Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#1755804 - 09/20/11 05:20 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
I'm always amazed at how teachers vary in this respect. Perhaps I shouldn't be -- I know that people don't come out of a factory -- but I am. My kids have four music teachers between them, and they each have completely different views on how much parental involvement they want. One wants me to have no part to play in the teaching process beyond signing cheques. One wants me to sit in the room with the kids during classes and then act as a second teacher at home. The others are somewhere in between. All are very experienced and successful teachers, and all know me and my musical background pretty well.

The fact that there is such a variety of views, even among experienced teachers, suggests to me that there isn't a clear right/wrong answer here.

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1755855 - 09/20/11 08:45 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
This is one of those situations in which size DOES matter. A room that is 5 x 8 is just too small to accomodate the needs of a young beginner IMO. I prefer to have ONE parent sit in on lessons. But in a room that small, it would be awful.

I would allow a single observer. Not both parents at the same time. Not parent and sibling.

Stores with their closet size studios are not fun for anyone. I hope you can get your own studio soon!

Top
#1755896 - 09/20/11 10:14 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1058
Loc: NJ
Ann, I think that is a huge factor. Factor in two chairs, a music rack, the child's backpack, coat, me, Dad, keyboard and child in one tiny room. It's nearly impossible to teach effectively.

Top
#1755971 - 09/20/11 12:49 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
It's not fair to the poor kid either. They are put in a small windowless closet with a piano and 2 adults and they're supposed to experience the joy of music! Plus the little kids need a writing station, so they can move about and do different things...not just squeeze in near the piano.

Some stores could take down a wall between two studio closets, and make one decent studio. (But I doubt they'll do it.)

chasingrainbows, you have my sympathy!

Top
#1756016 - 09/20/11 01:47 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
It's true that every teacher is also different, along with each student, each parent, each room, etc. It's not possible to make rules that cover all eventualities. You can't write it all into your policy. Whatever are the essentials for you, of course you may require students & parents to agree to before starting lessons; but that's only a framework or outline for what might happen. In any case, if you have a parent or student with whom you feel you can't try different things and don't have much hope of being able to come to a mutual understanding, it may be time to suggest that they switch teachers.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1756049 - 09/20/11 02:58 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1058
Loc: NJ
Maybe I need to be more flexible in my thinking, but connecting with my student one on one, as well as space issues are my primary concerns. I have a hard time understanding how a parent can send their child to school for an entire day without any problem, yet insists on sitting in on extracurricular lessons (so that they "know what is expected", etc.,), and feeling comfortable with answering for their child, or demonstrating to the child what they are paying the teacher to do.

Top
#1756137 - 09/20/11 06:09 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
Originally Posted By: chasingrainbows
... I have a hard time understanding how a parent can send their child to school for an entire day without any problem, yet insists on sitting in on extracurricular lessons (so that they "know what is expected", etc.,).


Theres a few simple logistical reasons for this:

Firstly, most parents CANNOT be at school to sit in on lessons, school timetable happens (quite sensibly) to coincide with most peoples work days. Furthermore insutrumental lessons occur outisde of shcool time which pretty much REQUIRES parents to be there in their capacity of taxi driver. If I'm going to sit around for an hour whilst my child has a lesson of course I'm going to listen in and see how its all going.

Secondly, school classes have considerbly MORE students. That means that parents cant sit in or there'd be potentialy 25 parents sitting at the back of the class - obviously that'd be mayhem! (Having said that our school does invite parents to come and assist in class if they can from time to time so they can be more aware of whats going on AND help out the teachers).

Thirdly (and least convincingly), the high numbers in school classroom mean teaching is far more 'generic' rather than 'targetted'. I'd say my daughter is taught far far less in a whole day at school than she is in an hour of a piano lessons. The pace of learning in schools is deliberately dumbed down to not alienate the slower kids - this means the more bright kids have no trouble whatsoever keeping up and remembering what they're taught. In instrumental lessons however, theres a LOT packed in to short time. It can be tough for a child to remember all the points raised in an instrumental lesson, so an extra pair of eyes/ears can make for more effective learning - making the experience more rewarding for both student and teacher.

