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#1958635 - 09/14/12 12:48 AM When Grandma Pays for Lessons
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
I have been giving lessons to two boys for about two months. When they signed on, it was revealed that Grandma would be paying for lessons.

I was told that she wanted to meet me at our 4th lesson. They requested that I was there 15 minutes early so we could visit. When I showed up that day, she was not there.

Today I arrived at my usual time and there she was. She wanted to talk to me right then and there about my music degree and where I was schooled and my experience. I calmly told her that I did not have time to do this as I had back to back lessons. She asked me to email her my resume.

I jotted down her email.

I am not going to send her my resume. I am going to write her a letter with my philosophy, experience and personal intent as a teacher. It will be interesting to see where this leads. I am very attached to those little boys and they seem to like me too. But I am their third teacher in a short period of time and grandma is "a character" as her son and daughter in law put it.

I will keep you all posted on this interesting scenario. But I have to admit...sometimes when someone else is paying...a red flag goes up for me.
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M. Katchur

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#1958641 - 09/14/12 01:03 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
ymapazagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Hobart, Australia
Sounds frustrating...

If grandma is so bothered about who she's paying shouldn't she have found out this stuff BEFORE you actually started teaching them?

Sell yourself the best you can, but if she decides you're not worthy (as it sounds like she may have decided for a few others in the past) then I wouldn't take it personally. It sounds like she may have high and perhaps unrealistic expectations.
_________________________
Private Piano and Vocal Teacher.

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#1958643 - 09/14/12 01:08 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
But I am their third teacher in a short period of time and grandma is "a character" as her son and daughter in law put it.

Just let them go. You don't need more drama in your life, right? There are always more good kids coming up.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1958795 - 09/14/12 10:50 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
bajabill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 86
Loc: mid USA
Im sorry this struck a nerve with me, but many of the common issues posted here are simply, life in the business world. Everyone has them. You are accountable to your boss and your customers - sometimes you have to just suck it up and get thru it. You did not want to talk to the person paying you. Inexcusable at the least, good thing you are self-employed – I hope?.

Here is a nice explanation of a job - 80% of the time I do stuff I don’t like so I can do what I do like the other 20% of the time.

The piano lesson industry must truly be recession proof; everyone has the luxury of picking and choosing their herd because there is an endless supply of stupid, well maybe "ignorant", parents producing supply. I picked the wrong profession, all of my customers are necessary to maintain and keep happy. If they are late, I wait, if I am late, I may lose the account.

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#1958801 - 09/14/12 11:00 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer


Today I arrived at my usual time and there she was. She wanted to talk to me right then and there about my music degree and where I was schooled and my experience.


I probably would have gone ahead and used the boys lesson time to talk with grandma. It's her money. If she wants to use up lesson time scrutinizing your credentials, so be it.

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#1958806 - 09/14/12 11:07 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: bajabill]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: bajabill
You did not want to talk to the person paying you. Inexcusable at the least, good thing you are self-employed – I hope?.

Okay, that's just not nice. "Inexcusable"???

The lesson time is much better spent teaching the kids, not talking to Granny. I think the teacher has done the right thing at that moment.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1958809 - 09/14/12 11:11 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
bajabill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 86
Loc: mid USA
The lesson time is Granny's, bought and paid for to do with as she sees fit.

I meant INEXCUSABLE, in the strictest context. If I knew you, worked with you, were in my family, I would have been even firmer and off color words may have been used.

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#1958817 - 09/14/12 11:44 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
I wouldn't worry too much, everything you hear about granny is just hearsay at the moment. Just keep teaching the kids and if granny doesn't like your resume, then move on.

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#1958831 - 09/14/12 12:15 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3538
>I probably would have gone ahead and used the boys lesson time to talk with grandma. It's her money. If she wants to use up lesson time scrutinizing your credentials, so be it.

+1. She pays. It sounds normal to me that someone paying you to get lessons can check your credentials. And it should not take much time either to show your credentials?
_________________________

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#1958836 - 09/14/12 12:37 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
April's Piano St. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 27
Loc: Denton, Texas
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
I was told that she wanted to meet me at our 4th lesson. They requested that I was there 15 minutes early so we could visit. When I showed up that day, she was not there.


