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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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 911
Loc: California, USA
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 Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11427
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
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
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
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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Piano Teacher

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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
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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Piano Teacher

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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
1000 Post Club Member

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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
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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Began: 01-12-11


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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
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.
_________________________
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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#2052045 - 03/21/13 04:28 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
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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Piano Teacher

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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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 833
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
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.
_________________________
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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#2052400 - 03/22/13 11:08 AM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Candywoman]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
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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Piano Teacher

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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
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
1000 Post Club Member

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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
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)
_________________________
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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#2052495 - 03/22/13 01:58 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
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
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 254
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
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

Top
#2052540 - 03/22/13 03:14 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: BrainCramp]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
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

Top
#2052543 - 03/22/13 03:21 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
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)
_________________________
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

Top
#2052548 - 03/22/13 03:27 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Barb860]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
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
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 254
Loc: USA
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
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.
_________________________
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

Top
#2052618 - 03/22/13 05:10 PM Re: young students with 2 teachers at the same time [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
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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casinitaly! Many happy returns of the day!
by malkin
57 minutes 40 seconds ago
T.J. Rochford Piano, trying to uncover some history
by Mikey Bob
Today at 07:58 AM
How to study harmony through Bach
by ttttcrngyblflpp
Today at 07:58 AM
Gustav Lutz?
by MartaG
Today at 06:37 AM
Can anyone help me identify Bach's music in this soundtrack?
by WellTemperedPizza
Today at 05:30 AM
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