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#2015066 - 01/15/13 06:21 PM young students with 2 teachers at the same time
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Is anybody in this situation where their student is studying with 2 piano teachers? I recall seeing a thread on this subject some time ago, but would like to revisit this discussion. 2 students of mine (siblings) are now studying with me and another teacher. They have been students of mine for 2 years.Their parents wanted them to have more than one lesson per week but I don't have time for that, nor do I think it's necessary in the first place, but just my opinion there. My lessons are 45 minutes (individual lessons). This started a couple of weeks ago. Not sure how this is going to work out, having never been in this situation before, or heard of it, actually. Any thoughts please?

Parents hired teacher #2 on their own, without discussing with me beforehand, and I don't know this other teacher.


Edited by Barb860 (01/15/13 06:23 PM)
Edit Reason: more info
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#2015115 - 01/15/13 08:43 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
musicpassion Offline
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I wouldn't allow this situation to continue if it were in my studio. This would not be an acceptable arrangment.
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#2015135 - 01/15/13 09:25 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: musicpassion]
Barb860 Offline
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I tend to agree. What are your reasons for thinking it would not be acceptable?
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#2015136 - 01/15/13 09:26 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ezpiano.org Offline
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I am sure parents has their freedom to hire 2 piano teachers if both children can handle the homework and parents can handle the bill.
Just make sure a few things:
1. Make sure kids are still progressing in your class. If they ended up no having time to practice your material, maybe is better to have 1 piano teacher.
2. Make sure that both piano teachers will not cover the same material at the same time. For example, if both piano teacher are teaching Clementi Sonata Op. 36, No. 1, then students might confused about different expectation in the interpretation area.
3. I know different teachers use different method in teaching theory too. I know some teachers just give the facts to the students and have them memorize it, but some actually teaching the concept so that students can apply the same concept into different scenario.

Lastly, I would prefer student take class only with me if it is only the issues that you talked about (parents wanted them to have more than one lesson per week). Why don't you adjust some of your students to move a little bit of their time so that you can squeeze them in?

If it is different issues such as students want to explore into different area of education such as jazz or composition that you do not offer, then I think it is fine for them to have a second piano teacher.
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#2015175 - 01/15/13 10:38 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: ezpiano.org]
Barb860 Offline
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ezpiano, thank you for your comments. I don't have time to work the kids in to my schedule so they can each have 2 45min lessons per week, because parents want them to come back-to-back. But really they don't need 2 lessons per week anyway, in my opinion. They are very young. But I agree with you, if parents want more for their kids, why not, as long as it works. I'm not sure this will work though. Situation is very new. I need to set some guidelines and appreciate comments and ideas here.
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#2015177 - 01/15/13 10:40 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Barb,
I think in your case here, it is better to have communication with second piano teacher to make sure that your materials are not overlap.
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#2015181 - 01/15/13 10:47 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: ezpiano.org]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
perhaps a good idea, thank you, I may do that. Do you think I should tell the parents I am contacting teacher #2 or just call her on my own...? Again, this situation is brand new and I need to think things through and handle it professionally.
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#2015186 - 01/15/13 11:01 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Nikolas Online   content
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I'm not sure I'd like it... Each teacher has its own style.

What if the 2nd teacher loves the suzuki method? That could certainly create problems... :-/

Personally I would contact the 2nd teacher, but I would be a bit grudgy of the family for not letting me know in advance...
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#2015188 - 01/15/13 11:07 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
The Monkeys Online   content
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How did you find out they hired the second teacher? Did the parents or the kids tell you?

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#2015191 - 01/15/13 11:12 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: The Monkeys]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
parents told me.
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#2015193 - 01/15/13 11:16 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Minniemay Offline
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They're nuts. This will only cause confusion for the child. I would never agree to it.
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#2015197 - 01/15/13 11:36 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
MaggieGirl Offline
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I would ask the parents what their goal is with you and the other teacher.

I think this can only work in a real partnership with the other teacher.

Not two teachers doing their own things - that is just confusing.

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#2015203 - 01/16/13 12:00 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
rlinkt Offline
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Ask the parents directly about the motivation behind getting the second teacher. Perhaps it something like you teach classical piano while the other teacher teaches jazz.

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#2015219 - 01/16/13 12:53 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Opus_Maximus Offline
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Normally I would disagree with it, but I do think there is something to be said for having multiple lessons a week - even at a young age.

Possibly the most important aspect that one can take from piano lessons, even at the early stages, is that of regular, structured practice sessions. What a student does between lessons is EVERYTHING. If these students' parents have never played and don't know anything about monitoring practice, I can see the logic in them wanting to have a second session a week to serve as quasi-practice time, or to ingrain more of an incentive to practice at home. Of course, some kids and parents just don't ever practice, at all, or do not really see any purpose of playing outside the lesson, but it would seem as if parents who would WANT this are a cut above the average parent.

If they care enough about piano to go out of their way and hire a second teacher, I'd second EZN's comments about trying to make room in your schedule to see them twice a week. I suppose if this is not possible, the best would be for YOU to choose that other teacher, so they can sort of work as your assistant, or - in the very least - you are in close communication and agreement with the goals and procedures. I do think it was unacceptable for them to do so without consulting you.


Edited by Opus_Maximus (01/16/13 12:55 AM)

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#2015220 - 01/16/13 12:56 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
The Monkeys Online   content
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Maybe they read this forum and believed having 2 lessons a week would progress 4 times as fast :-)

I think this is the time to provide some parent education.
Things can work out only if all parties, the teacher, the parent and the students work toward the same goal.

If I were the parent, I would appreciate an honest discussion, tell me the pros and cons of the having 2 teachers, and how to help the kids to practice.

If they still insist to have 2 lessons a week, and you cannot offer the time, offer to co-coordinate with second teacher.

I would not by-passing the parent to call the second teacher directly. Doesn't matter how good the intention is, it would look bad.

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#2015236 - 01/16/13 01:35 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
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I think the student at this level will be very confused.

Working with two teachers might have its merits at the college/conservatory level.
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#2015254 - 01/16/13 02:53 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: AZNpiano]
Michael_99 Offline
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My gut feeling is that the parents may be trying to change the teacher and that can be difficult and takes time so they keep 2 separate teachers neither teacher knows each other or which one of them is going to be axed. How else can you explain it? Lots of employers have employees and only axes the ones they don't want. This is just a smaller scale.

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#2015271 - 01/16/13 03:44 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
musicpassion Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860
I tend to agree. What are your reasons for thinking it would not be acceptable?