Also: School work happens for 6 hours a day at school and perhaps 15 minutes a day at home - thats 96% of the work done under teacher supervision. Instrumental work happens for (in our case) 45 minutes a week with teacher and about 5 hours a week at home - thats only 13% of the work done under teacher supervision. THAT might be a huge reason why a lot of parents feel they need to be 'across the issues' covered in instrumental lessons more than they do for schoolwork.


Edited by DadAgain (09/20/11 06:15 PM)
_________________________
Parent....
Orchestral Viola player (stictly amateur)....
Hack Pianist.... (faded skills from glory days 20 yrs ago)
Vague Guitar & Bass player.... (former minor income stream 15 yrs ago)
Former conductor... (been a long time since I was set loose with a magic wand!)

Top
#1756151 - 09/20/11 06:27 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
There is also the added factor (and, in some cases, danger) that this is a one-on-one situation. I want to make sure my child is safe with the person I'm going to leave him with. Bad things have been known to happen.

I also have found it helpful to know exactly what the teacher is saying. My son sometimes interprets the information quite differently.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1756180 - 09/20/11 07:11 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: DadAgain]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: DadAgain
Originally Posted By: chasingrainbows
... I have a hard time understanding how a parent can send their child to school for an entire day without any problem, yet insists on sitting in on extracurricular lessons (so that they "know what is expected", etc.,).
Also: School work happens for 6 hours a day at school and perhaps 15 minutes a day at home - thats 96% of the work done under teacher supervision. Instrumental work happens for (in our case) 45 minutes a week with teacher and about 5 hours a week at home - thats only 13% of the work done under teacher supervision. THAT might be a huge reason why a lot of parents feel they need to be 'across the issues' covered in instrumental lessons more than they do for schoolwork.


I think the above is really #1 for our family. Given that the teacher is visited once per week, having the kiddo spin their wheels for an entire week because they heard something wrong or misremembered (yes, somewhat mitigated by teachers notes, but not always) makes for a significant lack of productivity given the number of hours spent outside the lesson.

And while we don't sit in on our kids classes, I do have a somewhat related example when it comes to school. One of the things we like about our kids current school is that they generally get their homework back within a day or two, none of this "friday folder" nonsense. This is important to us because it allows us to go over any problem spots at the time when it's still somewhat fresh in their heads and before any tests. Again, it makes the process more efficient and, we feel, raises the productivity level of the homework as it can be used to reinforce the positive (vs the multi-day, sometimes week plus long turn around doing it the other way).

Not for everyone, but we feel it works for us.

Our oldest has been taking piano lessons for 6 years now and one of us still sits in on every lesson. We feel, as does the piano teacher, that our kiddos wouldn't have made nearly as much progress without this direct involvement.

Top
#1756288 - 09/21/11 12:40 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
There are different kinds of progress. One kind is learning to work the keys of the piano, and to play some music; but that's by and large the easy part. A much bigger component of progress is the student learning to manage himself and his work. Clearly, a five-year-old is not going to be in that league yet, with an exception here and there - but a ten- or twelve-year-old had better be "getting there" at least. It will fairly soon be time to start letting your older child have his/her own lessons, on occasion at first and then more often. If my parents had been sitting in on my lessons when I was 12, I would have quit.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1756387 - 09/21/11 05:14 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
[quote=chasingrainbowsI have a hard time understanding how a parent can send their child to school for an entire day without any problem, yet insists on sitting in on extracurricular lessons (so that they "know what is expected", etc.,), and feeling comfortable with answering for their child, or demonstrating to the child what they are paying the teacher to do. [/quote]

In addition to what DadAgain said, mainstream schools generally follow a documented curriculum, produce detailed reports on student progress, and provide times outside of school hours for meetings between parents and teachers. Schools set homework the amount and content of which are well-documented and which (we hope) parents will oversee and assist with. Moreover, if schools are properly run, there are formal complaints procedures where failings in the system can (we hope) be followed up.

In addition, most mainstream schools (in the UK) are run by governers, a large proportion of whom are parents of children at the school.

Consequently, there should be no need whatsover for parents to sit in school classrooms to monitor what their kids are doing, even if it were practicable to do so.

