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#2068046 - 04/21/13 01:53 PM Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do?
P.M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 18
Hi,

I recently got a student who came to me, after having studied some piano in China for about a year. Her parents have both been here for several years, though their English is not very good but we do communicate. It became apparent to me almost right away that this was a very outspoken, opinionated and very extroverted girl that has a very straightforward tone.

I would ask her things about her piano studies, simple things like had you studied this before and she would answer "In China we did this and this and we did it this way." Everything was about how she used to do things in China. Finally I told her that she is now here and this is now her piano studio. She stopped mentioning China and her studies there. However as the lessons went on, her attitude become more rude and condescending. If I made a mistake, she would correct me with an attitude, for example "No that is a D!" if I said C, etc. I apologize for my mistakes, but I usually do not have students correct me in such a haughty manner.

She also rephrases what I say with an attitude and tries to correct me. Here is a conversation from one of our lessons. I told her in a particular lesson, "Do not do this piece for homework since we did not have time to go over it thoroughly in class."
Her answer, " I do not want to do the homework since we did not have time to go over it in class."
Me "What did I just say?"
Her "That you do not want me to go over this at home."
Me "So why are you arguing with me?"
Her "I don't know." and then giggles.
That is her typical response when I address her talking back is just to giggle. She does not feel bad about what she is doing.

Her mother was there when the above conversation occured, heard everything and did not say a word. I told her right then and there that I do not appreciate her daughter's attitude and that this has been going on for a while.

She told me how, much of that is coming from the father since that is how the father's family acts and she has no real control over her daughter since the dad dominates everything at home (including the daughter and her studies) and how since the mother is studying full time to become a nurse she has no time to pay attention to her daughters development. She apologized and told me she would work on it. We also contacted some by email with the mother since we have a hard time understanding each other by phone. It was better for like two weeks.

Yesterday I had another incident when she corrected me with another haughty attitude even though there was no need for it. We were sight reading a piece through and I asked her what a specific bass clef note was. She said I don't know but do I use one of the sayings? I said yes try "All Cars Eat Gas". She says to me "All Cows Eat Grass." So I adjust my phrase, thinking this is what she knows, not the other one and I guess I mispronounced it and said "All Cars Eat Grass." Then I proceed to correct myself and say it right. She interrupts, looks at me and says "Allll CARRS EAAAT GAAAS" in this tone that is like duh you idiot.

I say to her "What did I just say? It's the same thing" and continue. Her father was there, did not say a word, and I felt that it would be a waste of time to talk to him since he probably does not see the problem and is probably the source of this.

Here are my questions:
1) Do I try to work on this with the parents? Seems like the mother and father do not really agree on the discipline of the child, fight a lot at home (mother told me this) and father dominates how the girl practices, etc. I also feel that since they are relatively new to this country they do not understand body language and tone very well and may not see things the same way as I do.

2)If so, do I simply make her apologize, quit that lesson and have her come back next week, etc?

3) Do I keep ignoring it? She seems to enjoy getting me frustrated....I feel that saying something would be to give in to her. If I simply ask her to apologize and she does it probably would not be very genuine since the message has not sunk in internally.

4) If nothing changes, should I kick her out eventually? I am not really in a position to do this financially and know that it would get a lot of parents in the community talking about my studio since I live in a community of all Chinese people, several of whom have children in my studio.

Sorry for the long post but if you have the time to read it I would love to hear a response.

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#2068071 - 04/21/13 02:36 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
After thinking about this, I think this is what I would do:

At your next lesson, give her the ground rules. Explain to her what she is doing and in no uncertain terms, tell her that it is not allowed in your studio and that if hear it one more time, she will be dismissed for that lesson. I'm worried less about her apologizing; you want to break her of doing it in the first place. It's not going to help her in life if she treats people this way.

Don't give her a warning, or another chance if she messes up. I don't think you'll have to dismiss her early more than once.

(Depending upon her age, you may want to cover this with the mother too.)
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#2068078 - 04/21/13 02:52 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11900
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: P.M.
Hi,

I recently got a student who came to me, after having studied some piano in China for about a year. Her parents have both been here for several years, though their English is not very good but we do communicate. It became apparent to me almost right away that this was a very outspoken, opinionated and very extroverted girl that has a very straightforward tone.

I would ask her things about her piano studies, simple things like had you studied this before and she would answer "In China we did this and this and we did it this way." Everything was about how she used to do things in China. Finally I told her that she is now here and this is now her piano studio. She stopped mentioning China and her studies there. However as the lessons went on, her attitude become more rude and condescending. If I made a mistake, she would correct me with an attitude, for example "No that is a D!" if I said C, etc. I apologize for my mistakes, but I usually do not have students correct me in such a haughty manner.

She also rephrases what I say with an attitude and tries to correct me. Here is a conversation from one of our lessons. I told her in a particular lesson, "Do not do this piece for homework since we did not have time to go over it thoroughly in class."
Her answer, " I do not want to do the homework since we did not have time to go over it in class."
Me "What did I just say?"
Her "That you do not want me to go over this at home."
Me "So why are you arguing with me?"
Her "I don't know." and then giggles.
That is her typical response when I address her talking back is just to giggle. She does not feel bad about what she is doing.

Her mother was there when the above conversation occured, heard everything and did not say a word. I told her right then and there that I do not appreciate her daughter's attitude and that this has been going on for a while.

She told me how, much of that is coming from the father since that is how the father's family acts and she has no real control over her daughter since the dad dominates everything at home (including the daughter and her studies) and how since the mother is studying full time to become a nurse she has no time to pay attention to her daughters development. She apologized and told me she would work on it. We also contacted some by email with the mother since we have a hard time understanding each other by phone. It was better for like two weeks.

