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#1651486 - 03/31/11 07:54 AM Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons
Cheeky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Australia
My child will be starting piano lessons at the piano teacher's house. What is the etiquette for the parents? Do I come back to pick him up when his lesson is done or can I stay and watch? Since my child is only 6, I'd like to know how he's being taught. I thought maybe I could remind him of what was taught when he's practising at home. The teacher is an 18 year-old, if that makes any difference. Is it weird to ask to stay?

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#1651489 - 03/31/11 08:03 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
You can ask. Being that the teacher is only 18, he/she may feel intimidated, though. Be sensitive. The teacher may feel he/she has to say okay, even if it's not. You may want to phone in advance and ask, rather than put him on the spot right then.

I welcome parents. My own childrens' teachers have been mixed; some have an area outside the teaching room to wait, and some allowed me to sit in the room, and some required me to be there. Sometimes I waited in the car, because I felt my child would do better without me.

The biggest problem I've had is with parents interfering with the lesson, answering for the child, making excuses for the child, disciplining the child, asking me questions, etc. If you are there, try to be as unobtrusive as possible. (The exception is, if your child is acting up, and the teacher seems unable to deal with it, step in. The teacher may not be comfortable disciplining your child in front of you.)
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1651493 - 03/31/11 08:07 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
It's not weird at all. I think for a six year old it may be the most common practice.

Some teachers want to build a separate relationship with the child and they may not want you in the room because they feel your presence will interfere with the child's attention. Others will want you there for precisely the reasons you articulated -- you can reinforce the content throughout the week. You may want to choose teachers in part based on how comfortable you are with their approach to teaching.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1651497 - 03/31/11 08:15 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I don't like it when parents are present because I think it interferes with the learning process. Children will frequently look to their parents for signs of approval on whether they are doing well or not - when in fact it is the teacher they need to be engaging with. Often the parents will butt in with "helpful" commentary too - of course, undermining the authority of the teacher in the process.

For this reason, I try to dissuade parents from being present in lessons - or at least have them sit within earshot but out of sight. I do not in any way support the view that parents need to be monitoring what happens at lessons so they can reteach it to their child throughout the week. To me, that undermines the principle that a student must learn to listen and take on board information from their teacher at retain it. Of course, I will write down things that I don't want them to forget, but it's just reminders, designed to trigger memories of what I actually showed them. I definitely don't want parents reteaching what I have taught - that is a guarantee of Chinese whispers. Sometimes it takes some effort to impress this upon parents. They may be used to guiding their children through everything they do. But I still work hard to make sure that they realise that getting involved in their child's practice, beyond encouraging them to do it, is not productive and damages their independence of thought and self-motivation capacity.

Now, of course, all that is separate from the issue of a parent who simply doesn't want to leave their child alone with an adult they don't fully trust. I can understand that and I will allow parents to be present if they can't handle the idea of not being there. I allow it under the proviso that the parent will not address me or the child during the lesson and that they make it clear that their child will not address the parent. If those rules are abided by, it can be okay. In time, parents usually get sick of sitting in and eventually decide not to. I am always pleased when this moment arrives because that's when I can commence teaching totally on my own terms and not being concerned with what parents are worried about. Parents who sit in are generally oversensitive types so their mere presence indicates that I should always be cautious in what I say - even if I think the child can perfectly well handle it.

Teaching music is not always fun and games and positivity parties. There are times when you have to speak strictly and enforce your authority. Most children cope very well with that fact, but a lot of parents don't. That's why I always push for unsupervised lessons. I don't enjoy the complications in an already complicated process. I do it only when I can see that there is no option not to.

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#1651503 - 03/31/11 08:22 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7307
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I encourage parental attendance; most children respond positively to what parents are interested in, and attending the lessons shows real interest. Most six year olds really aren't ready to be dropped off with the teacher. They need plenty of help at home preparing for the next lesson.
_________________________
"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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#1651504 - 03/31/11 08:25 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.

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#1651509 - 03/31/11 08:29 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: RonaldSteinway]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 265
I attend my 6 year old's lessons every week. I do not speak or participate unless the teacher brings me in, I just sit quietly and take notes. It makes a huge difference in her ability to practice effectively though.
_________________________
Amateur musician, piano and violin parent

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#1651524 - 03/31/11 09:08 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Australia
Teaching in students' homes, parents are inevitably present, or at least within earshot.
I encourage their presence, especially with younger students, as the parent can then reinforce any practice assignments I give.

I also give lessons via Skype, and in that case, I have a requirement that a parent (or responsible adult) is present at ALL times.

The only time I have a problem, is when I need to check a student's behaviour/attitude, and a parent is present, who does not immediately back me up. These cases are rare, but when they occur, are extremely frustrating.
_________________________
Rob

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#1651539 - 03/31/11 09:29 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


That's a highly arrogant statement to make, Ronald. I am perfectly able to handle having a parent being present, but I prefer not to. I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously. I would rather focus all my attention on the student and not have to think about whether a parent is understanding why I'm doing it that way.

As regards the parental monitoring at home, if a parent doesn't sit in on lessons, I will give them regular updates of what we are doing in lessons and what things they might watch out for. I certainly don't want them to become second teachers - that can certainly dilute the message you are trying to get through to a student. I'm really very surprised that you can't conceive of a situation where parental presence is not positive. Your comment comes from the assumption that parental involvement is always good and productive. It certainly isn't always the case.

