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#1953801 - 09/04/12 01:21 PM Adult transfer student
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
How can I have my new adult transfer student stop saying bad things about his previous piano teacher?
It has been six lessons I taught, after every lesson, he has to send me email and explain to me how bad his previous teacher are and how good I am. The first two emails are fine, and it get worst. I have to start to worry now.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#1953825 - 09/04/12 02:16 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
1. Be aware that he might say similar things about you, to the next teacher. Consider carefully whether this is a student you should be keeping.

2. "Could we please keep discussions focused on music? Comparing piano teachers doesn't accomplish much."
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

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#1953841 - 09/04/12 03:04 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
I agree with david_a. This student may be a problem for you somewhere down the line.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1953875 - 09/04/12 04:03 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Speaking from experience, a transfer student may have one or all of the following scenarios:

- the new teacher has a different teaching style and different expectations than the old teacher. The student has to catch on that there are more than one way of doing things, which can both be ok. You may know that as a teacher, but there is no reason why the student will know it.

- the old teacher neglected to teach necessary things so that the student was struggling and didn't know why, and if the new teacher teaches it the light bulb may go on. Or he may become puzzled about what's going on, or (if it's happening) why he's going back to old things, or anything. Bottom line, the older transfer who is no longer an accepting small child will be puzzled about this.

- the old teacher mistaught in a harmful way; it can be technique, wrong information, or wrong instructions on how to practice.

If a transfer student did get mistaught of part of what he should have learned wasn't given, then there is confusion. For practical reasons, that needs to be addressed in some way. For example, if I am doing wrong things due to misteaching, then I need to know what to do instead. This is not about a malicous student who is going to say dreadful things about you later on. Ego should not play a part here.

What is VERY HELPFUL is for a student to know that the teacher will be able to see what he may not have learned, or was mistaught, simply by his playing and answers every week. It is also helpful if you, as a teacher, ask questions if you see a sign of something not being having been taught or mistaught. "How were you told to do this?" or "Did you get taught to...".

IF a student is coming from poor teaching, then that student has also lost trust. After all, he trusted the first teacher, and look what happened. If you show you're on top of it, then that trust comes back.

Other than that, if the student just tells you the other teacher was horrible, instead of addressing things he was taught, simply tell him that this makes you uncomfortable and you want to talk about lessons, not any other teacher. (David's advice).

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#1953917 - 09/04/12 05:32 PM Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
. . . after every lesson, he has to send me email and explain to me how bad his previous teacher are and how good I am.

LoPresti's Rule #1: Nip eMail communication in the bud! Communicate only face-to-face, or if necessary, voice-to-voice on the telephone. eMail invites "one-sided communication" where a student, for instance, gets to "spout-off" without the limiting factors of normal conversation, or the accountability of looking someone in the eye.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1953935 - 09/04/12 05:48 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Keystring's Rule #1:
Don't make rules.

- if tempted to make rules, be aware of the many possibilities, beyond what your own experience might be. (I include myself in this advice.)

Having been around for over four years, I know that some teachers WANT to have e-mail communication, but they also DEFINE what kind they want.

If I were to make a suggestion a.k.a. rule, it would be to decide what you want, and when you want to have communication, of what kind.

I can think of a particular instant where on my first day of practice after a lesson on the instrument of that time I ran into a nasty snag. I would have liked to phone my teacher about it (he was close to computer-illiterate) but didn't. By the next lesson I had practiced a really nasty new habit into my playing, and it took us a month to undo the damage. On that occasion this teacher stressed that if I had this kind of problem, he always wanted me to "bother" him about it between lessons.

Quote:
eMail invites "one-sided communication" where a student, for instance, gets to "spout-off" without the limiting factors of normal conversation, or the accountability of looking someone in the eye.

There is no reason why e-mail should invite one-sided communication. If there is that kind of student, then you cut off e-mails: simple as that.

I prefer to get e-mails from my customers, and discourage phone calls for some simple reasons:
1. I can answer in MY OWN TIME of my choice.
2. I have TIME TO THINK of my answer.

Bottom line is that it depends on the teacher, the student, the circumstance, the nature and reason of the communication. There should be no "rule", though there can be some general advice or points of consideration. I agree with the points of consideration, because e-mail CAN be abused.

There were some serious problems mid-period of my first lessons that I ever had as a student. 90% of them could have been prevented by communication rather than slogging through the object of the lesson each week and "wondering". In fact, the worst of them were then turned around because of things expressed IN WRITING. When I tried to talk about it in lessons, I would come out with an incomprehensible stammering jumble of words.


