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#1549335 - 11/02/10 02:20 PM rant about phone call
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
I met a retired librarian who is new to our city and to our music club. She moved here to be close to her daughter. Anyway, she said she'd like to teach piano a couple of days a week. And she has at least once recently played piano for a friend's cocktail party.

She ended up calling me today to ask what the going rate for piano lessons is. I told her the amount generally charged for 30 minute lessons ($15) and she said "Oh, my GOD! That's highway robbery!" I explained how there is a lot of planning etc involved, but she again said her line about highway robbery.

I feel ticked off. There is someone sitting on a retirement plan from working as a librarian, criticizing what piano teachers charge. And with no teaching experience, little performance experience, limited education and little passion for piano playing...thinks she'll hang out her shingle...while rattling off her criticism about what professionals charge.

I'd hate to take another call like that. I tend to answer questions directly. But wish I'd had a better response to her criticism. I could have said "But someone with no experience teaching, little music background, little performance experience, limited commitment to teaching and little to offer generally charges much less." If only I could have thought of that and given myself permission to say it. (Maybe I'll have the opportunity at the next music club meeting.)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1549342 - 11/02/10 02:26 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
I know how you feel...

I live around several piano teachers who are 10 or 20 years past retirement age. They haven't raised their rates since 1972.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1549350 - 11/02/10 02:33 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
There is a teacher here charing $5 for a 30 minute lesson! She's quite old now, and I personally know one of her students who was in the same level of lesson book for over 2 years (we are talking piano adventures, which is not fast moving anyway!)

Ya get what you pay for!
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#1549352 - 11/02/10 02:34 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Also, Hubby is often paying the bills!
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1549368 - 11/02/10 02:52 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
I could have said that yes it can be highway robbery if the family is only receiving babysitting instead of professional education.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1549371 - 11/02/10 02:55 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
There has been a major shift in expectations over the past (X number of years, I can't say).
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

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#1549376 - 11/02/10 03:00 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
A suggested retort:

"No, it's actually completely legal, and I don't conduct my business on highways. If you are making an analogy: that charging $15 for a half hour piano lesson seems to you like I am holding people up at gunpoint and taking their possessions, then I suggest you talk to some victims of violent crime so that you can learn first hand how repugnant this analogy is to anyone with experience of being held at gunpoint and robbed. Further, if your point is that charging a rate of $30 an hour in any way resembles theft then you might do well to take a beginners course in running a small business. This hourly rate is not a wage, and it appears to me that you have made a basic error in accounting in deeming it to be thus. $30 an hour will result in a wage that returns from 50 to 65% more than the federal minimum wage once my costs have been deducted and all my working hours have been taken into account, putting my wage (calculated on a pro rata basis) well below the average wage in this country (which for women is about 2 times the figure I earn, and for men about 2.5 times the income I will receive this year). Further still, in this country a charged rate of $30 an hour for a professional who has studied for many years and in addition has gained experience in the profession resembles not robbery but charity, and it is only in charitable circumstances that you would find other kinds of professionals placing such a low value on their work. Thank you for sharing your views with me: your idiosyncratic and poorly informed economic perspectives remind me what a great country we live in."
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1549396 - 11/02/10 03:21 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7302
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Now, now, Calm down!

Of course, we would have all thought the same thing: What the Friggin, samhill, ^%$#@!(*&^%?

I wonder if she has an MILS degree. My wife, a librarian, frequently reminds me that the clerk who checks books in and out of the library at the front desk is not a librarian, but a desk clerk. Perhaps you can use this analogy somehow to your advantage the next time you chat with her.
_________________________
"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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#1549420 - 11/02/10 03:45 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I do think there is sticker shock when people hear what lessons cost. I've learned to not take it personally. Many people haven't priced out lessons since they took their own, many many years ago. They are reacting to the huge jump from then till now. Think about what you would think if you hadn't bought gas for 30 years - or 60. Generally, after they've thought about it for a little while, they come around.

I do not give a "per 30 minutes" price anymore - just a "16 week semester fee." Somehow, although it's a bigger number, it is more palatable. And then I can explain that I don't break it down into an hourly fee, because there is so much time I spend outside of the student's time, and that the lesson fee covers my planning, shopping time, expenses, planning and hosting recitals, emails and phone calls, etc. I use this to also explain why they don't get a refund for a missed lesson.



Edited by Lollipop (11/02/10 03:46 PM)
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piano teacher

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#1549448 - 11/02/10 04:22 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Lollipop, you're right that it's best not to take it personally and not to quote an hourly rate. I'll can give an honest answer by saying that most teachers charge by the semester or by the month. And I can quote semester fees that professionals charge.

John, I like your idea of asking this "librarian" if she has a MILS (Masters in Library Science? Or Media Information? Not sure what this stands for.) and if she considers the clerk who checks out books to be a librarian. This particular woman is living independently on retirement pension from being a librarian, so I'd say she has the degree. At least that was my impression from talking with her.