If they are working on different music with each teacher, progress could be too slow. If they are working on the same music with different teachers, it could be confusing for the child.

I think their reason is based on an incorrect assumption. I think they are assuming this will make their child learn faster. Practicing more and working harder will make their child learn faster.

Also I wouldn't be allowed to enroll the child in CM. The program requires that I be their primary teacher, teaching almost all of their lessons.

Finally the emotional aspect: Part of the "job satisfaction" for our work is that we get to bring music into our student's lives and mold their understanding and capability. I don't want to have strife with another teacher's perhaps different musical ideas. I could deal with it, but it just wouldn't be worth it. It would be taking the fun out of the work.

By the way someone else mentioned college students or very advanced students - I think I would feel differently about that.
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#2015386 - 01/16/13 10:22 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Michael_99]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
My gut feeling is that the parents may be trying to change the teacher and that can be difficult and takes time so they keep 2 separate teachers neither teacher knows each other or which one of them is going to be axed. How else can you explain it? Lots of employers have employees and only axes the ones they don't want. This is just a smaller scale.


Yes, I wonder about this and certainly hope it's not the case.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this situation. It's weighing on me and I need to talk with the parents now, after thinking it through. Honestly I feel kind of disrespected and bothered by it. And on another note, how does the other teacher feel? Like she is stealing students or possibly undermining the program the kids are currently doing?
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#2015387 - 01/16/13 10:23 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: AZNpiano]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I think the student at this level will be very confused.

Working with two teachers might have its merits at the college/conservatory level.


Absolutely agree, and these points will be brought up with the parents.
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#2015392 - 01/16/13 10:30 AM Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
LoPresti Offline
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Barb,

Prior to engaging another teacher, did the parents ask you about giving the siblings a second of set of lessons each week? If so, did you ask them why they wanted this?

Tell us a little more about that conversation.
Ed
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#2015499 - 01/16/13 01:45 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Piano*Dad Offline
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I will reiterate what I have said on this topic many times.

For a number of years my son studied with two teachers, but sequentially during the year instead of simultaneously. His primary teacher did not teach during the summer, and I did not want him to go three months without formal instruction. But at some point, his primary teacher began to teach in the summer. Instead of using her, I kept him with the other teacher during the summer. He worked well with both teachers. They had different styles and personalities. And I saw real benefit to him of working with this other teacher over the summer. They tended to work more on lighter music, more popular stuff, and on lots of sight reading. The work he did with her was largely complementary with his other teacher's style and program. The two teachers knew each other as well, and they got along just fine.

I would not be inclined toward simultaneous lessons with two teachers unless those teachers coordinated quite fully and completely, and this would be especially true if the student is quite young. The potential for confusion and misunderstanding seems too great.
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#2015521 - 01/16/13 02:34 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: LoPresti]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Barb,

Prior to engaging another teacher, did the parents ask you about giving the siblings a second of set of lessons each week? If so, did you ask them why they wanted this?

Tell us a little more about that conversation.
Ed


I was asked to come to their home to work with them in the evenings and said no.
(this would have been in addition to their 45 minute lessons with me once per week, at my studio). Parents wanted more teaching time for the kids. I said 45 minutes per week (kids are ages 6 and 8) for lessons was enough in my opinion.
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#2015523 - 01/16/13 02:37 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Piano*Dad]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
I will reiterate what I have said on this topic many times.

For a number of years my son studied with two teachers, but sequentially during the year instead of simultaneously. His primary teacher did not teach during the summer, and I did not want him to go three months without formal instruction. But at some point, his primary teacher began to teach in the summer. Instead of using her, I kept him with the other teacher during the summer. He worked well with both teachers. They had different styles and personalities. And I saw real benefit to him of working with this other teacher over the summer. They tended to work more on lighter music, more popular stuff, and on lots of sight reading. The work he did with her was largely complementary with his other teacher's style and program. The two teachers knew each other as well, and they got along just fine.

I would not be inclined toward simultaneous lessons with two teachers unless those teachers coordinated quite fully and completely, and this would be especially true if the student is quite young. The potential for confusion and misunderstanding seems too great.


I understand what you are saying and agree completely. Thanks for your take on this.
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#2015572 - 01/16/13 03:36 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Quote:
I was asked to come to their home to work with them in the evenings and said no.


To work with them means to learn a new piece or to monitor the practice?

I had some parents ask me if I can introduce anyone in high-school for them to "babysit the practice session" at home twice a week for a cheaper price of taking real piano lesson.

Just curious what is the motivation of the parents.
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#2015596 - 01/16/13 04:11 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: ezpiano.org]
Barb860 Offline
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I called and spoke with both parents on a conference call. They want the kids to be "the best they can be" and therefore want as much teaching as possible.
They have asked teacher #2 to help the kids practice, 2 nights per week, one hour per kid each night. They will practice the material we cover at lessons at my studio .
This teacher will also help the kids with their school homework as well.

We'll see how this goes. I brought up the concern of confusing the kids with possible conflicting information and the parents seemed to be on board with me on that. I'll report back here, hoping this situation works. thanks for your suggestions and comments.
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#2015600 - 01/16/13 04:14 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860


I was asked to come to their home to work with them in the evenings and said no.
(this would have been in addition to their 45 minute lessons with me once per week, at my studio). Parents wanted more teaching time for the kids. I said 45 minutes per week (kids are ages 6 and 8) for lessons was enough in my opinion.


What I hear from my friends in Asia is that it is not at all unusual for parents to hire a piano tutor (usually college students in music majors) to supervise their children's practice at home. These are very different from lessons. The tutors are there to make sure that the kids follow teachers' instructions during practice. For parents who don't have any training in music, this adds structure and guidance in addition to weekly lessons.

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#2015609 - 01/16/13 04:21 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Hi Barb
I think this is a best scenario you could have. Looks like they are having a "piano tutor" that will follow your instruction when supervising the practice.
I hope I can have more parents like this.

You know some people hire math tutor to teach at home to supplement the teaching at school. I think it is the same idea.
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#2015625 - 01/16/13 04:42 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
The Monkeys Online   content
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So maybe this is a language thing?
What they hired is actually a tutor/monitor, not a teacher.

Very common among the wealthier Asian families. You, the teacher's instruction will still be taken as Bible.

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#2015631 - 01/16/13 04:53 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Supervised practice is great adjunct to learning. In fact, that was my role at home to some extent, especially when my son was a beginner/intermediate student.

