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#1647880 - 03/25/11 03:02 PM Accomodating questions outside of lesson time
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hi teachers!

I was wondering what you thought of students who, from time to time, may ask a question or two outside of their normal lesson time.

Its not hard to see that this situation can become abusive if the student is insensitive to the teachers' time, constantly asking questions via phone or e-mail, but I'm talking about infrequent questions.

I was stuck on a particular measure and e-mailed my teacher requesting fingering suggestions. He responded to my question promptly, but also made the comment that he doesn't care for online teaching would much rather see me in person. In his defense, he also added that he was happy to help in any way he could.

I seriously do not want to impose or to take advantage of his generosity, but from my vantage point, I could either practice the measure in question wrong for the next two weeks, then take the next two weeks trying to unlearn a mistake practiced hundreds of times or, could solve the problem that takes a few minutes of his time.

I'm also aware that 'just a few minutes' times 50 students could add up to be a major inconvenience, so I'm not trying to downplay his effort in answering my question.

I couldn't tell by his remark if he was trying (in a tactful) way to tell me not to do it anymore or not, while at the same time trying to maintain goodwill.

Please share your thoughts. Thanks for your time.

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#1647904 - 03/25/11 03:37 PM Re: Accomodating questions outside of lesson time [Re: Akira]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1222
Loc: London UK
Ask him. D'oh!

#1647972 - 03/25/11 06:29 PM Re: Accomodating questions outside of lesson time [Re: Akira]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
I tell students to call or email me whenever they have a question, but that I may not be able to respond immediately.

They've been pretty good about it, and so far I've been able to respond almost immediately!

It all depends on the teacher, their workload, etc, but also what they're used to. He said he doesn't prefer online teaching, and that may have a stronger hold than anything else. Just an idea.

Either way, try to arrange something where you could ask him quick questions that he'd answer whenever convenient.
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

#1648041 - 03/25/11 09:33 PM Re: Accomodating questions outside of lesson time [Re: ll]
Twinklefingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 33
I encourage my students to email me with questions because I'd rather catch them before it's learned wrong. However, that's just my preference. When i was a student, I would sometimes contact my teacher during the week if I was stuck as well.

#1648076 - 03/25/11 10:43 PM Re: Accomodating questions outside of lesson time [Re: Akira]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
From a teacher's perspective, I would hesitate to answer questions regarding the score or technique because I'd want to lead them into discovery which includes observation and experimentation. Simply giving a short answer over email may work for some things, such as a question regarding which book a piece was in, or when their next festival/event takes place. But many questions, such as fingering, or practice, or technical questions, deserve careful attention. More attention than I can give verbally without seeing the student.
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

#1648140 - 03/26/11 12:56 AM Re: Accomodating questions outside of lesson time [Re: Akira]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 904
I wouldn't ask much of your teacher outside of the lesson. You need to try out fingerings and have confidence in your choices. But, the teacher should probably have told you of any problem spots for fingering before you set out. You should be able to change fingerings in less than two weeks if yours are corrected. Specifically you can practice backwards. This is explained in other posts.


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