Elissa, well said. If only I could have thought of that.

I still feel zinged by the call. I thought she called to initiate a friendship and perhaps get together sometime. Instead I was just used to get one piece of information and then insulted. Yuck!


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (11/02/10 04:25 PM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1549460 - 11/02/10 04:40 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Well, it's easy to think of what to say when the moment has passed... I was also just thinking you could have said "oh excuse me, there seems to be something wrong with the phone connection: it sounded like you just said the words 'highway robbery' - how funny is that!! Sorry, what was that you were just saying?"
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1549474 - 11/02/10 05:01 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7302
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
MILS = Masters of Information and Library Science. They have to take 15 or more grad hours in the information sciences (ie computer technology) on top of a regular masters degree. Many librarians have two masters degrees, one in library science and the other in an applied subject, which is the focus of what ever library they are working at. One of their primary tasks is collection development and source discovery, which means they have to be fluent in the language of their user base.
_________________________
"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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#1549490 - 11/02/10 05:25 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
If this woman approaches me again (at music club meeting) I might tell her "If you're asking how much I think YOU should charge, I think you should charge $20 per month. That way you can know that your students will be getting their money's worth." (Ha! Ha!)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1549492 - 11/02/10 05:28 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Elissa, I like the phone connection idea.

John, thanks for further info about MILS.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1549537 - 11/02/10 06:33 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5219
Loc: Europe
Ann, just to make you feel a bit easier, it's not apart what's happening with composition, but coming from young and inexperienced so called "composers". I've seen one too many ads on various forums, offering tracks for $5, per track. Assuming it takes a few good hours to create a track (regardless of length, btw), as well as the amount of money one needs to spend to build a studio (*ahem* everything THEY are using is cracked, as opposed to my dearly bought stuff!), you can understand that they are charging around $1 per hour for their work!

When in fact I charge lots more and any other professional in the industry does as well!

Honestly, I wouldn't have kept my mouth shut to such a comment! Then again, I'm a hot headed Greek so better not take my 'advice'! laugh
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1549548 - 11/02/10 06:47 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Nikolas, I like the idea of your a hot headed response! But I am always too passive in these situations...always avoiding a confrontation. In all honesty, I will not be speaking to this woman again. Even if she shows up for club meetings, I'll find that I'm busy with someone else. I'll be polite, but distant. That's my pattern. If she asks me a direct question, I'll just have a vague answer...or smile and walk away.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1549611 - 11/02/10 08:17 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
My first response would be...

'Why do you ask?'

If she states that she would like to begin teaching I would suggest that this is a very bad idea given that she has no qualifications and no experience. Perhaps if she were to invest in some training she might begin to understand why professional piano teachers charge what they do.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1549614 - 11/02/10 08:25 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Chris H.]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
My first response would be...

'Why do you ask?'

Brilliant! Asking a question turns it around and the response given will give you all the clues you need (usually) as to why this woman does not see the value in piano lessons.

By the way, music teachers may be the lowest paid 'degreed' profession.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1549622 - 11/02/10 08:33 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Chris H.]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
My first response would be...

'Why do you ask?'


That is a great response to burn into your memory. I learned to use it whenever someone asks a question that they have no business asking, or that I do not want to answer. It really shuts them up, or exposes them.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1549632 - 11/02/10 08:46 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
And what if they answer "I want to know". This tactic relies on commonly held thresholds for shame.

But it therefore will be effective 99 times out of 100 (or 200/300/400, depending on how shameless the people are who you meet!)
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1549637 - 11/02/10 08:53 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Chris H.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
My first response would be...

'Why do you ask?'

If she states that she would like to begin teaching I would suggest that this is a very bad idea given that she has no qualifications and no experience. Perhaps if she were to invest in some training she might begin to understand why professional piano teachers charge what they do.


And then let her know what you would charge to teach her and that you have openings on Saturday evenings LOL!
_________________________
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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#1549639 - 11/02/10 08:57 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
You can always smile pleasantly and reply, "I seldom ask personal questions--- and I never answer them."

It seems to me my first piano teacher (who was a pro, both as a teacher and a performer) charged my parents five bucks an hour for my lessons. But, good God, that was forty years ago--- no, more than that now. A 1965 dollar was worth about ten or eleven 2010 dollars. You could buy a nice, modern four-bedroom ranch house on forty acres for twenty grand.

If this lady gossips about how expensive you are, Ann, it will only do you good. Do not worry about the retired librarian. Making such a comment to you was a fine display of 'no manners,' as well as 'out-of-date values.'
_________________________
Clef


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#1549645 - 11/02/10 09:03 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
but it wouldn't work in this case because the person told AnnIK that she was thinking of doing some teaching, which is a very good reason to ask questions!