It's very important that a student learns to take in information during lessons (even young ones). If a parent parrots back everything you said every day at home, it allows the student to be less attentive to what the teacher says because they know that their parent will teach it at home anyway. That can make them less focussed and less self-sufficient as learners.

In most cases, if you are an effective teacher and you know how to get the message through, you don't need a parent re-teaching everything you already taught them. All you need is for a parent to ensure that the practice gets done so they remember what you wanted them to do - and maybe look out for one or two obvious deficiencies (that you advise the parent to look out for). Maybe your teaching style relies too heavily on parental input and assistance - have you ever considered that? Have you never encountered the problem of the meddling parent who actually damages what you've taught? If not, you have led a charmed life and you only deal with perfect parents.

I do have parents there for the first month or so of lessons so they can observe my manner and overall approach and have confidence in what they are paying for. After that, I prefer them to not to be there. By the way, I've met heaps of teachers with exactly the same feelings on this as I have. They weren't all insecure excuse makers either.

Honestly, to make such a sweeping and judgemental statement that teachers who prefer parents not be there are "insecure" and making "excuses", well, I've just lost a lot of respect for you. Maybe you could take people's preferences as being reasoned and applicable to their method before you make moral judgements of the kind you did.

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#1651542 - 03/31/11 09:36 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
Children will frequently look to their parents for signs of approval on whether they are doing well or not - when in fact it is the teacher they need to be engaging with. Often the parents will butt in with "helpful" commentary too - of course, undermining the authority of the teacher in the process.


Quote:
I encourage parental attendance; most children respond positively to what parents are interested in, and attending the lessons shows real interest.


Quote:
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses.


Quote:
I encourage their presence, especially with younger students, as the parent can then reinforce any practice assignments I give.


The world is full of different preferences and differing attitudes. People can agree that the issue is mixed or nuanced, yet their own experiences will cause them to weight the pros and the cons of parental involvement/interference very differently.

As a parent with a musical background, I have faced this. My son's first teacher welcomed me to sit in at the beginning. I effectively reinforced the material at home. I was also not shy about teaching him at home and introducing new stuff like exercises. Heck, I once introduced a new piece (I can practically see most of the teachers cringing about now grin ). BTW, I did this over the summer when lessons were not in session. Yet his teacher saw the gain and worked with me. I showed her that more rapid progress (than she was used to seeing) was indeed possible.

She also saw the risk of "two masters" and she was not shy about reining me in where and when she thought that was appropriate. In his fourth year, I was banished from the lessons for a few months. She really wanted his undivided attention for a while. I did not resist (resistance is futile, after all ... ). After a few months I was brought back into the picture, again because I could reinforce ideas at home and that process was useful. I think she also realized that I WAS at home, and that I probably couldn't resist the temptation to help/meddle (depending on your POV, of course smile ). For better or for worse, she worked with what she had. The parent-teacher relationship is complex, and often individual-specific. The relationship also can evolve positively .... or destructively.

I guess I'm a believer in flexibility. Have one strong policy .... NO PARENTS AT THE LESSONS ... and, well, people like me will not send students to you. It's as simple as that. Now, that may work very well for you. You want one type of student/family because that is what YOU need in order to be productive. That's fine. But be careful not to assume that this means that your way is generalizable.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1651547 - 03/31/11 09:45 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Piano*Dad]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

I guess I'm a believer in flexibility. Have one strong policy .... NO PARENTS AT THE LESSONS ... and, well, people like me will not send students to you. It's as simple as that. Now, that may work very well for you. You want one type of student/family because that is what YOU need in order to be productive. That's fine. But be careful not to assume that this means that your way is generalizable.


I don't have a policy, just a preference. I will defer to the parent's wishes after explaining why I generally prefer to teach them alone. It's not a dictatorship, the customer's wishes will be respected by me, every time. I also have situations where the child does need a parent present. Some children who are a bit "difficult" are often better with the parent there because they can play the role of enforcer, while you can focus on the teaching (and avoid becoming the bad guy).

I do offer flexibility in my approach. If you have read my other posts on teaching, you would know this. I am surprised that expressing a preference and giving some reasoning can be misinterpreted as having a blanket, rigid policy that would drive people away. I don't, and it doesn't.

We are capable of discerning the difference between preference and policy, aren't we?

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#1651548 - 03/31/11 09:48 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
We've had teachers with different preferences. One didn't like parents' presence but he would allow if the parent insists. I didn't stay but the teacher gave me a few minutes' review at the end of each lesson so that I could help with practice. One teacher would allow parents to stay if the kid is very young and if the parent appears to be reasonable. One teacher allows all parents to stay unless anyone shows bad behavior (and all parents do stay because this teacher's students and their families all take music lessons seriouly)...

So just ask and I'm sure a reasonable arrangement is easy to reach between reasonable people.

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#1651555 - 03/31/11 09:58 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Ando, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

Reread your long response to RonaldSteinway (who I will agree is very prone to aggressive generalization). It is full of assertions on one side of the issue:

Quote:
I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously.


... and that is all bad? Heck, explicitly direct some of your teaching at the parent and wonders may happen!

Quote:
It's very important that a student learns to take in information during lessons (even young ones). If a parent parrots back everything you said every day at home, it allows the student to be less attentive to what the teacher says because they know that their parent will teach it at home anyway. That can make them less focussed and less self-sufficient as learners.


