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#2020373 - 01/24/13 01:46 PM I can wait as long as it takes
ezpiano.org Offline
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"I can wait as long as it takes. I only want Saturday 9am slot."

This is what a new mom told me.

I do not have Saturday 9am open currently, and will not have it open maybe in 2 years. I have two high-school students graduate from Level 10, and it would be 11am schedule after CM test. I offered Saturday 11am to this new mom but this is what she told me: "I can wait as long as it takes. I only want Saturday 9am slot."

What would you do?
1. Ask 9am student move to 11am so that new mom can fit into 9am schedule

2. Let new mom wait two years (who will know what happen in two years?)

3. Since the new mom is so rigid in her schedule, maybe I should avoid taking her because she will cause more trouble in my studio in the future?

What would you do?

At this point I feel like I am "begging" her to take piano lesson after an email threads of 20 plus message back and forward discussing our schedule.
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#2020374 - 01/24/13 01:51 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
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I find what she says quite reasonable, unless you try to interpret what she says under a cloud of suspicion. If she is willing to wait as long as it takes, and if it takes two years, then that is admirable patience. She may only have Saturdays available. She may, in fact, have thought things through and will prove to be an excellent student (or parent) as she plans through everything else that are required of her (or child) once lessons start. I don't understand the angry face heading this post.

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#2020376 - 01/24/13 02:00 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Nikolas Offline
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Immediately my mind went to No.3: She seems too strong minded... I would appreciate her willingness to have her child study with me, but in all honesty such a strong mind means trouble...
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#2020379 - 01/24/13 02:01 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Quote:
I don't understand the angry face heading this post.

haha....
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#2020380 - 01/24/13 02:03 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Quote:
She may only have Saturdays available.

That is not true.
She has only Saturday 9am available. I offered her Saturday 11am started in March because that is the time my high-school student graduate from piano, and she refuse 11am slot.
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#2020382 - 01/24/13 02:07 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
btb Offline
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"I can wait as long as it takes.
I only want Saturday 9am slot."

There are a lot of "I's" in the introduction, indicating an unfortunate rigidity.

Your solution no. 3 is the way to go ...

"Since the new mom is so rigid in her schedule, maybe I should avoid taking her because she will cause more trouble in my studio in the future?"

My own experience as a Piano Teacher has never come across this problem ... but then I always invite prospective students (and their Mums) to call at my studio before acceptance for lessons ... perhaps it was my broad 6'2" frame at the front door which blanched any backchat.





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#2020417 - 01/24/13 02:41 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Offline
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Once upon a time I accepted two siblings who wanted Saturday 9 am - 11 am. They turned out to be two of the best students ever. They almost never missed lessons. I just had to drag myself out of bed.
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#2020424 - 01/24/13 02:50 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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I am currently teaching from 7am to 4pm on Saturdays.
Believe it or not, 7am to 9am students are the best.
I don't understand how your comment help me, AZN.


Edited by ezpiano.org (01/24/13 03:04 PM)
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#2020443 - 01/24/13 03:10 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Nikolas Offline
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ez: AZN means that even if you feel negative for whatever reason, you may find out that things could be much better than you expect!
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#2020446 - 01/24/13 03:12 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
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The long back and forth e-mails are cause for concern. A statement that someone will wait until a desired time slot is open is not cause for concern. If it will take 2 years, then either that person will wait 2 years and must really care to wait that long - or they don't, and then your problem is solved too.

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#2020450 - 01/24/13 03:13 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Ah...
Thanks Nikolas.
I thought ANZ means that I am lazy and not wanting to wake up at 9am to teach, so, I only offer 11am slot and pretend 9am slot is not going to be available for two years to this new mom.
That is why I reply with I teach from 7am on Saturdays, so, no one can say I love my bed so much I can't wake up to teach by 9am.

Sorry ANZ.
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#2020457 - 01/24/13 03:16 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: btb]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: btb
"I can wait as long as it takes.
I only want Saturday 9am slot."

There are a lot of "I's" in the introduction, indicating an unfortunate rigidity.