But these administrative and monitoring procedures are not implemented to anywhere near the same extent in private music tuition -- they couldn't be without trebling the fees.

So it's not really useful to use what goes on in mainstream schools as a model for parental involvement in private tuition.

Top
#1756425 - 09/21/11 07:33 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Has it already been mentioned: parents know the material that is being taught in gradeschool, they don't need to be present in the classroom to be able to help their kids with homework or continue the work that is being done at school.

Whereas in general they have little familiarity with what is going on in music lessons.

There is another side to the comparaison with gradeschool, which is that there is a parallel, social education going on, along side the subject matter. The kids are learning to live with each other and with adults other than their parents. You might say that they are being saved from their parents !

Top
#1756436 - 09/21/11 08:00 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Jaak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Tallinn, Estonia
Hi,

I had the same problem a while ago. I have an 8 year old boy student. His father who took him to school stayed in the lesson and even participated by commenting and also playing the piano. It was really strange. And I did not like it at all. In one moment I think the father started to trust me and saw that his children like the lessons (His daughter is also my student)and did not come in any more. So it became much better and easier.
But if this situation lasts for a long time, what I would do then? Just some quick ideas:

I would talk to the parent in a friendly way and give him/her very strong arguments why it is better to teach the student without anyone else in the lesson. Arguments:

1) If two persons are near, the attention is devided and child can not concentrate entirely. This lessens the effect of learning.
2) When the child has to manage the situation himself/herself it grows the character and makes the child more mature. Gives courage and social skills. Also the attitude of managing well can improve. This is important for future.
3) You can also concentrate better and do your lesson in a relaxed and certain way.

So I would prefer a friendly and well explained approach. You can also add, that this is proven nowadays scientifically or something like that. Somehow these little phrases have strong influence on people. I do not like bluffing but you can just say something like this when it is absolutely necessary.

Really hope you solve it,

Jaak

Top
#1756440 - 09/21/11 08:08 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: Jaak]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: Jaak
You can also add, that this is proven nowadays scientifically or something like that. Somehow these little phrases have strong influence on people. I do not like bluffing but you can just say something like this when it is absolutely necessary.


Ouch smirk

That would be, um..., a lie, wouldn't it? I don't think it would do much for your business credibility if you tell whoppers like this and get found out. And you will smile

Top
#1756482 - 09/21/11 09:46 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
I agree with those who pointed out that public schools and private piano studios can't compare. I will add the following:

1. In many public schools, including my children's, there is an open-door policy. Parents are welcome to observe the classroom as long as they notify the teacher in advance. And teachers at lower grades generally appreciate and sometimes ask for parent helpers.

2. I know of quite a few piano students whose parents always, ALWAYS, sit in on lessons. Some students are already in high school, and parents still sit in on EVERY lesson. All of these students and parents take piano study very seriously. At some point parents no longer need to help their children's practice, but sitting in on lessons is a way for parents' self education. It provides valuable opportunity for parents to understand as much as possible about piano performance and music education, and this will be great help when their children make career decisions.

3. Parents sitting in and parents sitting in without knowing etiquette are two separate issues.

Top
#1756532 - 09/21/11 11:19 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: david_a]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: david_a
There are different kinds of progress. One kind is learning to work the keys of the piano, and to play some music; but that's by and large the easy part. A much bigger component of progress is the student learning to manage himself and his work. Clearly, a five-year-old is not going to be in that league yet, with an exception here and there - but a ten- or twelve-year-old had better be "getting there" at least. It will fairly soon be time to start letting your older child have his/her own lessons, on occasion at first and then more often. If my parents had been sitting in on my lessons when I was 12, I would have quit.


Just as there are different kinds of progress, there are different roles that a participating parent can play while sitting in on lessons. What a parent does when the student is younger is different than when the student is older. Plus a lot depends on the role/relationship between the parent and the student. In our case our kids music studies are viewed as a collaborative family effort not just an activity that the kid happens to be doing. Our daughter elicits feedback from us, both musically and technically (as well as procedurally, e.g. time management, etc) and having one of us in on the lessons helps tremendously in this regard. However, she is more than capable of going it alone when the situation calls for it (we may simply be busy ourselves).