Yesterday I had another incident when she corrected me with another haughty attitude even though there was no need for it. We were sight reading a piece through and I asked her what a specific bass clef note was. She said I don't know but do I use one of the sayings? I said yes try "All Cars Eat Gas". She says to me "All Cows Eat Grass." So I adjust my phrase, thinking this is what she knows, not the other one and I guess I mispronounced it and said "All Cars Eat Grass." Then I proceed to correct myself and say it right. She interrupts, looks at me and says "Allll CARRS EAAAT GAAAS" in this tone that is like duh you idiot.

I say to her "What did I just say? It's the same thing" and continue. Her father was there, did not say a word, and I felt that it would be a waste of time to talk to him since he probably does not see the problem and is probably the source of this.

Here are my questions:
1) Do I try to work on this with the parents? Seems like the mother and father do not really agree on the discipline of the child, fight a lot at home (mother told me this) and father dominates how the girl practices, etc. I also feel that since they are relatively new to this country they do not understand body language and tone very well and may not see things the same way as I do.


I wouldn't bother. This is an issue of how she is acting toward you in your lessons, chances are she's learning to act this way from her family. However, it is *your* studio and you are allowing her to act this way.

Quote:
2)If so, do I simply make her apologize, quit that lesson and have her come back next week, etc?


You need to get tougher. You have tried responding to her respectfully, but that hasn't worked at all. Time to take the kid gloves off and respond to her differently. For example, if she interrupts you to point out a mistake, I'd say something like, "Be quiet. I'm talking." and then proceed to continue my thought and *not* let her get me off balance or on a tangent.

If she persists in pointing that out once you finish your thought, do not let her statement get to you, do not correct yourself, do not try to justify yourself, NOTHING. Say something non-defensive like, "Oh." or "Interesting." or "Funny you think that." and then proceed onto the next subject.

Refusing to engage her when she does this behavior is key. And if it happens more than say 3 times in a lesson (or less, whatever your level of tolerance is), then you do not respond at all, but simply say "Our lesson is done for today. Goodbye" and explain to her mother or father if they are there, that she was disrespectful to you and you are sending her home early because of that. If she continues to be disrespectful to you in the future you will no longer teach her.

Quote:
3) Do I keep ignoring it? She seems to enjoy getting me frustrated....I feel that saying something would be to give in to her. If I simply ask her to apologize and she does it probably would not be very genuine since the message has not sunk in internally.


Understand that her tactics are the same thing that bullies use. It's manipulation. She is testing the boundaries and she's found them a bit squishy in you, so she will continue to trample on you. Yes, getting a reaction out of you is part of what it's about, but to not address it won't help you either.

Quote:
4) If nothing changes, should I kick her out eventually? I am not really in a position to do this financially and know that it would get a lot of parents in the community talking about my studio since I live in a community of all Chinese people, several of whom have children in my studio.


I don't see how this has to do with being Chinese, and I certainly hope that the students who love you and respect you would be able to see that there is something wrong with this girl.

You are obviously upset by her actions, and that's why you're asking. But money isn't everything. This is *your* business, and you get to choose who you teach and who you don't. Whenever I have compromised my personal integrity for the sake of making money or not losing a student, no one wins. This girl isn't learning from you, so why would you want to continue taking their money? No one else needs to know the reasons or what went on.
_________________________
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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#2068083 - 04/21/13 03:05 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I had very similar problems with a Chinese student. They left me after not too long, and I can't blame them as she learned very little with me. They got someone else to teach 'Hong Kong style'. I got the feeling that she had no respect for me as a westerner, or maybe I didn't do the right things to gain her respect. Certainly the normal things I know didn't work well.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2068099 - 04/21/13 03:36 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Similar situation in my studio as well. FWIW my student is not of foreign ethnicity.
13 years old at the time, this student was very rude to me and I told her this was not acceptable behavior. I also told her parents the same thing. Parents apologized for her behavior and sat in on 2 lessons to observe. Student was not rude to me then, instead, she sat there and cried. To me this implied some sort of deeper issue than being rude. Parents and I agreed to stop the lessons.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2068152 - 04/21/13 05:14 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
In this case you have to choices:

1) Continue with the student and put up with things you do not like.

2) Stop the lessons.

I don't understand what the big deal is...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2068160 - 04/21/13 05:27 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Isn't there a 3) continue with lessons and counter the rudeness in a way that may extinguish the student's undesired behavior? For example Morodiene's suggestions?
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2068250 - 04/21/13 09:15 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1006
Loc: Irvine, CA
I seriously think that she thinks you are idiot from your descriptions. You have three options as stated above. I would choose option two.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2068369 - 04/22/13 01:29 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: PianoStudent88]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 426
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Isn't there a 3) continue with lessons and counter the rudeness in a way that may extinguish the student's undesired behavior? For example Morodiene's suggestions?


Agree.
Quote:

I say to her "What did I just say? It's the same thing" and continue.


When this happens next time, pause the lesson, and discuss the instance on the spot. Tell her, this behavior is considered rude in this country in a serious tone, and make her repeat "this behavior is not acceptable"

While this is not how a normal Chinese child behaves, the one child policy in China does created a lot of unprecedented social issue, spoiled child is one of them.

You can warn the parents if her behavior does not improve, you will have to drop her. You don't need to worry about other families in the circle. If you do drop her, this family, not you, will look really bad. I don't think this family will broadcast it, and if they do, it would be actually good for you.