I love the "parents parrot back" remark. Sounds a bit disrespectful of other people.

Quote:
In most cases, if you are an effective teacher and you know how to get the message through, you don't need a parent re-teaching everything you already taught them.


I have heard many a teacher here vehemently disagree with this position and suggest instead that 30 minutes per week of your time is woefully inadequate compared to the far greater time the student spends at home with their parents, many of whom can bring great sensitivity and skill to the table in helping to advance their children's musical skills and interest level.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1651563 - 03/31/11 10:04 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
We are capable of discerning the difference between preference and policy, aren't we?


Yes, we are. But in this case I think it's a distinction without a difference. A strong preference can't help but be made manifest over time. It will affect the way you relate to the parents. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You should find parents you are comfortable working with.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1651567 - 03/31/11 10:15 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Whatever the etiquette, for a 6-year old, I would want to sit in on a few lessons for safety's sake. I am speaking as a parent. I would expect to be quiet, out of eye-line of the child. But I wouldn't be happy leaving my 6-year old with a teacher they don't know (and I don't necessarily trust) and if the teacher wasn't OK with that, then I would look for a different teacher.

I like it when parents can sit in because it helps them understand what I teach and how. Sometimes I find without this they have unrealistic expectations.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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#1651571 - 03/31/11 10:19 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Cheeky, I would ask the teacher but I would also ask her what she would like me to do and not do during lessons. You can also ask what role you should play while your child practices. This way you are also empowering this young teacher, rather than being an imposing older person.

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#1651588 - 03/31/11 10:38 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
At 18 the teacher probably hasn't had the experience to develop a preference. Personally, I'd reconsider the teacher unless she is being mentored by a more experienced teacher. Beginners need someone who knows what they're doing so you don't have to undo things later.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1651598 - 03/31/11 10:48 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Minniemay]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
At 18 the teacher probably hasn't had the experience to develop a preference. Personally, I'd reconsider the teacher unless she is being mentored by a more experienced teacher. Beginners need someone who knows what they're doing so you don't have to undo things later.


That's a very good point. Why this particular teacher?
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1651599 - 03/31/11 10:53 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I certainly allow parents.

I think of teaching my niece tho and cringe. Her mother is a good parent and not a good parent. It has taken me some time to know how to motivate the niece, how to focus her ADHD type attention span, and how to assess the way she absorbs information. It doesn't help when mom says '(little Mary)* pay attention!.. not one bit... and Little Mary will use her mom to manipulate.

To make a long story short, I've asked Mr. apple to engage 'mom'. They have plenty of business things to talk about and politics.

For an 18 year old teacher (no offense please to young teachers) I think I would want to sit in.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1651601 - 03/31/11 10:57 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Piano*Dad]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Quote:
We are capable of discerning the difference between preference and policy, aren't we?


Yes, we are. But in this case I think it's a distinction without a difference. A strong preference can't help but be made manifest over time. It will affect the way you relate to the parents. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You should fine parents you are comfortable working with.


No, it isn't. In situations where I can see a real benefit or need for the parent to be there, I have no problem with that - in fact, I welcome it. That's already a difference.

Let's put it another way - I like to have a solid reason to have the parent there. If there is one, no problem! If there isn't, I'd prefer to have the student alone and not have their attention divided. As I said, I have no problem with the parent being within earshot. I am not up to anything sinister and have no problem with being observed. My preference is on pedagogical grounds and what I have observed over 20 years of teaching. I can honestly say that students who are nursed along by parents do not do better in the long term. Quite the opposite in fact. Students who learn to be self-sufficient and don't need to be motivated by parents usually outperform those who do, in the long term.

The other "distinction" or "difference" as you put it, is in the way you explain it. I am able to explain my preference in a sufficiently gentle way that if they remain unconvinced by my logic, they don't feel alienated by it or want to leave. In fact, I have never once lost a student due to expressing my preference.

At present, I have about 15% of students whose parents decided they wanted to sit in. Maybe around 30-40% were either not fussed either way. I'd estimate around half understood my logic and even agreed strongly with it.

As I said, it's in no way draconian - it's not even a policy. I see one of my greatest strengths as a teacher as being flexible. That doesn't mean I am indifferent to what I feel is the more efficient outcome. That is where preferences reside.

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#1651607 - 03/31/11 11:03 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11427
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It really depends on the child and parent. I had a particularly insecure boy (he was 8 or 9 when he started with me) and he insisted on his mother being right there. She is a principal at a school, but I had no problems teaching with her watching. There were never discipline issues with the boy and I knew that if he felt comforted by her presence, it was worth her being there. Then I encouraged her to sit on the other side of the dividing wall (it is made of glass blocks and it doesn't go all the way up to the ceiling, so definitely within earshot). I did this because I thought the boy needed to develop a sense of security once he had taken lessons with me for several months. She had no problem with that, and then I recommended as he got older that she go "shopping" for a few minutes during the lesson. Now, no one needs to be there for him and he is much more sure of himself.

I have another young girl who is very outgoing and talkative, but I think that if Mom or Dad were there, they would distract her, not out of anything they did, but she's just a little tough to keep on task at times. I had offered that she could stay during the first lesson, but the Mom felt it would be best if she didn't. That has worked out for the better.