But it's not restricted to annoying parents and young students. Look at how many of the good summer festivals work (Interlochen, for example). You get a certain amount of lesson time and you get a certain amount of supervised practice over your 4 or 8 week experience. Supervised practice is not a pedagogical novelty. It's well used.
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#2015837 - 01/16/13 10:58 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Piano*Dad]
musicpassion Offline
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A tutor is a very different scenerio. Interesting.
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#2016001 - 01/17/13 08:55 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860
I called and spoke with both parents on a conference call. They want the kids to be "the best they can be" and therefore want as much teaching as possible.
They have asked teacher #2 to help the kids practice, 2 nights per week, one hour per kid each night. They will practice the material we cover at lessons at my studio .
This teacher will also help the kids with their school homework as well.

We'll see how this goes. I brought up the concern of confusing the kids with possible conflicting information and the parents seemed to be on board with me on that. I'll report back here, hoping this situation works. thanks for your suggestions and comments.


Since this is the case, I would insist that you discuss things with this teacher. Communication between you two will be very important. If a student is having trouble practicing such-and-such measures in this piece, wouldn't it be great to know that's been an issue at the next lesson? I think an initial phone conversation with teacher #2 would be needed, and then after that this teacher can just send you follow-up emails once a week regarding their practice sessions.

A concern that I have, however, is that part of the value of studying an instrument is learning how to problem-solve independently. I anticipate that you will run into the same issue that students whose parents play piano and are too involved in practice time by demonstrating how it goes, correcting wrong notes, etc. The student makes lots of progress but doesn't fully get to understand how to deal with these things on their own.
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#2016010 - 01/17/13 09:20 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ten left thumbs Offline
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An hour's guided practice is a lot for a 6 year old.
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#2016029 - 01/17/13 10:11 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: musicpassion]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
A tutor is a very different scenerio. Interesting.


Teacher #2 is a piano teacher. Kids and parents refer to her as such.
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#2016032 - 01/17/13 10:12 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: ten left thumbs]
Barb860 Offline
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
An hour's guided practice is a lot for a 6 year old.


Yes, no kidding! Just one of several concerns I have.
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#2016033 - 01/17/13 10:14 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Morodiene]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Barb860
I called and spoke with both parents on a conference call. They want the kids to be "the best they can be" and therefore want as much teaching as possible.
They have asked teacher #2 to help the kids practice, 2 nights per week, one hour per kid each night. They will practice the material we cover at lessons at my studio .
This teacher will also help the kids with their school homework as well.

We'll see how this goes. I brought up the concern of confusing the kids with possible conflicting information and the parents seemed to be on board with me on that. I'll report back here, hoping this situation works. thanks for your suggestions and comments.


Since this is the case, I would insist that you discuss things with this teacher. Communication between you two will be very important. If a student is having trouble practicing such-and-such measures in this piece, wouldn't it be great to know that's been an issue at the next lesson? I think an initial phone conversation with teacher #2 would be needed, and then after that this teacher can just send you follow-up emails once a week regarding their practice sessions.

A concern that I have, however, is that part of the value of studying an instrument is learning how to problem-solve independently. I anticipate that you will run into the same issue that students whose parents play piano and are too involved in practice time by demonstrating how it goes, correcting wrong notes, etc. The student makes lots of progress but doesn't fully get to understand how to deal with these things on their own.


Morodiene, you raise excellent points. Thanks for helping me think this through.
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#2016059 - 01/17/13 10:59 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Morodiene]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 538
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


Since this is the case, I would insist that you discuss things with this teacher. Communication between you two will be very important. If a student is having trouble practicing such-and-such measures in this piece, wouldn't it be great to know that's been an issue at the next lesson? I think an initial phone conversation with teacher #2 would be needed, and then after that this teacher can just send you follow-up emails once a week regarding their practice sessions.


If the parent himself/herself supervises the children's practice, would you insist on doing the same? If not, why insist doing it with the tutor? We don't have a tutor. But if we asked our teacher to be the tutor as well and got a "no", then we hire our own tutor, and then our teacher insists on getting an update from the tutor every week, I'd feel this is stepping over boundaries.

It's just like school teachers do not ask for weekly updates from tutors that parents hire for their kids, unless the tutors are hired because the school teachers asked the parents to hire tutors so as to work with the teachers. Piano tutor may be uncommon in some cultures, but in some others is not at all unusual. Perhaps a good idea is to be open-minded about it and let the parents do what they choose to do at home.

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#2016064 - 01/17/13 11:04 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: ten left thumbs]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
An hour's guided practice is a lot for a 6 year old.


It depends on WHICH 6 year-old. Children's development has vast variations at the same age.

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#2016166 - 01/17/13 02:12 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ezpiano.org Offline
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I am with ChildofParadise.
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#2016167 - 01/17/13 02:18 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
BeccaBb Offline
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How about trying the classic homework notebook? Write down what is to be worked on, what to focus on and for how long? That way the students can bring it with them to the new "tutor" and everyone can be on the same page...

Not a teacher just a thought (I bring a piano homework book to my teacher and I'm an adult! LOL)


Edited by BeccaBb (01/17/13 02:18 PM)
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#2016225 - 01/17/13 04:12 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: BeccaBb]
Barb860 Offline
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Lots of food for thought here and I appreciate it.

I am open to the tutor for the kids' piano practicing at home. No problem with the tutor idea so long as the kids are not confused and the curriculum the parents are hiring me to provide is followed. I hired tutors for my own kids through their years in school and thank goodness for their support! They helped my kids by following the curriculum set by the school teachers; sometimes framing the work a different way so the kids actually understood things better, and sometimes adding in more homework problems for practice.
If the piano tutor and I are on the same page, maybe this can work. I hope so. My students keep detailed homework notes so we'll see how this goes.
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#2051876 - 03/21/13 11:28 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Barb, this same situation has just arisen for me. Yikes!

There was no word to me about it. I see another teachers markings in the books and the 8 year old says she is trying another teacher. I email parents asking for 2 week notice if they are quitting lessons. Parent says they want someone to help kid at home. But it is a teacher who is also assigning recital pieces and checking off pieces. It's a second teacher, not just support at home.

It's just been a few weeks. So far when the child has already been introduced to some new pieces by the other teacher, I feel I have more lesson time for theory, and review pieces with focus on improved technique.

But the whole situation does not sit well with me. I'm planning to take it a week at a time. I'm trying to see it as a learning experience. Curious to see what happens.

One problem that could arise is if we both have her in festival. You can't put the kid in twice under 2 different teachers.

I see the other teacher does nothing regarding theory or scales. Since she seems to want to take charge, I may just support what she does. Focus on review with better technique, theory and scales. And then not enter kid in festival unless I have written note from other teacher that she is not entering her in festival.