How would you reword this to express these two wishes, but not use the first person personal pronoun? The statement doesn't "indicate" anything. It indicates that this person would like to come Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. and is willing to wait for it. We don't know why. We don't know the person's circumstances. Seriously - I'm a linguist, and am not sure how it would be reworded.

As long as it takes is fine with me.
You can count on me to wait for as long as it takes.
Time is not of the essences, any amount of waiting time is acceptable to me.


All of it sounds obscure and devious.


Edited by keystring (01/24/13 03:17 PM)

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#2020459 - 01/24/13 03:17 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Chris H. Offline
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No.3 all the way.

If her schedule is that tight then you can bet there will be no time for practice or support.

In any case, she wants 9am and you don't have it so that's that.
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#2020462 - 01/24/13 03:18 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
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If I were the 9:00 student I'd be VERY careful crossing the street.

I'm pretty sure that student's favorite composer is Mozart, by the way.
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#2020464 - 01/24/13 03:20 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Chris H. Offline
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Also we are talking about the mum here and not the student. If you want your child to learn piano or they have expressed an interest then you want them to get started right away. Waiting for years until one particular time slot becomes available is just daft. Either be more flexible or take them to someone who can accommodate.
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#2020466 - 01/24/13 03:20 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Quote:
If I were the 9:00 student I'd be VERY careful crossing the street.

haha...

But I don't understand why Mozart? Sorry for being not getting the jokes.
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#2020470 - 01/24/13 03:20 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
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Do you think the 9am student would want to move to 11? My daughter has early starts on Saturday (7am and is done by 10:45) and on Sunday has a class from 11-12:30. I most definitely like the done by 10:45 more! But I know others who like a later start.

But if you think they would like a later lesson (they come in looking like they rolled out of bed, tend to be a few minutes late), then it wouldn't hurt to ask.

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#2020471 - 01/24/13 03:20 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
If I were the 9:00 student I'd be VERY careful crossing the street.

haha...

But I don't understand why Mozart? Sorry for being not getting the jokes.


K. 525, the famous Nine O'Clock Music.
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#2020472 - 01/24/13 03:21 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
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AKA Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

But we always called it Nine O'Clock Music.
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#2020474 - 01/24/13 03:26 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Quote:
Do you think the 9am student would want to move to 11?


That is a fair question, Maggie.

This 9am student has been with me 3 years. When I said 2 years to have this slot open, it means maybe I am unlucky, this student will stop piano in two years. It is just my earliest prediction. He might continue for another 8 years as far as I know.

For three years he never asked to move his time to a later one. So, I assume that he likes his 9am slot. I could ask if he wants to move, but do you know that mostly Asian parents like to please teachers, they will say yes even if they do not like it. I do not want to take advantage of this good virtue.
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#2020478 - 01/24/13 03:28 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Registered: 05/10/11
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Quote:
AKA Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

But we always called it Nine O'Clock Music.


Haha...get it now...it is Nine O'Clock Music!!
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#2020481 - 01/24/13 03:31 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Chris H. Offline
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Loc: UK.
It always amuses me how people get about their time slot. If you ever ask them to move for some reason there is just no way it's happening. But then when they miss a lesson and want a make up they can suddenly come anytime haha!
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#2020487 - 01/24/13 03:37 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
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I do not want to take advantage of this good virtue.

True! I think you have your answer - they are choosing to wait for 2 years, piano isn't "that" important to them, "winning" a time slot is important to them.

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#2020528 - 01/24/13 04:19 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ten left thumbs Offline
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There are no other teachers who can do the slot she wants?

Either way, if your timeables don't match, you can't take her on. Maybe the slot will become available, maybe it won't, maybe she'll find another teacher, maybe the family is too busy for piano anyway.

I'm just bowled over you have students that will get up for 7am on a Saturday.
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#2020531 - 01/24/13 04:20 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Chris H.]
Ben Crosland Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chris H.
It always amuses me how people get about their time slot. If you ever ask them to move for some reason there is just no way it's happening. But then when they miss a lesson and want a make up they can suddenly come anytime haha!


^^This^^

laugh
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#2020534 - 01/24/13 04:21 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ten left thumbs]
Ben Crosland Offline
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs


I'm just bowled over you have students that will get up for 7am on a Saturday.