I don't know why anyone would be harsh towards Trillingadventurer. Did you see this quote above? Apparently this teacher already showed up a WHOLE 15 minutes earlier than the lesson time and the grandma apparently never showed. The grandma can simply call or e-mail the teacher during "office hours". I don't know why anyone would want to spend the actual lesson time talking about the teacher's resume/experience, etc. That's supposed to be done at the interview and if the grandma missed that then she will be lucky to talk about it at all with the teacher later, because the teacher is already hired! Piano teachers have busy schedules. This teacher was not treated fairly and she lost 15 minutes of her own time for nothing.

P.S. I don't mean that no questions can ever be asked, etc, because as a piano teacher, I welcome questions all the time. What I mean is that the grandma is basically asking to interview her as if she doesn't have the job, when the teacher obviously already has the job. The time for being interviewed is past. The family or grandma doesn't appear to know the proper process of interviewing.


Edited by April's Piano St. (09/14/12 12:40 PM)
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"Where music and imagination meet!"
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#1958841 - 09/14/12 12:54 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
An advanced music degree does not a good piano teacher make. Is that so hard to understand???

More than once I have been interrogated by parents of students on the topic of my degrees and credentials. In my experience, these are parents with very little understanding of education, and musical education in particular. Simultaneously, these parents have a heavy dose of skepticism and lack the trust necessary in the parent-child-teacher triangle. Not surprising at all, these kids "quit lessons" soon after the interrogation. I did not inquire further, but I would not be the least surprised that these kids ended up with a piano teacher who boasts a DMA.
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#1958869 - 09/14/12 01:55 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I see several problems in this thread, at least they're concerns to me. Both the parents and the payer most certainly have the right to know about the character and background of anyone working with their children. In our society, this is a given. However, they do not have the right to put undue burdens of proof on you. Normally, these questions are asked during the pre-enrollment interview. Sometimes, this isn't possible. I have grand parents paying for lessons, and have an open invitation for them to come and sit in on the lesson. In one case, I send occasional lesson DVDs to them, so they can enjoy the progress their student is making. If nothing else, it's cheap PR.

As a general rule, I talk with parents/grandparents as much as they like, during the student's lesson. As many have noted, it's their time, they're paying for it. If it makes them comfortable to have additional information, provide it to them.

If I'm booked with other students before/after the child's lesson, then discussing anything with anyone is out of the question. That includes taking phone calls, answering txts or emails, or discussing issues with parents of students who've completed their lesson time.

In many threads this past year, students and some teachers have poo-pooed the concept that teachers have time/expenses outside of the actual teaching. This is a prime example. Not a week goes by that I'm not discussing student issues with parents. Thankfully, not the same students/parents. Most of them are positive, like selecting a music camp, a music school, how to prepare for Auditions, etc., etc. But it does suck up time out of your day, and must be included in your overall studio fee. If you're charging only $15/half hour, of course you'll become hostile when parents want to talk to you on "your" time. You need to factor this expense into your fees just as all other professional service providers do.

The ability to play a musical instrument and the ability to teach that skill to others are quite separate skill sets. This, too, has been commented on quite often. Some perspective families are understanding of this, and others are not. To those who are not, wish them the best, and "oh, by the way, here is a list of some of those teachers which great performing skills." No reason to spend your life . . .
_________________________
"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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#1958908 - 09/14/12 03:12 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: bajabill]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
sorry, it double posted


Edited by Para Otras (09/14/12 03:13 PM)

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#1958909 - 09/14/12 03:12 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: bajabill]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: bajabill
You are accountable to your boss and your customers - sometimes you have to just suck it up and get thru it. You did not want to talk to the person paying you. Inexcusable at the least, good thing you are self-employed – I hope?.

...

The lesson time is Granny's, bought and paid for to do with as she sees fit.


NO. Piano teachers are NOT employees.

That is MY time. MY time to teach my students. MY time to foster a love of music in them. MY time to enjoy teaching them and hope they enjoy learning. It is NOT about a blocked off hour for the day where I am at the demand of a family. If the family doesn't see it this way, they are not worth my time.

I have a very strict policy in place. Parents know they come to me with the intent of their child learning. In most cases, I have the 'say' in all matters: whether tests are allowed, if their child is ready to move on, etc. The same goes for scheduling and what we do with that time. Does this mean I won't take the time to speak to families or discuss my background? Well, of course. And as John mentions, that MAY be part of the lesson or it MAY be part of 'my' time... but in the end, that is MY decision.