I know that a lot of the examples given in this thread have primarily focused on parents who tend to be overbearing or overreaching in their "participation", however, I was merely pointing out that it is indeed possible for parents to play an active role without being one of "those" parents.

Also, as I've mentioned before, while not compulsory, our kids teacher highly encourages parents to sit in on lessons, regardless of age (she has some pretty talented high school level students whose parents sit in on most/every practice as well).

Top
#1756594 - 09/21/11 12:54 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: bitWrangler]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Originally Posted By: david_a
There are different kinds of progress. One kind is learning to work the keys of the piano, and to play some music; but that's by and large the easy part. A much bigger component of progress is the student learning to manage himself and his work. Clearly, a five-year-old is not going to be in that league yet, with an exception here and there - but a ten- or twelve-year-old had better be "getting there" at least. It will fairly soon be time to start letting your older child have his/her own lessons, on occasion at first and then more often. If my parents had been sitting in on my lessons when I was 12, I would have quit.


Just as there are different kinds of progress, there are different roles that a participating parent can play while sitting in on lessons. What a parent does when the student is younger is different than when the student is older. Plus a lot depends on the role/relationship between the parent and the student. In our case our kids music studies are viewed as a collaborative family effort not just an activity that the kid happens to be doing. Our daughter elicits feedback from us, both musically and technically (as well as procedurally, e.g. time management, etc) and having one of us in on the lessons helps tremendously in this regard. However, she is more than capable of going it alone when the situation calls for it (we may simply be busy ourselves).

I know that a lot of the examples given in this thread have primarily focused on parents who tend to be overbearing or overreaching in their "participation", however, I was merely pointing out that it is indeed possible for parents to play an active role without being one of "those" parents.

Also, as I've mentioned before, while not compulsory, our kids teacher highly encourages parents to sit in on lessons, regardless of age (she has some pretty talented high school level students whose parents sit in on most/every practice as well).
I think you and the teacher are both right that parents have a valuable contribution to make. Of course they do. But I think (after a certain point) that contribution, even though it's still valuable, is not worth nearly as much as the alternative - beginning to step aside and expect the students themselves to handle more.

When your kids move out, it's nice to know that they'll miss you; but not so nice to think they'll need you and be lost without you.

To be frozen for a lifetime at "talented high school" level and no more, due to lack of experience in the basics of managing their own practicing and their own lessons, would be a shame. Talented high school pianists are a dime a dozen, unfortunately. And talented high school pianists who are also forty years old are far too common.

Doing for your children gets the job (well, a job, hopefully the right one) done, no question about it. But doing for your children also encourages their dependence on you. For young children, that dependence is inarguably and entirely appropriate; somewhere along the way, things change. How and when things change is a big and open question that has many potential right answers.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1756602 - 09/21/11 01:04 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: chasingrainbows
Since I work in a store, I handle situations somewhat differently than if I worked in my own home. Recently, I've acquired several students, age 4-6. Initially, the parent sat in on lessons, however, it has been over 6 months now, and parents are still making a weekly habit of this. I've suggested kindly that they could sit outside the room (rooms have full glass doors) occasionally, but they have various reasons - my child likes me in there, or they can interpret what goes on in the lesson easier than the child can (I do write everthing in their assignment books). Of course, there are days when two parents are in the room (room is about 5 X 8), and I can't move around the room at all. Recently, one mom brought along her 5 year old child. It's getting out of control, and I'm finding myself now wondering if these parents lack confidence in me. Would they sit in on swim or ballet lessons I wonder? Do they attend school with their children? It's intrusive and IMO affects the relationship I am trying to build with the student. Any suggestions or input is appreciated.


Yes, parents do sit in on swim or ballet classes!

Maybe you could ask the store to give you a "bigger" room. I think at 4 or 6 years old, parents should have every right to sit in on the lesson. I would welcome that myself. The parents can know what is required of those very young kids & help them with practice at home.

But at the end of the day, you have to remember you are serving the paying customer. And accomodate whatever requests that paying customer wants. Within reason of course, but I just get the feeling you are accomodating "your needs". I'm not trying to be difficult here, but find out what can be changed if necessary (give the screaming sibling a sucker) but realize parents may have safety reasons, or curiousity & see it as a positive thing!

