How long do you need in your day before you start teaching?

Posted by: Peter K. Mose

How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 11:37 AM

Here's a little item I have observed/pondered over the years in my own teaching, and I'd be curious to hear from others of you. How many hours do you need before you are fully awake, "in fighting trim," and ready to give your first piano student of the day your best, from the time you get out of bed in the morning?

I'm very slow to become fully with it in the mornings. For me I have found it's two hours at a minimum, and preferably three, before I start teaching.

And a follow-up question: does your answer depend at all on how much sleep you had the night before, and how good the quality of sleep was? For me I'd say no, it's 2-3 hours of waking up regardless.
Posted by: catpiano

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 11:59 AM

I've thought about this too. For me, the earliest I would want to start on any given day is 11 or 12. I normally wake up around 8:30 and need time to eat a good breakfast, maybe go to the gym, or just have "me time."

But, it also depends on how many students I have during the day. When I was teaching full time at a music school, I had one day where I had an 11:30-12:15 student, followed by a 45 minute break, followed by teaching from 1-7 without a break. That schedule made the 11:30 student seem dreadful and completely undesirable. Now, on days where I have an early student I try to schedule it so that I'm done a little earlier on those days (4 or 5 rather than 7 or 8).

In general though, if I could have a schedule that was say 9-2 or 10-3 every day, rather than 2-7, I would take it because I'd rather have afternoons off than mornings. Unfortunately, that's not really an option in this profession.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 01:02 PM

I think it depends who the first student of the day is!
Posted by: rada

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 01:07 PM

I like my mornings for personal practice and afternoons for teaching.

rada
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 01:42 PM

I teach my early childhood music classes at 9:30. If I'm not quite awake when I arrive to teach, I certainly am after 30 minutes of 10 two-year-olds.
Posted by: currawong

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teachi - 01/31/13 04:09 PM

I'd far rather teach first thing in the morning. I guess I only need an hour to breakfast, shower, dress, open up the studio and get things ready. I could happily start at 7am, and I think I'd be at my best. Some years ago when I lived near a school, I used to have a number of children come for their lesson at 7.00 or 8.00, then walk along to school. I always found they were the most productive lessons - the kids were alert, and so was I.

Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I teach my early childhood music classes at 9:30. If I'm not quite awake when I arrive to teach, I certainly am after 30 minutes of 10 two-year-olds.
haha - I know what you mean. laugh
Posted by: LoPresti

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 05:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
I'm very slow to become fully with it in the mornings. For me I have found it's two hours at a minimum, and preferably three, before I start teaching.

But, Peter,

Prior to the last couple of milder days, it has been ZERO during each night. Now, I am not a physicist, and only a part-time doctor, but I do know that all matter -- brain matter, included -- S-L-O-W-S D-O-W-N when it gets cold. Something about that troublesome molecular activity, or something . . .

(Oops - forgot my name for a second . . .) Ed
Posted by: Stanny

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 05:54 PM

Last year, I had a 7:45 AM student. It was WONDERFUL! I loved that time of my mind being fully clear. I usually wake at 6:00 am
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 07:35 PM

I prefer to teach in mornings. But most students are not available at that time. I really detest 8:00 PM lessons. Probably because I put the worst students at the end of the day.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 07:45 PM

One of my college students told me this morning he tries to be very prepared for his lessons because he is my first student and he wants me to have a good start to my day. Isn't that thoughtful? (And he IS always prepared!)
Posted by: Stanny

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 01/31/13 08:22 PM

That's so sweet, Minniemay!
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 02/01/13 08:18 AM

I really don't mind morning lessons, but I don't have any. If I did, I'd end up teaching all day long, and I don't really care to go from 8am-8pm. I use my mornings for "me time" which entails Bible study, making breakfast and the rest of the meals for the day if it's a late night of teaching, taking care of bills, cleaning, practicing voice and piano, and of course, posting on this forum. smile

For some reason there just don't seem to be enough hours in the morning for me. Many things that I'd like to do and have time for in the evening after teaching and dinner, I just don't have the mental capacity for it. Once in a while I can practice some piano or voice, but usually my voice is too tired.

My ideal day would be to teach at 8am until about 3pm and then be off for the rest of the day. But when would that ever happen except if I taught Saturday mornings?
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 02/01/13 11:11 AM

Peter,

It depends on what you mean by "need". smile

It is nice to have 3 hours in the morning before teaching. My earliest students are at 12:30 pm.

If I started teaching on Saturdays, I would offer 10 am lessons. It would probably be a little disruptive to home life though with the rest of the family wanting quiet and privacy on Saturday morning.
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 02/01/13 11:26 AM

Edit: I would need one less hour if I could break the compulsion of seeing what's up on PW.
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: How long do you need in your day before you start teaching? - 02/01/13 11:56 AM

You could also ask how long the students need before their lesson!

When I'm teaching in school I start at 8am and those kids are barely awake. I much prefer the days where I teach only in the evenings and have the day to myself though.