What grandma is paying for is my skill in teaching piano to her family. She is not getting anything else.

Quote:
The piano lesson industry must truly be recession proof; everyone has the luxury of picking and choosing their herd because there is an endless supply of stupid, well maybe "ignorant", parents producing supply.
This is a horrible comment. When I come across 'ignorant' parents, I take my time to teach them things too. This 'business' isn't about money - any teacher could tell you that. It's about doing what you love and preserving music for the future.


Edited by Para Otras (09/14/12 03:13 PM)

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#1958919 - 09/14/12 03:27 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
It helps to be as old as granny. I'm a grandpa. smile

I don't like anyone sitting in every lesson for a child who is old enough to work with me alone, but parents or grandparents are always allowed to "visit" now and then.

If granny wants to know about my background, she is welcome to ask questions during lessons. Not before lessons. Not after lessons. And this is usually very easy to make clear because I have students back to back, normally no breaks. smile

The whole topic of who is the "employer" or "employee" makes me uncomfortable. Yes, the parents of my younger students are paying the bills, and having grandmothers pay is not unusual at all. But usually my relationship with families is fairly warm. They are aware that I work very hard, much harder than I have to, and in most cases I get 100% cooperation. My biggest problem is Mom or Dad never COMING to lessons, just dropping off kids. That gives me no opportunity to communicate, and that's a danger sign.
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Piano Teacher

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#1958946 - 09/14/12 04:51 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary, your comment on employer/employee reminded me of a comment made by my piano tech this morning, as he was fine regulating the student's lesson piano: "When I tell people I'm a piano technician, I often get asked what I do for a living." As a teacher, I've had the same experience. A lot of folks simply cannot wrap their arms around the idea that teaching piano is actually a profession, not a hobby. The terms employer/employee carries a lot of baggage. More appropriately, we're contractors or service providers. We can set the terms of our service and folks are free to accept or reject our services. I've become very fond of those monthly checks families send me, so it's not surprising that I'm willing to spend time with those who sign them.
_________________________
"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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#1958973 - 09/14/12 05:58 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
As a general rule, I talk with parents/grandparents as much as they like, during the student's lesson. As many have noted, it's their time, they're paying for it. If it makes them comfortable to have additional information, provide it to them.

I don't quite agree with this assessment. The teacher is paid to teach during the lesson time, not to provide some other information not pertaining to the actual lesson--even though the response may take as little as 5 seconds. I like the "office hour" approach where such non-lesson-related issues can be addressed through e-mail, phone, or text outside the lesson time.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1959041 - 09/14/12 08:46 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: AZNpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
As a general rule, I talk with parents/grandparents as much as they like, during the student's lesson. As many have noted, it's their time, they're paying for it. If it makes them comfortable to have additional information, provide it to them.

I don't quite agree with this assessment. The teacher is paid to teach during the lesson time, not to provide some other information not pertaining to the actual lesson--even though the response may take as little as 5 seconds. I like the "office hour" approach where such non-lesson-related issues can be addressed through e-mail, phone, or text outside the lesson time.

I guess what I do is called "customer service." Of course, they're paying me to teach, but I'm not an automaton, and if there's an issue which is bugging them, and the student loses a few minutes, so be it. But remember, my lessons are 50 min lessons, so this isn't a crucial event as it might be with a 30 min lesson.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1959101 - 09/15/12 12:58 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
I had a lengthy interview with the parents and children already...weeks and weeks ago. We had a great first meeting and launched into good lessons.

I dialogue frequently with my students and parents regarding lessons. We talk about what is working and what is not working. We work together as a team to make sure my student and their child is getting the very best for what I can offer. If there is a problem or things are stagnating, we explore other options and I often post my struggles right here on this board.

This woman was not coming at me from a "team" perspective. Remember, I was suppose to meet her already and she bailed. She likes to call the shots here, obviously.

I am not open to suggestions, critique or interrogation from this woman. The time for her to talk to me about my credentials is past. I was already clear about who I am with the family and she chose not to be there.

I don't like being put into a defensive position after the fact. If I bow down in this dynamic I am giving her the idea that I am her subordinate because she pays me.