I think in most cases, it is for the benefit of the child to become independent learners. If the boy above was not so obviously insecure and the parent wanted to be there to help out during the week, I wouldn't have a problem with that. In fact, I had a voice student whose father wanted to be right there during lessons, I'm sure to learn alongside him what he could. I had no problems with that.
_________________________
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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#1651615 - 03/31/11 11:10 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Australia
I think that John v.d.Brook has got it right, as he video records each lesson, whether parents are present, or not, and his students can take the dvd home with them to review the lesson.
Parents can also view the video, and support as necessary.
_________________________
Rob

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#1651651 - 03/31/11 11:59 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: ando]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


That's a highly arrogant statement to make, Ronald. I am perfectly able to handle having a parent being present, but I prefer not to. I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously. I would rather focus all my attention on the student and not have to think about whether a parent is understanding why I'm doing it that way.


What made my statement arrogant. Your total insecurity that makes you think that the presence of the parent interfere you. The parent just sit there watching what you do. If you have full control of the student, the student will pay attention to you. Your inability to control the student that makes them to do other thing.

Again, I affirm that teachers insecurity that will make them think this way. If you have nothing to hide, you will not care whether 1 parent, 2 parents, or even uncles and aunts around.

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#1651657 - 03/31/11 12:05 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: kck]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: kck
I attend my 6 year old's lessons every week. I do not speak or participate unless the teacher brings me in, I just sit quietly and take notes. It makes a huge difference in her ability to practice effectively though.


I love when the parent attends the class, it will help tremendously. The kid feels that the parent care and more importantly, the parent will be able to help.

Remember that TIGER Mom book, she attends every single lesson that is why she can help her kid progress. Little kids do not have the concentration span like that of adult, in addition, little kids careless about what to do and practice at home.

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#1651664 - 03/31/11 12:21 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


That's a highly arrogant statement to make, Ronald. I am perfectly able to handle having a parent being present, but I prefer not to. I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously. I would rather focus all my attention on the student and not have to think about whether a parent is understanding why I'm doing it that way.


What made my statement arrogant. Your total insecurity that makes you think that the presence of the parent interfere you. The parent just sit there watching what you do. If you have full control of the student, the student will pay attention to you. Your inability to control the student that makes them to do other thing.

Again, I affirm that teachers insecurity that will make them think this way. If you have nothing to hide, you will not care whether 1 parent, 2 parents, or even uncles and aunts around.




Sure, Ronald, after 23 years of teaching and performing, I still feel insecure about being watched... thumb Seriously, being observed is that last thing I'm concerned about. If you haven't noticed the effect some parents have on their children, you aren't paying attention.

Anyway, I'm convinced you don't have the intelligence to understand the point I was making, so I won't bother with you any further. Let's try and stay out of each other's way from now on, shall we?

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#1651672 - 03/31/11 12:27 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: ando]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


That's a highly arrogant statement to make, Ronald. I am perfectly able to handle having a parent being present, but I prefer not to. I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously. I would rather focus all my attention on the student and not have to think about whether a parent is understanding why I'm doing it that way.


What made my statement arrogant. Your total insecurity that makes you think that the presence of the parent interfere you. The parent just sit there watching what you do. If you have full control of the student, the student will pay attention to you. Your inability to control the student that makes them to do other thing.

Again, I affirm that teachers insecurity that will make them think this way. If you have nothing to hide, you will not care whether 1 parent, 2 parents, or even uncles and aunts around.




Sure, Ronald, after 20 years of teaching and performing, I still feel insecure about being watched... thumb Seriously, being observed is that last thing I'm concerned about. If you haven't noticed the effect some parents have on their children, you aren't paying attention.

Anyway, I'm convinced you don't have the intelligence to understand the point I was making, so I won't bother with you any further. Let's try and stay out of each other's way from now on, shall we?


Performing and teaching is totally different thing. It shows also you cannot differentiate the two.

It is just YOUR personality, the length of your teaching experience means nothing. It is just a flaw...

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#1651681 - 03/31/11 12:37 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: ando]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


That's a highly arrogant statement to make, Ronald. I am perfectly able to handle having a parent being present, but I prefer not to. I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously. I would rather focus all my attention on the student and not have to think about whether a parent is understanding why I'm doing it that way.


What made my statement arrogant. Your total insecurity that makes you think that the presence of the parent interfere you. The parent just sit there watching what you do. If you have full control of the student, the student will pay attention to you. Your inability to control the student that makes them to do other thing.

Again, I affirm that teachers insecurity that will make them think this way. If you have nothing to hide, you will not care whether 1 parent, 2 parents, or even uncles and aunts around.




If you haven't noticed the effect some parents have on their children, you aren't paying attention.



In the classroom, you are the pilot. You control the flow etc, you have to really know what you do to make the parent respects you. If the parent is dare to interfere, because the parent can feel that you are weak. If you have full control, the parent will not say a thing, just stay there and sit.

If you have trouble controlling one parent, you will have big problem teaching in a group lesson with 10 kids and 10 parents. I used to teach this way, so I know what I do.

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#1651687 - 03/31/11 12:41 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ando Offline
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Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: ando
[quote=RonaldSteinway]Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


That's a highly arrogant statement to make, Ronald. I am perfectly able to handle having a parent being present, but I prefer not to. I believe it does interfere with the teaching process because you spend time directing information to the parent, either consciously or subconsciously. I would rather focus all my attention on the student and not have to think about whether a parent is understanding why I'm doing it that way.


