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#954452 - 09/04/08 12:52 AM Student wants to quit
lana_lang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 45
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
I know that my 13 yr. old student wants to quit, probably has for some time now. But, the parents won't let him quit. On one hand, I feel bad for him because he has lost all interest in playing piano. I think he is missing out.

On the other hand, he is getting more and more difficult to teach. His attitude is negative and snippy at times. He doesn't practice like he should and his skills seem to be declining. I've thought about dropping him, but I don't know if that would be the best course of action.

Have any of you been in this situation? What do you recommend?
_________________________
part-time piano teacher for 1.5 years

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#954453 - 09/04/08 03:38 AM Re: Student wants to quit
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
I've been in the same boat many times before. The best thing to do is to let the student go. It will make your life a lot better. Trust me.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#954454 - 09/04/08 07:37 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Philip Yeoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Penang, Malaysia
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I've been in the same boat many times before. The best thing to do is to let the student go. It will make your life a lot better. Trust me. [/b]
Yes, I agree. It can be very trying to teach teenagers. I should know, I've been teaching my 15 year-old son myself

Well, who said it would be easy being a piano teacher?
_________________________
www.philipyeoh.com/blog

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#954455 - 09/04/08 07:40 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
I'll second that.

In the past I have tried everything possible to remedy this kind of situation. It was my belief that there has to be a way to reach them and rekindle the spark. Unfortunately sometimes there just isn't. You know the lessons should stop but you feel bad about being the one to do it right? What you need to do is find a way of letting them go gently.

The parents don't want him to quit. By dropping him there is nothing to say he has to quit piano. You might persuade them that a change of teacher could do him the world of good and sometimes it can. Tell them that you are no longer acle to take their money because he is not practicing and therefore not benefiting from the lessons. You have a waiting list of students and really can't afford to keep a student who is clearly not enjoying it. Provide them with a list of other teachers who should be able to acommodate him. Don't feel bad or make a big deal about it. They all have to leave at some point don't they?

I lost one just this week who was exactly the same. Before the Summer I asked them to consider if the lessons were worth carrying on with this term. They called last week to say they had decided to leave it. I feel a huge sense of relief because I did not enjoy the lessons. Now I can fill that slot wih a fresh student! It is best for everyone.

Good luck.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954456 - 09/04/08 07:58 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Another though which is worth mentioning...

I teach around four to five hours on a typical evening. It is incredible how one bad student can ruin your day. I used to have a student at the end of my Thursday evening session who was really hard work. I would feel anxious about it all day and would often be a little short tempered with my other students as a result. When this person finally left all that anxiety went away and Thursday was lovely. Not only was it better for me but for all my other lessons as well.

Never underestimate the effect that one of these students can have on you and your teaching. You might be worried about treating them unfairly but I can assure you they are not giving you a second thought.

Be strong and do the right thing. You owe it to yourself.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954457 - 09/04/08 08:59 AM Re: Student wants to quit
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
I'm not a teacher, but this is a thought inspired by the book "Note by Note":

Does this student have an iPod? What music does he have on it? Can you help him figure out one of these songs by ear? If you can't help him figure it out by ear, can you find sheet music for it or a song by the same group?

Rich
_________________________

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#954458 - 09/04/08 09:12 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11940
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I agree with Chris and AZN, it is probably for the best to drop the student, as it isn't benefiting him. However, if the parents promise he will practice more, what then? Dragon has a good suggestion, and this is something that I try to do with all my students. Have him pick a song he likes and help him figure out the tune by ear with the RH. Then tell him this is where his chords come into play, and have him figure out the harmonization for the LH. Of course, he'd have to practice his scales to figure out the melody, and his chords to figure out the harmony. And of course, arpeggios to be able to make the harmony sound good.

Show him the 12-bar blues progression and a few different blues accompaniments, and teach him the blues scale (scale degrees 1-b3-4-b5-5-b7-8) and help him improvise over a 12-bar blues accompaniment.

These things can not only make it interesting for him and perhaps get him to practice, he will see the purpose behind everything he's learned so far. Piano is not for everyone, but perhaps you can find a way to make the best of the situation.
_________________________
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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#954459 - 09/04/08 09:31 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
But why look for ways to make the best of the situation?

The kid does not want to play the piano. He has reached his teens and his interests obviously lie elsewhere. You might be able to passify him with a few pop songs for a couple of weeks but then you will be right back where you are now. Really, what is the point?

Who are you doing this for? The student does not want lessons and you are not happy to teach him. It's the parents who are pushing it for whatever reason. And yet what responsibility do they take for getting the boy to practice? Not much I bet.

Sorry to be so negative but I think this one has got to go. Reading between the lines of your original post you are beyond the point of no return.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954460 - 09/04/08 09:35 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
If the parents won't let him quit then tell them they MUST sit with him for an hour every day and make him practice. Get ready for all the excuses as to why this is not possible.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954461 - 09/04/08 09:45 AM Re: Student wants to quit
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
How is this good for the student? Will there be yet another future adult trying to overcome decades of loathing because of a bad association with music? To what end? It sounds like this is to teach the parent a lesson, with the hope that the parent will not be bothered. But if the parent *will* be bothered, you have a potential family fight, possible rift in the family just as the balances are shifting over something as non-essential (sorry) as piano lessons, and any potential future love of piano or music will be destroyed for the young man. How many ABFers return at the age of 40, 50, and 60, with regrets, and some trying to overcome trauma associated with forced lessons.

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#954462 - 09/04/08 09:55 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11940
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
If the parents won't let him quit then tell them they MUST sit with him for an hour every day and make him practice. Get ready for all the excuses as to why this is not possible. [/b]
Right, that was my point. If the parents promise things will improve by making him practice, then you can give it a try to at least spark his interest. I don't like teaching students who don't want to be there. It's a waste of my time and their money. However, you never know if you'll be able to reach a student if you don't try. My suggestion was only as a second option to dropping him. Sometimes you really don't know what a student does with music. He may be in a band and just finds lessons stifling and not applicable, when in fact, he's learned a lot that can be applicable. Sometimes they just need to be shown how to apply what they've learned.
_________________________
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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#954463 - 09/04/08 09:58 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11940
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
How is this good for the student? Will there be yet another future adult trying to overcome decades of loathing because of a bad association with music? To what end? It sounds like this is to teach the parent a lesson, with the hope that the parent will not be bothered. But if the parent *will* be bothered, you have a potential family fight, possible rift in the family just as the balances are shifting over something as non-essential (sorry) as piano lessons, and any potential future love of piano or music will be destroyed for the young man. How many ABFers return at the age of 40, 50, and 60, with regrets, and some trying to overcome trauma associated with forced lessons. [/b]
And how many ABFers regret the fact that their parents let them quit? Only the teacher involved can really know where things sit with this student. If the rapport is good, and the parents want to give it another go with enforcing practice (my parents made me practice too, it wasn't a bad thing), then the teacher can try to make it enjoyable for the student. That's not a bad thing. However, I would only do this with the stipulation that if it doesn't get any better, then the teacher will drop the student, end of discussion.
_________________________
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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#954464 - 09/04/08 10:23 AM Re: Student wants to quit
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
True on all counts, Morodiene. I had the impression that his teacher had the impression that continuing was not a good idea, and there was this picture of deterioration, with the student becoming snippy etc. In the overall picture I couldn't help wondering whether the parents forcing him to practice might not just lead to even greater negativity as well as possible tension in the family. Only the teacher (and the young man?) can tell for sure, though.

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#954465 - 09/04/08 10:36 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Keystring, I think your response was to my statement about the parents making them practice.

I don't think that this is the way forward. Only sometimes you need to point out to parents the consequences of forcing their child to practice. By not letting him quit that is exactly what they are doing, forcing it. Everything you say will happen is true. It will cause fights and ultimately another adult who has had a horible musical experience through childhood. The parent needs to realise this and just let it go.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954466 - 09/04/08 10:56 AM Re: Student wants to quit
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
Chris, I think you are quite astute. Maybe it will cause a sudden flare-up at home instead of a slow death in the studio (what a choice :p ), or best scenario, they won't push it if they are the ones who have to see it through.

KS \:\)

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#954467 - 09/04/08 12:11 PM Re: Student wants to quit
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
Lana Lang, if the kid stated to his parents that he wants to quit, why dont you bring up the subject with him at the beginning of the lesson, say something like your parents have told me you want to quit, ask him why. then tell him positive things about his playing and that you understand that sometimes it is difficult, and hard to find that motivation, and maybe bring up a time where you almost quit, or someone famous, and explain to him that quitting isnt always the answer etc etc

have a heart to heart another words. people that once loved something will always love it inside, just may take some more time to think maturely about it.

maybe use the lessons to have fun with the music EVEN if he doesnt practice. bring back the fun and joy in music:)

it is really hard for a parent to motivate a child, because kids seem to always listen to everyone but their parents, so i think you have a good shot at helping this kid.
_________________________
If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

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#954468 - 09/04/08 12:21 PM Re: Student wants to quit
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Above and beyond the excellent points Chris has made, it seems to me that there is an issue of ethics here.

An ethical teacher cannot continue accepting remuneration when, for whatever reason, the product is no longer being delivered.

There is also an opportunity (teaching moment) to work with young students on real life problems. I ask them to discuss this with their parents. Why should they drop lessons, that is. What are their reasons in favor of dropping, what are their parents reasons for continuing. We talk it out in the studio.

Further, this is a great opportunity to spend some time discussing the arts in general, and their applicability to life. Who among us can live without music? This isn't necessarily so with our students and their families. But we know that art enriches our lives immensely.

Incidentally, as a side note, I've become my teacher. Our house/studio is littered with books piled high in every corner, walls covered with original contemporary paintings, music issuing forth from the stereo 24/7 (generally muted during lessons, of course). Students can see that the arts are the focus of my life, and who knows what those little sponges are soaking up?
_________________________
"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

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#954469 - 09/04/08 01:02 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Codetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
Over the course of over 38 years of teaching I have been in Lang Lang's position. It is frustrating indeed. Oftentimes the student ended up quitting and pursuing other interests. Sometimes I have had students stick with it (because of their parent's refusal to let them give it up) and just recently I had those same students enter a local university as music majors. In the course of their musical education I oftentimes wanted to quit - but didn't, all the while keeping the line of comunication open with the parents. Fortunately, it worked out.

There is a new course called American Popular Piano that you might want to investigate. I saw a presentation at our MTAC Convention this year and was impressed. Perhaps this will add the spark your student needs to keep studying.

Here's the link: http://www.nvmusicgroup.com/NVWeb/Home.html

Best to you in this situation. By the mere fact that you write about your concern shows that you are not only a good teacher but a caring one as well.
_________________________
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina

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#954470 - 09/04/08 01:02 PM Re: Student wants to quit
lana_lang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 45
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
These are all great points, everyone.

I think I will have a heart to heart with him at our next lesson to try to figure out how he feels exactly. If there is any glimmer of hope, maybe I will suggest he choose a favorite popular song and teach him to play it by ear.

I tried teaching him a favorite popular song with sheet music before, but the level of difficulty was high and I tried to show him how to simplify it. He didn't want to play the simplified version, of course, because it didn't sound like the "real music" to him. Ugh. We'll try no sheet music this time.

If he doesn't want to do even this, then I guess I will just have to drop him.
_________________________
part-time piano teacher for 1.5 years

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#954471 - 09/04/08 03:23 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Almost everyone has times when they want to quit. Experience will tell you when it is right to let it go or if you should pull them through it. It sounds like you are not ready to give it up yet and I hope you can find a way to enjoy the lessons and perhaps see it as a challenge. If you can see some potential in this boy based on what he has already achieved then go for it.

Be sure to tell him and his parents that something has got to change or you will have to drop him. It doesn't matter what style you play or if you choose to play by ear you will not get any satisfaction without putting in the practice. Be very firm on this. If the lessons are to continue you expect him to practice. Tell them you will review the situation in a month/term and if nothing has changed you will not keep teaching him. Lay it on the line. It's your studio and you are the boss. It is not like school, they don't have to be there. These are things you really want in your studio policy if you don't have one.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954472 - 09/04/08 04:54 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Golly,

I'ts my rule to never give up on a student especially if it seems that he has given up on himself.

I have many files of info saved over my teaching career about "quitting", "motivation", "slump time", and whatever you might call the actions and reactions that call for extra attention to overcome problems that might not necessarily music.

I think that is what we are capable of teaching, too, in addition to music.

First, the problem(s) need diagnosis and support to put them into perspective.

I don't think you "throw the baby out with the bath water" so to speak.

We are assuming the student knows how to succeed in music study with the thus far in life experiences he has gained.

Lots of pedagogues say that they meet their students where their students currently are....and that can be a very novice state with little or no helpful habits.

The student can be literally lost, physically, emotionally, and cognitively lost too.

What are we going to do about it when they don't shine fast enough for us? We need to teach a lot of other things when we are teaching music.

Coping and supplying are not in the method books they are in the pedagogy books and classes, and the learning differences materials, and the how the brain works. Educational psychology is a huge factor.

When a student presents problems to me, I figure that I am the one who needs to meet the challenge of making a difference with this person. I consider it part of my job - and in the process I always learn something helpful.

I am always disappointed that some one gives up too easily, and that means the student giving up, the parent giving up, and the teacher giving up.

As this is a different take on my responsibility, I would suggest that if it feels comfortable for you, you might explore some of these ideas as an option.

Regards,

Betty

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#954473 - 09/04/08 06:37 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I've talked to precious few adult pianist who didn't want to quit sometime in their early teens. I myself wanted to as well. Needless to say, I'm glad it wasn't allowed to!
_________________________
~Stanny~

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

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#954474 - 09/04/08 08:25 PM Re: Student wants to quit
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5934
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stanny:
I've talked to precious few adult pianist who didn't want to quit sometime in their early teens. I myself wanted to as well. Needless to say, I'm glad it wasn't allowed to! [/b]
And plenty who said they did quit and wish they hadn't been allowed to! \:\)

However, our sample is people who are now playing the piano. I've no doubt there are plenty of people who did quit because they just weren't interested, and found their life's passion somewhere else. They probably have few regrets about it.

We just don't know which category this boy will fall into, though we have our suspicions. When you've done all you can, then you can do no more.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#954475 - 09/05/08 03:56 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Betty, I can't believe that in all your years of teaching you have never had a student who you had to let go because it just wasn't working out.

Why do people always see giving up lessons as a negative thing? Like someone (teacher, student or parent) has failed. I think there are many positives which can come from giving up things you don't want to do.

My parents were brass players. They got me a trumpet and packed me off to lessons when I was a boy. It made my lips and cheeks hurt, I hated having to empty the spit, I hated the sound and I was rubbish at it because I did not want to play or practice the damn thing. Thank god they didn't force me to continue. They let me quit trumpet and take piano instead. Do you see what I am getting at? Maybe the lad in question is missing out on something he might be good at because he has to keep doing piano every week.

Stanny, you have a point. There were times I could have quit piano but I was not allowed to. The difference was that both my parents and my teacher knew that I was good at it and that I would regret it. Despite complaining about the workload I did play the piano all the time. I am willing to bet the boy in question is a very low standard. He has probably played for quite some time and has made very little progress. If he continues for a few more years he will never really be a pianist of any kind. I know this because I have encountered so many kids like it. It's not their fault or anyone elses. Piano is just not for them and they should focus on what they are good at and what interests them.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#954476 - 09/05/08 06:49 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Why do people always see giving up lessons as a negative thing? Like someone (teacher, student or parent) has failed. I think there are many positives which can come from giving up things you don't want to do.
I think it's absurd to think that the piano is right for everyone, and quite obviously some parents force their children to take piano lessons because *they* wish they either taken lessons themselves or had not quit. \:\)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#954477 - 09/05/08 09:54 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
lang lang - did he ever love the piano and have a passion and motivational drive at it? Sometimes its not really time to quit sometimes its time for a change. This could be a change in teachers, in learning approach, style of music, instrument or interests.

Sometimes teachers and students give the wrong diagnosis and both end up unhappy. The reason why parents push their teens to continue is all the money and time invested into music being thrown away.

I've been through rough times as a teen and a child. I have lost my love and had a teacher try and rekindle it not working. I changed teachers and love it more than ever. I know others that have quit lessons but ended up as church musicians and collaborative artists. Sometimes a person would take up another instrument and piano wouldn't be wasted.

What I did in the past was ask myself why I hate piano so much, why I lost my love and what can I do I love it again. I was rekindled with it ... others have found their love elsewhere ... just a few things to think about. All the best Lang Lang.
_________________________
http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


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#954478 - 09/05/08 11:26 PM Re: Student wants to quit
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
From Chris: "Betty, I can't believe that in all your years of teaching you have never had a student who you had to let go because it just wasn't working out."

Of course, and it always bothers me when they have "quit" before experiencing the "miracle".

I do my best to keep them in study with their permission, or it doesn't work. I really see it as a problem teachers could elect to prepare on because it is all to easy for most students to quit. They have a lot of reasons and excuses that are compelling to them when piano lessons conflict with something that gives them instant pleasure. We seem to always be aware of the having to make progress uphill climb and it puts pressure on students who are not all that convinced that they can or want to do this once they find out that it is a load of work over several years to reach the goals everyone talks about.

We can try to "save" the student to see if the path might change with some collaboration as to what might work better, or we can make room for another student to teach.

I'm a proponet of trying until it is very clear that quitting is the right option. I think of parents having invested a lot of money in their child's education, and I think of it as weighing in that we were aiming at a particular outcome - the student's musical success at the piano - and, we have not yet reached that goal.

Sometimes I feel like a family member in the midst of a family discussion when we are working through problems together. There are many professional piano teachers who would warn about becoming too close to our clients. Perhaps this is an action that comes from having raised your own children and being available 24/7/365 at home as I was with 5 children and a studio of young people. At the same time, I feel I can be very objective when that is the best choice.

I like to try to leave each family feeling that we have each "won" something through our association in music. You can't do that from a distance as well as you can do it close up.

Many parents express that they don't know what to do and they ask for guidance. I appreciate that so much more than a door that is abruptly slammed with little notice. And, I believe, this kind of work helps private music teachers in general, assist and educate their clients to what it takes to be supportive to a young musician.

Chris, I'm not trying to hide out by avoiding bad situations, I've had many. I feel it's a separate subject from trying to save a student, and that it needs words of encouragement and motivation and guidance.

Regards,

Betty

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#954479 - 09/06/08 12:24 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I admire the teacher who can say, "S/he gave up on me, I did not give up on him/her."

I think a good teacher will do everything in their power to keep a worthwhile student, including determining what the problem is and working together with the student to find a solution. Of course, you won't win them all, but if you can say that you tried your best, that's the most one can ask of ones self.

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#954480 - 09/06/08 01:52 AM Re: Student wants to quit
miss sharon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 28
Loc: colorado
I have been in this situation many times. I agree with Chris...find a way to let them go gently. I did not do this on two specific occassions and both students did end up quitting their lessons. One of them (a high school student I had taught for 7 years) left without even saying goodbye or calling to say they were quitting. So...let them go before you are disappointed.
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Peeples Piano Instruction

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#954481 - 09/07/08 12:46 AM Re: Student wants to quit
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
Hmmmm....teenagers...huh?

All those hormones coupled with peer pressure relating to piano playing is tough for any teen. Not forgetting all the great/cool things they could be doing instead of piano practice!

I'm not a piano teacher, infact I'm an adult beginner....but I am a student of human behaviour/motivation....in other words why people do what they do.

In brief, people do things for either of two reasons; to achieve pleasure or to avoid pain.

So question is, what is a teenager's pleasure?

Now I don't want to write a 10,000 word post so I'll try to keep it brief!

Teenagers are going through some physical changes, they are also becoming an adult - a chance for them to exalt their indepedence.

So what are 'your' Teenagers new found passions?[/b]

Whether it be Girls, Parties, friends, computer games - you'll need to associate how Piano playing will enhance or work with those new found passions. As an example; Maybe your student would now enjoy/prefer/take to working in a mixed group class? And instead of you suggesting it - let them use their new found independence to come out with the idea.

That might cater for a couple of their new motives.

I hear of so many adults who'd wish they'd taken up piano or another instrument. So I'm sure many of the students who 'walk away' will regret it in later years.

Mark

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