Do we question a plummer while he does his work? A roofer? A Car Mechanic? "Uh excuse me, Mr. Mechanic but I think that hose thing whatchamacallit you have there needs some glue or something. It looks weird. Where did you study car mechanics? The moon?"


Edited by trillingadventurer (09/15/12 01:03 AM)
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M. Katchur

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#1959123 - 09/15/12 04:24 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1351
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
I am going to write her a letter with my philosophy, experience and personal intent as a teacher. It will be interesting to see where this leads. I am very attached to those little boys and they seem to like me too. But I am their third teacher in a short period of time and grandma is "a character" as her son and daughter in law put it.

I will keep you all posted on this interesting scenario. But I have to admit...sometimes when someone else is paying...a red flag goes up for me.


Yup, red flags all over the place here. Your idea of the letter is sound. You might consider posting it by regular mail: grandma might enjoy the formality of that. (Or you might.) Use letterhead, and enclose a business card if you have one.

Or offer to take Grandma out for coffee sometime. Tell her you wish more grandparents took such interest in music learning. Butter her up. Get those boys to play a little recital for her. This might be easier to remedy than we think.

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#1959159 - 09/15/12 08:21 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
I am not open to suggestions, critique or interrogation from this woman. The time for her to talk to me about my credentials is past. I was already clear about who I am with the family and she chose not to be there.

I don't like being put into a defensive position after the fact. If I bow down in this dynamic I am giving her the idea that I am her subordinate because she pays me.

There's an old expression, He who pays the piper calls the tune. Pipers who ignore this often find themselves in the unemployment line. For all we know, Grandma may subscribe to this belief, and if so, looks like you two are on a collision course, and she holds the purse strings. Did she sign a payment contract with you?
_________________________
"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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#1959248 - 09/15/12 01:21 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Good communication is important.

I can sympathize with the OP's frustration in dealing with what appears to be a demanding Grandma.

But I'll take Grandma's side for a moment. For all we know, the parents may have given Granny the wrong date for meeting with teacher...and may have purposefully excluded her from the interview process, yet expect her to pay the bills.

I'm thinking of trouble I have at the mechanics. I only get to speak to a non-mechanic with a clipboard. I will explain the trouble my car is having. And he will jot down "Six clicks to start". I never get to speak to the mechanic to discuss this problem...and give significant info that needs to be relayed. Not surprising that the mechanic has not been able to solve the problem.

I just think it's important to be able to go directly to the mechanic (or in this case the teacher) and not have to communicate through an intermediary.

Maybe Grandma gets disrespect from family, and she wants to be heard for a change.

I don't blame the OP in any way. But I'm encouraging some patience with Grandma.

Now if she's barging in on lessons routinely, I would want to set some limits on that.



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (09/15/12 07:14 PM)

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#1959287 - 09/15/12 03:44 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
There are so many things wrong here.

1) The demand was made that the teacher show up early. The family is not paying for the time. The answer should be: "NO!"

2) For all the criticism that the Net gets, it does have uses. I have information about my background on the Net. The link is handed out to students in the first lesson. Anything people need to know is there, and it covers any question about my background, experience, etc.

3) The reason many of us will not teach "in the home" is that the moment you go to a home, you are in an uncontrolled environment. So for people who do teach in homes, things have to be set up REALLY solid, every bit of policy spelled out, and money must be collected before a lesson is given.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1959288 - 09/15/12 03:50 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
I had a lengthy interview with the parents and children already...weeks and weeks ago. We had a great first meeting and launched into good lessons.

I dialogue frequently with my students and parents regarding lessons. We talk about what is working and what is not working. We work together as a team to make sure my student and their child is getting the very best for what I can offer. If there is a problem or things are stagnating, we explore other options and I often post my struggles right here on this board.

This woman was not coming at me from a "team" perspective. Remember, I was suppose to meet her already and she bailed. She likes to call the shots here, obviously.

I am not open to suggestions, critique or interrogation from this woman. The time for her to talk to me about my credentials is past. I was already clear about who I am with the family and she chose not to be there.

I don't like being put into a defensive position after the fact. If I bow down in this dynamic I am giving her the idea that I am her subordinate because she pays me.

