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#1902233 - 05/24/12 07:14 AM It's that time of year . . . .
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7302
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Long time teachers here know what I'm referring too . . . the graduation announcements are starting to roll in. It's delightful to see your little charges advance, grow and move out into the world. Frequently you hear from students who moved on years ago. Always a delight.

Anyway, this influx got me to reflect on how we should respond. Those who've followed my posts on this forum for a while know that I tend to carp when teachers don't treat teaching as both an artistic pursuit AND a business. I have a savings account linked to my business checking account, where an automatic amount is transferred each month. This set aside is used for expenses which are out of the normal. For example, one of the students who is graduating studied with me for 10 years. What is an appropriate acknowledgement of his graduation? Just a card? That seems rather parsimonious. For students who are with me until graduation and who play to continue in music, I generally find a music related gift, such as a volume of print music. Henle especially, has their editions available in hard cover, and the complete set of Mozart Sonatas, for example, can be a life-long treasure. But for the non-music major, how about a gift card of some sort, the value of which reflects the long-term nature of his study?

Thinking about this last night, I began to wonder what others here do in this situation. Your thoughts?
_________________________
"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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#1902244 - 05/24/12 07:38 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
From a music teacher, I think a musical gift is quite appropriate.

CD's or DVD's?

Love the Henle idea

speaking of which, have you seen the vid on how they were once (until quite recently) hand engraved?

One can order those (approx $40) from an online distributor. I just rec'd one as a gift.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=345o3Wu95Qo

Anything from PW gift department?
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1902251 - 05/24/12 08:03 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Artur Gajewski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I bet it would make that guy in the video very angry, if he would mess up the very last note from the sheet music.
_________________________
- Artur Gajewski

Author of Piano Lessons Package for Synthesia & Child's Piano Play

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#1902255 - 05/24/12 08:07 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: lilylady]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7302
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: lilylady
....speaking of which, have you seen the vid on how they were once (until quite recently) hand engraved?

They used to have their engraver sit at their booth at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt and demonstrate engraving. Quite an interesting experience to see it done in person! I miss that.
_________________________
"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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#1902295 - 05/24/12 09:52 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
This may be a little out of budget. For years my husband and I have bought silver dollars (of the particular year) and send the kid one.. It is commemorative and they save them.. One used to be able to buy silver dollars pretty cheaply. Anymore we save them for the SPECIAL occasions. (We always had a gift on hand).
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1902307 - 05/24/12 10:14 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
An itunes gift card works for most students.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1902314 - 05/24/12 10:28 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I bought gift cards at the local music store for my students, but I do like the idea of the Henle edition.
_________________________
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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#1902330 - 05/24/12 10:57 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1314
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
John, I think the gift card is the wimpy solution of our era. Buy a book, or a volume of music, and inscribe them in your own hand. Or buy a well-chosen CD, and handwrite a gift card. Your penmanship is vital in any case.

Peter, the throwback to the 19th Century

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#1902338 - 05/24/12 11:14 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: Peter K. Mose]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7302
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
John, I think the gift card is the wimpy solution of our era. Buy a book, or a volume of music, and inscribe them in your own hand. Or buy a well-chosen CD, and handwrite a gift card. Your penmanship is vital in any case.

Peter, the throwback to the 19th Century

Actually, Peter, I think we did this up until the 1980s. Social graces started to really skid about then. Or perhaps I was just more aware of the decline.

Anyway, I don't want to give the student a "coffee table" book or dust collector, thus I've kind of shied away from music items for students who have moved on to other activities. But I take your point. Thanks.