Edited by keystring (09/04/12 05:50 PM)

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#1953958 - 09/04/12 06:39 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
. . . When I tried to talk about it in lessons, I would come out with an incomprehensible stammering jumble of words.

KeyString,

I can not picture this from you, under any circumstances, ever!

eMail between students and their teachers is a problem. While that MIGHT be a bit of a generalization, how many threads on these Forums refer to this mode of communication AND the dis-connects in meaning that occur BECAUSE a genuine dialog was not employed? How many times have you and I bemoaned the inadequacy of the written word to convey thoughts and meanings?

There are time-honored ways for individuals to communicate - ways that incorporate mood, inflection, nuance, irony, sadness, surprise, disappointment, and ???, and ????, and ?????, etc. They are proven effective. They are called meeting and talking.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1953971 - 09/04/12 07:11 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Ed, the first problem in oral communication is that we students are venturing into an area in which we have no expertise. Therefore we don't have the vocabulary, the conventions of the field. You have known me only in writing, and never in oral communication. I am able to compose my thoughts in writing much better than in person.

Any means of communication is a means of communication, and any such means can be misused.

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#1953974 - 09/04/12 07:17 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1316
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
One can ignore emails, ezpiano. You don't have to respond to them. This will all blow over soon. But I'm with Ed L, in that I generally don't have email correspondence with my students.

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#1953977 - 09/04/12 07:20 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
I stand by LoPresti's Rule #1. Communications between students and teachers are an on-going challenge, as evidenced by the discussions on these Forums. eMail adds to the problem. Simple.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1954021 - 09/04/12 10:22 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
I stand by LoPresti's Rule #1. Communications between students and teachers are an on-going challenge, as evidenced by the discussions on these Forums. eMail adds to the problem. Simple.

Or SOLVES the problem. smile

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#1954049 - 09/05/12 12:11 AM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
alsoTom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 52
As a high school teacher and adult piano student I am finding this thread fascinating, not the least because it is happening via an electronic form of communication!

Email is a form of communication with conventions that need to be learned. As mentioned one of the key ways to encourage or discourage communication is by adjusting the time and length of responses.

My teacher and I email each other when we need to cancel an appointment. I asked her a question via email once and she didn't reply so I learned that she didn't want to communicate in that way. Short or delayed responses will send a discouraging signal. Long or quick responsies encourage communication.

I have a brother who really sucks at communicating electronically. He is insanely formal, gets confused about meaning and context, cannot follow parallel conversations, and does not understand how to use time to send signals about willingness to chat. He is also a professional pianist, something that is just coincidental!

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#1954062 - 09/05/12 01:26 AM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Just to clarify, he did mention it to me during lesson, then I used David_A rule #2 to lead him back to the music. However, he sent emails and explain it in details when he got home. I was ignoring his description about his previous teacher mostly, but answer his request such as if I am able to do a transcript for him.
So, I think he is communicate with me both verbally and email.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#1954107 - 09/05/12 04:24 AM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4749
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
How can I have my new adult transfer student stop saying bad things about his previous piano teacher?
It has been six lessons I taught, after every lesson, he has to send me email and explain to me how bad his previous teacher are and how good I am. The first two emails are fine, and it get worst. I have to start to worry now.

You're next. When this student fires you, he'll be emailing the next teacher about how horrible you are, every week. laugh
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1954111 - 09/05/12 04:30 AM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4749
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
I stand by LoPresti's Rule #1. Communications between students and teachers are an on-going challenge, as evidenced by the discussions on these Forums. eMail adds to the problem. Simple.

My number one rule:

Don't listen to people lecture on the Net who continually talk about how useless the Net is.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1954350 - 09/05/12 04:03 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: Gary D.]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Gary,

I am eternally grateful to you for bringing me back to this thread. I see now exactly what I have been missing in regards to eMail, and its use.

Originally Posted By: alsoTom
Email is a form of communication with conventions that need to be learned. As mentioned one of the key ways to encourage or discourage communication is by adjusting the time and length of responses. . . Short or delayed responses will send a discouraging signal. Long or quick responsies encourage communication.

If I read alsoTom correctly, there is this unspoken layer of communication, behind the communication (as it were), that uses certain elements of delay or speed, and which sends us messages, along with the messages (as it were). Until this very moment, it has been hidden, and that is why I have never seen it! It could account for why I am so ineffective in communicating.