I still remember how one of the first families I taught were surprised how "high" my lesson rate was (it was low!). They had been playing $15 a half hour lesson in Australia which I thought was outrageous. Trouble was, the family were also friends so it was hard for me to squeak "but I'm worth it" with any conviction. But I stuck to my principles and it worked out.

For me, I always get the most value for money by going to the most expensive teachers I can find, in anything. It's actually cheaper per skill taught if you know what I mean. I'm serious!

Elissa your first rant was hilarious laugh

Ann I've always liked the response along the lines of, "Oh, cheap lessons, yes I've heard of those. I wouldn't want any for myself but I've heard that some people like that sort of thing (raises eyebrows). And no, I can't do cheap music lessons anymore, I've really forgotten how. Mind you, I could pull out the 1940s piano tutor and call out note corrections from my chair; repeat. Would that be any use to you?"
_________________________

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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#1549713 - 11/02/10 10:41 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
(raises eyebrows) - I love it - is there an emoticon for that?!
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1549766 - 11/03/10 12:12 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 832
Perhaps Ann, you could ask to meet her because you have some concerns about her recent phone call to you. Or send her a nice letter. You would need to be well-prepared, but it could work. I wrote a letter to someone about her similar complaint to me about the cost of piano lessons. She wrote back and apologized.

It's one of the hardest issues to deal with. By the way, $15/half hour is outrageously low, and one of the things I'm fighting against in our city. I often write teachers with credentials who charge too little and tell them so.

A lot goes into teaching besides credentials. Some things to mention:
your positive attitude, not everybody is as nice as you,
your hours are limited to times children are out of school,
your bills continue through the summer and other breaks,
your expense to become a piano teacher
your ability to handle children who are high maintenance,
your business risk, (reduced numbers some years, students leaving in-session)
your business expenses
your hope to one day replace your piano
your ongoing education.

Please make the effort to talk with her again, and assume she's got more on the ball than she's let on to you.

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#1549793 - 11/03/10 12:54 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Elissa Milne]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
(raises eyebrows) - I love it - is there an emoticon for that?!


You mean this one?

_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1549910 - 11/03/10 08:57 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Thank you for all the ideas expresssed. I like the idea of saying "Why do you ask?" but this woman had already expressed to me her interest in teaching when I saw her at our state federated music club convention. But still, I could have inquired first. Such as, "So are you making plans to teach as you mentioned last time I saw you?" Get the conversation started and focus on her...and not just deliver a one sentence answer.

This woman is out of date with what music lessons cost. I paid $22.50 per lesson 18 years ago! But that was for lessons with a harpist with a master's in performance. I'm sure music lessons with a librarian would have been much less! (Ha! Ha!)

The quote I gave of $15 per lesson is low. The serious teachers with master's degrees and have kids in guild and are the ones who students excel charge more. They tend to offer 45 minute lessons and charge quarterly.

This particular woman mentioned that she played "oldies" (which she herself hates) at her friend's party and that she hasn't touched her piano since. There is a real lack of enthusiasm and commitment. In our initial conversation I mentioned how teaching in the evenings means I don't get out to as many performances as I'd like. And right away she says she only wants to work 2 days a week. This is likely someone who would just pick any old books off a shelf and not bother to gets kids into performing.


I've tried to get over it with a reality check. And that is that it is unlikely that she will find students. And even if she does, they will get what they pay for. One or two students whose parents are looking for what they see as a bargain.

Candywoman, thanks for your suggestion that I talk with this woman again. If she approaches me again, I'll focus on her "How are your plans for teaching coming along?" and I will observe her...and keep my opinions, suggestions and lessons learned through experience to myself. I tend to let people into my inner circle of confidence too easily. She needs to be bumped back out to the level of acquaintance which is all she is to me.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1549925 - 11/03/10 09:27 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
It would be a win for everyone if she could do do it for what it really would be (and seems to want it to be); volunteering.

But when it's this gray area of her teaching for an extra activity/fun and maybe she feels like she should charge but is uncomfortable charging a decent amount, everyone loses. It's best to either charge a fee and be firm about it or be honest with yourself and if its just something for fun, do it as volunteer work.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

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#1549926 - 11/03/10 09:28 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I like Candywoman's idea of sending a letter. That way you can say all that needs to be said. Of course, it will probably come back to bite her in the end, but then what about those unfortunate people who go with her? Then they may think that all piano lessons are like that and give up all together rather than try to find a better teacher. I think demanding respect for your profession by someone who proposes to teach it is necessary. You're not doing it for her benefit, but protecting piano teaching as a profession.
_________________________
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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#1549952 - 11/03/10 10:02 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Australia
$15/30 min, seems like extraordinarily good value to me.
_________________________
Rob

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#1549979 - 11/03/10 10:27 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
with typos my post may not have been clear. I thought that $15 per 30min lesson was outrageously cheap for Australia (in 2007) so I had to convince the family to pay more than this. And this was in major cities.
_________________________

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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#1549998 - 11/03/10 11:04 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: R0B]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: R0B
$15/30 min, seems like extraordinarily good value to me.