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#2068373 - 04/22/13 01:38 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5261
Loc: Europe
I think that you need to be firmer... That's all! If it doesn't work, kick her out of your studio and problem solved! (like EZPiano says)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2068382 - 04/22/13 01:46 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
In both instances cited, a parent was present during the lesson. So you've got a threesome situation going on, and that's always tougher than genuine one-on-one teaching. Dump the parents from your lessons, and see if she's a more decent kid on her own.

If she has some redeeming qualities, hang in there with her, and help her acclimate to a new culture. But if you genuinely don't like her, and she isn't happy with you, you must part ways with each other.

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#2068392 - 04/22/13 02:11 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Fire the student.

Now.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2068415 - 04/22/13 02:36 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 841
For this student, she may need all the suggestions above. But I'd also attempt some humor with her.

You could turn the tables on her. Instead of asking her to leave the studio, you could! Just say she's stressing you out with her rudeness and you need a time out for rejuvenation!

I'd definitely ask the parents to only attend occasionally. State that you need to build a rapore with all your students, and that works best when students are fully responsible for their education. (Part of that education is dealing with you.)

Or ask her if you're showing her sufficient respect. She will wonder what you mean. Point out that since you respect her and are kind to her, why doesn't she respect you and be kind to you?

I like Morodiene's suggestions.

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#2068420 - 04/22/13 02:41 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7598
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.

Very direct, aren't you? ha
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2068444 - 04/22/13 03:21 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
How old is “young” ... the know-it-all attitude is an affront to age-old Chinese courtesy .

My recommendation is “dump the doll” ...
the whole scenario drips of a student battling to sight-read
and wanting to move on to something less taxing.

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#2068491 - 04/22/13 07:18 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: btb]
P.M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 18
She's eight. Too young to be that fresh with me. She's also not spoiled as her parents live in a small apartment with her, and her mother does not work. I feel there are other factors that are at play here. Thanks for all of the suggestions though!

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#2068492 - 04/22/13 07:35 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 255
Loc: USA
It may be that she's very unhappy and having trouble adjusting to a new country generally, e.g. missing her friends, making new ones, etc.

I like Monkey's suggestion of pointing out the cultural differences to her. When she mouths off, say something like, "Talking to an adult that way isn't acceptable here in this country. If you say things like that, people here will think you're very rude."

That lets you keep it impersonal and constructive. It's good for the parents to hear that, too.

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#2068526 - 04/22/13 08:57 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11900
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: P.M.
She's eight. Too young to be that fresh with me. She's also not spoiled as her parents live in a small apartment with her, and her mother does not work. I feel there are other factors that are at play here. Thanks for all of the suggestions though!


OK, given the age (I thought she was older) then I definitely would try the tactics I suggested with the insistence that the parents be removed from the lesson.

I'm guessing this girl has trust issues and this is how she's learned to deal with it - perhaps related to bullying at home. Be firm with her but also show you care for her. The suggestions I made will do this. She needs rules and are firm, but also not complete rejection for you. You might be able to reach her and make lessons a haven for her.
_________________________
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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#2068563 - 04/22/13 10:28 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
MrsLois Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
I think you have to be blunt with her. You should be the older, more mature person here... use it to your advantage! smile

Next time she starts being a brat, just say 'Oh... you know it all? Show me.'

If that doesn't work, or you feel uncomfortable saying that, just say 'I'm not prepared to deal with you disrespecting me so badly, and so I am done with our lesson today. Here are your books. Go explain to Mom/Dad why you're done early.' Kick her out of the lesson.

Whilst this is a tough situation to deal with, you should be stronger than an 8-year-old.

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#2068564 - 04/22/13 10:29 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
MrsLois Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
One more thing... if she corrects you, rather than act embarrassed, cover and say 'Ah! Good - you were listening! I was just testing you!'

Works like a charm...

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#2068907 - 04/22/13 09:17 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: BrainCramp]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7598
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
It may be that she's very unhappy and having trouble adjusting to a new country generally, e.g. missing her friends, making new ones, etc.

I like Monkey's suggestion of pointing out the cultural differences to her. When she mouths off, say something like, "Talking to an adult that way isn't acceptable here in this country. If you say things like that, people here will think you're very rude."

That lets you keep it impersonal and constructive. It's good for the parents to hear that, too.

I wouldn't emphasize this. It would be rude for anyone to treat anyone this way. Let her know that you expect the behavior from her that you show her. That way, there's no way to object.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2068946 - 04/22/13 10:29 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 426
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.


You have fired a couple students just the in the past few days, shall we keep any? grin

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#2068950 - 04/22/13 10:40 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: The Monkeys]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.


You have fired a couple students just the in the past few days, shall we keep any? grin

There's no need to keep the rude ones. I can put up with the slow or the untalented, but the in-your-face attitude displayed by that girl? No.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2069007 - 04/23/13 12:30 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 759
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2069045 - 04/23/13 01:29 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 426
Loc: Vancouver BC
Does firing an student over "All Cars Eat Grass" sound right to you? Or "D vs C" really worth ending the session?

Able to control the classroom situation is one of the key competence of being a teacher, handling the attitude and behavior of an 8 year old is normal part of a music teacher's life I suppose.

There are many ways to handle the situation lightheartedly, Mrs Lois just gave a few good ones.

Teacher's own attitude is also important, being more assertive and authoritative will discourage this kind of behavior.

As with any profession, we need to learn to deal with the situation skillfully rather than emotionally. It does take time and practices to develop the skills, but it is what makes a better professional.