I asked the student the other teacher's name in case it's someone I know. She said she doesn't know, and that she is from Taiwan. I could have asked the parent, but I'm taking a passive approach at the moment as I see what the situation is.

Anyway, it is a little consolation to know that some other teachers are going through the same thing.

I am curious about how things are going for those of you in this situation.
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"She played upon her music box
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And straightaway all her polka dots
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#2052045 - 03/21/13 04:28 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Ann, based on my situation I encourage you to communicate with the parent directly ASAP. Don't assume anything.
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#2052051 - 03/21/13 04:53 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Thanks for your advice Barb. At the moment I'm recovering from the work of festival from last week. And I'm hosting a recital in a few weeks. I'm feeling a bit tired. So I'm coasting with the wait and see approach at the moment, but I agree that communicating with the parent would be better. I think I'll talk with them at the reception after recital if not sooner.

Adam Lambert's music "What do you want from me?" comes to mind. Ha Ha! Basically that's what I need to know.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052196 - 03/21/13 11:45 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Candywoman Offline
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How has the arrangement worked Barb?

Another teacher cannot pass on your aesthetic. That's a huge part of your role: passing on an aesthetic. I'd either teach them twice per week at your studio, or let them go.

The only other way I'd do it is to have the other teacher teach only theory, ear-training, and technique, and teach only piano myself.

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#2052217 - 03/22/13 12:53 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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To me this is a bizarre form of parental bullying of the studio teacher. Ann, you can coast for several weeks if you wish, but to me it's a dumb idea. This state of affairs needs to be addressed pronto, since suddenly you are not in charge of little Sally's piano education, and you believed you were. Moreover, little Sally must be confused as well.

My advice is to have a conference with the parents and little Sally, and make it clear that they need to choose between you and Miss No-Name from Taiwan immediately. If they choose her, be gracious and wish everybody well, and get this family out of your life.

If they choose you and still want to hire a tutor for little Sally, give them a name of someone you would approve. Or else insist on a meeting immediately with Miss Taiwan, and set down some rules for how she can be of help to you. She may be as perplexed as you are about her pedagogical role.

P.S. I agree with the candy gal. And she is right that you could offer to teach little Sally twice a week, if the family is willing to pay for it.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (03/22/13 12:58 AM)

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#2052360 - 03/22/13 09:28 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Thanks for your input Candywoman and Peter.

I do think this will become confusing for "Sally". I use removable Post-Its to mark assigned pages. And I see these get moved by the other teacher. I find that annoying, seeing the other teacher changing my assignment.

Since my studio recital is coming up, I thought we'd get through that. And obviously the other teacher is also hosting a recital (I gather from her marking pieces for recital).

My guess is that the parents want to try out a new teacher, hoping for better progress. And after both recitals they can compare both studios better perhaps. I'm trying to accept that they need time to figure out what to do.

This is a very kind family, but I can't help feeling a little offended. It's like the guy who has had a girlfriend for 2 years, but thinks he'd be happier with someone else. Instead of breaking up, he holds on until he gets another relationship underway with someone new.

I have felt a bit discouraged lately (hence very little posting). And this has me inclined to see if it all gets settled in a month without any intervention on my part. I think I'll give them a month to continue gathering info about how they like the new teacher. After that month I'll let them go.
_________________________
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052400 - 03/22/13 11:08 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Candywoman]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
How has the arrangement worked Barb?

Another teacher cannot pass on your aesthetic. That's a huge part of your role: passing on an aesthetic. I'd either teach them twice per week at your studio, or let them go.

The only other way I'd do it is to have the other teacher teach only theory, ear-training, and technique, and teach only piano myself.


How things worked out:
Students were getting confused with conflicting assignments, fingerings, etc.
Both parents and I spoke at length, in person, and they chose to keep the teacher who comes to their home to teach the lessons. (teacher #2)
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#2052460 - 03/22/13 01:04 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky


This is a very kind family, but I can't help feeling a little offended. It's like the guy who has had a girlfriend for 2 years, but thinks he'd be happier with someone else. Instead of breaking up, he holds on until he gets another relationship underway with someone new.

I have felt a bit discouraged lately.



That's how girlfriend #1 feels after 2 years, a bit discouraged. Or worse.

You're a good soul, Ann, and this is shabby treatment. I'll say as an outsider that this is *not* a very kind family. Not in this regard. They see education as a commodity, and their little Sally is just a pawn here. Everybody loses: teacher #1, teacher #2, little Sally, and the parents, who should be fostering relationships, not undermining them.

One might equally well ask what responsible teacher would allow herself to have become teacher #2!

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#2052465 - 03/22/13 01:11 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky


This is a very kind family, but I can't help feeling a little offended. It's like the guy who has had a girlfriend for 2 years, but thinks he'd be happier with someone else. Instead of breaking up, he holds on until he gets another relationship underway with someone new.

I have felt a bit discouraged lately.



That's how girlfriend #1 feels after 2 years, a bit discouraged. Or worse.

You're a good soul, Ann, and this is shabby treatment. I'll say as an outsider that this is *not* a very kind family. Not in this regard. They see education as a commodity, and their little Sally is just a pawn here. Everybody loses: teacher #1, teacher #2, little Sally, and the parents, who should be fostering relationships, not undermining them.

One might equally well ask what responsible teacher would allow herself to have become teacher #2!









+1,000!!!!!
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#2052489 - 03/22/13 01:50 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Thanks for saying I'm a "good soul".

I'm doing my best to consider what is truly in this kid's best interest. I do think she could benefit if I take the role of supporter but not lead teacher (since that role has apparently been filled).

I don't want to create confusion by giving a different assignment. So I can work with her in other areas that need improvement. Use the time to review what her other teacher assigned and see if she has any problems. But also spend time on reading skills and other support work that I think would help.

In other words, I can embrace the role of first wife who has recently been displaced from certain responsibilities by second wife. laugh


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/22/13 01:53 PM)
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052495 - 03/22/13 01:58 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
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Ann:

Just dismiss this student, right now. Don't drag out the inevitable. Cut the cord and move on. You deserve better.
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#2052526 - 03/22/13 02:43 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
BrainCramp Offline
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Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 215
Loc: USA
Ann,

I'm not a piano teacher, just an adult learner. But I think you should put your mind at ease by calling the parents this weekend. There's no point in second-guessing the situation, or making "Sally" the messenger.

I'd be non-confrontational. They may be very clueless and it might never have occurred to them that you'd be offended, Sally would be confused, etc.

