Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#948185 - 08/07/08 09:49 AM Arm injury
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
I have a 6 year old student who just started piano lessons 3 weeks ago.  She has broken her right arm and will have a cast for several weeks. Do you generally have students stop lessons or advise the parent to continue lessons...(since the child can be learning theory and even technique using left hand)?  The parent cancelled lessons about 10 days ago (other 2 siblings continuing lessons with me) but it only just occurred to me to recommend that the 6 year old also continue...or at least let the parent know it is an option.  What do you do in this situation?
_________________________
piano teacher

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

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#948186 - 08/07/08 10:20 AM Re: Arm injury
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Forgive me for thinking aloud...but I went ahead and e-mailed this parent to give the option of having the child return to lessons with right arm in a cast.
_________________________
piano teacher

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

Top
#948187 - 08/07/08 11:19 AM Re: Arm injury
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7299
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Ann, for better or worse, I charge an annual tuition, not by the lesson(s). Thus, if a parent wants to stop lessons, for any reason, they owe the current month's pro rata tuition plus a cancellation penalty of 1/10th tuition. This is to cover expenses incurred on their behalf, due to the expectation they would remain enrolled through the year.

When you charge by the lesson, or by the month even, you open yourself up for inconsiderate parents who will walk all over you.

Consider - you've set aside the time for this student. Perhaps, if you have a waiting list, you could put in a new student, but then what would you do when the girl recovers?

I would suggest a myriad of activities while she recovers. Rhythm exercises, flash card note recognition, learn scales and chords with the left hand, etc., etc.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#948188 - 08/07/08 11:33 AM Re: Arm injury
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11390
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
There are songs at her level that can be easily rewritten for use of the left hand. It would take a little time on your part to do this, but not much. I'm not sure what you were doing with this child before the broken arm, but there are so many activities for this age that will help foster a deeper understanding of music using large muscle groups such as dancing, walking, tapping, etc. And the use of props such as scarves, or the use of instruments like drums, egg shakers, etc. are great additions.

I also agree with John about the cancellation policy. If you do not have one, I would say be sure to get one as soon as possible. I have all my students agree to a 30 day cancellation notice, and they pay for tuition of the entire semester.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#948189 - 08/07/08 12:10 PM Re: Arm injury
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7299
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yes, and one handed duets. Teach her to play a melody with the left hand, but well above C, and you scoot around to her left and play an accompaniment. This is fun for students (I probably don't do it enough with students as it is).
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#948190 - 08/07/08 09:26 PM Re: Arm injury
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Thanks John and Morodiene for the teaching and policy ideas. I've been giving my studio policy in print on the first lesson. I currently charge by the month and there are no refunds for missed or cancelled lessons. As it turns out saving a lesson time for this child did not come up since her lessons were on a weekday morning and we had not yet scheduled an after school lesson. But your thoughts about policy have given me some ideas to consider. Thanks!
_________________________
piano teacher

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

Top
#948191 - 08/08/08 01:25 PM Re: Arm injury
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
"inconsiderate parents who will walk all over you."

I hardly think this falls into this category. The parents are no doubt simply thinking of the well-being of their child and it did not occur to them that the child could continue to play one-handed (nor are they likely to realize that this could be better for the kid than having both hands working, unless they themselves are pianists).

I think in many activities, ranging from school absences to rebooking airline flights, legitimate injuries (or death) can sometimes be considered mitigating circumstances, therefore it is not unreasonable for a parent to see a child's broken arm as mitigating circumstances for engaging in a physical activity like playing piano, especially as it uses the arms and hands. That having been said, I hope they will decide the kid should continue after all in the 6-8 weeks of cast-wearing, as using the left hand alone could really benefit the child, and of course continued development of theory and reading skills do not require two hands. But they may simply have not thought of this, rather than trying to walk all over the teacher.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

Top
#948192 - 08/08/08 05:59 PM Re: Arm injury
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11390
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I don't think John was saying that these parents were the inconsiderate ones, but simply pointing out to the poster that making a change in their policy might be a good idea, so I think it was a separate thing.

I had a student who broke a finger in his LH and his parents assumed he wouldn't be able to play, but I spoke with him to see what he could do comfortably and I was able to find some music to work on while he healed.His parents were surprised he was able to work through it, but he did just fine...until he broke another finger. That is when I told him to take up golf and quit basketball and football. \:D
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#948193 - 08/08/08 07:54 PM Re: Arm injury
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
\:\) My piano teacher at the university was horrified to find out I was a figure sktaer. He was so sure I was going to get my fingers sliced off.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

Top
#948194 - 08/08/08 07:55 PM Re: Arm injury
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
....instead, they seem to have developed dyslexia.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

Top
#948195 - 08/08/08 10:18 PM Re: Arm injury
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11390
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
LOL! Normally I don't insist like that with my students. However, this boy wants to be a professional pianist, and since he has two injuries to his hands from contact sports, I had to step in. To my surprise, he actually listened to me.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#948196 - 08/09/08 09:56 AM Re: Arm injury
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7299
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
SantaFe_Player,

If I had a cup of coffee for every colleague who has told me stories about students not showing for lessons, and the excuses they come up with, I could open a Starbucks stand!

In my early years as a teacher, parents were constantly asking me about my absentee policy. It may have been that they were just a thrifty bunch, but more likely, I believe that piano teachers in general have been moving away from the home hobbyist view of their work to a more professional view, and as that attitude is permeating society, we're being treated more professionally.