This is the same fee as what women pay to have their fingernails polished ($15 per week for nails being done). Maybe I'll point that out next time someone acts outraged over the fee.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1550002 - 11/03/10 11:08 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I mostly teach for free, but take problem students from a couple of accredited teachers, with whom I am on good terms with. Altho not accredited, licensed and have not studied 'how to teach', i do spend a fair amount of time in preparation for lessons. Both of my paying students have given me substantial raises.

the non payers are very special.

i would simply dismiss that woman.. If you let confrontations upset you they will. You could always tell her that non accredited teachers could expect to get minimum wage.. in KS, that would be $3.50 per 30 minutes, and don't forget the taxes.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1550053 - 11/03/10 12:21 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Yes, I think dismissing her is best. When someone sincerely wants new information it's one thing. But when they are so chock full of their own opinions that they burst out with insults, it's another.

Thanks for all the support and comments. It makes it worth the distress to get to share ideas with all of you. smile
_________________________
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1550074 - 11/03/10 12:53 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
keystring Offline
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This concerns parents and students too, because we assume too readily that the person called teacher knows what they are doing. I was struck by the questions she ** didn't ** ask you:

- how do you prepare for a student's lessons?
- what planning do you do for a new student after interviewing him
- if you had one thing to pass on to me that you wish you had known when you started out, that benefits students, what would it be?

How much effort will this person put into teaching, and how will that affect students in the long run? When a person asks how much they should charge before asking how they should proceed in a new profession, possibly it speaks of an attitude.

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#1550081 - 11/03/10 01:09 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Those are great questions. If a parent ever asked me that, after recovering from cardiac arrest, I might be inclined to offer some serious bonus, just to insure their student joins my studio.
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#1550108 - 11/03/10 02:06 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
keystring Offline
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Um? I meant the librarian who thinks she can just off and start teaching piano, and phones an experienced to ask only about prices.

So you'd like a parent to ask you these things? smile

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#1550116 - 11/03/10 02:14 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Yes, I knew you were referring to the librarian.

And yes, those are very appropriate questions for parents to ask. Of course, the answers would reflect the concern of the questioner, but should be similar overall. Actually, I generally provide the answers to parents during the interview, even though they don't ask the questions.
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#1550308 - 11/03/10 06:21 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Be kind to the librarian, if you ever talk to her again. There is a market segment to be served by her variety of teacher. And, there are people who don't like to understand that a teacher likes to pay his bills and expenses (including taxes, medical care, and retirement fund) out of his own income.

The same issue has come into public discussion regarding the big-box retailers, who pay for their discounted prices with such low wages that employees have to turn to state programs for medical care, neatly shifting a big-ticket expense onto the public's shoulders.

A more desirable market segment, for you, is students who would feel ashamed not to pay you a rate which would support you decently. I'm not a wealthy person, but my piano tech and teacher set reasonable and appropriate rates for their time and skills, which I am glad to pay.

I have a feeling you might not feel quite generous enough to refer low-price shoppers to the librarian... but that's ok; you can just leave it alone.
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#1550489 - 11/03/10 10:55 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
apple* Offline


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ha ha
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#1550511 - 11/03/10 11:50 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: AZNpiano]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
(raises eyebrows) - I love it - is there an emoticon for that?!


You mean this one?

Well that one does have raised eyebrows, but in the emoticon I'm dreaming of the mouth shouldn't be giving anything away!!! Blank face, raised eyebrows. Does it exist? (how funny that this question is hardly off topic at all)
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#1550586 - 11/04/10 03:16 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: R0B
$15/30 min, seems like extraordinarily good value to me.

This is the same fee as what women pay to have their fingernails polished ($15 per week for nails being done). Maybe I'll point that out next time someone acts outraged over the fee.


So you think your services are equal to getting your nails done? I'd like to think you're worth more than that!

Time to raise your rates...and don't apologize, either. You deserve to be paid more.
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#1550685 - 11/04/10 09:10 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Jeff, I like your idea of being kind. It can apply to any situation. Better to just be kind than to get upset. smile

AZN, I would only mention the comparison between lessons and getting nails polished as a way to point out how REASONABLE/BARGAIN the lesson price is. If it came up again I might ask her if she thinks it is "highway robbery" when she pays $15 to have her nails done. Just to give her something to think about...to give her a reality check.
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1550733 - 11/04/10 11:16 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
lilylady Offline
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My first thought was that she was way out of line with her response to you.

My second thought was that your rates are too low!!!

My third thought was that this lady will be trouble down the road...badmouthing either openly or with behind the scene remarks.

My fourth thought was that you might call her back and say that upon thinking about her remarks that she was not only insulting but way off base and explain why. That will then set the record straight before she does my 3rd thought.