They may think that "more is better" and two teachers must be better than one. Or they may actually be thinking of changing teachers because they're moving to the other side of town this summer. Or who knows what.

You don't know until you talk to them. Something like, "Hi, Sally tells me she has a second teacher, so I thought I should touch base with you. How would you like that to work for her?" And wait to see what they say.

You're agonizing due to lack of information. I'd call them soon.

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#2052537 - 03/22/13 03:11 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: AZNpiano]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2643
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Ann:

Just dismiss this student, right now. Don't drag out the inevitable. Cut the cord and move on. You deserve better.


Thanks AZN.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052540 - 03/22/13 03:14 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: BrainCramp]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
Ann,

I'm not a piano teacher, just an adult learner. But I think you should put your mind at ease by calling the parents this weekend. There's no point in second-guessing the situation, or making "Sally" the messenger.

I'd be non-confrontational. They may be very clueless and it might never have occurred to them that you'd be offended, Sally would be confused, etc.

They may think that "more is better" and two teachers must be better than one. Or they may actually be thinking of changing teachers because they're moving to the other side of town this summer. Or who knows what.

You don't know until you talk to them. Something like, "Hi, Sally tells me she has a second teacher, so I thought I should touch base with you. How would you like that to work for her?" And wait to see what they say.

You're agonizing due to lack of information. I'd call them soon.


Yes, I need to communicate with them. The last message I had by email was that since they don't read music they want a second teacher to help at home. Just turns out that the second teacher is not seeing herself as a helper to me.

I should let them know that a helper at home is one thing, but 2 teachers with differing assignments causes confusion. And let go, giving them the option to stay through April (for recital).

OK. I'm going to compose an email to parent.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052543 - 03/22/13 03:21 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Kentucky
OK. I did it. I sent a friendly email saying I think it would be in child's best interest to continue with only 1 piano teacher. I gave them the choice of having next week be her last lesson or to continue through April in order to participate in recital if they'd like.

Thank you all for helping me to sort through this. I kept trying to make myself not feel slighted. I don't have to feel slighted, but can move confidently ahead knowing I am doing this kid a favor by stepping out of the way.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/22/13 03:22 PM)
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052548 - 03/22/13 03:27 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Ann, bravo. Little Sally will survive if they move on. Don't back down from your convictions on this one, and you might have to speak to these parents like they are even younger than Sally. Which I think they are.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (03/22/13 03:30 PM)

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#2052552 - 03/22/13 03:33 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
BrainCramp Offline
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That's weird that they want someone at home helping Sally because they don't read music. I guess they're the kind of parents who help their kids with all their homework.

Sally might be better off without so much help at home.

This is probably very awkward for Ms. Taiwan, too. She must feel she has to do more than just "help" to justify being paid by the parents. They're probably paying her by the hour, which would naturally turn into a "lesson".

You may want to raise the idea that "helping" with piano homework isn't just like "helping" with arithmetic or reading homework.

(I'm not exactly sure HOW it's different, but that's my gut feel. You teachers can articulate it, though, I'm sure.)

Ann, I'd do it by phone, as gut-wrenching as that idea is. It will give you a chance to ask open-ended questions about their expectations, and get unrehearsed answers. E-mail can sound confrontational without meaning to.

Good luck!

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#2052617 - 03/22/13 05:03 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Loc: Kentucky
Thanks you two. Already had an email from parent saying she understands about the need for just one piano teacher. And she's asking for time to talk to her child and see which teacher the child wants to pick for lessons. I'm probably going to suggest a fresh start with the new teacher.

I'm also thinking about a friend of theirs in my studio. That parent has complained that the kid has too many books. I wonder if they will leave too.

Oh, well. Better to face it all and be done with it. Even though it's email I think it's been good communication. I had already asked if there were "concerns" and parent said no, so I see no reason to pursue info about their expectations. The great thing about e-mail is I get to rehearse my own answers.
_________________________
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052618 - 03/22/13 05:10 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
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Good for you, Ann! Not an easy situation to deal with by any stretch.

I find interesting the comment, "she's asking for time to talk to her child and see which teacher the child wants to pick for lessons". Red flag right there.
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#2052622 - 03/22/13 05:17 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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I agree Barb.

I just sent a message saying that if the child is undecided, that I would prefer to let her have a fresh start with the new teacher. I said I would plan to have next lesson be her last unless the child "has her heart set on being in the recital or continuing lessons" with me.
_________________________
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052634 - 03/22/13 05:40 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
BrainCramp Offline
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Ann,

You said Sally didn't know the other teacher's name. So she hasn't made much of an impression on Sally.

So I suspect Sally would rather stay with you.

You've been assuming that the parents, or Sally, find you inadequate. But my hunch is that the parents find themselves inadequate.

They sound like helicopter parents who sit down with Sally every evening and help with homework. They don't read music, which means they've never tried to learn an instrument. They know they have no idea what's involved.

They can't help Sally with her piano homework, so they hired Ms. Taiwan.

If Sally wants to continue with you, maybe you can find a way to let the parents "participate" at home. For example, have them make sure Sally practices each piece for 10 minutes, 5 minutes with the metronome, etc. In other words, satisfy their urge to hover over Sally, rotors spinning at top speed.

In short, you're assuming this is all about you. I don't think so. I suspect it's all about the parents.

Poor little Sally.

The "too many books" complaint sounds like a financial problem.

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#2052646 - 03/22/13 06:04 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Oh, well. I'm done with it. I've been on "trial" long enough. The parents and child don't know what they want. And I now know what I don't want. I don't want someone in my studio who is shopping for another teacher.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052652 - 03/22/13 06:10 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
malkin Online   content
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I've missed you around here with the dancing polka dot quote!
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#2052699 - 03/22/13 08:04 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
manyhands Offline
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my favorite phrase when querying about XX is "I was wondering what's the story?" open ended Q yields interesting info
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#2052717 - 03/22/13 08:47 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Oh, well. I'm done with it. I've been on "trial" long enough. The parents and child don't know what they want. And I now know what I don't want. I don't want someone in my studio who is shopping for another teacher.


thumb
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#2052738 - 03/22/13 10:10 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: malkin]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2643
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: malkin
I've missed you around here with the dancing polka dot quote!



smile
Thanks. I've decided to post only when I really have something to say. As opposed to chatting for fun daily.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052739 - 03/22/13 10:10 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: manyhands]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2643
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: manyhands
my favorite phrase when querying about XX is "I was wondering what's the story?" open ended Q yields interesting info


Thanks. I may write that one down to have it ready for next time.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2052909 - 03/23/13 11:21 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4646
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: malkin
I've missed you around here with the dancing polka dot quote!



smile
Thanks. I've decided to post only when I really have something to say. As opposed to chatting for fun daily.