So that I no longer continue to blunder along, wondering why I dislike using the tool, I have constructed myself a little Flow Chart, or Decision Tree, based upon alsoTom’s suggestions, and thought I would display only one leg of it below. Responses are in italics, and drive the next question. Each branch, of course, leads in a different path, and arrives at a different response.

LoPresti’s Flow Chart for correctly using the Unspoken Aspects of eMail

Level I: Are you the Sender or the Receiver of this eMail? {branching}
>> Receiver

Level II: Is the nature of this eMail Urgent, Important, or Casual? {branching}
>> Important

Level III: Do you care anything about the subject of this eMail?
Yes || No || Neutral {branching}
>>Yes

Level IV: What is the relationship of the Sender to you? {branching}
Underling || An Equal || My Superior || Uncertain
>> My Underling (Student)

Level V: Does the Sender’s Mother or Grandmother live right near you?
Yes || No || {branching}
IF YES, increase Sender’s ranking by one increment.
>> Yes, she’s my neighbor

Level VI: Indicated Response –Wait at least two-and-one-half hours before replying. Greet Sender by name, but do not wish him well. Limit response to 10 words or less. Capitalization and punctuation are optional.

Do I have it about right so far?
Ed

_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1954355 - 09/05/12 04:12 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
When I was in high school decades ago, somebody gave me an interesting term which has been useful ever since. "Reductio ad absurdum", literally "reduce into the absurd". It means that you take what somebody has said, paraphrase it as if you are trying to understand what the person has said, but in such a way that it becomes absurd. Sometimes a person of low intellect, or an intelligent person who is totally unfamiliar with a subject will appear to be doing this, when it is simply lack of knowledge showing through. The above appears to be reductio ad absurdum. If it is lack of knowledge and it is a sincere effort to understand, should an effort be made to answer the question?

My impression is that it's an attempt to turn alsoTom's statement into something silly. It isn't.

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#1954360 - 09/05/12 04:18 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4749
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Gary,

I am eternally grateful to you for bringing me back to this thread. I see now exactly what I have been missing in regards to eMail, and its use.

For you email would be merely another place for you to be as condescending and arrogant as you are here, but without having anyone to witness it. wink

To all the other people here that do use email and find it useful, I only allow students to email me when I have experience with them and trust them. For serious adult students, the ones who come to lessons prepared and take lessons very seriously, email is very useful for many things.

Emailing is a tool, and it is as useful or as useless as the communication taking place.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1954362 - 09/05/12 04:19 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
"Reductio ad absurdum"
Occasionally, the subject itself verges on the absurd, and that can be confusing, too. It looks like it has been transformed, but it did not need to be.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1954391 - 09/05/12 05:19 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Ed, the people in this forum are trying to find solutions, better ways of doing things, etc. It is a practical forum. There are teachers here trying to teach, students trying to work with teachers, parents trying to do the same, and people learning to teach. It is not the place to spread confusion for the sake of making a point of how silly it is.

I could spend my time explaining matters of communication, and matters of e-mail communication. But if it gets turned into something ridiculous for the sake of making things ridiculous, then I will have spent valuable time uselessly. Meanwhile, people who ARE trying to find solutions or improve things can get confused, and this can have real consequences.

There was a time a decade ago when I was new to this and needed help, and turned to a forum. I know what it is like to be in a new situation and trying to orient myself.

Several people have stated how they use e-mails in their communication effectively with their students or with their teachers. I agree with being cautious about using what is a powerful form of communication. I disagree with generalized statements. I also disagree with conclusions that suggest that there is only one type of scenario. Unfortunately people do take advice they read seriously, so we must be careful about the advice we give.

ANYONE who is sincerely engaged in a subject will not appreciate their involvement or the subject being turned into absurdity.

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#1954404 - 09/05/12 05:37 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
To untangle the absurdity and avoid confusion:

- e-mail is a new communication device. As with any means of communication, people have to choose how to use it. The same happened with the telephone when it was invented. You know what times not to phone people, you learn how to leave messages on answering machines, etc.

- there are conventions for using e-mail in a practical manner, and these are still being formed. Googling should bring up some straightforward and logical ideas.

- any time that there is communication between two individuals, whether friends, teacher and student, parent and teacher, or employee and employer, the parties will have to decide what is practical and useful. The same is true here. What arrangement is made, and what the guidelines are, should be determined by the teacher who is after all the guiding party. And this will vary according to the situation.

Any statement that says these communications will be of some single particular nature, makes no sense to me.

I would appreciate this not being turned into a joke. I should be doing other things and don't really have the time.

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#1954462 - 09/05/12 08:20 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
Ed, the people in this forum are trying to find solutions, better ways of doing things, etc.