Also that it wouldn't matter what she charged, that without the background of teaching piano, she will be doing a dis-service to those students that she takes on. I am a strong believer in the first couple of years of teaching are most important.

Phew....now off my rant box!
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#1550734 - 11/04/10 11:22 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Nikolas Online   content
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I'm not fully aware of fees in the US, but here in Greece I charge around 40$ per hour. And this is considered a tiny bit high in the general market, but with my credentials it would be plainly stupid to lower them any further! frown I haven't had any complain from any parent or student, and no student has dropped me as a teacher yet (in my 2 years in Greece, so it's relatively early yet to start loosing students! :D)
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#1550760 - 11/04/10 12:17 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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lilylady, she asked the "going rate" for lessons. I told her that $15 per lesson was the rate that music students charge (i.e. someone serious, but without teaching experience and without a music degree). So I never told her my rate, and she didn't ask.

I agree that she was way out of line. But it's her issue. (I still feel ticked, but I intend to be kind, and let it be her issue.)

Nikolas, the teachers here with master's in performance from what I've seen tend to charge about $102 per month for 45 minute weekly lessons. It works out to $34 per hour (if you count the actual teaching time as paid time, and the rest of the work as volunteer work). So it's not much more per teaching hour than what students charge. You also see the music store here offering 30 minute lessons for $80 per month ($40 per hour).

The going rate is always determined by the market. Some areas are higher than others. And those with a master's in performance and a proven record of success with teaching can always charge more and still get students.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1550816 - 11/04/10 01:27 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
lilylady Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
lilylady, she asked the "going rate" for lessons. I told her that $15 per lesson was the rate that music students charge (i.e. someone serious, but without teaching experience and without a music degree). So I never told her my rate, and she didn't ask.

I agree that she was way out of line. But it's her issue. (I still feel ticked, but I intend to be kind, and let it be her issue.


Oh, I missed that.

Be careful though...HER issue may become the issue of all local teachers, especially yours since you spoke with her. And she sounds very vocal without thinking.

You seemed to have calmed down. Good for you! While in my first reading I was rather outraged at her. Maybe I'll calm down too. I still think though that she would be better having knowledge of the WHY good teachers charge what they do.

Glad to hear that $15 for half hour is not your rate as an experienced teacher.
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#1550890 - 11/04/10 03:03 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
D4v3 Offline
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You guys think way too much about your responses and how to be witty and clever when none of that is needed.

The only time I cater to someone's personal feelings is when I am beholden to them or may have a possible future relationship with them.

With that individual I would have said, "Is there anything else I can answer for you?" Notice I didnt even respond to the remark. I'm not going to waste my time explaining things to someone who wouldn't understand. And I'm not going to say anything witty that's going to solicit another uninformed remark on her part.

I control the conversation when I dont react, but choose where the conversation goes.
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#1550896 - 11/04/10 03:22 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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D4v3, that would have been perfect. "Is there anything else I can answer for you?" I will try to remember to be matter of fact like that. Rein in emotions and be matter of fact. (Hasn't worked so well for me this far in my life, and I even had a co-worker in the past tell me "you wear your heart on your sleeve".)Still, I would like to just be matter of fact and get on with life.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1550947 - 11/04/10 04:29 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Thinking of trying to rein in emotions reminds me of "La Cage Aux Folles" (The Bird Cage). Hysterical. Seeing a flambouyant gay couple try to pose as an upstanding conservative heterosexual couple.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1550996 - 11/04/10 06:19 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Thinking of trying to rein in emotions reminds me of "La Cage Aux Folles" (The Bird Cage). Hysterical. Seeing a flambouyant gay couple try to pose as an upstanding conservative heterosexual couple.

"No good?"
LOL
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#1551101 - 11/04/10 08:27 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
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D4v3, your approach is a wise one.

While it is best to remain unaffected by those around us we would be verging well into the autism spectrum to not find ourselves feeling a range of emotions as we go through our lives. Humour can be a therapeutic means of resolving tension. And thinking something through once means that we are better prepared for similar experiences the next time.

I'm always cautious of people who diss thinking.
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#1551337 - 11/05/10 07:58 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Little Blue Engine, I didn't get your "No good?" comment. I think both versions I've seen of "The Bird Cage" are very funny. One of my favorites.

Thank you to all who have posted on this thread. Your comments have given me many additional resources to pull out of my thinking cap. Summary:

DEFLECT intrusive questions by saying "Why do you ask?"
DISMISS rude comments by saying "Do you have any other questions?"
DISCUSS issues only when safe to do so. This one is not to be used with idiots.

smile
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1551411 - 11/05/10 10:34 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Jeff Clef Offline
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The very nice business suit... with the pink stockings. The Mike Nichols/Elaine May version.
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#1551417 - 11/05/10 10:41 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Loc: Kentucky
Little Blue Engine,
Now I get your comment. You meant was it any good to try to appear to be a conservative couple. Ah, you'll have to see the movie to find out how well the ruse worked. But imagine a man with an effeminate swing to his gait trying to walk like John Wayne. (That was part of their plan.) smile


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (11/05/10 10:41 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1551429 - 11/05/10 11:10 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
R0B Offline
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Perhaps, next time you see your new 'friend', you could ask for her thoughts on a retired music teacher, offering to be a librarian, a couple of days a week, for half the salary of a qualified librarian?
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#1553737 - 11/08/10 04:09 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
wouter79 Offline
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"I told her the amount generally charged for 30 minute lessons ($15) and she said "Oh, my GOD! That's highway robbery!""