Ann, if I only posted when I had something to say, I'd never post. smile
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#2052933 - 03/23/13 12:19 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Gary D.]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2201
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky

smile
Thanks. I've decided to post only when I really have something to say. As opposed to chatting for fun daily.

Ann, if I only posted when I had something to say, I'd never post. smile


If everyone did that, there would be no internet forums at all!
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2052936 - 03/23/13 12:27 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: malkin]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4646
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky

smile
Thanks. I've decided to post only when I really have something to say. As opposed to chatting for fun daily.

Ann, if I only posted when I had something to say, I'd never post. smile


If everyone did that, there would be no internet forums at all!

True. smile
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#2053163 - 03/23/13 08:48 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Gary D.]
Barb860 Offline
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Loc: northern California
Ann, I hope you will let us know what happens in your situation.

wondering.....if any of you out there were ever in the role as "2nd teacher", please give your perspective. for a new thread maybe.
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#2053552 - 03/24/13 03:57 PM Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
LoPresti Offline
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Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Hi, Ann,

I have been following the evolution of this thread from my non-teacher perspective, and hoping you would resolve the issue exactly as you have. From our knowledge of you, you are a superb, professional teacher.

AZN, able to stand back from the situation (and probably drawing upon his own significant experience), hit this nail SMACK on the proverbial head = ACT DECISIVELY, and ACT NOW!

It was the PROFESSIONAL thing to do, and much better to be the "sender" of the message of termination, than the "receiver". Brava!

Ed
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#2053623 - 03/24/13 06:21 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2643
Loc: Kentucky
Thanks Ed.

I have had no response from the parent since my message a couple of days ago suggesting this next lesson be the last. I suppose the parents are surprised that I wasn't willing to participate in the popularity contest they had set up with the child as judge.

I hate conflict and would like all my students and parents to be happy with me. And this family is friends with several of my other students/families. I finally stopped worrying about it after analyzing it repeatedly. Sort of stopped. I'll be relieved when the Wednesday evening lesson is over. I'll do my best to be positive and wish them well with the new teacher.

What I think has happened is that the child is not practicing and is finding piano difficult. Likely complained to parents. And they decided to try someone new instead of addressing any issues with me.
_________________________
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"She played upon her music box
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And straightaway all her polka dots
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-- Peter Newell

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#2053748 - 03/24/13 11:53 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
LoPresti Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
. . . the child is not practicing and is finding piano difficult.

From what I read here, there is a lot of that going around . . . [Cause]>>{Effect}

If nothing else, the friends of this student and her parents will get a clear message: Don't even try to play games with Ann in Kentucky!

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#2053821 - 03/25/13 06:30 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Candywoman Offline
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I know you had to act decisively Ann because I was once in this position. I had taught a girl for nine years and she was four months away from doing a significant piano exam. The girl's drama teacher wanted to teach her piano as well. So she proceeded to give different pedalings and fingerings. In addition, the time spent with the other teacher reduced my student's practice time by one day. Furthermore, my heart was deeply hurt. The reasons I kept going were I had committed to teaching the whole session til June, as I do for all my pupils, and I needed the money. But both of these were NOT good reasons. I should have immediately dropped her because:
once the parent changed the rules, my commitment became null and void; and no amount of money is worth my feeling of self-respect.

In reading your posts, Ann, I am troubled that you put yourself through so much second-guessing. I hope you desist from this in the future. It is not good for your mental health.

Plus, I don't think I'd even teach Sally on Wednesday. Just pay them out.


Edited by Candywoman (03/25/13 06:35 AM)

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#2053853 - 03/25/13 08:16 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: LoPresti]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti


If nothing else, the friends of this student and her parents will get a clear message: Don't even try to play games with Ann in Kentucky!



smile
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2053859 - 03/25/13 08:21 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Thanks for posting your thoughts Candywoman. You are right. I put myself through way too much second guessing. I've been treating a continuous headache for a full two days and nights. (Very mild this morning and I think this will be the last of it.)

Next time, I won't be so surprised. I'll just know that if a parent has hired another teacher, they have ended their business with me. And say goodbye. Hopefully I will be able to do a simple evaluation of what has transpired, and get over it more easily.

I appreciate the advice I've received here. This really helped me to face the problem instead of letting it drag on.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2053870 - 03/25/13 08:44 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
BrainCramp Offline
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Ann,

Poor little Sally. It sounds like her parents have left her with the task of facing you and bringing this to a resolution on Wednesday.

If your email was successful in "firing" them, Sally may feel she was "fired" too.

On the other hand, if they cluelessly hired a supplemental home tutor without realizing the trouble it would cause, Sally may really want to continue with you. She may be pretty upset about all this.

On the third hand, if Sally wasn't happy with her lessons with you, she won't be too relieved because now she has to start over with Ms. Taiwan.

I hope for Sally's sake the parents reach out to you before she arrives on your doorstep.

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#2053887 - 03/25/13 09:30 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Thanks for posting your thoughts Candywoman. You are right. I put myself through way too much second guessing. I've been treating a continuous headache for a full two days and nights. (Very mild this morning and I think this will be the last of it.)

Next time, I won't be so surprised. I'll just know that if a parent has hired another teacher, they have ended their business with me. And say goodbye. Hopefully I will be able to do a simple evaluation of what has transpired, and get over it more easily.

I appreciate the advice I've received here. This really helped me to face the problem instead of letting it drag on.


I would not be surprised if the student doesn't show for the lesson on Wednesday.
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#2053890 - 03/25/13 09:39 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
ShiroKuro Offline
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Wow, not to take away from the strain this causes the piano teacher, but I can't believe the parents here (who suggested they'd have Sally choose). I don't know how old Sally is, but it makes me think of two divorcing parents making the child choose which parent she likes better! We now know that is not healthy for the child, I don't think it is all that different for other adults the child has relationships with.

The parents might be able to choose based on pianistic things, but a child won't, and a child will likely be very aware of not wanting to hurt either teacher's feelings, even as the child is unable to articulate it that way. the parents will ask "which teacher do you want to keep taking lessons with?" but the child will hear "which teacher do you like better?" That's a really horrible thing to do to a child.

Ann and Barb, I'm really sorry you've have to deal with these issues! And I hope the parents learn not to do this to their children in the future.
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#2053895 - 03/25/13 09:56 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: ShiroKuro]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
Wow, not to take away from the strain this causes the piano teacher, but I can't believe the parents here (who suggested they'd have Sally choose). I don't know how old Sally is, but it makes me think of two divorcing parents making the child choose which parent she likes better! We now know that is not healthy for the child, I don't think it is all that different for other adults the child has relationships with.

