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#2027328 - 02/05/13 08:56 AM difficult siblings (non-students) and parents
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
So my business partner has a voice student who is very sweet and talented. Her mother, however, insists in bringing in the girls two younger siblings, a boy and a girl around both age 7. The mother is there but she does not discipline the kids at all. They sit in the waiting area and make a mess of things, I'm pretty sure they've drawn on the table cloth on the side table, and they are NOISY.

My partner told them last week that they need to be quiet, otherwise I will get upset with them (I don't know why I'm the one who has to be threatening). Anyways, yesterday they were so noisy I couldn't concentrate on my Skype lesson which is hard enough to hear details as it is. They were talking loudly with the front door (which is right outside my door) wide open. I went out there and told them that I can hear every word and they need to shut the door and be quiet while they are here. In the midst of my saying this, the boy turns his back and walks away. I said I am talking to you, don't walk away from me and he talks back saying "I know you said to be quiet". I told him he needed to look at me when I was talking to him and not disrespect me.

After going back in to my studio, it is no less than 5 minutes and they're at it again, except the mother is outside the door on her phone on speakerphone adding to the noise. I went out and told the children that I told them to be quiet. The mother says "she's just wishing them a happy birthday" pointing to her phone. I said do it somewhere else! I can't teach with all this noise! I let my partner know what happened and that she has to tell them they are not allowed to stay during this student's lesson.

My next student came in and those kids left. My student said "Those kids are really annoying. One of them came up to me and pointed to your door and said, "That girl is crazy." I was livid!

My partner is aware of this now and she will tell the mother that under no circumstances are the children allowed in the studio. I'm just venting, and hopefully this will solve the problem. Anyone else have some wonderful stories about undisciplined kids? mad
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2027475 - 02/05/13 02:05 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
student said "Those kids are really annoying. One of them came up to me and pointed to your door and said, "That girl is crazy." I was livid!


Haha laugh don't you just love kids and the things they say.
At my last piano teacher's student recital, some parents thought it was smart to bring in their toddlers, so basically the whole recital was a barrage of classical music interspersed with screaming children.

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#2027514 - 02/05/13 03:08 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Wow! This parent is the problem IMO, as she doesn't discipline her kids, and I have had similar instances in my studio.

Mom brought her 2 kids in for an interview lesson. She sat outside the studio with Kid #2 while Kid #1 was working with me. Kid #2 (who was 6 years old at the time) walked into the studio, pulled a chair up to a window, stood on the chair, and began taking the shade off the window. No kidding. Kids are not studying with me....Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy
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Piano Teacher

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#2027815 - 02/06/13 01:34 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Anyone else have some wonderful stories about undisciplined kids? mad

Hey, I have similar stories to fill five tubs...years of teaching in public schools.

That's why I love working for myself. I get to fire all the really, really undisciplined students!
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2027816 - 02/06/13 01:36 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy

Ha! This cracked me up. laugh
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2027865 - 02/06/13 04:09 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: AZNpiano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5899
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[Hey, I have similar stories to fill five tubs...years of teaching in public schools.
haha, me too. smile
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy
Ha! This cracked me up. laugh
When I was school teaching I had a mother say gleefully (about her impossible 7-year-old son) "You think he's bad, just wait till his little brother starts school!" I didn't, as it turned out - I'd moved on by that time!
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2027941 - 02/06/13 08:01 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3151
Loc: Virginia, USA
We moved to a new school when I was in 4th grade and my next younger brother was in 2cnd grade.

Five years later, the 2cnd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers had retired or quit.

Not saying my brother was difficult, but................
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2027945 - 02/06/13 08:16 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: currawong]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[Hey, I have similar stories to fill five tubs...years of teaching in public schools.
haha, me too. smile
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy
Ha! This cracked me up. laugh
When I was school teaching I had a mother say gleefully (about her impossible 7-year-old son) "You think he's bad, just wait till his little brother starts school!" I didn't, as it turned out - I'd moved on by that time!