Me too! I didn't even realise there was such a time as 7am on Saturday wink
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#2020541 - 01/24/13 04:26 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Yes folks, Saturdays at 7am
That is why I started a thread a while ago that if I should raise my rate for Saturdays.
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#2020569 - 01/24/13 04:59 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Chris H. Offline
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Loc: UK.
I've always done Saturday mornings but only start at 9am. Well almost....my first ones are always ten to fifteen minutes early. Recently I did try to clear Saturday until someone contacted me with three kids who could only do Saturday!
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#2020572 - 01/24/13 05:02 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
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Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

For three years he never asked to move his time to a later one. So, I assume that he likes his 9am slot. I could ask if he wants to move, but do you know that mostly Asian parents like to please teachers, they will say yes even if they do not like it. I do not want to take advantage of this good virtue.


That's a valid concern. Here's one way you could go about it: Tell your current student that you now have two time slots open, 9:00 or 11:00, and he can have his choice. If he says he'd prefer 11, you can take on the new (demanding) student. If he says he'd rather keep his current schedule, you can safely turn down the new (demanding) student and breathe a sigh of relief that you dodged a bullet.

I'm thinking the new student will be high maintenance, so I'd advise not trying to accommodate him.
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#2020601 - 01/24/13 05:32 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Ben Crosland]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs


I'm just bowled over you have students that will get up for 7am on a Saturday.


Me too! I didn't even realise there was such a time as 7am on Saturday wink

Same here! I never wake up early on weekends unless there's some piano competition or CM thing that I must do. 7 AM is an ungodly hour for lessons. My neighbors will call the cops on me.
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#2020628 - 01/24/13 06:02 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: AZNpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Heck, I'd just put the family on the waiting list, and then forget about it. You never know about the family currently occupying the slot -- they may suddenly have a time conflict, and then you'll have a ready student to fill in.
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#2020666 - 01/24/13 07:13 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Overexposed Offline
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I agree with what Monica and John said.

However, I am curious about when the child would practice. If the weekly schedule has only a single hour open for lessons, then when is there space in the weekly schedule for practice?

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#2020683 - 01/24/13 07:54 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Overexposed]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
However, I am curious about when the child would practice. If the weekly schedule has only a single hour open for lessons, then when is there space in the weekly schedule for practice?

Of course I'm just conjecturing, but it sounds like this parent wants piano lessons at the least busy time of the week, so they can have the rest of the weekend to do other stuff. Not very many events are planned on Saturday mornings around here, except for soccer matches and swim meets.
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#2020743 - 01/24/13 09:14 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
rocket88 Offline
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What bothers me is that this mother is willing to wait years before her child gets piano lessons.

Time's a-wasting, lady...get another teacher...start the kid on lessons!
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#2020758 - 01/24/13 09:50 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Jeff Clef Offline
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I was thinking over, just yesterday, the small danger signs that I had let go by, early in certain relationships.

Turns out, I should have paid more attention; the signs were right there. And I say the same for this prospective student's parent. I have found the comments interesting and worthwhile, but since you say you see the potential for trouble yourself, I think you have also seen the answer for yourself.
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#2020893 - 01/25/13 04:22 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
btb Offline
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I’m going to bet my bottom dollar that Mummy Dear
(Two-ton Tessie) can’t play the flipping piano and would prove a feckless frump in monitoring her progeny’s daily piano homework ... probably wants the 9am slot to avoid cancelling a mid-morning bridge session.

These ambitious Mater’s ooze a heady confidence that they have spawned another Mozart ... (don’t they all?)

It would appear that most of the seasoned Piano teachers subscribe to the OP’s 3rd alternative ... don’t touch with a barge-pole.

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#2021000 - 01/25/13 09:16 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Jeff Clef]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
I was thinking over, just yesterday, the small danger signs that I had let go by, early in certain relationships.

Turns out, I should have paid more attention; the signs were right there. And I say the same for this prospective student's parent. I have found the comments interesting and worthwhile, but since you say you see the potential for trouble yourself, I think you have also seen the answer for yourself.


I agree with this - listen to your gut feeling on this one. It raises a red flag in my book anyways.

