - 09/10/10 11:48 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: wavelength]
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: wavelength
I was just thinking the same thing. The only factual story I could find was as follows:

The parents/student wanted to study with two teachers.

DD placed a condition on his willingness to teach the student, i.e. no other teachers, as is his right.

The parents/student were not willing to meet that condition, and stopped lessons with DD, as is their right.

DD is angry at the parents and the other teacher.


Those are the facts as I understand them as well.

The emotions and the subsequent labeling of the cause of the self-protection oriented emotions as a "breach of ethics" seems to be unreasonable and, in particular, unprofessional.

For me one of the key differentiators between a service provider and a professional is a that a professional is able to put emotions aside and act in the interest of their clients before and instead of succumbing to conflicts of interest or acting in their own interest.




Edited by theJourney (09/10/10 11:52 PM)

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#1513155 - 09/11/10 12:08 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Elissa Milne]
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Competition between mentors in a child's life is almost always damaging. Just sayin'.


You are saying quite a lot here, actually.

Could you elaborate?

I have some specific questions as well:

What kinds of damage do you have in mind?

When and how do piano teachers act like mentors and when and why are they seen, appreciated and accepted as mentors by others?

Who are the other mentors in a child's life that a piano teacher would be "competing" with?

Is it appropriate for mentors to possessively "stake claim" to their mentees?

Is the relationship between the self-proclaimed mentor and their mentee more important than the wishes of the student and their parent?

Is competition between mentors only "almost always demaging" for children but not for (young) adults?

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#1513209 - 09/11/10 02:20 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Nobody has yet ever addressed my point about parents or older students becoming or being informed, so that they interact with teachers, and respond to offers (lures) from a place of knowledge. Is this totally discounted?

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#1513243 - 09/11/10 05:43 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: keystring
Nobody has yet ever addressed my point about parents or older students becoming or being informed, so that they interact with teachers, and respond to offers (lures) from a place of knowledge. Is this totally discounted?

Maybe these points have not been addressed in this thread because the better informed a parent (or student) is the less likely they will be 'lured' away, but rather they will seek their own new path. Admittedly, it is possible that the teacher who is being left behind might experience the change as 'poaching' or 'stealing' but from my experience I very much doubt it.

Parents and students who are well-informed and are making choices about musical education from knowledge rather than from hope (!) will tend to go about things in a different way. That is to say, the teacher will experience the change as being based on the needs of the students rather than the promises of another teacher.

Further, informed parents will not find teachers who make promises particularly convincing - good teachers simply cannot promise a specific result (they know that their good teaching is only one part of the equation), but good teachers can promise specific processes or approaches. If a parent tells the current teacher that they are transferring to a teacher who works in a different way then the current teacher will rarely feel that the student has been 'stolen' - the parent/student is genuinely seeking a new approach.
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#1513246 - 09/11/10 06:19 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: theJourney]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Competition between mentors in a child's life is almost always damaging. Just sayin'.


You are saying quite a lot here, actually.
Stuff that is followed by "just sayin'" is frequently quite loaded, in my experience, so I can't disagree with your commentary!!

Quote:
Could you elaborate?

I have some specific questions as well:

What kinds of damage do you have in mind?
When a child or adolescent is trying to please or meet the expectations of two different authority or role model figures who disagree or even compete the child/adolescent finds themselves having to make decisions as to which person to please more, and the educational opportunities become subsumed into this complex interpersonal no-win situation in which the student finds themselves.

This happens sometimes when parents divorce in bitter circumstances, and the parenting becomes competitive rather than collaborative. This can also happen between parents and school teachers, between two teachers at the same high school, between a coach and a choir director, between any two people the young person looks up to and is accountable to in a power relationship (such as a parent, teacher or boss).

The kind of damage this causes will vary from one child to the next, but competitive behaviour between mentors fundamentally diverts the child's attention away from learning and creates emotional instability.

Quote:
When and how do piano teachers act like mentors and when and why are they seen, appreciated and accepted as mentors by others?
Maybe some parents see piano lessons as glorified babysitting, and I suppose that those parents would not necessarily expect the child to look to the teacher as a mentor. On the other hand, I expect the babysitters I employ to look after my 3 and a half year old son to behave as mentors!! It's the one-on-one nature of piano lessons that leads the relationship to quickly develop into a mentoring relationship, with the piano teacher taking a genuine interest in far more than the child's progress as a pianist. This is part of what makes being a piano teacher very rewarding, but of course it happens to a different extent with different students.

From a professional point of view I would say that piano teachers should always act as mentors whether or not there is a parental expectation. That is, they should be modeling positive behaviours across a range of criteria - this isn't just about good posture at the keyboard, it's about living life well. If parents perceive this as being important

Quote:
Who are the other mentors in a child's life that a piano teacher would be "competing" with?
Answered in examples given above.

Quote:
Is it appropriate for mentors to possessively "stake claim" to their mentees?
Staking claim to another human being is never healthy. I'm not sure that this thread is necessarily about 'staking claim' so much as feeling that the unfolding of events has not been without subterfuge.

Quote:
Is the relationship between the self-proclaimed mentor and their mentee more important than the wishes of the student and their parent?
Self-proclaimed mentors are self-exposed frauds! There is no need to self-proclaim one's mentorship if it exists. Further, the relationship is only as important as everyone agrees it to be. You can't mentor someone who does not respect your opinion. Similarly, respect cannot be demanded.

Quote:
Is competition between mentors only "almost always demaging" for children but not for (young) adults?
You could say that anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they have mentoring-like relationships with a number of people will find that those relationships are most helpful when the mentor-figures are not in competition. Aside from that, it's a continuum - the less you need a mentor the less it will matter what crazy behaviour your mentors display.
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