LOL! Thanks for the laughs, guys. I really feel sorry for these kids, though. The parents are ruining them because no one wants to be around them. Undisciplined children are a curse to all who encounter them, and instead of people finding them cute and giving them good attention, all they will get is in trouble or excluded from things (like my studio).
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2028112 - 02/06/13 01:28 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
I once taught in a classroom on the second floor of a building, and the back windows open out to a small platform behind the room. So I have these 7th-grade chipmunks who enjoy squeezing out of the window and scurrying around the platform. There were no guardrails to prevent them from taking a 12-foot plunge to the concrete below!

I called security and wrote every single one of these kids a referral to the office. But the office didn't do anything to discipline the kids. Instead, it wrote back: "Control your kids."

And forget about calling their parents. They don't speak English.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2028158 - 02/06/13 02:53 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: AZNpiano]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I once taught in a classroom on the second floor of a building, and the back windows open out to a small platform behind the room. So I have these 7th-grade chipmunks who enjoy squeezing out of the window and scurrying around the platform. There were no guardrails to prevent them from taking a 12-foot plunge to the concrete below!

I called security and wrote every single one of these kids a referral to the office. But the office didn't do anything to discipline the kids. Instead, it wrote back: "Control your kids."

And forget about calling their parents. They don't speak English.


HAHA!
Reminds me of an antic my brother pulled years ago when he was 12 years old:
He and his friend picked up a desk in the music classroom (one of those old, HEAVY wooden and metal desks), during class time, and hurled it out the window, from 2 stories up! Desk hit the blacktop in back of the school. Thank goodness no one was below to get hit! Kids ended up with detention. My parents were never told of the incident eek
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2028386 - 02/06/13 09:14 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Barb860]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I once taught in a classroom on the second floor of a building, and the back windows open out to a small platform behind the room. So I have these 7th-grade chipmunks who enjoy squeezing out of the window and scurrying around the platform. There were no guardrails to prevent them from taking a 12-foot plunge to the concrete below!

I called security and wrote every single one of these kids a referral to the office. But the office didn't do anything to discipline the kids. Instead, it wrote back: "Control your kids."

And forget about calling their parents. They don't speak English.


HAHA!
Reminds me of an antic my brother pulled years ago when he was 12 years old:
He and his friend picked up a desk in the music classroom (one of those old, HEAVY wooden and metal desks), during class time, and hurled it out the window, from 2 stories up! Desk hit the blacktop in back of the school. Thank goodness no one was below to get hit! Kids ended up with detention. My parents were never told of the incident eek


That actually sounds like fun. LOL
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2028455 - 02/06/13 11:58 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 470
Your partner needs to be the one to stop her lesson and tell the family in the hall that they need to be quiet right away. It might take 6 interruptions and her asking them to wait outside for it to make a difference. Your lesson should not be the one suffering.

The parent is oblivious. Your partner needs to make them aware they are not the only clients in the building.

You can't teach a parent to parent once they have hit the oblivious stage. They are the folks who expect the school to handle it.

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#2028579 - 02/07/13 07:44 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: MaggieGirl]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
Your partner needs to be the one to stop her lesson and tell the family in the hall that they need to be quiet right away. It might take 6 interruptions and her asking them to wait outside for it to make a difference. Your lesson should not be the one suffering.

The parent is oblivious. Your partner needs to make them aware they are not the only clients in the building.

You can't teach a parent to parent once they have hit the oblivious stage. They are the folks who expect the school to handle it.


Actually, she is going to tell them they are not allowed to stay during her sister's lesson. The mom will have to take them elsewhere. She couldn't hear from her room what was going on, and I told her after the fact. So hopefully, that's the end of that. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2028632 - 02/07/13 09:26 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Australia
I feel so blessed, that in my teaching world, I cannot relate to any of the above smile
_________________________
Rob

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#2030989 - 02/11/13 08:34 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
So turns out my partner is not too keen on talking to the mother. Apparently she's afraid the lady will get offended and have her daughter discontinue lessons. I'm not too happy about the fact that she's backing down on speaking to her, which can be done in a respectful manner but still effectively.