Edited by The Monkeys (04/23/13 01:33 AM)

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#2069053 - 04/23/13 01:39 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
As a piano teacher (ancient by any standards), I must underline the issue of sight-reading which bugs all young students ... if the teacher were to concentrate on making lessons "fun" ... and tempering the sight-reading bogey with slow but helpful progressions ... especially finding
a piece of music which the student likes ... a rosier future beckons.

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#2069073 - 04/23/13 02:07 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 311
Loc: CA
Since she has done this in front of her parents, I am guessing that she has parental support for doing so -- spoken or unspoken. I do not see a happy ending. Talk to the dad, and assess what steps they are willing to take to stop this.


Edited by rlinkt (04/23/13 02:07 AM)

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#2069084 - 04/23/13 02:37 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: The Monkeys]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys

Able to control the classroom situation is one of the key competence of being a teacher, handling the attitude and behavior of an 8 year old is normal part of a music teacher's life I suppose.

Can you share some strategies that you have used as a teacher that you have found are effective?

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#2069085 - 04/23/13 02:40 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: The Monkeys]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Does firing an student over "All Cars Eat Grass" sound right to you? Or "D vs C" really worth ending the session?

Yes.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2069088 - 04/23/13 02:42 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Whizbang]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Whizbang
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.

?
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#2069109 - 04/23/13 04:15 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
musicpassion Offline
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Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 973
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.

If the student is a large enough emotional burden to the teacher, I agree this is the answer. Only the OP can assess their own state of mind on this, however.

I think that even if the OP fires the student it could be a good thing for the student too. I accepted a transfer student whose previous teacher gave a description somewhat similiar to what's above. I'm really hard to run over, and I know that, so I thought I'd give the student a chance. It's been working out great. I've had zero difficulty from the student or the parent and they are musically flourishing.

I'm not the right teacher for every student. None of us are. Sometimes dropping the student is best for teacher and student.
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#2069190 - 04/23/13 08:16 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Whizbang
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.

?


As a student who is slow and untalented, it is offensive to be 'put up with' as one might put up with a neighbor's incessantly barking dog or a car alarm in the night.

I'd prefer to have a teacher embracing the challenge of teaching me or perhaps even enjoying this challenge. If my teacher's attitude were merely putting up with me, I'd seek another teacher.
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#2069201 - 04/23/13 08:39 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
Whizbang Offline
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Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 759
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Whizbang
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.

?


I was on the slow and untalented side of the spectrum, so thinking back and realizing that my childhood teachers might also have just been putting up with me kind of felt like a gut punch.


Edited by Whizbang (04/23/13 09:59 AM)
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#2069247 - 04/23/13 10:20 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
P.M. Offline
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Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 18
Hi all,

Since the post, I took the suggestions some of you gave me and have emailed the parents telling them I will not tolerate her behavior any longer in my studio and will kick her out the next class that she speaks to me that way. The reason I emailed is because there are language barriers in communication between the parents and myself and I am not sure they always understand me verbally.

I emailed her father this time, not her mother. He emailed back saying he was shocked and surprised to hear this and that she acts this way around him and her teacher at school too and he did not notice it as bad behavior. He told me that I should tell him what she's doing wrong and that he will work with her. The mother emailed me, grateful that I said something, and told me that this is how the father and daughter talk to her at home and that apparently her father is the one who taught her to challenge the teachers, even going back to her days in China. Since the father is the one who dominates what goes on in that household, and does not listen to the mother much at all, this is why the daughter is behaving this way.

Since clearly, neither the dad nor the girl realized this behavior was bad, I will continue working with them for now to see if this improves and explain to the dad that this behavior is not acceptable here, nor should it be acceptable anywhere.

As far as toughness...I am actually known for being tough and reacting quickly. The reason I emailed on here is because I want to know the professional and dignified approach for dealing with this. Sure I could tell her several things, but doing it in a more professional manner is what I am after.

She is actually smart, was taught the right way in China (i.e. came to me with real knowledge so I did not have to start from the beginning). I hope that with time and parental involvement we can shape her into a polite young lady.

Thanks everyone who contributed to this post. Your suggestions and opinions really helped me begin to address the situation.

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#2069320 - 04/23/13 12:23 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: malkin]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: malkin
As a student who is slow and untalented, it is offensive to be 'put up with' as one might put up with a neighbor's incessantly barking dog or a car alarm in the night.

I don't put up with incessantly barking dogs or car alarms at night. If I don't bother them, they don't bother me.

Originally Posted By: malkin
I'd prefer to have a teacher embracing the challenge of teaching me or perhaps even enjoying this challenge. If my teacher's attitude were merely putting up with me, I'd seek another teacher.

That's your call. You can take your money wherever you want. The question remains: How can you tell if the teacher embraces the challenge, or merely puts up with the challenge?
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#2069321 - 04/23/13 12:28 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: ezpiano.org]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
I seriously think that she thinks you are idiot from your descriptions. You have three options as stated above. I would choose option two.


It does sound like the teacher has not earned the respect of the student yet. The bad attitude is simply the clumsy (and wrong) way that the kid uses to communicate this. To keep this student, being firm in discipline is secondary, the main issue is whether the student will truly respect the teacher and whether this can happen fast.

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#2069328 - 04/23/13 12:37 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: P.M.
Since clearly, neither the dad nor the girl realized this behavior was bad, I will continue working with them for now to see if this improves and explain to the dad that this behavior is not acceptable here, nor should it be acceptable anywhere.

Everything is sound and good, except that I would downplay the fact they're from China and they're in a new country. End your last sentence at "acceptable." The last thing you want to do is coming across as being xenophobic.
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#2069472 - 04/23/13 05:13 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
LadyChen Offline
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Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Thanks AZNpiano for voicing what I was thinking while reading through these posts. Where this student came from is not the issue -- focus on what behaviour is and isn't acceptable in your studio.

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#2069499 - 04/23/13 05:47 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Candywoman Offline
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Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 841
Malkin, and Whizbang:
There's no need to take a sentence like that to heart. Some people are looking to feel offended. We're all a bit of a pain or bother to somebody. Do you know how some seniors worry they'll be a burden to their family as they age? Newsflash: They were a burden long before that. Everybody tries the patience of others.

Have you never encountered people (not students necessarily) whom you had to work hard with to engage in conversation? Or people whom you had to entertain for your husband's sake? Or boring people at your job?

Are there students you have to put up with?
Absolutely.

Does that mean they're not worth investing time in?
Absolutely not.

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#2069509 - 04/23/13 06:03 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: LadyChen]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: LadyChen
Thanks AZNpiano for voicing what I was thinking while reading through these posts. Where this student came from is not the issue -- focus on what behaviour is and isn't acceptable in your studio.


Exactly what I was thinking. The rude student I had, who was dismissed from my studio, is not a "foreign student". It doesn't matter, there are rude people from every ethnicity, it's not the issue.
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#2069548 - 04/23/13 07:38 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Candywoman]
Whizbang Offline
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Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 759
Originally Posted By: Candywoman

There's no need to take a sentence like that to heart. Some people are looking to feel offended.


To be clear, it's not really looking to be offended and I wasn't offended. Pianistically, I'm doing okay now, though not as well as I would wish, and it's conceivable that there were many talented folks of my childhood who I envied who have long since given up the instrument. (So there!)

Even as a child, though, I could sense that I wasn't excelling at this avocation/instrument (without working hard) in the way that I excelled at academics (without working hard) and, well, I won't say that I was particularly socially in tune with my teachers--there's a power disparity there and I didn't really engage/question--but I doubt I was any teacher's favored student. (I changed teachers perforce several times due to moving every few years.) To tie back to the thread, I do think I was always respectful (for a kid/teen), if *often* embarrassed due to not having practiced.

I'm not sure why I kept going. The only way I can say it is that I play piano because I can't not play piano.

So it's not that I was looking to be offended by the post in question (and I wasn't), it's that the comment dredged up the prospect that not only was I disappointed in my playing but that my teachers were suffering in in silence all along. (Which could very well be true, but it still makes me go, "Oh... ugh".)

For some reason, it's still hard not to take things like that to heart. I don't understand it, but more than anything else, musical expression, however imperfect, seems more inextricably entwined into my self-image than any other activity I engage in. IMO, performing exposes oneself to an incredible level of vulnerability that no other activity I engage in seems to approach.

Having picked up formal instruction again, as an adult, just a few years ago: my current instructor, who is an aficionado of the style that I finally realized I really truly enjoyed, is a delight. We have a real rapport and I think I'm finally thriving at the piano. I'm progressing steadily, but progress is by no means as fast as I would wish. I don't know if it's the teacher or my readiness to be a student, but I'd wish I'd found someone like him a couple decades ago.

Thank you Piano Teachers Forum for this productive therapy session--I'm sure those of you with adult students are no stranger to it!


Edited by Whizbang (04/23/13 07:39 PM)
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#2069563 - 04/23/13 08:23 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
red-rose Offline
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Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
While it's true that it might "not matter" what ethnicity a difficult student is from, it IS true, that there *could* be clues that you could learn from understanding that student's culture/country that might help us understand how different cultures view certain ways of relating as acceptable or not. What is rude here in the States MIGHT not be considered rude in China. I think that the OP was trying to determine that, but I'm not sure that anyone in this thread has either confirmed or denied that the issues *might* be stemming from a cultural difference.

Even in the interest of being "culturally open," I don't think it's helpful to DENY that there COULD be differences/misunderstandings.

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#2069596 - 04/23/13 09:36 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: red-rose]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: red-rose
While it's true that it might "not matter" what ethnicity a difficult student is from, it IS true, that there *could* be clues that you could learn from understanding that student's culture/country that might help us understand how different cultures view certain ways of relating as acceptable or not. What is rude here in the States MIGHT not be considered rude in China. I think that the OP was trying to determine that, but I'm not sure that anyone in this thread has either confirmed or denied that the issues *might* be stemming from a cultural difference.

Even in the interest of being "culturally open," I don't think it's helpful to DENY that there COULD be differences/misunderstandings.


O.K. this could be the case, but I'm just sayin' that plenty of kids from caucasian culture are rude.
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#2069697 - 04/24/13 12:48 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
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Posts: 384
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
So much for the rumor that all piano teachers are ex KGB agents with a stick and those squeaky terrorizing boots smile
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#2069704 - 04/24/13 01:39 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: red-rose]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: red-rose
What is rude here in the States MIGHT not be considered rude in China. I think that the OP was trying to determine that, but I'm not sure that anyone in this thread has either confirmed or denied that the issues *might* be stemming from a cultural difference.

Or some people might feel the answer is so obvious, that it doesn't need to be confirmed or denied??

Hello?????!!!!!!!!!! crazy
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#2069710 - 04/24/13 01:51 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Candywoman Offline
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Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 841
That was a nice post to read Whizbang.
"The only way I can say it is that I play piano because I can't not play piano."

When one of my piano teachers was old and earth-tired, I said to her, "You had to have a lot of patience teaching me, didn't you?"