And thanks to all for the ideas.
_________________________
"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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#1902432 - 05/24/12 03:11 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
How do you get students to commit to piano all the way through high school??? The great majority of students quit by 9th grade or (much) earlier. Since I started teaching, I've had just two students who studied until May of their senior year, and even those two students took June off.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1902463 - 05/24/12 04:18 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
BinghamtonPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/11
Posts: 91
Loc: New York
I give iTunes gift cards to tech savvy students.
(Parsimonious? Really?? <insert eye roll here>)
_________________________
Piano lessons in Binghamton, Vestal, Endicott, and other areas of upstate NY. Specializing in homeschool piano lessons.
www.binghamtonpianolessons.com
Member: MTNA, NYSMTA

White Rabbit - 60's, 70's & 80's classic rock, southern rock and blues rock band - Binghamton, NY.
www.thewhiterabbitband.com

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#1902466 - 05/24/12 04:23 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I gave each graduating senior a volume of music I thought they would enjoy, but these three are all going into music study in college.

I don't think the itunes gift card is a wimpy idea. The students to whom I've given them have been thrilled because it's something that is musical and they will use, not consumed (like Jamba Juice or a restaurant card).
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1902481 - 05/24/12 04:43 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
pianolady14 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/07
Posts: 131
I generally give graduates a music-themed gift. Since I know them well, I can usually come up with something I know they'd like. A newer problem for me is getting graduation announcements for former students. This year I received one for a student receiving his Ph.D (in engineering) and another for a student graduating from law school. I haven't taught either of them for at least eight years. I'm not sure what I should do about them. Anyone else have this problem?
_________________________
Piano teacher since 1995

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#1902520 - 05/24/12 05:54 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
luv2teach Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 9
Same problem here. I have 5 former students that have sent me grad announcements. I love that I'm hearing from them, but not sure what to send them. A check?

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#1902594 - 05/24/12 08:31 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: luv2teach]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2412
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I'm sure the graduates would all welcome gifts of cash, but a congratulatory note saying you were happy to hear from them and that you were pleased to have been a part of their education would also be appropriate.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1902824 - 05/25/12 09:09 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: AZNpiano]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
How do you get students to commit to piano all the way through high school??? The great majority of students quit by 9th grade or (much) earlier. Since I started teaching, I've had just two students who studied until May of their senior year, and even those two students took June off.

I guess for me I'm able to really connect with some kids and so when things get tough, they often stick with lessons not necessarily because of the love on music or piano but because they want to please me. This isn't a great reason to study, of course, but sometimes they need that extra motivation to keep going through busy times.

Plus, it's when they get to this point after all those years of studying that they being to tap into the advanced repertoire, to play the things they've always wanted to play. Once you open that door, it's like a whole new world to discover.
_________________________
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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#1902830 - 05/25/12 09:15 AM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7235
Loc: Rochester MN
Of course, the quandry is trying to acknowledge the occasion with the proper gift for the individual student. Just like selecting a gift for anyone, their taste and personality must be considered. You also will have an understanding of how they plan to use their musical experience in the future. Does it need to be music/piano related? Not necessarily. It just needs to be logical in relation to that particular student.

Next weekend is the H.S. graduation of two of my students. One is male and one is female, both are advanced players, and both are excellent students. The young man is headed to conservatory as a performance major and the young lady will be studying mechanical engineering. I am invited to both of the graduation parties, so a gift is appropriate. Here are my choices and the thought behind the selections.

Gretta - She loves goofy things and has a great sense of humor. She will be getting a commerative edition of a large Erector Set.

Quint - He is always carrying around an armful of music and often drops it. A monogrammed leather valise was the obvious choice.

These students have both been studying with me for over six years and I didn't want to scrimp. I think that I did a good job as their teacher and wanted to let them know the joy they have brought to me throughout the years.

BTW - I think the hardbound Henle is an excellent idea. That, I'm sure, will show up in the future.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1903118 - 05/25/12 06:41 PM Re: It's that time of year . . . . [Re: pianolady14]
Laurie R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 46
Loc: Gatineau, Québec, CANADA
I also like to give music-related gifts, with the student's interest in mind, as well as the repertoire we've done together.

I've recently given wedding gifts to former students. I was very touched that they invited me to their weddings.

For one, I chose a boxed set of "complete works of Chopin", and for the other a boxed set of Angela Hewitt playing Bach. These reflected what we had done together.

I like to give something lasting, something that they will think in many years, "Oh yeah, my piano teacher gave me that." Maybe something that they wouldn't buy for themselves.

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