Hope this helps!


Edited by Diane... (09/21/11 01:05 PM)
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


Top
#1756630 - 09/21/11 01:41 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: Diane...]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: Diane...
But at the end of the day, you have to remember you are serving the paying customer. And accomodate whatever requests that paying customer wants.
I don't think this is true. This attitude works for businesses that are selling a product, but teachers are not selling a product. The piano teacher's "customers" are there because they want to learn piano, and sometimes the teacher has to say, "In order to learn piano you need to do it this way, not the way you were originally expecting".

To put it another way - the following statement is not strictly correct but makes the issue perfectly clear - the piano-lesson customer is WRONG, and that's exactly why he wants lessons!

We are here to teach piano; we are NOT here to do everything the customer asks. If he asks for something incompatible with good piano teaching, it's our duty to say no.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1756692 - 09/21/11 03:03 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1058
Loc: NJ
david a, thank you for explaining that. I am a PRIVATE contractor who works for a music store. Each teacher has their own policy/methods, etc. I present my policy before parents sign up for lessons. I agree to allow one parent to sit in on lessons in the beginning, but encourage occasional lessons that are parent-free. It seems that every parent of child 4-7 now wants to jump on the bandwagon.

Diane: The store is limited in space, and there is absolutely no possibility of ever getting a larger studio. If parents are not happy with sitting outside the studio on occasion, and emailing me for input/suggestions, etc. or conversing in the last few minutes of the lesson, they certainly have the option to find another teacher. I am not accomodating my needs, I am attempting to create a relaxed learning environment. I can't control what a parent will do from one moment to the next, nor should I have to worry about that. Parents yanking on their child's shirt, getting up and demonstrating, answering for them, using cell phones, bringing along other children--where does it end? This is not a private piano lesson. As you indicated, parents do sit in on ballet and swim CLASSES. If parents want this type of lesson, the child should join a music class.

Top
#1756707 - 09/21/11 03:21 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: chasingrainbows
I can't control what a parent will do from one moment to the next, nor should I have to worry about that. Parents yanking on their child's shirt, getting up and demonstrating, answering for them, using cell phones, bringing along other children--where does it end?
You are free to tell the parents to please remain seated over there and to please be quiet while you're teaching. Or to tell them to please not come in next week (which works much better than telling them not to come in THIS week, by the way). Or to say that one parent is welcome to come in and listen but no children except for the student. Or that everyone is welcome and bring the dog too. Whatever works in this particular situation is what you should do.

Not every parent is the same either. I have had whole families come in (when a lesson was in a large room) and it was fine. I have had parents who were absolutely poisonous to have around - the student was terrified and I was distracted and angry - and I have had other parents who made an immense positive difference and I wished they would come in more often. Siblings who sit in the corner with a coloring book, and other siblings who come and bang on the piano every two minutes while hitting the teacher with the other hand. smile

This issue is totally worth losing a student over, unless you are desperate for this particular few dollars - and I have certainly been there. frown
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1756708 - 09/21/11 03:24 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: kevinb]
Jaak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Tallinn, Estonia
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: Jaak
You can also add, that this is proven nowadays scientifically or something like that. Somehow these little phrases have strong influence on people. I do not like bluffing but you can just say something like this when it is absolutely necessary.


Ouch smirk

That would be, um..., a lie, wouldn't it? I don't think it would do much for your business credibility if you tell whoppers like this and get found out. And you will smile



Hi,

I agree with you. I should correct myself.
Sciences that research education and progress of a child for sure include things that point out the importance of independent thinking and ability to take responsibility. If you mention something from there it is a strong argument. So there is just an idea to think about.

The last point was half like a joke or hint but sorry for that again.

GL
Jaak

Top
#1756816 - 09/21/11 06:11 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: david_a]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Originally Posted By: david_a
Originally Posted By: Diane...
But at the end of the day, you have to remember you are serving the paying customer. And accomodate whatever requests that paying customer wants.
I don't think this is true. This attitude works for businesses that are selling a product, but teachers are not selling a product. The piano teacher's "customers" are there because they want to learn piano, and sometimes the teacher has to say, "In order to learn piano you need to do it this way, not the way you were originally expecting".