She answered, "Oh yes, very much so."

So even "good" pupils are "put up with." One should never end a sentence with a preposition.

(That is something up with which I will not put.)

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#2069824 - 04/24/13 08:52 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Candywoman]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Candywoman


(That is something up with which I will not put.)


LOL. "Or that is up something with which I will not put." But I think that gives the sentence a whole new meaning laugh

I said it early on in the topic that this has nothing to do with China. Being disrespectful to a teacher I'm sure is frowned upon there as well. The real fact of the matter is that the OP is allowing this child to act out whatever issues she has with authority or with her in a manner that is disrespectful. She should be firm but fair with the student to resolve the issue and if no improvement occurs, she should dismiss the student.

As far as "putting up with" I know exactly where AZN is coming from. When I have a student that constantly comes to lessons unprepared or doesn't want to be there, it makes me not want to teach them. It's very hard to overcome this initial feeling of dread that occurs, and if a solution isn't found soon, it's better to dismiss the student than take someone's money with no results.
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#2069878 - 04/24/13 10:28 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
P.M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 18
To address the issue of culture:

I think it does matter where someone comes from because different cultures see things differently and communicate differently as well, as is clearly the case here. Being a Russian immigrant myself, I often had to get used to the way that Americans would say things and they had to take time getting used to me and the way I communicate and what I try to get across. I am not a xenophobe, but someone who takes culture into account when dealing with those from other countries which is why I brought up the fact that she is from a different country.

Being from a different country, immigrants (at least from personal experience and from those around me) often need explanations of how to behave here, what and how to say things. That is as true today as it was when I came here many years ago.

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#2069887 - 04/24/13 10:37 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: P.M.
To address the issue of culture:

I think it does matter where someone comes from because different cultures see things differently and communicate differently as well, as is clearly the case here. Being a Russian immigrant myself, I often had to get used to the way that Americans would say things and they had to take time getting used to me and the way I communicate and what I try to get across. I am not a xenophobe, but someone who takes culture into account when dealing with those from other countries which is why I brought up the fact that she is from a different country.

Being from a different country, immigrants (at least from personal experience and from those around me) often need explanations of how to behave here, what and how to say things. That is as true today as it was when I came here many years ago.


But I see no evidence of that being the case here. The OP has other Chinese families and apparently does not have this problem with them, only this one child, so it is clearly not a cultural thing.
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#2070159 - 04/24/13 06:43 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
AndyJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 219
Loc: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: P.M.
To address the issue of culture: ....

Being from a different country, immigrants (at least from personal experience and from those around me) often need explanations of how to behave here, what and how to say things. That is as true today as it was when I came here many years ago.

You reminded me of the night in 1974 when my first batch of Russian relatives arrived in Los Angeles. My mother had been working very hard getting their apartment ready and didn't have time to cook, so she bought a gigantic bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

We were all a little surprised when each of the five said they weren't hungry. Each one accepted only the smallest piece of chicken, and that only after a lot of prodding.

The second time the platter went around, each of them took two or three more pieces. We later learned that Soviet manners required everyone to refuse food until they were pressed. My relatives got over that particular cultural barrier very quickly!

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#2070263 - 04/24/13 10:25 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Morodiene]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Candywoman


(That is something up with which I will not put.)


LOL. "Or that is up something with which I will not put." But I think that gives the sentence a whole new meaning laugh

Are we venturing out of the PG zone here? wink grin whome
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#2070436 - 04/25/13 05:09 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Whizbang]
AZNpiano Offline
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Whizbang
So it's not that I was looking to be offended by the post in question (and I wasn't), it's that the comment dredged up the prospect that not only was I disappointed in my playing but that my teachers were suffering in in silence all along. (Which could very well be true, but it still makes me go, "Oh... ugh".)

And that's why I responded to your one-word response with a question mark. It was unclear what your intentions were. Thank you for clearing that up.
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#2070460 - 04/25/13 06:49 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Morodiene]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

As far as "putting up with" I know exactly where AZN is coming from. When I have a student that constantly comes to lessons unprepared or doesn't want to be there, it makes me not want to teach them. It's very hard to overcome this initial feeling of dread that occurs, and if a solution isn't found soon, it's better to dismiss the student than take someone's money with no results.

I could NOT agree with you MORE here.

I am rather angry tonight. I had a TERRIBLE day yesterday. People keep coming to this forum with "advice" about how teachers "should" act, as if we are robots who could and should potentially deal with any situation, no matter how discouraging it is in the real world.

Today I had three people quit, something that normally does not happen in a month or two.

1) An adult informed me that he had "problems" and would not be able to continue lessons. This happened after he assured me that he loved coming to lessons, loved the piano, and thought I was a great teacher. And just a couple weeks ago he wanted to increase his time to an hour. <????>

It took me almost an hour to find out that the whole thing was financial. Now, how do you go from having enough money to ask for doubling lesson time to not having enough money to continue at all? In only a couple weeks?

2) Another parent cancelled lessons for May saying that "something came up". I had already been told that they would be out of country all summer, but now it is plain that they have no time in May either. The boy, who is doing very well, will now be gone for the next four months

3) The boy in my last lesson of the day will be stopping because "dad has no time to help him". I made it clear before starting this boy that lessons would not work if the parent did not work with the child at home. But NO work had been done at home for at least two weeks, and really no work was ever done at home. The result: this child was unable to find five notes in the treble clef after almost two months of lessons.

Another boy who started at the same time, same age, is reading music in both clefs and now knows major chords in most keys - and more, knows how to count, knows the note values of basic notes, knows a scale, several octaves.