What made my statement arrogant. Your total insecurity that makes you think that the presence of the parent interfere you. The parent just sit there watching what you do. If you have full control of the student, the student will pay attention to you. Your inability to control the student that makes them to do other thing.
Quote:

Again, I affirm that teachers insecurity that will make them think this way. If you have nothing to hide, you will not care whether 1 parent, 2 parents, or even uncles and aunts around.


Sure, Ronald, after 20 years of teaching and performing, I still feel insecure about being watched... thumb Seriously, being observed is that last thing I'm concerned about. If you haven't noticed the effect some parents have on their children, you aren't paying attention.

Anyway, I'm convinced you don't have the intelligence to understand the point I was making, so I won't bother with you any further. Let's try and stay out of each other's way from now on, shall we?


It is just YOUR personality, the length of your teaching experience means nothing. It is just a flaw...


Ronald, the pertinent issue here is that you lack the insight to understand why somebody would have a preference, but also the flexibility to adjust to the individual circumstances. Unless you have a lot of experience, you wouldn't know. Remember, I just expressed a preference based on my experience. I never said I couldn't or don't teach with parents present. I do, so your accusation is already nullified by that alone.

The only reason you can come up with to explain why I would have a preference is that I must be insecure. If you had more broad experience, you might be informed enough to know that there are pros and cons involved with either approach - it's not as simple as you make it. You don't even address the issue of teaching students to be self-motivated. Your narrow way of thinking says parents must be involved and that it's always a good thing. Sooner or later, you will probably come across the kind of situations that led to my preference. Until then, you just won't get it.

You don't actually mount any arguments for your case. Your posts just come across as just a random personal attack. If you think you aren't exposing your own flaws there, you are seriously mistaken.

Btw, performing desensitises you to observation - whether it's teaching or performing. That's why I mentioned it. I am not bothered by observation at all. In fact I sort of enjoy it, I just don't find it to be the best solution for all of my students.

Mind if I ask how old you are and how much teaching experience you have?

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#1651693 - 03/31/11 12:47 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: ando]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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25 years teaching experience. These days, I teach for fun, not to make money.

I am talking about little kids who are generally cannot remember what needs to be done once they leave the classroom.

Why do you think I am attacking you. I did not even reply to your posting originally. I was making a general statement. If you prefer your way, you can keep whatever you like to do.
You are the one who feels this way. As you said your argument is for your own reasoning.

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#1651703 - 03/31/11 01:09 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Ronald,

You presumed that insecurity is the only reason why a teacher might worry about parental involvement. That does seem like a rather aggressive attack on Ando. How else can a reasoning person view this:

Quote:
Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses. For young kids, especially, it is important for the parent to be present so that the parent can help the student to practice at home.


You not helping me make my case, man! smile
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#1651721 - 03/31/11 01:34 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: RonaldSteinway]
bmbutler Offline
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Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
Have to respectfully disagree with your premise that "Only insecure teachers will feel the presence of the parent interferes the learning process or any other excuses." It totally depends on the child and the situation. I teach two children from the same family. Different issues when Grandma brings one and sits in my LR while he takes and issues with the other when the Father brings her.
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#1651730 - 03/31/11 01:48 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Lollipop Offline
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Although I think there are many reasons why a parent in the room may not be always appropriate, in this case, with an 18 year old teacher, I think insecurity just might be an issue.

When my daughter failed to get a summer job after her first year of college, she advertised locally for summer violin lessons (hoping to snag a few middle schoolers who otherwise wouldn't touch their violin for the summer.) One of the students she ended up with was a 6 year old, with a very verbal, pushy mom. (The kind who failed to show up, called after the fact for a different time, and did everything wrong.) The mom alternated with the grandmother each week, and sometimes both came together. Both presented problems. Mom interrupted, scolded, tried to re-interpret instructions, etc. Grandma defended. Student looked at mom or grandma before answering any question. Compounding the problem was that the student didn't touch her instrument between lessons, so there was next to no learning taking place.

My daughter was 19, and not an experienced teacher. It was a dismal failure. There were far too many adults in the room! Don't think the student learned much, but my daughter sure learned a lot.
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#1653231 - 04/02/11 04:41 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Miss Karen Offline
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Loc: Kent, WA (Covington)
In my studio, my parents either sit in the car and wait or sit in the studio while the lesson is going on. It is their preference. I like having the parents there in case I have a question. I have some parents go do errands and then return to the studio.

I feel comfortable teaching in front of parents. I do not feel intimidated or conscious. All of my parents are supportive and want to be here with their children as well with me.
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#1654280 - 04/04/11 12:26 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Piano*Dad]
bitWrangler Offline
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Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Ronald,

You presumed that insecurity is the only reason why a teacher might worry about parental involvement. That does seem like a rather aggressive attack on Ando. How else can a reasoning person view this:


Actually, even "insecurity" has different levels. Given some of the negative parental involvement examples above, I can easily see how some teachers are insecure when it comes to confrontation, i.e. how to reign in the parent that is being disruptive, vs being insecure about the actual lesson. What easier and non-confrontational way of dealing with "unruly" parents than simply having a blanket "no parents" policy?