Also, I would not ask the current student if they wanted 9 am or 11 am, because it still implies that you want them to take this other time, or you wouldn't offer. If the mom wants to wait years, let her wait. I would also give her a list of other teachers in the area to contact in the meantime that may have that time available.


Edited by Morodiene (01/25/13 09:16 AM)
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#2021070 - 01/25/13 11:25 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Registered: 05/10/11
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Quote:
Also, I would not ask the current student if they wanted 9 am or 11 am, because it still implies that you want them to take this other time, or you wouldn't offer.

Agree with you.

I decide not to take this new mom. Any suggestion how to write an email? Do I need to explain why I cannot take her? Not now, not in two years?


Edited by ezpiano.org (01/25/13 11:30 AM)
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#2021099 - 01/25/13 12:30 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Sometimes the best way to interact is not to think too much into other people's mind, but to take what they say as what they mean. Just put the family on your waiting list. If you have the spot open up in one month, or in three years, give them a call. If they are still interested, sign them up. If they have already moved on, you can call the next person on the waiting list. You have no information about what this family is like and how the student will practice and how busy they will be. No speculation is better than another speculation.

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#2021106 - 01/25/13 12:49 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
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Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 488
Dear Family, As we discussed I do not have a Saturday 9:00am lesson available. If you are not open to any of the options I discussed with you, you are welcome to call back next fall to see if I have an opening for that time slot. Kind regards, Piano Teacher.

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#2021107 - 01/25/13 12:51 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
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Posts: 488
I understand waitlists for current students for a different time slot, but not a two year long waitlist for someone who isn't taking lessons! That is why I'd put it back on the family to check back in the fall.


Edited by MaggieGirl (01/25/13 12:56 PM)

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#2021115 - 01/25/13 01:20 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Dear Pushy Irvine Mom,

Many thanks for your interest in my piano teaching program for little Theodore. I regret I am unable to accommodate your Saturdays @ 9am needs. I hope you will find another local teacher who can help you.

Sincerely,
EZ

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#2021135 - 01/25/13 01:45 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
rocket88 Offline
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Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
I find all the conjecture and name-calling about this mother rather unfortunate.

We know absolutely nothing about her or her situation.

People are saying that the mother is pushy, trouble, etc. But it is very likely there is a reason(s) for her time requirement...perhaps a family or work or transportation situation requires 9:00 am Saturday.

My schedule only allows early morning doctor appointments, so maybe I too am pushy and trouble when my dentist or doctor wants to make an appointment for me. If my dentist insisted on a time slot I simply could not make, unless it was an emergency, then I too would hold firm.

The advice to simply put her on the waiting list is best, IMHO. She and her child could be wonderful. You just don't know right now.
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#2021210 - 01/25/13 04:12 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: rocket88]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
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Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: rocket88
I find all the conjecture and name-calling about this mother rather unfortunate.
We know absolutely nothing about her or her situation
... ... ...
The advice to simply put her on the waiting list is best, IMHO. She and her child could be wonderful. You just don't know right now.
+1
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#2021289 - 01/25/13 05:49 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Online   content
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If she is happy to wait, consider that a complement, but do let her know you will keep her on a waiting list. Still, I'd suggest some other teachers as it's possible they may be able to accommodate her schedule.


Edited by Morodiene (01/25/13 05:49 PM)
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#2021484 - 01/26/13 03:59 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Candywoman Offline
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Registered: 07/14/03
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The lesson you have learned from all this is never allow so many emails back and forth. You need to speak with her. In doing so, you may have asked her why that is her only available time. When I was a youngster that was my only available time and yet I had many, many hours in which to practice piano. It was a simple transportation issue related to my father's work.

However, you might offer her 6 am Saturday and she just might take it.

And regarding your current 9 am student, he may have been desiring the 11 am slot for some time now and been to afraid to tell you. So how can you know unless you ask?