Here are my thoughts on how to resolve the issue myself:
-Teach in the large room that she has been using for her student during this time. It seems she's not bothered by the noise as this room is farther away, so why should my students be affected?
-Bribe the kids. I have some cool stickers and I could show them to the kids and say, "If I don't have to come out of my room to tell you to be quiet for 30 minutes, then you each can get a sticker. But if one of you is noisy and I come out, then neither of you get a sticker, so help each other to stay quiet."

Any other suggestions on how I can solve this? I see them today.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2031004 - 02/11/13 09:18 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
bmbutler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
Have your partner teach somewhere else. This is her responsibility. She doesn't want to deal with it? That opens up more issues than you might want to see.
_________________________
Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983

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#2031009 - 02/11/13 09:22 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I think the first option is the best. If it's her clients that are being disruptive, it should interfere with her lessons, not yours. Perhaps that will be enough for her to speak up.

Perhaps the two of you could talk to the mother in question together.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2031027 - 02/11/13 09:41 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Morodiene, do you have any activities available for children who wait?

I think it is unrealistic to expect energetic (and perhaps undisicipled) children to sit quietly for a full lesson of their siblings.

Where I teach there is an area for kids stocked with crayons, coloring books, and reading material for youngsters, and with reading material for adults.

Doctor's offices have similar areas, even with a small TV programmed for children's shows, with the volume and channel changeable only from a remote (that is kept away from the tv).

Just a thought, but it might solve the problem.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2031028 - 02/11/13 09:45 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
That would be nice, but ultimately, the behavior of the children is the responsibility of the mother. I imagine that, even if there were things to do, they would still be loud and unruly doing them. Call me a pessimist, but I'm seeing crayon drawings on the walls . . .
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2031032 - 02/11/13 09:48 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: rocket88]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Morodiene, do you have any activities available for children who wait?

I think it is unrealistic to expect energetic (and perhaps undisicipled) children to sit quietly for a full lesson of their siblings.

Where I teach there is an area for kids stocked with crayons, coloring books, and reading material for youngsters, and with reading material for adults.

Doctor's offices have similar areas, even with a small TV programmed for children's shows, with the volume and channel changeable only from a remote (that is kept away from the tv).

Just a thought, but it might solve the problem.




I agree it's unrealistic. The weather down here, of course, is perfect for the kids to be outside at a nearby park. The mother doesn't want to bring them there, however, she'd rather force them to stay inside. The brings things for them to do, but it's the loudness of their doing things that is the problem. The mother usually just leaves the kids and goes outside to talk on her phone.

The only indoor space we have is our waiting area, which is right outside my door.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2031033 - 02/11/13 09:49 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Minniemay]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
That would be nice, but ultimately, the behavior of the children is the responsibility of the mother. I imagine that, even if there were things to do, they would still be loud and unruly doing them. Call me a pessimist, but I'm seeing crayon drawings on the walls . . .


This is very likely what would happen. As I mentioned before, they've already drawn on my tablecloth with pencil.

edited to add: I'm also hoping that by switching rooms with my partner that the student gets upset with the interruptions and complains to mom. That might be more effective than me complaining.


Edited by Morodiene (02/11/13 09:56 AM)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2031061 - 02/11/13 10:46 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
Not sure if you've done so already but you might want to include a small paragraph in your studio policy about waiting family members and what happens when they are undisciplined and disruptive in the studio; that other arrangements will need to be made. This way, if Mom is offended that you've banned the kids from the studio and she quits all of a sudden, with 2 lessons still to go in the month, then too bad for her.

Something I've learned over the years: undisciplined children have undisciplined parents.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
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#2031076 - 02/11/13 11:22 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 470
Stickers will not improve behavior. IF they even earned one, you'll find it stuck to something (window, mirror, wood floor).

Ha! I'm leaning more towards moving the waiting room furniture to each studio room and asking parents to wait IN their kid's lesson. Then they only annoy their own kid's lesson.