That said, I'm definitely pro-parental participation, though I believe that it behooves the teacher to "lay down the law" from the get-go (e.g. parent only interacts during the lesson when prompted by the teacher). Some parents are truly unaware of what is best, some may feel like their helping by interjecting, don't assume the parents know what is "good parental etiquette". Plus, if the parent starts acting up, then you can always point to your parental policies.

As for kiddos learning how to practice on their own, while I think there is some valid rationale there, that it will more often be the case that the student will progress faster with the assistance of a parent who has at least some idea of what the expectations are.

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#1654316 - 04/04/11 01:24 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Miss Karen]
bmbutler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Miss Karen
In my studio, my parents either sit in the car and wait or sit in the studio while the lesson is going on. It is their preference. I like having the parents there in case I have a question. I have some parents go do errands and then return to the studio.

I feel comfortable teaching in front of parents. I do not feel intimidated or conscious. All of my parents are supportive and want to be here with their children as well with me.


Thankfully, the majority of my parents are the same. I never tell a parent they can't sit in.
_________________________
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#1654413 - 04/04/11 03:54 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Actually, even "insecurity" has different levels. Given some of the negative parental involvement examples above, I can easily see how some teachers are insecure when it comes to confrontation, i.e. how to reign in the parent that is being disruptive, vs being insecure about the actual lesson. What easier and non-confrontational way of dealing with "unruly" parents than simply having a blanket "no parents" policy?


Indeed. Simple policies are so much easier to explain and to enforce. They can also make like simpler for the teacher.

What nettles me on occasion is hearing stories of unruly or obstreperous parents followed by a generalization about how a simple policy therefore makes things so much better for the student. I guess this is why I have been such a contrarian on occasion. When I hear the horror stories of parents diverting their darling's attention away from the teacher, or I hear how the meddlesome parent destructively undermines the lessons and the practices with spoon feeding or with their ego-bashing perfectionism, I like to offer counterexamples of how a parent can partner with the teacher to triple the rate of progress.
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#1654454 - 04/04/11 04:40 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Piano*Dad]
ando Offline
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I don't recall anybody saying they had a policy...

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#1654529 - 04/04/11 06:20 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Piano*Dad Offline
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... in this thread, perhaps.

The point that a number of us are making is more general.
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#1656269 - 04/07/11 11:43 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Piano*Dad]
Diane... Offline
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Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Actually, even "insecurity" has different levels. Given some of the negative parental involvement examples above, I can easily see how some teachers are insecure when it comes to confrontation, i.e. how to reign in the parent that is being disruptive, vs being insecure about the actual lesson. What easier and non-confrontational way of dealing with "unruly" parents than simply having a blanket "no parents" policy?

What nettles me on occasion is hearing stories of unruly or obstreperous parents followed by a generalization about how a simple policy therefore makes things so much better for the student. I guess this is why I have been such a contrarian on occasion. When I hear the horror stories of parents diverting their darling's attention away from the teacher,


I like what you say about "when parents divert their darlings attention away from the teacher"!
When I first started teaching, having a parent sit in made me very nervous! Felt they were judging my every decision! Now, thankfully, things are much different! The need to PROTECT the student from the parent at times! had one parent so aggressive, interfering with the childs every movement, to the point that the child was "frozen" in shock at each lesson! So this child receive a second mother to protect him from his real mother! When she started interfering, I reared up and, how I got so bold, guess it was just a protective instinct I guess! I told the parent "Okay, so next lesson, YOU can play all three pieces for me next week, and I expect it all to be PERFECT!"

The mother never said a word from that day forward, & . . . she didn't play the three pieces for me the next week either! grin

Sometimes you have to step up and stop the behaviour right in it's [bear] tracks! Cause some parents are just too over "bearing"! grin


Edited by Diane... (04/07/11 11:44 AM)
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#1656351 - 04/07/11 01:56 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Diane...]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Diane...
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Actually, even "insecurity" has different levels. Given some of the negative parental involvement examples above, I can easily see how some teachers are insecure when it comes to confrontation, i.e. how to reign in the parent that is being disruptive, vs being insecure about the actual lesson. What easier and non-confrontational way of dealing with "unruly" parents than simply having a blanket "no parents" policy?

What nettles me on occasion is hearing stories of unruly or obstreperous parents followed by a generalization about how a simple policy therefore makes things so much better for the student. I guess this is why I have been such a contrarian on occasion. When I hear the horror stories of parents diverting their darling's attention away from the teacher,


I like what you say about "when parents divert their darlings attention away from the teacher"!
When I first started teaching, having a parent sit in made me very nervous! Felt they were judging my every decision! Now, thankfully, things are much different! The need to PROTECT the student from the parent at times! had one parent so aggressive, interfering with the childs every movement, to the point that the child was "frozen" in shock at each lesson! So this child receive a second mother to protect him from his real mother! When she started interfering, I reared up and, how I got so bold, guess it was just a protective instinct I guess! I told the parent "Okay, so next lesson, YOU can play all three pieces for me next week, and I expect it all to be PERFECT!"