To put it another way - the following statement is not strictly correct but makes the issue perfectly clear - the piano-lesson customer is WRONG, and that's exactly why he wants lessons!

We are here to teach piano; we are NOT here to do everything the customer asks. If he asks for something incompatible with good piano teaching, it's our duty to say no.


Woah, I really disagree with a lot of this. We ARE selling a product....piano education....to our customers (students). Sure they have to do the practice between lessons, but our expertise is a service that is the product.

Happy customers spread the word of your value, so you have to walk the fine line between keeping them happy and yourself happy with a firm policy.
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

Top
#1756896 - 09/21/11 08:18 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Jaak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Tallinn, Estonia
Hi,

I do not agree with selling and customer attitude.

Of course teacher takes money because he/she has to live from something but I think these things - money and education should be as separated as possible.

Like Ferenc Liszt said, real teaching cannot involve money and a wish to gain profit and bend higher values like music according to the wish of a student who is not as advanced in music as the tutor.

Why, there is a simple explanation.

The student really does not know what to expect and demand from the teacher, because he/she has not explored the piano world so much and often can not understand what to do and why is teacher doing certain things. And even if it can seem differently for the student in the beginning, later the loser will be the student.

When the teacher starts to bend his/her view according to the student and the first goal is to keep the students and make money but not real teaching of music and the piano the quality starts to suffer.

Good teaching is a real art and something deep and true. If we start to use it for making money and serve it as as sellable product as possible... I think something real gets lost.

This works by my own experience and I have discussed the same issue with other piano tutors.

If the student demands something else from the tutor that he/she can not sincerely give, the tutor should give up the student. So the purity of the teaching stays. If the teaching is pure the education is not affected by wish of making money and money is just something that you get from your effort and time with the student. Teaching music can be only as honest as music itself. And I think music is 100% honest.

GL
Jaak

Top
#1756899 - 09/21/11 08:19 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: Stanny]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: Stanny
Originally Posted By: david_a
Originally Posted By: Diane...
But at the end of the day, you have to remember you are serving the paying customer. And accomodate whatever requests that paying customer wants.
I don't think this is true. This attitude works for businesses that are selling a product, but teachers are not selling a product. The piano teacher's "customers" are there because they want to learn piano, and sometimes the teacher has to say, "In order to learn piano you need to do it this way, not the way you were originally expecting".

To put it another way - the following statement is not strictly correct but makes the issue perfectly clear - the piano-lesson customer is WRONG, and that's exactly why he wants lessons!

We are here to teach piano; we are NOT here to do everything the customer asks. If he asks for something incompatible with good piano teaching, it's our duty to say no.


Woah, I really disagree with a lot of this. We ARE selling a product....piano education....to our customers (students). Sure they have to do the practice between lessons, but our expertise is a service that is the product.

Happy customers spread the word of your value, so you have to walk the fine line between keeping them happy and yourself happy with a firm policy.
Piano education is not a product, it's education. A product is a tangible item. A hamburger is a product - a house is a product - education is not. There is no legitimate comparison to be made, other than the obvious fact that money changes hands.

It's legitimate to say that music education is a service, as long as one qualifies that by saying that education (of any kind) is not going to be handled the same way as most other services (such as a car wash or a babysitter). Education is closer (though obviously not equivalent) to the type of service provided by a lawyer or accountant, in that there are standards that are not open for customer negotiation. You are welcome to tell the babysitter how to do their job. You are not welcome to tell the lawyer or the teacher how to do theirs, in essence because you have specifically hired them to tell you what to do. It is counterproductive (not to mention perverse) to hire someone to tell you what to do and then not do it.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1756945 - 09/21/11 10:03 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Guess what I do in these cases? I keep a small tape recorder nearby, (for rehearsal runs,too). I ask, very deliberately, for the parent to supply a cassette tape. I record every lesson for those who can't or won't recall what happened in this lesson. And, it also stops most bad behavior immediately! I am careful to write in their notebooks, for them, but also to protect myself.
_________________________
Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)

Top
#1756962 - 09/21/11 10:36 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: Diane...]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Wow, Diane, with all due respect, I take serious issue with your comments regarding pleasing the student to make money. I make my money by providing an excellent service as an teacher known for my effectiveness in producing good students (even the hard ones!). Maybe you don't mean it as mercinary as it sounds. There are constant conflicts between those who teach as experts in their field, and certainly know whats best for the student, and those who will try to control the teachers output, or values, just to keep a customer who is shooting themselves in the foot by trying to call the shots! I get paid because I DO know whats best for my students. In fine art, which is primarily my goal, although I use differing styles of music, there is a standard which must be met. There is no way in the world I am about to lower my standards to accomodate either a pushy student, parent, administrator or store manager. That said, there are times when one is forced to work within the confines of a poor manager.