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#2031092 - 02/11/13 11:45 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1314
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Your partner might not want to speak to this mom, even alongside you, but you could simply speak to this woman yourself, since you are the teacher who is being compromised.

You'll adopt a good tone with her, I have no doubt. Make it clear that you are operating a small music school, where listening and sound are paramount. Your waiting room is just that, a waiting room, and her children are disrupting your teaching. Ask her what could be done about this, since it is compromising your school's mission.

Might not help, but you could at least try treating this mother as if she is a responsible adult.

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#2031176 - 02/11/13 02:08 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Morodiene,
Your partner is neglecting her responsibilities. If she is not willing to speak with the mother, then I would tell your partner to hire a babysitter. There needs to be a responsible adult/teen supervising the kids.

I would not set kids loose with crayons, especially these poorly supervised kids. But I have found that LEGO's provide a lot of fascination for kids age 5-10.

Moving down the hall may help avoid solving the issues for now. Nothing wrong with you and your partner having a little time to sort through how to work effectively together.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (02/11/13 02:22 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

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#2031186 - 02/11/13 02:21 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...Might not help, but you could at least try treating this mother as if she is a responsible adult..."

And having tried the high road--- well, no doubt, that approach will work. Shame on your business partner, for shirking from her clear responsibility to take this unruly woman and her sassy brats lovely cherubs in hand.

I would be tempted to have a water pistol somewhere near to my hand in the studio. You need not interrupt your lesson to vainly ask for quiet and consideration, when cracking the door open and squirting the guilty culprits a few times will communicate your wishes as well, or better. Don't spare the mother and her cell phone, either. And if the racket doesn't stop, open the outer door, and show them into the February air... at watergun point.

She will spread the story, grotesquely exaggerated of course, but people will consider the source: a known pest. You will drive out one class of client and attract a better all in one squirt, for there are parents who like and expect their kids to be kept in hand... short of striking their kids, wringing their necks, or pulling their tongues out.

You will have to face the music with your business partner, but she needs to face her own music; better sooner than later. Maybe she will take a lesson, and prefer to step up to the plate and handle things her own way, in the future.
_________________________
Clef


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#2031774 - 02/12/13 11:18 AM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Jeff Clef]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1314
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I would be tempted to have a water pistol somewhere near to my hand in the studio. You need not interrupt your lesson to vainly ask for quiet and consideration, when cracking the door open and squirting the guilty culprits a few times will communicate your wishes as well, or better. Don't spare the mother and her cell phone, either.


Love it. You might ask the kids first if it's ok to squirt their mom. I think they'll be on your side, for the first time ever.

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#2031838 - 02/12/13 01:05 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Hope you guys are joking, because squirting water on people is a crime.

Pointing the gun at someone is considered assault, and squirting them is battery, in many jurisdictions, and/or disorderly conduct.

Lots of google results...here is one:

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1625119513/Two-arrested-in-squirt-gun-assault

If your squirt gun looks like a real gun, as some do, you could be shot.

And, some people put liquids other than water in their squirt guns. Ugh.

A real dumb idea.


_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2031872 - 02/12/13 02:08 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: rocket88]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Hope you guys are joking, because squirting water on people is a crime.

Pointing the gun at someone is considered assault, and squirting them is battery, in many jurisdictions, and/or disorderly conduct.

Lots of google results...here is one:

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1625119513/Two-arrested-in-squirt-gun-assault

If your squirt gun looks like a real gun, as some do, you could be shot.

And, some people put liquids other than water in their squirt guns. Ugh.

A real dumb idea.




I doubt anyone would be fooled by this one:

Mini Soaker Squirt Gun
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2031876 - 02/12/13 02:14 PM Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents [Re: Morodiene]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
No, that wouldn't fool anyone!

But they could be fooled by this one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...ticle-1.1082554

In any case, when you have to squirt water at your students to get them to behave, perhaps things has deteriorated beyond where it should. laugh
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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