Well fine, so she is going to teach people for less?

Or is your actual complaint that she is robbing away your students, using rediculously low charges (sitting on a "retirement plan" as you say).

It is her good right to "sponsor" poor students, isn't it? And SHE paid herself for the retirement plan, right?

Clearly, you will have a problem if you loose students this way. I just do not believe that you can blame her for it.
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#1553754 - 11/08/10 04:34 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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So far this woman has no students, and I feel I am in no danger of losing mine. She can charge as little as she likes. She can even pay her students to study with her for all I care. I was just taken aback by her rude outbursts and accusation. I've since decided to associate with people who are kind and supportive, and keep my distance from someone like this.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1553766 - 11/08/10 05:02 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Nikolas Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I've since decided to associate with people who are kind and supportive, and keep my distance from someone like this.
That's 51% of the nature of networking. Sadly the other 49% is dealing with anyone who deals with remotely anything to do with music... frown (honestly I'm sadden by this, but too personal to discuss... :()
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#1554103 - 11/09/10 02:39 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
wouter79 Offline
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"I was just taken aback by her rude outbursts and accusation. I've since decided to associate with people who are kind and supportive, and keep my distance from someone like this."

Ah, I did not read that from your first post. Yes, if there is no need to associate with someone and you don't feel you can help then why bother?
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#1554112 - 11/09/10 02:58 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Nikolas]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I've since decided to associate with people who are kind and supportive, and keep my distance from someone like this.
That's 51% of the nature of networking. Sadly the other 49% is dealing with anyone who deals with remotely anything to do with music... frown (honestly I'm sadden by this, but too personal to discuss... :()

whome

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#1554565 - 11/09/10 08:09 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Elissa Milne]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3155
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
While it is best to remain unaffected by those around us we would be verging well into the autism spectrum to not find ourselves feeling a range of emotions as we go through our lives.


Well, true, but there's no need to over react.

It was a natural question from someone outside the field. And an honest though ill informed reaction once she heard the answer.

Yet the level of emotional arousal here does not seem in balance with the actual interaction.

I suspect it is because not everybody has come to terms with the idea of exchanging art for filthy lucre - of actually running piano teaching as a service business. Everytime the discussion here turns to pay issues, whether collecting late payments, raising rates, charging friends, etc., there seems to be some discomfort.

I would probably laughed with her and just told her that's how the local market had shaken out. Rural areas might charge less, urban cost of living areas more. It's called capitalism.

For what it's worth, I just paid $100/hour to take a trombone lesson. Why does he charge that much? Because he's worth it? Well, he is, but that's not the only reason why. It's because people are willing to pay it.
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#1554629 - 11/09/10 10:38 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
It's a matter of perspective.

Some people find it offensive to have someone tell them they are stealing from people when they charge for their services. That makes complete sense to me.

I wouldn't be judging people's sense of offense too harshly in this context: piano teachers don't even make an average wage and yet they operate with a high level of professionalism and expertise. The response from the community ranges from a high level of gratitude and respect through to a disdainful perception of the piano teacher as glorified nanny. To have a stranger ask for one's help and then be met with accusations of being a leech can be confronting.

You suggest that part of the emotional mix is a discomfort with the idea that piano teaching is actually a business. In my opinion that's absolutely right.

I think it's also about society not valuing teachers. I think it's also about the struggle to be perceived as a serious professional. I think it's about the frustration of someone with no training or experience thinking they are equipped to participate in the profession while publicly badmouthing others in the field.

It's complex. And the fact that people feel strongly won't be overcome by admonitions to calm down.
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#1554649 - 11/09/10 11:35 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Elissa, on the off chance you are referring to my admonition to "calm down" that was meant wholly and totally tongue in cheek. Of course Ann and you and others have the complete right to be steamed over the belittling comments. Here's an icon for you: or or even
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#1554739 - 11/10/10 05:38 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
casinitaly Offline

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I haven't been here for a while, and frankly I'm a bit surprised this is still such a hot topic.

As John says above, those offended do indeed have every right to be steamed - but.....why STAY steamed? Seriously.

The comment came from someone who hasn't got a clue. She doesn't know what she's talking about.

Sure, it was irritating and offensive, but what good does it do you to hold on to the anger and irritation? None whatsoever.