Yet if I try to tell the second parent WHY the OTHER boy is doing great and HIS has made no progress, I will hear every reason, every excuse in the universe why it is MY fault that nothing has happened.

I wish ONE parent or student how comes here but who has never taught would at least THINK about the fact we really deal with huge problems and that somehow we are expected to be miracle workers even when given NO cooperation.
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#2070477 - 04/25/13 08:00 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
malkin Offline
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Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Unprepared, uncommunicative, flaky or being a general PITA isn't the the same as slow or untalented.
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#2070483 - 04/25/13 08:11 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Gary D.]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 255
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

Today I had three people quit, something that normally does not happen in a month or two.

1) An adult informed me that he had "problems" and would not be able to continue lessons. This happened after he assured me that he loved coming to lessons, loved the piano, and thought I was a great teacher. And just a couple weeks ago he wanted to increase his time to an hour. <????>

It took me almost an hour to find out that the whole thing was financial. Now, how do you go from having enough money to ask for doubling lesson time to not having enough money to continue at all? In only a couple weeks?


Gary, you go from doubling your lesson time to suddenly quitting lessons by losing your job. It's not surprising that he's embarrassed to admit it.

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#2070505 - 04/25/13 08:50 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Gary D.]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

As far as "putting up with" I know exactly where AZN is coming from. When I have a student that constantly comes to lessons unprepared or doesn't want to be there, it makes me not want to teach them. It's very hard to overcome this initial feeling of dread that occurs, and if a solution isn't found soon, it's better to dismiss the student than take someone's money with no results.

I could NOT agree with you MORE here.

I am rather angry tonight. I had a TERRIBLE day yesterday. People keep coming to this forum with "advice" about how teachers "should" act, as if we are robots who could and should potentially deal with any situation, no matter how discouraging it is in the real world.

Today I had three people quit, something that normally does not happen in a month or two.

1) An adult informed me that he had "problems" and would not be able to continue lessons. This happened after he assured me that he loved coming to lessons, loved the piano, and thought I was a great teacher. And just a couple weeks ago he wanted to increase his time to an hour. <????>

It took me almost an hour to find out that the whole thing was financial. Now, how do you go from having enough money to ask for doubling lesson time to not having enough money to continue at all? In only a couple weeks?

2) Another parent cancelled lessons for May saying that "something came up". I had already been told that they would be out of country all summer, but now it is plain that they have no time in May either. The boy, who is doing very well, will now be gone for the next four months

3) The boy in my last lesson of the day will be stopping because "dad has no time to help him". I made it clear before starting this boy that lessons would not work if the parent did not work with the child at home. But NO work had been done at home for at least two weeks, and really no work was ever done at home. The result: this child was unable to find five notes in the treble clef after almost two months of lessons.

Another boy who started at the same time, same age, is reading music in both clefs and now knows major chords in most keys - and more, knows how to count, knows the note values of basic notes, knows a scale, several octaves.

Yet if I try to tell the second parent WHY the OTHER boy is doing great and HIS has made no progress, I will hear every reason, every excuse in the universe why it is MY fault that nothing has happened.

I wish ONE parent or student how comes here but who has never taught would at least THINK about the fact we really deal with huge problems and that somehow we are expected to be miracle workers even when given NO cooperation.


The same thing happened with my partner in January. She lost a bunch of students in one feel swoop all for various reasons (and one student was probably a good loss to have). These things are worrisome for those of us who rely upon that student coming back so we have a means to pay the bills that don't change like rent, food, gas. Let alone if the teacher has a family to support too. These times are always tough to take and despite having policies that require 30 day's notice, even if all 3 students adhere to that, it's still a problem in 30 days.

I know you'll pull through this, and some of those that don't teach really don't seem to understand and always look to blame us or think that we can't have feelings too about this stuff. This always makes us question what did we do wrong? But the truth of it is, no matter how great a teacher you are, we don't always get great students.
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#2070795 - 04/25/13 04:41 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Gary D.]
AZNpiano Offline
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Yet if I try to tell the second parent WHY the OTHER boy is doing great and HIS has made no progress, I will hear every reason, every excuse in the universe why it is MY fault that nothing has happened.

I don't hear that very much in piano teaching, but back in the days in public school, it's like a repeated mantra: "Blame the teacher!" Even in faculty meetings, we get these "experts" who came in with graphs and charts, explaining that, among the persons responsible for "student learning" to take place, the teacher bears the bulk of the responsibility.
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#2070797 - 04/25/13 04:44 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Morodiene]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This always makes us question what did we do wrong? But the truth of it is, no matter how great a teacher you are, we don't always get great students.

Very nicely put.
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#2072634 - 04/28/13 05:14 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: BrainCramp]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 973
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

Today I had three people quit, something that normally does not happen in a month or two.

1) An adult informed me that he had "problems" and would not be able to continue lessons. This happened after he assured me that he loved coming to lessons, loved the piano, and thought I was a great teacher. And just a couple weeks ago he wanted to increase his time to an hour. <????>

It took me almost an hour to find out that the whole thing was financial. Now, how do you go from having enough money to ask for doubling lesson time to not having enough money to continue at all? In only a couple weeks?


Gary, you go from doubling your lesson time to suddenly quitting lessons by losing your job. It's not surprising that he's embarrassed to admit it.


And/or their house. I lost a lot of students back when the Calfornia housing bubble broke.
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#2072745 - 04/28/13 10:50 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I don't hear that very much in piano teaching, but back in the days in public school, it's like a repeated mantra: "Blame the teacher!" Even in faculty meetings, we get these "experts" who came in with graphs and charts, explaining that, among the persons responsible for "student learning" to take place, the teacher bears the bulk of the responsibility.