My product is my student.

Furthermore, I win my students over with my ability to communicate well with them, not give into their demands, which often are not good for them. I assume we are not talking about having a happy experience at the lesson. We are talking about what the teacher deems best. And, yes, I can keep a full time studio and be relatively secure that I am doing the best for the student.

It is difficult to walk the tight-rope of making money for a store, and sticking to your values. They are too often not supportive of teachers in fear of offending a parent. This, I feel, is wrong. Likewise, administrations, as i have taught in two colleges, CAN be unsupportive because they aren't in music, and don't get it. I have have gotten lots of support from the admins, but there have been a few who will sell out a music education before you can say "count that!".

This is a sore point with me. Teachers appreciate getting tranfer students who are not used to being catered to. I am a hard act to follow becuase of my abilities, not because I give them their way for the sake of keeping them on.

BTW, I refernce myself because I don't feel that I can use anyone else to represent me, and still be fair to that person.

Thank you.
_________________________
Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)

Top
#1757014 - 09/21/11 11:59 PM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: LeaC]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: Lea's Muse-ic
Wow, Diane, with all due respect, I take serious issue with your comments regarding pleasing the student to make money. I make my money by providing an excellent service as an teacher known for my effectiveness in producing good students (even the hard ones!). Maybe you don't mean it as mercinary as it sounds. There are constant conflicts between those who teach as experts in their field, and certainly know whats best for the student, and those who will try to control the teachers output, or values, just to keep a customer who is shooting themselves in the foot by trying to call the shots! I get paid because I DO know whats best for my students. In fine art, which is primarily my goal, although I use differing styles of music, there is a standard which must be met. There is no way in the world I am about to lower my standards to accomodate either a pushy student, parent, administrator or store manager. That said, there are times when one is forced to work within the confines of a poor manager.

My product is my student.

Furthermore, I win my students over with my ability to communicate well with them, not give into their demands, which often are not good for them. I assume we are not talking about having a happy experience at the lesson. We are talking about what the teacher deems best. And, yes, I can keep a full time studio and be relatively secure that I am doing the best for the student.

It is difficult to walk the tight-rope of making money for a store, and sticking to your values. They are too often not supportive of teachers in fear of offending a parent. This, I feel, is wrong. Likewise, administrations, as i have taught in two colleges, CAN be unsupportive because they aren't in music, and don't get it. I have have gotten lots of support from the admins, but there have been a few who will sell out a music education before you can say "count that!".

This is a sore point with me. Teachers appreciate getting tranfer students who are not used to being catered to. I am a hard act to follow becuase of my abilities, not because I give them their way for the sake of keeping them on.

BTW, I refernce myself because I don't feel that I can use anyone else to represent me, and still be fair to that person.

Thank you.


Whoa whoa whoa! Let's take a BIG step back here.

First of all I'm not talking about "all students" I'm talking about 4 year old students who have, say, a protective MOM! Those moms are the ones I'm addressing. The MOM is paying ME, not the 4 year old, so all I am saying is that I need to "LISTEN" to the mom's requests & figure out what it is she is saying in regards to being in the room with her child! Those parents can have all kinds of issue (won't go into all their fears/wants/questions/ . . . no matter how ridiculous those can & may be!!! Believe me, I've heard strange, to/I didn't think of that! But my statement was "totally taken out of context". I said . . . WITHIN REASON! I'm only addressing 4 (6) year olds & their parents NOT ALL STUDENTS! Let's make that clear. I don't compromise my standard as I assume you don't either.

We are discussing a very young group of kids! 4 year olds only at this time. So I was addressing only this group! 4 year olds & their parent`s fears/wants/questions.