The mother never said a word from that day forward, & . . . she didn't play the three pieces for me the next week either! grin

Sometimes you have to step up and stop the behaviour right in it's [bear] tracks! Cause some parents are just too over "bearing"! grin


LOL I love it Diane! I hope your admonition also carried weight at home. Sometimes I don't think people realize how damaging something they say can be to some people until someone calls them on it like you did. Good for you!
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#1693262 - 06/09/11 11:27 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: bmbutler]
Feminicricket Offline
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Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
I understand where Ando is coming from. I have always encouraged parents to sit in lessons especially for the younger ones. Sometimes it backfires when the parent is too talkative, plays cheerleader for the child( this is especially annoying when their child is playing badly due to poor practice!), or when parent gives answers for a question directed to the child. Also I find extremely annoying is when parent who knows how to play, meddles with lessons and gives the student new material to learn often before anything is perfected -also material that is much harder than the student`s level. These parents think that their child is a genius when the child is badly hacking through a piece that is not his level. How do I deal with this? Anyone???

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#1693436 - 06/10/11 09:07 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Feminicricket]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Oh, you would have loved me. smile

I was one of those who would occasionally introduce new material that was harder than what was being assigned.

I accept that this can be a problem, especially if (as you say) the child is not capable of playing his or her current work at a technically accurate level. Then the result can indeed be a "bad hacking" through the more complex "unassigned" work.

In my own defense, I would do this over the summer when the teacher did not give lessons. I would use the summer to explore and to push new ideas. My son would often come back in the fall with a new piece or two either completed or in the polishing phase. As an example, one summer we jumped from Le Petit Negre level to Golliwog's Cakewalk. I thought he could handle it, and I was willing to try teaching it. Amazing how a student can make technical leaps by having essentially a daily lesson (or supervised practice, if you will). And when the student recognizes the leaps they're making, they become more exited about learning. The following summer we jumped into Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite (Montagues & Capulets). That was a sizable jump, but it worked.

His teacher would then get another idea of what level of music was appropriate/possible. She learned on occasion that she could pick up the pace as she saw the summer development.

And none of this has anything to do with being some sort of genius.
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#1693512 - 06/10/11 11:45 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
cinstance Offline
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Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 104
As a parent, I sit in every of my child's lessons, either taking notes or listening carefully to what the teacher taught and my son's playing. However I seldom interfere with the lesson, unless the teacher explicitly ask me to get involved.

One thing a lot of teachers do not realize is that the parents can be educated at the same time by sitting in the lesson, especially for someone like me who did not have any music background. From knowing nothing when my son started, I kept up with his progress, and am able to educate myself to at least appreciate the music to his level of playing. Educating myself really helped my son at lot on his practice, judging from his rapid progress which is unusual for a child in a family without any music background.


Edited by cinstance (06/10/11 11:46 AM)

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#1693530 - 06/10/11 12:45 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
Feminicricket Offline
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Posts: 136
Loc: USA
I think at the end of the day it is about the boundary of how far a parent gets involved. I absolutely like the parent who is helpful and makes sure the kid practices according to my instruction. I am very open to suggestions, don`t get me wrong. The boundary is broken when the parent plays teacher in class. I have a student who has no foundation at all because the parent who plays piano meddles in class so much. This child plays horribly because he does no finger exercises or scales, has skipped the gradual progress and the parent completely ignores my instruction and gives him what the parent thinks he should learn. The result is a child( a rude kid who has no respect for me) who hacks through pieces badly at recitals. This child does NOT like to be corrected however kindly I do it. This parent also thinks that this boy played the best in a recital and actually compared him to another child who played his last year`s recital pieces and said "Well, Johnnie played that last year and he played it much better". In fact I have absolutely no idea why they take lessons from me! Like I said, parents are welcome in class by most teachers but they have to know their boundaries and respect the teacher`s teaching or switch teachers or teach their their own kid.

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#1693547 - 06/10/11 01:16 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Piano*Dad]
Feminicricket Offline
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Loc: USA
Piano Dad, I have no problem with parents like you. If I was in your shoes, I would do the same thing. Sure, if your child is not taking lessons in the summer, by all means teach him some new material that is challenging. I am talking about parents who completely ignore the teacher`s instructions. Those are the parents who have over-stepped their respectful boundary. I am one of those teachers who actually like giving challenging material to students that can live up to it and who are not going to throw a tantrum when I correct their mistakes and who don`t mind playing measures over and over again to refine. Parents who sit in a class should be helpful to the teacher and not hinder lessons. I used to have a mom who would repeat whatever I said like a parrot. Would you all believe that I am actually tolerant? I think it is because I have understanding people in this pianoworld forum to vent ....LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Thank you! I also have the ability to put myself in the parent`s position to see why they behave in such a way. Most of the time it is because they are youtube watchers who are wondering how come their child is not playing a Chopin Concerto or a Ballade at 9 yrs old. So they get impatient with the gradual progress.

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#1695183 - 06/13/11 09:58 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Feminicricket]
DadAgain Offline
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Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
This is interesting.

My oldest daughter (now 7) has been having piano lessons for a couple of years and I've always sat in her lessons.

Her first teacher was a little inexperienced and didnt really know how to direct her - the lessons were fun and he did a lot to build her enthusiasm and self-confidence. In the end lessons fell into a rhythm of him directing stuff - but frequently asking me questions about stuff (including how daughter had practiced and learnt stuff, but also worringly what various basic italian terms meant!). Eventually it became clear daughter had outgrown his teaching abilities and we moved on.

Now I still sit in her lessons, but am pretty much a passive observer rather than part of a 'teaching team'. Its still good to hear exactly whats being covered in lessons though as it does let me know what she's supposed to be working on in her practice.