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#2021538 - 01/26/13 08:59 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
malkin Online   content
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My teacher asks everyone periodically (beginning of term, beginning of summer) if the lesson time is good or if we'd like a change.
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#2021906 - 01/26/13 10:38 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
pianoeagle Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
Here would be my reply:

Dear Mom,

Unfortunately, I cannot accommodate your request for a 9:00 AM Saturday lesson time. As we have already discussed, lesson times are assigned on a first come, first serve basis, and slot has been filled for three years. At this time, the only slots available are x and y, so I would encourage you to see if you can work that into your schedule, and move into a more desired time as slots open up. Please call me at xxx xxx-xxxx if you have any questions or would like to join my studio's wait list. I look forward to your call.

Best wishes in your child's piano studies,
EZ
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#2022033 - 01/27/13 08:04 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
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Pianoeagle, why "three years"? I don't think that this part is actually known. The last part "would like to join my studio's wait list" makes sense, since the mother has already indicated that she would like to join the waiting list. She can certainly reiterate that wish, to confirm.

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#2022079 - 01/27/13 09:53 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
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Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
Do you think the 9am student would want to move to 11?




This 9am student has been with me 3 years.
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#2022294 - 01/27/13 05:31 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: keystring]
pianoeagle Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
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Loc: Texas
I would just use the three years or however long it's been to reiterate the expectation that you can't expect the slot to open up within a couple weeks or months.
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#2022338 - 01/27/13 06:51 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: pianoeagle]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: pianoeagle
you can't expect the slot to open up within a couple weeks or months.

You can expect whatever you want. Doesn't mean it's going to happen.
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#2022389 - 01/27/13 08:25 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: AZNpiano]
personne Offline
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Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I do not believe this mother is going to wait years for the slot to open.
She either expects the teacher to free this slot for her, or just does not realize students may come at the same time for a decade smile


Edited by personne (01/27/13 08:27 PM)
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#2022395 - 01/27/13 08:32 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
....so I would encourage you to see if you can work that into your schedule, and move into a more desired time as slots open up......


Tried this so many times to other parents, they usually agree to sign up right away even the time slot currently available is not the best one for them. Every beginning of the school year, I usually accept request from parents about their "best" time to have piano lesson and doing my best to accommodate everyone.
Parents sign up in the middle of year usually understand that current students have been in piano lesson since the beginning of the year and willing to wait for next school year for their best spot.
I did tried it this way with this new mom, it doesn't work out well, she is willing to wait "as long as it takes for a Saturday 9am slot".
I think a lot of you are right about if she is patient, that it is a compliment. Somehow, it doesn't sounds right to me..really? You will wait?
Maybe is just me.
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#2022435 - 01/27/13 09:30 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
How can anyone know what his/her schedule will be on a Saturday morning 2 years from now in the first place?
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#2024668 - 01/31/13 02:11 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Jonathan Baker Offline
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Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 402
Loc: New York City!
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
"I can wait as long as it takes. I only want Saturday 9am slot."


Why only 9 AM? That means that some other activity following that in her schedule is more important than the piano lesson. Probably soccer, or ballet class, etc.

It has been my experience that those who demand schedules be honored exactly on their own terms without compromise do not work out for long. I do not allow myself to be upset by such callers. To begin with, their priorities are wrong. When I was a student I was happy to meet my teacher on any terms and times they would allow - the lesson was all-important to me, overriding any other matter in my schedule.
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#2024941 - 01/31/13 11:19 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: ezpiano.org]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...You can expect whatever you want. Doesn't mean it's going to happen..."

Learning to adjust our expectations is one of the great skills of a happy life.

Meanwhile, a parent with this attitude could still be waiting until the sun explodes before I would accept her into my studio.


Edited by Jeff Clef (01/31/13 11:21 PM)
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#2025076 - 02/01/13 05:25 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Jeff Clef]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11730
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

Meanwhile, a parent with this attitude could still be waiting until the sun explodes before I would accept her into my studio.

WHAT attitude? The thing that bothers me is the interpretation and extrapolation. If someone says A, it means all these other things. A customer has said she is willing to go on a waiting list. This happens all the time. The extrapolation that is probably being made is that the parent is trying to pressure the teacher by saying "I can wait as long is it takes." The extrapolation is also that this parent has absolute freedom, is totally able to take any other time, but insists on having her own way and will be equally inflexible later on. But do we know that? It could be true. It could also be true that this person has weighed everything carefully, this works, and the person will also be equally careful in making sure her child practises, has a supportive environment for practising etc.