The parents might be able to choose based on pianistic things, but a child won't, and a child will likely be very aware of not wanting to hurt either teacher's feelings, even as the child is unable to articulate it that way. the parents will ask "which teacher do you want to keep taking lessons with?" but the child will hear "which teacher do you like better?" That's a really horrible thing to do to a child.

Ann and Barb, I'm really sorry you've have to deal with these issues! And I hope the parents learn not to do this to their children in the future.


This whole thing reeks. The poor child has had to deal with most likely conflicting information from both teachers, or at the very least, one teacher thinking this thing is more important whereas the other teacher finds another issue to be of more importance. So what does the child focus on when practicing? She is split between the two and therefore not able to make headway in either issue because she can't devote her time on just one. Not to mention repertoire.
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#2053934 - 03/25/13 11:00 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ben Crosland Offline
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Whenever this situation rears its ugly head, I use the metaphor: "Trying to sail in two boats at once will only get you a wet backside!"
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#2053974 - 03/25/13 12:04 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Loc: Kentucky
I'm feeling so much better...my lighthearted spirit has returned and "Aint gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more" keeps going through my mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyZS0aCIYIk

It was empowering to say "No" to this situation instead of playing the role of pawn and waiting to see where the 3rd grader would place me.

I doubt kiddo will show up. But if she does, I will carry on in the usual friendly, supportive way. And wish her well.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/25/13 01:23 PM)
_________________________
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2054229 - 03/25/13 08:30 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
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Love that Bob Dylan youtube laugh
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#2054500 - 03/26/13 10:58 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Barb, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Shows that my inner DJ is back to work (cousin of inner child).

So great not to have this situation anymore:



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2054531 - 03/26/13 12:02 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
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HAHAHA!!!! Gotta love these cats!!!!
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#2054625 - 03/26/13 04:15 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Barb860
HAHAHA!!!! Gotta love these cats!!!!


laugh

What good are these crappy situations if we can't have a laugh about them later?
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055285 - 03/27/13 07:19 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ben Crosland]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Whenever this situation rears its ugly head, I use the metaphor: "Trying to sail in two boats at once will only get you a wet backside!"


This quote came in handy today.

As it turned out the child and her mother came to lesson. Long story short is it was a good ending. Parent said she had not meant to offend me. They had thought they'd get extra help at home and then the new teacher said "I can more than that" and began taking the lead. The parent said "we all like you" etc.

When they asked to continue with two teachers I used Ben's explanation. And the child smiled at the part about ending up with a wet backside.

Anyway we discussed the child's progress and where trouble spots are. I gently declined keeping the student saying I don't want to compete with another teacher...and that it would be nice to have the new teacher's perspective.

Parent asked if they could return in the future. I let her know that she is welcome back if I have an opening as long as she has ended lessons with another teacher.

This was all a bit stressful, even though friendly. I'm grateful for a peaceful ending, and I can head into spring break (next week) with this cleared up.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055291 - 03/27/13 07:24 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
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Good job, Ann!!!!!

Sounds like things went very well.
Good for you!

Enjoy your spring break!

Ben's quote could be the motto for this situation grin
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#2055316 - 03/27/13 08:04 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
BrainCramp Offline
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Ann,

I'm glad to hear that the mother came to see you in person.

It sounds like she was simply ignorant of the correct etiquette/process to use when trying to do more for little Sally. I bet she wishes she had handled things differently from the start.

It's good that you left the door open to having Sally return someday in the future. After all, who knows what she thinks of all this? Ms. Taiwan may not pan out. She sounds a bit pushy, after all, doesn't she?

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#2055326 - 03/27/13 08:36 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Thanks Barb and BrainCramp. smile

Yes, I think it was pushy (unprofessional) of the other teacher to barge in.

But mainly I am happy to part with good communication, respect and good will on both sides.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055461 - 03/28/13 02:32 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Ann, you handled this wonderfully. You were professional, the future teaching door remains open, and yet you stood up for yourself in a messy situation.

Bravo!

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#2055467 - 03/28/13 02:48 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
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Ann:

It's never fun to be in this situation. I've been there before, so I know how awkward it can be. The way you handled it was excellent.

Chalk it up to clueless parents...
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#2055513 - 03/28/13 07:44 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: BrainCramp]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
Ann,

I'm glad to hear that the mother came to see you in person.

It sounds like she was simply ignorant of the correct etiquette/process to use when trying to do more for little Sally. I bet she wishes she had handled things differently from the start.

It's good that you left the door open to having Sally return someday in the future. After all, who knows what she thinks of all this? Ms. Taiwan may not pan out. She sounds a bit pushy, after all, doesn't she?


That is exactly what I was thinking. If only she had consulted with you to begin with and taken your recommendation not to enlist another teacher (which I'm sure you would have given) then she could have stayed with you. A pricey lesson to pay.
_________________________
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#2055528 - 03/28/13 08:52 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2643
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Ann, you handled this wonderfully. You were professional, the future teaching door remains open, and yet you stood up for yourself in a messy situation.

Bravo!


smile
Thank you for your support and advice.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055529 - 03/28/13 08:53 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: AZNpiano]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Ann:

It's never fun to be in this situation. I've been there before, so I know how awkward it can be. The way you handled it was excellent.

Chalk it up to clueless parents...


Thank you AZN. Your advice helped me to take action.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055530 - 03/28/13 08:56 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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I'm grateful to have gone through this about the same time as Barb. And to have the comments and advice you've given here on PW. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on it.

smile
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055533 - 03/28/13 09:05 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Ann:



Chalk it up to clueless parents...


That might be an overly harsh description, don't you think? Parents have no way of knowing two music teachers would be confusing, unless somebody has made the effort to educate them.

After all, if their child is struggling with math, they get a tutor. The tennis coach allows a swing mechanic; the football coach requires a strength trainer.

It's not an unreasonable assumption this would work in music, for those without a musical background. Of course it doesn't - but we shouldn't expect parents to understand why on their own.
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#2055542 - 03/28/13 09:27 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: TimR]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Ann:



Chalk it up to clueless parents...


That might be an overly harsh description, don't you think? Parents have no way of knowing two music teachers would be confusing, unless somebody has made the effort to educate them.

After all, if their child is struggling with math, they get a tutor. The tennis coach allows a swing mechanic; the football coach requires a strength trainer.

It's not an unreasonable assumption this would work in music, for those without a musical background. Of course it doesn't - but we shouldn't expect parents to understand why on their own.



Parents get tutors when they feel their child is struggling in a subject or if a teacher recommends it. They did not seek the advice of the teacher before doing this is my understanding. Teachers aren't mind-readers.
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#2055543 - 03/28/13 09:30 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
keystring Online   content
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Being clueless as parent goes with the territory. That's why parents need guidance and you need to appear open enough that they are not timid about asking. It can seem "impolite" to "bother" the teacher, when I think it's safe to say that teachers want to be "bothered".

But what on earth was the other teacher thinking?

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#2055565 - 03/28/13 10:07 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: keystring]
BrainCramp Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring

But what on earth was the other teacher thinking?


I know it's easy to see the other teacher as another professional out to poach Ann's students.

But all along I've had the nagging thought that Ms. Taiwan may not be a professional teacher at all. She may be a college music student who lives down the street. She may be Sally's Dad's co-worker.

After all, the parents have always said they hired her to give Sally help at home. They may have been quite surprised when Ms. Taiwan started to feel her oats, so to speak.

Ann, did they ever tell you her name, and if so, is she known in the local teaching community?

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#2055566 - 03/28/13 10:09 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Reading from the sideline, as a parent, my feeling is that this is simply a “fit” issue. It doesn’t matter what the other teacher said or did----after all, no one here knows what the other teacher said to the family, what we know is what the mom said what the teacher said. The situation is simply that the parents felt the need to seek more help, for various reasons decided to seek the additional help on their own instead going through the first teacher, then a second teacher came on board and the family eventually went with the second teacher. This simply means that the family and the first teacher are not a good fit for each other. There could be plenty of reasons but they don’t necessarily reflect on the competence of the first teacher or the wisdom of the parents.

Little Sally is lucky to have parents who want to give her the best. With time, they will find the best arrangements for her.

I remember having a few trial lessons with a teacher for my daughter. During the lessons, the lack of chemistry between the teacher and my daughter was so startling that we didn’t hesitate at all to leave. Yet that teacher is a very reputable teacher in the area and has lots and lots of students, including many of our friends’ kids. Does our decision reflect poorly on us or on the teacher? Neither. She will find other new students who get along with her really well. We found a teacher who my daughter loves. There is no need at all to think any deeper about it.

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#2055597 - 03/28/13 10:58 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: childofparadise2002]
Barb860 Offline
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I agree that it could be a "fit" issue, to suit the parents. In my situation, the parent wanted a teacher to come to their home all along and I don't provide this service. They eventually found a traveling teacher and kept the 2 of us for awhile until somebody had a problem with it, and the somebody was me at the time.
Communication was lacking in both Ann's situation and mine. Students started showing up with multiple (in my case, conflicting) assignments and then we are told that Junior has 2 teachers. Why not give the first teacher courtesy notice that they want to change teachers and then just do it?
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#2055599 - 03/28/13 11:03 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: TimR]
Barb860 Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Ann:



Chalk it up to clueless parents...


That might be an overly harsh description, don't you think? Parents have no way of knowing two music teachers would be confusing, unless somebody has made the effort to educate them.

After all, if their child is struggling with math, they get a tutor. The tennis coach allows a swing mechanic; the football coach requires a strength trainer.

It's not an unreasonable assumption this would work in music, for those without a musical background. Of course it doesn't - but we shouldn't expect parents to understand why on their own.



Tim, the parents I was working with thought that there would be "synergy" with having 2 teachers. What was happening was confusion and conflicting information to some degree.
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#2055641 - 03/28/13 11:45 AM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860

Communication was lacking in both Ann's situation and mine. Students started showing up with multiple (in my case, conflicting) assignments and then we are told that Junior has 2 teachers. Why not give the first teacher courtesy notice that they want to change teachers and then just do it?


Yeah. Just based on the posts here on this forum, the lack of communication seems to be pretty prevalent. Sometimes the parents should talk to the teachers and they don't; sometimes teachers should talk to parents and they don't. It's possible that some situations are especially awkward so the two parties don't want to talk. But other times it's the lack of awareness of the importance of direct communications.

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#2055655 - 03/28/13 12:09 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860
Tim, the parents I was working with thought that there would be "synergy" with having 2 teachers. What was happening was confusion and conflicting information to some degree.


Anybody who's studied any instrument for long has had multiple teachers, hopefully sequential, and has received contradictory instruction on some elements.

The potential problems are obvious. (there are some potential benefits as well, but unlikely to accrue to the beginner.) But these problems are obvious only for the musically experienced.

A less experienced parent would have no reason to suspect a problem. They'd therefore also be less likely to communicate with the teacher about it. Synergy doesn't seem that unreasonable; it works in many fields.
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#2055658 - 03/28/13 12:17 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: BrainCramp]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: BrainCramp

Ann, did they ever tell you her name, and if so, is she known in the local teaching community?


No, I did not ask the parent. I wanted to steer clear of any criticism of the new teacher and/or parent. So I said that it would be nice for them to have the perspective of a new teacher. Then I added "and she may need the money more than I do".

Ha Ha! I said it very nicely. But that was the only hint of criticism. Let that comment fall where it may. Let them choose a teacher according to who needs the income most. LOL!

I was only allowing myself to say something positive, so these two points were all I could come up with to give encouragement. The tone of 'Don't worry dearie, your choices will work out just fine'.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/28/13 12:56 PM)
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"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2055660 - 03/28/13 12:41 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: TimR]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
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Registered: 08/07/07
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
It's not an unreasonable assumption this would work in music, for those without a musical background. Of course it doesn't - but we shouldn't expect parents to understand why on their own.

And that's why they're clueless! BTW, to me, "clueless" is not a very strong criticism. It just means that the parents don't know the right thing to do in this situation, and it does not make implications about their intelligence. I might have used such words as "dumb," "stupid," or "moronic."

This problem is tangentially related to teachers who demand students' parents to seek out "practice coaches" to monitor the students' practice sessions between lessons. I've told my advanced students to be my TA between lessons, but it would be very awkward to ask a colleague to do the same.
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#2055690 - 03/28/13 01:41 PM Re: Young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: AZNpiano]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 215
Loc: USA
I think Ms. Taiwan might be a college student or a piano-playing family friend because I suspect the parents were looking for someone analogous to a math tutor.

If you wanted to hire a supplemental math tutor to help your kid at home, you probably wouldn't hire a professional math teacher. You might, but more likely you'd hire a college kid.

I think that's why, when the mother visited Ann, she still wanted Sally to continue with two "teachers".

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