Do we question a plummer while he does his work? A roofer? A Car Mechanic? "Uh excuse me, Mr. Mechanic but I think that hose thing whatchamacallit you have there needs some glue or something. It looks weird. Where did you study car mechanics? The moon?"

When parents or grandparents sit in on lessons, I am happy to answer questions. It is not the same as a mechanic, who has to complete a job NOW. If we ask questions, we slow down his work. If we answer questions, we still finish on time. And sometimes real problems come up in lessons. Having parents and grandparents around allows me to clear things up that are important to ME.

That said, I make it crystal clear that I am the teacher, I am the one who has the knowledge, and if I am challenged, I can demonstrate through playing who knows - and who does not. It's rather easy for me to put people in their place when they begin to THINK the know more than I do about how to teach.

What is a worse problem for me is when student A gets "help" from person B, with advice that counters what I am teaching. In that case I try to get Uncle Joe or Aunt Sue or Grandma to COME to a lesson - which gives me the opportunity to tell these people, politely, to take over teaching for me or butt out. smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1959312 - 09/15/12 05:17 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Yeah, my mechanic analogy was only to make the point that communication problems cause trouble in many areas: business, marriage, forum discussions etc.

I think face to face communication with grandma may help, but I too would say no to showing up early for this.

Like Gary, I think it helps to have a website. Anyone with questions can look over your credentials, philosophy, teaching methods, studio policy and whatever else you choose to put on your website. Saves a lot of time to refer people to the website, and then let you know if they have questions AFTER they've read your policies etc.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (09/15/12 05:20 PM)

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#1959318 - 09/15/12 05:32 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
I say all this about patience with grandma. However, I have declined accepting a new student when mom was a bit rude to me. Someone who speaks to me in the tone she used, simply does not get into my studio. We each have our limits. Some issues we can work through, and others are not worth it.

I trust that trillingadventurer will know when the red flag has gone up. BTW, I used to think a red flag meant "caution". Later I learned that in racing it means "stop" and is displayed when conditions are too dangerous to continue.

Maybe this will all blow over. Or maybe the situation will be too dangerous to the OP's peace of mind. In that case, you can always stop.



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (09/15/12 09:54 PM)

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#1959443 - 09/16/12 01:49 AM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
You guys have lots of wisdom and experience to help me with interesting and new situations. I hope that I can someday go out to coffee with Grandma and perhaps learn a thing or two from her. You never know. This is a brand new situation and it will be interesting to see where it heads.

I hope that I am wrong about the red flags. It's so easy to start making all kinds of crazy assumptions that may or may not be true. Perhaps she tried really hard to make it to the first meeting or infact she was left out on purpose. I hadn't thought about that.

That's why I love posting here so much. It makes me pause, reflect and not jump to crazy conclusions.

Thank you all so much. And I hope to share good news about this family, soon!
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1993230 - 12/01/12 02:08 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
So I got a call on Friday from the boys' mother that there will be no more piano lessons. Grandma has decided to stop paying for lessons. No last months notice, as requested during our initial meeting (where Grandma did not attend), no contact from Grandma (who never did respond to my email). The boys loved lessons with me and were progressing great. We had talked at length about what they would perform at the recital coming up.

Financially it gouged my Christmas money fund for December so I had some emotions about that. (And still do I guess)The mom was like, "Of course the boys are heartbroken but we just can't afford it on our own."

I left the mom a message stating that I was sorry she decided to stop lessons.

I say good riddance to that complicated dynamic...but I will miss those sweet boys.
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1993292 - 12/01/12 05:21 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: trillingadventurer]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I'm sorry it had to end like that, but it is probably for the best.

Did the parent sign a policy with you about paying for the last month of lessons? If so, I wouldn't let them off the hook so easily.
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#1993349 - 12/01/12 06:44 PM Re: When Grandma Pays for Lessons [Re: Stanny]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I'm sorry it had to end like that, but it is probably for the best.

Did the parent sign a policy with you about paying for the last month of lessons? If so, I wouldn't let them off the hook so easily.


+1

Also I would add: there may be more to this situation, as in whatever the relationship is between the boys' mom and grandma. This may not really be about you in the first place. But I do agree, trust the fact that you saw the red flag, dust off and move on. I wouldn't attempt to continue any contact at all with Grams. It does help to post here and get help and suggestions, helps us feel better for sure.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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