I get customers calling me all the time because my work is not long term with anyone. I have to weigh things. Recently I got a call from someone who I thought would be a "difficult, pushy" customer. She turned out to be sweet, grateful, and accommodating, but had been given such a run around that she had become ultra cautious and defensive by the time she got to me. It taught me a lesson in prejudgment.

Meanwhile as student I have been at the other end of second guessing. We have no idea what teachers have encountered with other students, and that anything we say or do will remind them of these experiences, making them add meaning. It is a very frustrating thing at that end.

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#2025122 - 02/01/13 07:47 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

Meanwhile, a parent with this attitude could still be waiting until the sun explodes before I would accept her into my studio.

WHAT attitude? The thing that bothers me is the interpretation and extrapolation. If someone says A, it means all these other things. A customer has said she is willing to go on a waiting list. This happens all the time. The extrapolation that is probably being made is that the parent is trying to pressure the teacher by saying "I can wait as long is it takes." The extrapolation is also that this parent has absolute freedom, is totally able to take any other time, but insists on having her own way and will be equally inflexible later on. But do we know that? It could be true. It could also be true that this person has weighed everything carefully, this works, and the person will also be equally careful in making sure her child practises, has a supportive environment for practising etc.

I get customers calling me all the time because my work is not long term with anyone. I have to weigh things. Recently I got a call from someone who I thought would be a "difficult, pushy" customer. She turned out to be sweet, grateful, and accommodating, but had been given such a run around that she had become ultra cautious and defensive by the time she got to me. It taught me a lesson in prejudgment.

Meanwhile as student I have been at the other end of second guessing. We have no idea what teachers have encountered with other students, and that anything we say or do will remind them of these experiences, making them add meaning. It is a very frustrating thing at that end.


We really do not know, you are right. However, I've encountered enough of people who are demanding like this who end up treating me like I'm the "service/servant" rather than a highly educated professional hired to assist them in learning an instrument. I seem to recall that this is all through email, as well, and some people come across differently in email than they would over the phone. I always want to talk to the person on the phone and meet them before we even talk about schedules. That way I can really assess who I'm dealing with.
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#2025208 - 02/01/13 10:41 AM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Morodiene]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11730
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

We really do not know, you are right. However, I've encountered enough of people who are demanding like this who end up treating me like I'm the "service/servant" rather than a highly educated professional hired to assist them in learning an instrument. I seem to recall that this is all through email, as well, and some people come across differently in email than they would over the phone. I always want to talk to the person on the phone and meet them before we even talk about schedules. That way I can really assess who I'm dealing with.

The e-mail part is a concern because there were many of them. We don't know how clearly either party wrote but when you have a lot of them it can be a sign of a "high maintenance" customer - you'll be discussing everything to death later on too. But the wish to go on a waiting list, and expressing the willingness to wait, in and of itself is not the sign of a bad attitude.

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#2025602 - 02/01/13 09:14 PM Re: I can wait as long as it takes [Re: Morodiene]
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 402
Loc: New York City!
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I've encountered enough of people who are demanding like this who end up treating me like I'm the "service/servant" rather than a highly educated professional hired to assist them in learning an instrument.


Exactly on point. This is a continuing problem - artists being regarded as an expendable amusement. I remember reading in Paderewski's autobiography that he challenged the habits of the wealthy Londoners who hired pianists to play in their salons (a genre now mostly vanished) by refusing to enter through the back door along with the cooks and cleaning staff, but instead enter through the front door with other honored guests - and this was after he was already a star. Previously, Liszt had to fight this fight good and hard.

There are those who think that educating children is, to play on words, childish. A matter of baby talk and brightly colored toys and crayons.

And this will never end - with each new generation we need to reassert the dignity of our profession, not only for our individual selves, but for the sake of our profession and many colleagues who we may not ever meet. Critics will inevitably accused us of being a bit too pompous or 'stuck-up', but that is inevitable - we must, to put it in commercial terms, "protect our brand" as well as our personal dignity.

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