So am I.

I am simply attempting to offer a suggestion to EZPiano (whose sincere thread I am afraid we have destroyed), put forth my opinion on a tool that is all-too-often an instrument of MIS-communication, and have a little fun in the process.

Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
How can I have my new adult transfer student stop saying bad things about his previous piano teacher? It has been six lessons I taught, after every lesson, he has to send me email and explain to me how bad his previous teacher are . . .

Let us seriously consider this for a second. Most have already established that there is no musical or teaching benefit in having this adult student continue to bad-mouth his former teacher. In fact, as EZPiano surmises, it is becoming a destructive practice. So, first stop the bleeding, and then find the cut. Since the majority of said bad-mouthing has been through eMail, well -- isn’t it obvious?

What may not be quite so obvious, however, is this: When a teacher encourages student communication through eMail, that teacher is self-undermining a certain degree of her/his authority. S/he has metaphorically begun to socialize with her/his students. That MIGHT be fine, until one gets a student like our Mr. X here, who apparently enjoys the freedom of “one-sided communication” where he can rant to his heart’s content, without the modulating forces of a real conversation, where the other party might say, “Really? That sounds like an exaggeration.”, or, “What did you do to provoke that?”, or, “How might you handle that better if it comes up again?”

Thus, LoPresti’s Suggestion (does everyone like that word better?) #1: Nip eMail in the bud, or better yet, do not even give it out.

eMail, and its derivations, is certainly an electronic tool that has found pervasive use. I am not certain that it has any inherent “power”, as KeyString asserts, but I do know that people who feel inferior in some way attempt to use it as a great equalizer, imbuing them with a sort of power. The anonymity often encourages others to write things that they certainly cannot backup, and to carry on a dialog without any actual accountability. More to the point of this Forum, because eMail lacks those elements present in a personal conversation - emotion, expression, emphasis, accent, nuance, body language, irony, humor, disappointment, sadness, joy - it is a weak and shallow vehicle for real communication. Without the colorations of an actual, live discussion, eMail invites misunderstandings. And, is not CLEAR COMMUNICATIONS, leading to CORRECT UNDERSTANDINGS at the heart of most of the discussions on this precise Forum? Is that not the main complaint here? Not just this thread, but MOST threads?

And then, the notion of taking this relatively flimsy communication tool, and tweaking its use with the subtlety of timing responses, and the manipulation of others inherent in longer or shorter answers -- am I left alone here on earth? In what way does such manipulation foster better, truer, more effective COMMUNICATIONS?

Lastly, I sincerely hope that someone else enjoyed the fun I was attempting. Over the years, when things have become too absurd (thank you KeyString), turning the ludicrousness into fun has kept me going - some might say has kept me “arrogant”.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1954493 - 09/05/12 09:18 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
I will correct only one thing. When I write of tools being powerful, it is not some mystical thing. When we have e-mail, we do not have to phone somebody long distance across crackling lines and hope to have the time zone right, not pull the person out of a meeting, a shower or bed. We do not have to wait two weeks for a letter to reach someone, and two more weeks for an answer. If we need to communicate with somebody, we can compose a message which can be received within seconds, read at a time which is convenient for the other person, who can respond at his convenient.

That is what I meant by powerful tool of communication, and I would think that this is obvious.

I feel that some of what I wrote was either misrepresented or misunderstood. I cannot afford to spend my time clarifying, so this will have to be it.

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#1954543 - 09/05/12 11:57 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2417
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: LoPresti


Level IV: What is the relationship of the Sender to you? {branching}
Underling || An Equal || My Superior || Uncertain
>> My Underling (Student)



It is interesting that you consider the person who pays your wages to be your "underling."
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1954563 - 09/06/12 01:51 AM Adult transfer student [Re: malkin]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

Level IV: What is the relationship of the Sender to you? {branching}
Underling || An Equal || My Superior || Uncertain
>> My Underling (Student)


It is interesting that you consider the person who pays your wages to be your "underling."

Seriously? From many of your other posts, Malkin, you seem like a pretty smart individual. Do you actually think my Flow Chart is real?
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1954571 - 09/06/12 02:50 AM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
What for?

A young teacher shared what she knew, and it was turned into a joke. To what end?

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#1954657 - 09/06/12 08:25 AM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
alsoTom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 52
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Gary,

I am eternally grateful to you for bringing me back to this thread. I see now exactly what I have been missing in regards to eMail, and its use.

