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Topic Options
#952181 - 04/21/05 10:24 AM Smelly student!
Lumi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Pasadena, California
Hello Everyone, I have a question which is a little emberassing to ask, but i could really use some feedback so here it goes. I have a 10 yr. old female student who has a femminine higiene problem. Sometimes it's unbearable. In the past when i've had students with unclean, long fingernails I've kindly told parents to keep the nails short for playing's sake. But this situation is emberassing and feel it's not appropriate to ask. I don't want the parents to get insulted. However i can't take it sometimes, it's too much. I'm suprprised the mom doesn't notice. I have the same problem with a boy, but his is just plain bad BO. Do i not say anything and just pass out? Have you guy dever dealt with these situations.

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#952182 - 04/21/05 12:11 PM Re: Smelly student!
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 318
Loc: LA CA
Go right to the parent when the student is not within earshot and nicely tell them how uncomfortable you are with having to bring it up, but do bring it up.
While you may only think this is bothering you, think about whatever left over aroma might be in your studio for the next student-yikes!
I have solved air problems with a few tactics:
1. have fans in the room so that the air is moving. Be sure the air can circulate at some point during the day even if you have to bring in a huge fan to blow the air out of the room after everyone leaves at the end of the teaching day
2. use airfreshers. The little orange ball thing that Glad makes is really good. I put that directly behind the fan so that it is being gently fanned into the room.
3. talk about these issues with students and parents that have problems. I require any student with a cold or a cough who comes into my studio to not only wear a surgical mask during lessons, but to bring me one to wear as well. Your health and well-being are much more important in the long run that becoming ill while you help others with their educational process.
Rob Mullins
28th album on sale now.

#952183 - 04/23/05 10:10 PM Re: Smelly student!
Candywoman Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 866
Hmmmm. I guess piano teaching is a bit like performing surgery.

Now I won't feel bad about asking my flesh-flaunting teenage girls to put on a choir gown, as one lady suggested to me!

But seriously, I don't think there is any way to solve this problem without negative repercussions. I've had a few seriously smelly feet pass through my studio but it's rarely every week from the same student.

Grin and bear it. I've told parents to feed their children before their after-school lessons but they usually don't want parenting advice all that badly. I've given medical advice about a student's dermatitis, with similar results.

Let it go.

#952184 - 04/26/05 11:08 PM Re: Smelly student!
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1637
I had an adult student who must have had Proctitis, he was leaking in his pants and he stunk of feces. And after each one hour lesson, when he had gone, I had to scrub the bench with soap and rubbing alcohol. It's a good thing the bench had a vinyl cover and not cloth! I was glad when he quit after four weeks.
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

#952185 - 04/28/05 02:12 PM Re: Smelly student!
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9586
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
That age will have this problem sometimes. When student teaching, I was in a junior high and the place had a funk about it. It was awful. After mentioning this to a veteran teacher and my thinking that the building was to blame, she quickly said,"Its the kids."

She was right.

I agree with mentioning something to the Mom when the girl isn't within earshot...... Although if you get an aroma around Mom.......forget it. \:\(
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#952186 - 04/28/05 02:34 PM Re: Smelly student!
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 318
Loc: LA CA
Lol Rich re the mom. I once taught a family that all smelled like bandaids. It made me wonder what they did in their spare time.
Rob Mullins
28th album on sale now.

#952187 - 04/29/05 09:45 AM Re: Smelly student!
Candywoman Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 866
I've also had a 7 year old that always smelled of cigarettes, and a girl that always smelled of bug spray.

#952188 - 08/11/05 11:19 PM Re: Smelly student!
dvdiva Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 249
Loc: Manila
Sorry to jump in like this, but I have quite the opposite problem: a smelly teacher. She's such a nice old lady that I don't really want to complain about it, but my lessons can get really unbearable!

She's 70+ years old, and it's been said that older people lose their sense of smell, so they're not aware of any odors around them. I sometimes need to sit farther away on the piano bench so I won't be distracted while playing, but that puts my arms in an awkward position when moving up the keyboard. Or sometimes I just take small shallow breaths so I don't inhale much.

I don't really plan on telling her this, because how can you tell a nice frail old lady that she stinks? Maybe I'll just try to find some of that mentholatum ointment that I can rub under my nostrils, that those CSI detectives on TV use...

#952189 - 08/12/05 04:56 PM Re: Smelly student!
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I too had the opposite problem. The teacher had bad breath. Every time her mouth would open, the plants in the room would wilt. I used to either chew a piece of gum, or keep it under my tongue. Other times a cough drop or mint would mask over the odor.


#952190 - 08/14/05 05:56 AM Re: Smelly student!
***musical princess*** Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 537
Loc: Newcastle, England
Maybe you should have offered her the mint.

x Caroline x

#952191 - 08/14/05 11:52 AM Re: Smelly student!
Tezzie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 59
Loc: London, UK
Oh my. I think I might have abandoned any ideas of becoming a piano teacher! I mean rintincop's story really scared me...!
"Without a piano I don't know how to stand, don't know what to do with my hands."
- Norah Jones

#952192 - 08/14/05 03:48 PM Re: Smelly student!
WKS70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 186
Loc: GA
I've had several teenage boys with bad BO, but the worst ever was two girls from the same family. They were of a nationality (not Italian) who apparently eat so much garlic that the smell seeped through their skin. Oh me.

Then during the school year especially, I have little kids who must not have brushed their teeth that morning, or possibly the entire week. I keep a supply of mints on hand, profess a desperate urge for one myself, and then give them at least two. It helps somewhat.

#952193 - 08/14/05 06:10 PM Re: Smelly student!
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Originally posted by ***musical princess***:
Maybe you should have offered her the mint.

x [/b]
I did on occasion, hehe... she wouldn't bite! (pun intended).


#952194 - 08/14/05 06:11 PM Re: Smelly student!
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
double post... arrgh!!! Wireless network too slow!


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