With our younger daughter though - she's just started having lessons (nearly 5yrs old) and to start off with I sat in her lessons. NOTHING got doe, she wouldnt focus or engage at all with the teacher. It was infuriating as at home she's keen to sit at the piano and dow what she can. SHe just refused to do anything in front of the teacher.

After a few frustrating weeks we were just about to abandon the whole lessons thing writing it off as 'too young'. BUT the teacher suggested trying it without me in the room. 30 minutes later they came out and the teacher said, "Wow - what a transformation! She played everything I asked she read some notes and is obviously pretty good for her age". We havent looked back - and lessons are now a great success. I have far less of an idea what goes on in her lessons than her sisters - but it seems to be working for HER.
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#1695214 - 06/13/11 11:02 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: DadAgain]
Feminicricket Offline
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Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: DadAgain
This is interesting.

My oldest daughter (now 7) has been having piano lessons for a couple of years and I've always sat in her lessons.

Her first teacher was a little inexperienced and didnt really know how to direct her - the lessons were fun and he did a lot to build her enthusiasm and self-confidence. In the end lessons fell into a rhythm of him directing stuff - but frequently asking me questions about stuff (including how daughter had practiced and learnt stuff, but also worringly what various basic italian terms meant!). Eventually it became clear daughter had outgrown his teaching abilities and we moved on.

Now I still sit in her lessons, but am pretty much a passive observer rather than part of a 'teaching team'. Its still good to hear exactly whats being covered in lessons though as it does let me know what she's supposed to be working on in her practice.

With our younger daughter though - she's just started having lessons (nearly 5yrs old) and to start off with I sat in her lessons. NOTHING got doe, she wouldnt focus or engage at all with the teacher. It was infuriating as at home she's keen to sit at the piano and dow what she can. SHe just refused to do anything in front of the teacher.

After a few frustrating weeks we were just about to abandon the whole lessons thing writing it off as 'too young'. BUT the teacher suggested trying it without me in the room. 30 minutes later they came out and the teacher said, "Wow - what a transformation! She played everything I asked she read some notes and is obviously pretty good for her age". We havent looked back - and lessons are now a great success. I have far less of an idea what goes on in her lessons than her sisters - but it seems to be working for HER.


I have a similar student and you have confirmed both mine and another teacher`s opinion about the need for a parent to leave the child alone in class when the parent in class is not helping the situation. Trouble is my student`s parent does not want to leave because the parent thinks that their presence is not the problem. Very tricky subject for a teacher to deal with.

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#1697295 - 06/18/11 12:01 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
I find that most parents that sit on on lessons these days don't really pay attention, because they are looking at their iphones. This is only a problem when the thing rings and they answer it. Really! Too different sets of parents recently have had a conversation with someone (always an emergency) on their phone in the kitchen. One of the parents reads the news and will comment about it. This is interspersed with comments to the child about forgetting this book or that. Really, I don't think they are getting much from being there and it is a distraction for me and the child. And if they are not really involved in the child's practice at home, how does it help? I tell parents they are welcome to come, but, I have gotten to the point where I don't really encourage it. 5 minutes at the end is great, to just give them a summary of what we did and what the child should be working on.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1697344 - 06/18/11 04:35 AM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: DadAgain]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: DadAgain


After a few frustrating weeks we were just about to abandon the whole lessons thing writing it off as 'too young'. BUT the teacher suggested trying it without me in the room. 30 minutes later they came out and the teacher said, "Wow - what a transformation! She played everything I asked she read some notes and is obviously pretty good for her age". We havent looked back - and lessons are now a great success. I have far less of an idea what goes on in her lessons than her sisters - but it seems to be working for HER.


Sounds like she was embarrassed, with you in the room, to make her own relationship with the teacher. Or maybe the teacher was embarrassed. Maybe a vicious circle with everyone's mutual embarrassment feeding off of each other's.

Glad you found a way out! smile
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1698645 - 06/20/11 12:54 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
asiantraveller101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 158
Loc: ME
I used to have a student's mom that would raise her hand, and shout "I know, I know!" when I asked her daughter musical questions pertaining to her pieces or theory work. It was thoroughly annoying! She would also "spoon feed" her daughter answers when she was doing theory. I had to "bite my tongue" and bear with it for several years, till her daughter finally advanced to a stage where she could not longer be of "help". So, be patient, and hang in there! Best wishes!
Ps. The positive side of it, is those parents usually are very supportive of their kids music learning, and try to take an active role.
_________________________
JN

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#1698650 - 06/20/11 12:58 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: CarolR]
asiantraveller101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 158
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: CarolR
I find that most parents that sit on on lessons these days don't really pay attention, because they are looking at their iphones. This is only a problem when the thing rings and they answer it. Really!


Haha! I had a father who sat in her daughter's lessons regularly, reading newspaper and farting on numerous occasions, and did not even blink an eye nor apologized!
_________________________
JN

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#1698654 - 06/20/11 01:04 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: Cheeky]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
I had a lady clip her nails during the lesson. Others have texted non-stop.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1698723 - 06/20/11 03:29 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: rocket88]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Others have texted non-stop.

That one doesn't bother me.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1698999 - 06/20/11 10:53 PM Re: Etiquette for parent during child's piano lessons [Re: AZNpiano]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Others have texted non-stop.

That one doesn't bother me.


When they are sitting very near (small studio room), I find it distracting. If they were a bit further away, it would not.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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