Let it go, it is a waste of YOUR PRECIOUS energy to stew over it.

Learn from it, decide what you might do in the future, but I quite seriously, and very respectfully, suggest that staying steamed is worse than useless, it is damaging.
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Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1554950 - 11/10/10 02:14 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
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John, I wasn't thinking of you at all!!!

casinitaly, I don't think any posts have been about the OP for a while in this thread; I think it has been people trying to give lessons in zen to those they judge to be emotionally immature.

My point is that the steamed-up posts in this thread *now* are posts telling people to chill out/grow up/get over it.

In my experience telling people what they should be feeling is a pointless exercise, and judging people's feelings is definitely a waste of precious energy. How about just appreciating that everyone is at a different place in terms of their sense of identity as a teacher, and while some teachers work in communities where they are valued and respected, others struggle to be taken seriously as professionals. And that's deeply frustrating. And no doubt teachers will need to vent about some new version of this thread's story again in the future.
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#1555049 - 11/10/10 04:36 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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For what it's worth, I am no longer steamed over the situation. I'm likely to run into this woman next Tuesday and I feel no animosity. Just a certain guardedness and desire to just mind my own business.

The question came up about whether posters overreacted to this story of the rude caller. What I can say is at the time of the call I maintained composure. My way to deal with the anger I felt after the call was to post here on PW. And the discussion that followed was helpful.

So an offensive incident occurs, I feel angry after the call ends, I post about it, get perspective and a plan for how to deal with similar situations in the future. Emotional reactions happen. But at least I didn't have an outburst like the woman who called me.

casinitaly, I agree that it is harmful to hang on to anger. But it can also be helpful to take a glance back at what just happened, and briefly discuss it as a way to cope. I too am surprised that this thread is still alive though, but I have to admit I've gotten a kick out of it. smile
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1555101 - 11/10/10 05:35 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
casinitaly Offline

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I now realize that what I wrote sounded like it was directed at the OP, when what I MEANT was that in general "when this sort of thing happens, you (as in anyone, all of us) feel upset and angry" and that holding on to anger isn't good for anyone. I could have expressed myself better.

I guess I was being as "zenny" as the others, trying to warn of the evils of holding on to anger - simply because I've been there and done that and then regretted the total waste of time and energy. It is a hard lesson to learn, and if you are (if one is smile ) sensitive (and I certainly can be over the top sensitive at times!) - it is easy to be offended and riled up.


Anne, you're perfectly right - discussing what happened, whether it is a vent or just a question of "hmmmm what do you think about this" - is a great coping strategy.I'm a firm believer in venting in a "safe" place - it helps avoid serious problems, can help you regain some perspective, and heck, it just feels better to say "I can't believe someone said that to me, can you?"
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Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1555140 - 11/10/10 06:19 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Hi Cheryl, I didn't take your post personally. Just chiming in. Good to hear from you!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1555386 - 11/11/10 04:55 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4869
Loc: Italy
Hi Ann, .... I'd rather err on the side of being careful and cautious than take the risk of giving offense.
I've seen too many threads on too many forums go sour because people wouldn't (or couldn't) be attentive to how others were responding to their words.

I'm glad you didn't feel singled out!

I think we all have a lot to contribute and though I'm not a piano teacher, I do teach freelance and one of the best things I got from this thread was the post about our fees not being "wages"...... so many people just don't get that, and it is something that we do sometimes have to transmit - delicately perhaps, but we do need to deliver that message.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1556208 - 11/12/10 12:19 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4777
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Ann, this may sound weird but when I read your post I assumed it meant "it's highway robbery" on the part of the students to be getting so much from a teacher for so little money. In my neck of the woods, $15 for 30 minutes is about half the going rate for an average teacher. Are you certain she wasn't being critical that your rates were too low?
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1556283 - 11/12/10 01:54 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Hmm. Yes, I'm positive. But if it comes up again, I could turn the tables on her. Say something "Oh, no, I don't feel my students are robbing me. But you can certainly charge more if you would feel you'd been robbed if only charging the going rate." LOL!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1557025 - 11/13/10 07:01 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
At $15 the only robbery is that being done by whomever is paying for the 30 minutes.
_________________________

"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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#1557049 - 11/13/10 07:53 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Sorry but these discussions never cease to amaze me. This is a free country, bastion of capitalism. She has the right to "open shop" for whatever price she pleases. Your professional organizations have not lobbied for the "certification" of piano teachers, thus everybody and their uncle could theoretically do it. Let her hang her shingle.. she will get the students who deserve her. What you need to do is maintain high standards and provide the best service and education you can to your own students. If they leave you to go to the pseudo-teacher, they either can't identify quality teaching, in which case they will get what they deserve, or you are not doing a good enough job to deserve to be paid tuition at appropriate market value, in which case you need to figure things out (and of course I am far form implying anything negative about your teaching)..