Originally Posted By: alsoTom
Email is a form of communication with conventions that need to be learned. As mentioned one of the key ways to encourage or discourage communication is by adjusting the time and length of responses. . . Short or delayed responses will send a discouraging signal. Long or quick responsies encourage communication.

If I read alsoTom correctly, there is this unspoken layer of communication, behind the communication (as it were), that uses certain elements of delay or speed, and which sends us messages, along with the messages (as it were). Until this very moment, it has been hidden, and that is why I have never seen it! It could account for why I am so ineffective in communicating.

So that I no longer continue to blunder along, wondering why I dislike using the tool, I have constructed myself a little Flow Chart, or Decision Tree, based upon alsoTom’s suggestions, and thought I would display only one leg of it below. Responses are in italics, and drive the next question. Each branch, of course, leads in a different path, and arrives at a different response.

LoPresti’s Flow Chart for correctly using the Unspoken Aspects of eMail

Level I: Are you the Sender or the Receiver of this eMail? {branching}
>> Receiver

Level II: Is the nature of this eMail Urgent, Important, or Casual? {branching}
>> Important

Level III: Do you care anything about the subject of this eMail?
Yes || No || Neutral {branching}
>>Yes

Level IV: What is the relationship of the Sender to you? {branching}
Underling || An Equal || My Superior || Uncertain
>> My Underling (Student)

Level V: Does the Sender’s Mother or Grandmother live right near you?
Yes || No || {branching}
IF YES, increase Sender’s ranking by one increment.
>> Yes, she’s my neighbor

Level VI: Indicated Response –Wait at least two-and-one-half hours before replying. Greet Sender by name, but do not wish him well. Limit response to 10 words or less. Capitalization and punctuation are optional.

Do I have it about right so far?
Ed




Bahaha. I suspect my response was the brunt of this joke, but I think I am the only other person who found it funny. Loved it.

Another midnight iPhone session here so apologies for the lack of further quoting. I stand by what I was explaining about the subtleties of electronic communications (Did I ever mention that it is IT that I teach?). This is a relatively new form of communications, if you don't get the subtleties I can suggest two good reasons. Firstly, you have yet learned them and secondly, they are not yet as set I stone as more traditional forms of communication.

In face to face communication we readily accept body language as an integral part of the conversation. A student sitting crossed-arms with a scowl saying "I don't want to do that" is very different from one with fingers poised and a smile saying "I don't want to do that".
Electronic communication doesn't had body language, so we do need to look at what it does have. Good electronic communication must use capitalization, paragraphs, salutations, subject lines, language formality, length and speediness of response, levels of off-topic subject matter, acronyms, and even those horrid smiley faces :P. They are all powerful tools that make emails and text messages valid lines of communication.

So when my teachers pops me a response within minutes I will assume she doesn't mind a quick question. If he sends me a long response the same day I will assume she doesn't mind long questions. If she ignores my email, sends a short response four days later, I can read between the lines. (in this case I would know my superior teacher was an old fart who probably still uses hotmail ... And that was very tongue-in-cheek).

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#1954918 - 09/06/12 04:02 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
AlsoTom, I found your initial explanation of electronic communication informative and important. Conventions are still in their infancy and rules of etiquette are still being written up. Personally I find body language to be double edged. It is possible to become tongue tied and overwhelmed, especially as the student. There are times that I find it much easier to get my thoughts into writing rather than becoming a babbling fool. In interactions with teachers, some have also preferred to do some things in writing, when an idea can be complicated. Everything depends on the context and the people involved. Isn't it wonderful that we have so many choices these days?

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#1954936 - 09/06/12 04:49 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: LoPresti]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
What may not be quite so obvious, however, is this: When a teacher encourages student communication through eMail, that teacher is self-undermining a certain degree of her/his authority. S/he has metaphorically begun to socialize with her/his students.

"Self-undermining"???

I keep e-mail correspondence with several students, and they're 20-25 years younger than I am. Am I "self-undermining" by e-mailing them their assignments?

So, what should I do instead? Use postal mail? Call them and leave a voice message?
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1954941 - 09/06/12 04:54 PM Re: Adult transfer student [Re: AZNpiano]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
"Self-undermining"???

I keep e-mail correspondence with several students, and they're 20-25 years younger than I am. Am I "self-undermining" by e-mailing them their assignments?

So, what should I do instead? Use postal mail? Call them and leave a voice message?
ha

Does this mean when I text my students, I'm enabling them not to practice or respect me? laugh

I think the solution is simple...

1) Email students if you must.

2) If it doesn't work, don't email that student anymore.

3) Don't have rules about this stuff.

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