The solution there is quite simple. Blame the experts! And I'm not quite kidding.

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#2076331 - 05/02/13 11:54 PM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 297
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
In both instances cited, a parent was present during the lesson. So you've got a threesome situation going on, and that's always tougher than genuine one-on-one teaching. Dump the parents from your lessons, and see if she's a more decent kid on her own.

If she has some redeeming qualities, hang in there with her, and help her acclimate to a new culture. But if you genuinely don't like her, and she isn't happy with you, you must part ways with each other.


That's a possibility. She may be trying to impress her parents in the only way she knows how! Take them out of the picture and see if there's a change in her demeanor. Outside of that, you must respond to her as an adult, removed of all emotion. It may diffuse her because she have nowhere to go.
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#2076357 - 05/03/13 12:21 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: AZNpiano]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 297
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This always makes us question what did we do wrong? But the truth of it is, no matter how great a teacher you are, we don't always get great students.

Very nicely put.


Let me ask this of teachers: Of all the mainly young beginner students you get, do you know which ones who really want to be there? Do you know the ones who don't? What is your definition of a "Great Student"?
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#2076359 - 05/03/13 12:30 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: red-rose]
Bex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/08
Posts: 95
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: red-rose
While it's true that it might "not matter" what ethnicity a difficult student is from, it IS true, that there *could* be clues that you could learn from understanding that student's culture/country that might help us understand how different cultures view certain ways of relating as acceptable or not. What is rude here in the States MIGHT not be considered rude in China. I think that the OP was trying to determine that, but I'm not sure that anyone in this thread has either confirmed or denied that the issues *might* be stemming from a cultural difference.

Even in the interest of being "culturally open," I don't think it's helpful to DENY that there COULD be differences/misunderstandings.


As someone whose family is from an Asian culture, I can tell you that that little girl's bovine, rude behavior would NOT be tolerated in China. In Asia, teachers on the whole have a lot of power. Students do not talk back or question the teacher. Many teachers also apply corporal punishment (not that I sanction this).

I think the OP needs to be much more firm. Speak sharply and tell her that her behavior will punish her later in life, that she will have a reputation for being rough, unsophisticated, mean-spirited, and someone to avoid in general. Tough words? Yes, but she needs a good shaking. And if she tells her father, that's fine.

Tell her father that her behavior is unacceptable, and if she doesn't change her behavior, she is fired as a student.
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#2076433 - 05/03/13 05:00 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: P.M.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Here's a bit of a giggle ... posted on a similar "rude" thread ...

I’ve never had trouble with child rudeness ...
but then I have a heavy set of eyebrows with a tortured rebel crease.

However, if I were in the shoes of the OP,
my solution would conjure the following scenario ...
when the rude student arrives (preferably with parent) ...
I would beg 5 minutes to conclude an earlier lesson in the main studio ... and with use of a trick recording which can be heard in the waiting room ... let waft upon the air the dire sound of knuckles being rapped and yowls of pain ... all heard above the daemonic roars of the angry PT ... with a closing shout “get out you useless waste of time “ ... ”use the back door and don’t come back”

If that doesn’t work ... resort to the blood-stained riding crop.

Please don't take me seriously,
regards btb

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#2076464 - 05/03/13 07:56 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11900
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: RUSS SHETTLE
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This always makes us question what did we do wrong? But the truth of it is, no matter how great a teacher you are, we don't always get great students.

Very nicely put.


Let me ask this of teachers: Of all the mainly young beginner students you get, do you know which ones who really want to be there? Do you know the ones who don't?

Usually you can tell over time through their body language, but also how they prepare for lessons can be a hint as well. If they're not practicing, lessons will soon become something they don't want to do even if they enjoy you as a teacher.
Quote:
What is your definition of a "Great Student"?

A "great" student IMO is someone who practices regularly (6-7 times a week) and actually does the kind of practicing you tell them to do (rather than just run straight through the pieces). They also have some measure of talent, and obviously love the piano.

A "good" student is one that practices regularly (5-6 times a week), does what you assign, and loves piano like a "great" student does, but may not be talented.
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#2076498 - 05/03/13 08:47 AM Re: Young Rude Foreign Student-What to Do? [Re: Bex]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Bex


I think the OP needs to be much more firm. Speak sharply and tell her that her behavior will punish her later in life, that she will have a reputation for being rough, unsophisticated, mean-spirited, and someone to avoid in general. Tough words? Yes, but she needs a good shaking.


That would be counterproductive and unnecessary.

It is the kind of response that temporarily makes the teacher feel good (and sometimes regret it later) but does little to change the behavior.

Kids don't absorb that many words. You can't give a lecture and expect to make meaningful contact at that age.


Instead, you keep it very short, very controlled, very calm.

"Don't do that." Use three words, but only if you can't make two work.

Then IMMEDIATELY redirect attention to something else.

Then as soon as possible reward some positive behavior with a big smile and "Great!" But only use one word if you can't think of half a word.

When my kids were in elementary school and I used to help out with field trips, the teachers always assigned me the "rottenest" kids. But they didn't misbehave for me. I conveyed that it wouldn't be tolerated and we just had fun. But I also did a lot of preemptive distraction and redirection - some of these kids were a handful.

I realize this is sort of a catch-22. I'm giving behavior management advice to someone assuming they can implement it. But of course if they could, they wouldn't really need the advice. Still, building the skill is a learning process, and anybody can get better at it.
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