By the way, yes 15 dollars for 30 minutes is far from robbery (it would be called a pittance around here) and you know it. The lady in question need not matter... Ignore her.

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#1558966 - 11/16/10 12:02 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
YIKES! I TOTALLY misread the librarian's meaning. It was all a MISUNDERSTANDING. I saw her today at the music club meeting. I was polite but busied myself talking with someone else.

Then I overheard the librarian saying where she was from lessons cost a lot more than they do here. (!!!) She went on to say that teachers charged $60 an hour for lessons in the middle east (where she has spent the last 8 years)...and also that lessons cost more in Philadephia where she lived before that.

Deborah/gooddog was right!

Just thought I'd give this update. All this discussion and it turned out to be based on a misunderstanding.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1558984 - 11/16/10 12:26 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
YIKES! I TOTALLY misread the librarian's meaning. It was all a MISUNDERSTANDING. I saw her today at the music club meeting. I was polite but busied myself talking with someone else.

Then I overheard the librarian saying where she was from lessons cost a lot more than they do here. (!!!) She went on to say that teachers charged $60 an hour for lessons in the middle east (where she has spent the last 8 years)...and also that lessons cost more in Philadephia where she lived before that.

Deborah/gooddog was right!

Just thought I'd give this update. All this discussion and it turned out to be based on a misunderstanding.


So by "highway robbery" she meant on the part of the students, not the teachers?
_________________________
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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#1559001 - 11/16/10 12:52 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Oh that's great news, Ann!
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#1559004 - 11/16/10 12:55 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2206
Loc: Pennsylvania
People so often speak knowing what they mean but not realizing it sounds completely different to the other person - because the other person is not 'in on' the speaker's thoughts! smile

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
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Hammond Organ Technician
http://www.tonewheeltech.com


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#1559023 - 11/16/10 01:38 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Yes, Morodiene, she meant the teacher is getting robbed.

Thanks Stanny! I am delighted!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1559068 - 11/16/10 03:02 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Phew!!! Librarians are cool after all!!!

[ALL the librarians I've ever known have been super fabulous, amongst my favourite people!!]

Ann, I know you are charging considerably more than $30 an hour, but even so, does this new slant on things make you think you should raise *your* rates???!!!!
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1559160 - 11/16/10 06:16 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Elissa, I have been increasing my rates a little each year. But, yes, this gives me confidence to go ahead with the next fee increase. And yea for librarians who I have always liked also.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (11/16/10 06:19 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1559264 - 11/16/10 09:05 PM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
I like to say thank you for everyone who participate in this thread about highway robbery. I learned a valueable lesson here. I am glad that after all things turn out good. Thank you!
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

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#1559961 - 11/18/10 02:27 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Elissa Milne]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5219
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Phew!!! Librarians are cool after all!!!

[ALL the librarians I've ever known have been super fabulous, amongst my favourite people!!]
I SO MUCH AGREE WITH THIS! I've never met a 'bad' librarian thus far in my life!

Quote:
Ann, I know you are charging considerably more than $30 an hour, but even so, does this new slant on things make you think you should raise *your* rates???!!!!
Agreed here as well. As I said things in Greece are more than what Ann seemed to charge per 30 minutes... Although old student might be taking a lower fee raise, the new ones should go directly to the new pay rate I think. This is what I do actually (since slowly I'm discovering what fantastic teacher, person, composer, pianist, blah blah I am. laugh boyahahaha). No, but really, I have older students who pay around 30$ per hour and others who pay 50$ per hour or more. It would be weird for the 30$ to get them to 50$, but for the new ones they don't seem to mind at all! wink
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1559993 - 11/18/10 04:50 AM Re: rant about phone call [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11558
Loc: Canada
Can a word be said about professionalism in this discussion? It is an ongoing problem in both our professions for the same reason - no standards are set and "anyone" can do it in some fashion. $40 or $50 / hour is a professional rate. A good teacher will have a full background in piano and music, and knows the things being taught - hopefully will also know how to teach. That teacher is probably also preparing for each student's lessons in various ways, upgrading his/her own skills, finding new ways of teaching when problems come up. In any field a professional is expected to do more than the minimum, and often does work which is not counted in their paid hours. When the wage earner sees it's 5:00 s/he leaves and calls it a day.

Others will not have that background either in piano / music or pedagogy, or both. They may do no preparation, grab the first method book or random piece, and their teaching may consist of saying "that's wrong - watch me" (and maybe even give a poor rendition in worse case scenario). Is that person justified in charging the same rates? And if they do, does that make them "professional"?

It is right that the librarian thinks Anne deserves to be paid what her work is worth. But when this librarian finds students, will she have the same attitude - prepare the same way, and have something to offer a student? If she doesn't, will that student later have to go through major rehabilitation with another teacher as the dread transfer student - and possibly quit? I'm still back at the original observation, that she only asked "How much?" and not "How? (to teach)"

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