I urge all my colleagues to move away from the "pay per lesson" concept to a tuition concept, with tuition spread out over the school year.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#948197 - 08/09/08 11:41 AM Re: Arm injury
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11547
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
I believe that piano teachers in general have been moving away from the home hobbiest view of their work to a more professional view
In my eyes, John, you and many of the teachers here demonstrate a professional view first of all by acting like professionals. You have made the effort to learn all necessary aspects of your profession: instrument, music, pedagogy and more. You have planned your teaching approach using that expertise, and you plan the path of every student annually. You have indicated that before a student comes to a lesson you have looked over your notes, and again you are prepared. You take your work and your student seriously. It only stands to reason that the student should take himself seriously too.

First of all you cannot do your job if a student does not attend regulary and if he is not prepared. Secondly it is a courtesy, and you are not something to be taken off the shelf as needed, unless you fancy yourself a ketchup bottle.

Being paid a commensurate amount and on time is a reasonable expectation and is needed for quality of living. Being in control of your time is a basic human need. I don't see this as a professional trait necessarily. Janitors and garbage men have regular hours and regular pay - it is the professional, in fact, who doesn't. Think of doctors and lawyers on emergency cases.

Taking your rights seriously is another matter. It is ignorance more than lack of respect. Freelancers are imagined to be living on air and are not subject to normal human affairs. Salaried people really can't comprehend. And unfortunately some people get a false sense of power, believing in the saying "pay the piper, call the tune" - that part *is* the professional aspect. You're the expert. You own tune. You probably wrote it!

But to tread carefully around this ** hobbyist ** theme. Both of our respective professions are unregulated. I would not consider a novice teacher who still has a lot to learn as a hobbyist. I won't label someone who throws himself at teaching because it might be fun and you can make some money, but who doesn't know what they are doing or don't particularly care. This does exist.

At my end we're lobbying as we can to try to keep our profession professional - and it doesn't look good. This morning I was "collaboration" (read 'slave labour') for .03/word when the rates were .12 in 1985. Ten minutes later there was a query by someone with no training in languages or translation asking "how to get customers" because they liked the idea of making money and saw translation as "fun". --- A hobbyist. ---- I wrote my usual "professional education": that certified translators have 4 - 5 year university degrees, often a second degree, write an exam after several years experience with a high failure rate of that exam. "How to get customers?" Go back to school for 3+ years and then ask. But I know very well that this hobbyist will pair up with my .03/word exploiting agency, create garbage, and dry up the market. Worse, they give a bad name and reputation to my profession, which is no longer a profession.

Like you I am pushing to be treated like a professional, paid like a professional, have my expertise and decision making power recognized --- and then pushing that those entering the profession do it as professionals. The rights and honours come together with responsibility.

To match your tales of students not showing up for lessons, I have tales of prepared students encountering unprepared teachers with lacadaisical attitudes. There is the student who was invited to prepare for an exam, but while she worked on the material, her teacher never asked for it again - student arrives for lesson and teacher shows up 15 minutes late, argues with her children, cannot find her teaching material, discusses plans for her young hopefuls who are young enough to have a career. YOu can also have organized students with confusing disorganized teachers and worse.

I think that we students should give our recognition to professional acting teachers wherever we encounter them, and to express our appreciation to them. I appreciate the gentle pushing of what tools are needed to teach that the experienced teachers here give to the inexperienced ones.

Over in the ABF a student just recounted that his last teacher tried to get him to do *** finger vibrato in the piano keyboard *** (piano teacher was a former violinist). Professional? Unless such a technique exists, it's unprofessional because the teacher failed to research the efficacy of piano vibrato and the basic structure of a modern piano. ;\)

I am glad these forums exist, and that professionals can share their expertise with others.

I have all but forgotten that I once had piano lessons for 8 months at age 16. The "teacher" cooked supper during our lessons. I did not learn about posture, what to do with the hands or fingers - nothing, really. 30 years after the fact I discovered that the assigned pieces carried clear instructions to the teacher regarding what material and concepts should be taught first: key signatures, scales, certain studies. No wonder I struggled through sounding out classical pieces via solfege. This is teaching?

The thing is that I was 16 years old, and eager to learn. For 30 years key signatures were a sealed mystery and I was limited to reading music that had one sharp or flat. I shocked myself because when I overheard the simplicity of key signature explained I felt such a blind rage that I walked for miles. A thirty year struggle, when the teacher could have taught me. What's that all about? Laziness? Hobbyism? This teacher definitely did not take her job seriously, nor her students. So bravo for what is happening now!

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
> Robin Spielberg Playing in Maine! <
-------------------
75,000 Members and Growing!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
78 registered (barbaram, BB Player, AndrewJCW, 36251, Allard, 30 invisible), 1367 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75473 Members
42 Forums
156049 Topics
2291512 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
My fingers know what my brain has forgotten
by PatrickBl
Yesterday at 08:30 PM
Fully-Rebuilt Pianos Versus New Pianos
by Paul678
Yesterday at 08:12 PM
How do you identify the melody on a sheet of music?
by Alex1
Yesterday at 07:38 PM
Fugue in b Minor
by Ritzycat
Yesterday at 05:34 PM
Missing Pedal rods for Bramburg (1890-ish?)
by Paul678
Yesterday at 04:22 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission