I'm Moving! When should I tell my students?

Posted by: toejamfutbol

I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 09:28 AM

My husband and I are moving out of state next August (9 months). I am planning on finishing up teaching when school gets out, in early June. When should I tell my students? I was thinking of telling them at the beginning of my next session, which starts February 1. Too late? Too early? Lord knows I'll be able to keep my mouth shut between now and then...I'm pretty anxious to spill the beans but I want to be courteous, timely and professional about it.
Posted by: toejamfutbol

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 09:44 AM

Also, I was thinking of maybe announcing it at our upcoming Winter Recital on December 15...but I think that would be too dramatic and not very tactful. I guess a part of me wants my students to know that this will be my last Christmas concert with them and it feels somewhat wrong to keep that a secret.
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 10:36 AM

I think if you say anything you will lose students.

I think piano recitals are about the students and an announcement like that at a recital will take away from their performance by putting the focus on you.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 11:18 AM

I wouldn't mention this until sometime in the new year. There's no clear right answer, but don't get all your students in a quandary now. February 1 sounds fine. Or later.

For heaven's sake, keep quiet at the Winter Recital: the reasons are obvious, as you stated and Maggie confirmed.
Posted by: toejamfutbol

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 11:23 AM

I'm not actually going to say anything at the recital, I was just thinking out loud. My students are like family so it's going to be really hard for me to say goodbye and I want it to be special. I just thought that if I had a special relationship with my piano teacher and it was going to be my last Christmas recital with her, I would want to know. But I'll keep quiet, for heaven's sake...
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 11:45 AM

toejamfutbol,

The most termination notice I have asked for is 1 month. So I think it would be reasonable to give parents a month notice. I teach year round so it would mean notice in July. But if you do not teach June and July, you may want to give notice in May.

If you ask for a 3 month termination notice, then I'd suggest giving a 3 month notice.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 02:08 PM

I would say minimum one month before you move, maximum two months before you move.
Also, if possible, you can start interview a new teacher who can take over all of your students. Parents will appreciate if they know the "whole studio of yours" is taken over by someone who has the same philosophy of teaching of you, they are most likely to stay with new teacher and continue their musical journey together. This will make smooth transition for students and parents too.
If you are in charge of interviewing new teacher, you can also pass on students' behavior issue to watch out or other important notes about teaching a particular student. In this case, students won't feel that they are being abandoned, instead just changing to a new teacher with same teaching style as the old one.
Good luck.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 07:09 PM

Before I left for university, I let the parents of my students know I was going to be leaving about 2.5 months before.

I actually told them I was going to stop teaching in May (beginning of June, really, right after our recital), though I was around until August. I ended up continuing to teach until the week before I moved. You'd be surprised how many will continue to stay with you, if they like you as a teacher. They kept asking for me to stay as long as I could; a few (a majority, actually) offered to pay me extra.

I did what ezpiano suggested as well: provided a list of teachers (3) who I had personally spoke to about their teaching style, etc, and told I would suggest them as a new teacher.

Personally, if you leave it till the month before, I'd be pissed (as a parent). It's hard finding a good piano teacher. Really hard. And I'd like to know at least two months in advance, so I can start thinking about finding teachers with some buffer time, rather than having a gap between lessons if you can't find a new teacher.
Posted by: toejamfutbol

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 07:17 PM

kayvee, that was really helpful, thanks! I definitely think I'm going to send a notice letter along with the invoice for the session that starts February 1. That will give everyone enough of a heads up so that they can find another teacher. In the meantime I'm going to try to find a few other teachers to suggest to them.

Sounds like my situation is pretty similar to yours- we won't be leaving til August but I'm going to quit teaching at the beginning of June, right before the spring recital. I don't think I'll keep teaching after that even if they ask me to, I'll just be too busy getting ready for the move. (I have two jobs so I'll try to pick up extra hours at my other job)
Posted by: malkin

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 08:40 PM

I think a notice letter in Feb. sounds good, and as a student, I know I would be grateful for help finding another suitable teacher.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: I'm Moving! When should I tell my students? - 11/13/12 09:51 PM

I wouldn't try to find one teacher to take over the studio. There is no assurance that one teacher would be a good fit for all of your students. I might check with some colleagues to see who has openings. If you have any "special" students, you might want to prepare the way for them and the potential teacher.