And my original statement was to help this teacher see that "within reason", because if you are a mother, sometimes your fears can simply be "unreasonable", but COMMUNICATION with these young mothers is so important! Listen to the mother/fathers of THESE 4 year olds (we aren't talking about older students as far as I noticed) I understood we were talking about 4 year olds with concerned parents.

That was all I was addressing!

My original statement (for 4 year olds) was:
But at the end of the day, you have to remember you are serving the paying customer. And accomodate whatever requests that paying customer wants. Within reason of course, . . .

Honest, I`m not disagreeing with you. If you are a parent, you will understand that moms & dads of 4 year olds can be very over protective, want their child to `get it` want the best for their child! . . . understandably so, but I`m addressing the young parents here not all students as a whole!

I hate writing essays, but hope you understand I agree whole heartedly with what you said, just that Ì`m not addressing ALL students, only these 4 year olds & their mothers! Mother`s can be very over protective! (understandable but add patience & it`s do-able)!!! . . . grin!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


Top
#1757085 - 09/22/11 03:37 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: david_a]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: david_a
Piano education is not a product, it's education. A product is a tangible item. A hamburger is a product - a house is a product - education is not. There is no legitimate comparison to be made, other than the obvious fact that money changes hands.


I'm sorry to be blunt, but that's nonsense. I can't find a nicer way of putting it. Sorry.

When I taught in universities, my colleages and I always got a certain warm fuzzy from thinking that education was something privileged, something above the mundane, grubby world of business and commerce that everybody else lived in. We railed against governmental attempts to make as adapt to the need of 'employers', whatever they were. Employers come and go, we said, but we'll still be teaching Virgil fifty years from now, just like we have for the last thousand years, blah, blah, blah...

It was, indeed, marvellous to feel one was working in the only profession where the customer was always wrong.

But, for better or worse, the basic exigencies of capitalism mean that anybody who has to make a living and who takes that attitude will, end the end, fail. It no longer works very well in the public sector, and it certainly doesn't in the private.

If you have the good fortune to work in an area where demand exceeds supply, then you can get away with it for a while. But probably only until other people realize there is a market opportunity you are missing.

As a private tutor you're entitled to run your business any way you like, and you don't have to account for your policies to anybody else. If you want to make it a condition of business that you piano students' parents turn cartwheels in the street during their kids' lessons you can, and you don't have to explain it to anybody. It's your business.

But the downside of that freedom is that you can't legitimately complain when you have no customers.

In practice, most businesses have to find some kind of working arrangement that balances what they want to provide with what customers want to consume. Nobody's suggesting that you become your students' bitch. But operating in the real world means recognizing that balances have to be found, and accomodations made, by all parties.

Top
#1757208 - 09/22/11 10:22 AM Re: Parents sitting in on EVERY lesson :( [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1058
Loc: NJ
Diane, if you check back on the first page of this thread, you'll see that I agreed that a parent should sit in on lessons for a 4 year old. I am in complete agreement with that. However, I've noticed that as soon as I consented to one parent sitting in on her 6 year old daughter's lessons, it became a regular event, then she brought in her other child. Now, all parents of my children from 5 to 7 are sitting in on every lesson. This week I gave a first lesson to two 6 year old children. Mom came in to observe (which I expect) and wanted to also bring in another person. 5 people in one tiny studio is out of the question. I told the 5th person they would have to wait outside, the room could not accomodate that many people. There are so many additional issues to handle when parents join lessons, which for me, creates tension in the lesson and takes time away from an already short lesson period.

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
95 registered (36251, anotherscott, Abby Pianoman, 26 invisible), 1090 Guests and 23 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76027 Members
42 Forums
157204 Topics
2308846 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Upgrading a Yamaha Silent Series piano
by pianelmo
09/01/14 07:14 AM
Stuck in method books.
by Chris H.
09/01/14 06:45 AM
Repeated note legato
by noobpianist90
09/01/14 02:16 AM
"Y.Becker" # 6839 (pin)
by Maximillyan
09/01/14 01:54 AM
Why are semi-concert grands so expensive?
by ColinDS
09/01/14 12:07 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission