Teachers don't want students?

Posted by: justpin

Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 11:32 AM

I'm starting to lose focus and thought I know lets get a teacher again.

I've phoned emailed about 6 teachers and they either don't pick up the phone, respond or don't seem eager to take me on.

Is there a black list or something? I did not leave my last teacher badly (if anybody remembers the teachers bad day thread).

Or are teachers being dead picky?
Posted by: R0B

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 11:40 AM

It is pretty bad form of any teacher not to respond, even if they are not taking on, at this time.

We should always make a point of returning calls/emails as soon as possible.

Sometimes the boot can be on the other foot.
Only this week I had a message from a prospective parent (referred from a previous student). I replied, inviting the parent to call me at her convenience, for more information/discussion.
That was four days ago frown
Posted by: malkin

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 03:06 PM

I had several non returned contacts too, but I figured that since I was working off of a music store contact list that maybe the info was out of date.

There was a period in my life where it seemed I couldn't get the job I wanted or the apartment I wanted. Later there was a time when I couldn't get the employee I wanted or the tenant I wanted. Maybe it is like that. wink

Keep looking; you'll find a great teacher. I did.
Posted by: pianolover85

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 03:16 PM

This happened to me recently. I phoned and e mailed over 10 teachers and none of them responded back to me which was pretty rude, inconsiderate, and some of them declined in a wishy washy manner...I gather because a lot of teachers are females who teach from home, they do not take adult students for safety reasons or they are primarily focusing on children as a "market" since most of the demand lies there. This is what I gathered from my own observations which is OK by me, but a more open admission by teachers would have been more satisfying.

Some of them have been also acting weird if an adult male wants to learn or if the student does not have a piano of his/her own...
Posted by: malkin

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 04:52 PM

The reason doesn't matter to me, If someone doesn't want me as a student, that's all there is to that. Explanation or justification isn't helpful. Referral to another teacher might be useful.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 05:43 PM

Timely post as I am seeing an adult male beginner, wishing to transfer to me from another teacher who lives further away, and distance is the reason for the transfer.

I've had only bad experiences with men, piano-wise. I'm going to meet him before making any decisions. I've just been stood up, unpaid and had to deal with bad behaviour too often to actually look forward to taking on an adult.

If they do not call back, accept it that they are too busy, or not looking for new students ad continue your search. Don't take it personally. You want the right teacher for you and that is the one that answers calls, at least.
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Timely post as I am seeing an adult male beginner, wishing to transfer to me from another teacher who lives further away, and distance is the reason for the transfer.

I've had only bad experiences with men, piano-wise. I'm going to meet him before making any decisions. I've just been stood up, unpaid and had to deal with bad behaviour too often to actually look forward to taking on an adult. . .


As an adult male student (but not a beginner) --

. . . Ouch!

Have you checked his bona fides with his current teacher?

. Charles
Posted by: currawong

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 08:18 PM

Originally Posted By: pianolover85
Some of them have been also acting weird if ... the student does not have a piano of his/her own...
I don't think it's unreasonable to question this, do you? I don't know about "acting weird" but I'd certainly want to know if they have any plans to acquire one in the near future. Learning piano isn't going to go very far without one.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 08:24 PM

Originally Posted By: pianolover85

Some of them have been also acting weird if an adult male wants to learn or if the student does not have a piano of his/her own...


It is impossible, completely impossible, to teach someone who does not have ready access to a piano. The only thing they can learn is theory, and then without a piano to play to solidify the theory learning, the theory is quickly forgotten.

In my early days of teaching, I was somewhat desperate for students, and took a few students who either did not have a piano at all, or only had access to one on a rather limited basis.

They all failed...did not progress, fizzled out, lost interest.

What is "weird" is to expect to learn to play the piano without a piano.
Posted by: pianolover85

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 09:37 PM

Well I have full access to university practice rooms and library. I also have rented one for 3 months to see if it is for me or not...But this is a minor issue...the more salient issue was refusing service for being an adult male...I completely understand their choices...I am just saying that it was frustrating on my part, but they have every right to take precautions but generalizing has never been good.

Regards,
Posted by: malkin

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By: pianolover85
... refusing service for being an adult male...I completely understand their choices...I am just saying that it was frustrating on my part, but they have every right to take precautions but generalizing has never been good...


But still, a teacher who doesn't want adult male students isn't the right teacher for you.

If you were looking for a speech therapist for your grandmother after her stroke, you'd agree that someone who prefers to see only preschoolers who stutter wouldn't be the best fit.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/02/13 11:23 PM

Teaching adult students in general requires some different tactics on the part of the teacher, so not all piano teachers take adult students. This is aside from safety concerns of a female teacher with an adult male student. It just takes a bit more time and digging on the part of the adult student to find the right teacher.

I try to respond to emails/phone calls within 24 hours. I think that is considered normal and not too long to wait, but allows for me to choose a time and location that it suitable for discussion over the phone. I think it is rude not to call back, especially to have so many not call you back. But, then these teachers are clearly not the right ones for you, so in a way it's making your selection process a little easier. Have you tried online referral sites like getlessonsnow.com or MTNA.org?
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 01:02 AM

I always return calls within 24 hours, and usually when I'm done teaching if it's not too late (like 9 PM).

In the last two years I've screen some inquiries from rude folks, so I think it goes both ways.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 01:09 AM

I think that knowing how to present yourself is part of the trick, especially given the expectations that many teachers will have because of past experiences. This has been discussed in the past but I can't remember under what titles.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen


As an adult male student (but not a beginner) --

. . . Ouch!

Have you checked his bona fides with his current teacher?

. Charles


Indeed, sorry. I find the problem really is with beginners who have no idea. Just no idea of anything. No patience, will not listen or do as I ask them and insist on doing what I ask them not to do. No idea the importance of paying or treating me with respect. Bang on the keys when frustrated. Don't practice.

They either go on to do well, at which point they're no longer beginners, or they quit.

Still, if I was to stop taking adults due to this, I would still return calls.
Posted by: Jonathan Baker

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 09:34 AM

Keep a precise list of which teachers you called, and when. That would apply to any business interaction. If some teachers "don't pick up the phone" then maybe, quite simply, they are not home - so, of course, you should leave a message. And look again at the list of teachers you are calling; some teachers only teach children or beginners, so they may be intimidated by intermediate to advanced students. What do their websites say about the level of students they teach? They should give a clear indication of that in advance.

Studying with someone is a two-way street, a duet, if you will, and the audition goes both ways. I remember once being asked the rather bald question, "How good a teacher are you?", to which I responded, "How good do you need any teacher to be?" In other words, I was asking the potential student to focus on what it was they thought they needed, and why they think a certain teacher would be able to supply that need.
Posted by: TimR

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 09:55 AM

It might also be worth reading your emails very carefully, or maybe having a friend do so.

You may be sending signals of flakiness (for want of a better term) that is putting them off. If so most people would prefer to just not reply rather than get in an argument.

You might need a reference.

Also, is it possible some of them googled you? Would they find anything on facebook, etc., that would give them pause? Students google teachers; it's not impossible that the reverse happens as well.
Posted by: Stanny

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 11:41 AM

I didn't own a piano either in college, I always used the university practice rooms and got along just fine.

I will ALWAYS respond to a call or email, but I don't take any student over the age of 18. It has nothing to do with male or female. I just enjoy teaching children better.
Posted by: Barb860

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 02:31 PM

I received a call over the weekend asking about lessons. I called the person back this morning to thank them for their call and to ask if they would like me to put them on my wait list because my studio is full right now. The person said this, "WHY WOULD YOU EVEN BOTHER TO CALL ME BACK IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY OPENINGS???!" Yes, rudely, just like that. This might be a bit off topic but I think it's necessary to phone people back as soon as possible, even if you have a wait list.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 03:21 PM

Wow Barb! That was a wild one. Lucky thing that you didn't have an opening!

I had a couple teachers state to me that they weren't taking students and had a waiting list--and ending the conversation without asking if I'd be interested in being on the waiting list. I thought that was a little weird, and kind of another way of saying that they didn't want me as a student.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 03:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Barb860
I think it's necessary to phone people back as soon as possible, even if you have a wait list.

I agree. I return calls withing 24 hours.

However, I think there is an issue that hasn't been explored yet on this thread: there are different types of teachers. Some teachers are doing this full time, and running a studio of 30-60 students. It's their livelihood and they realize they are running a full time business. These teachers ought to return all calls.

But there are also some teachers who earn a living in another way, and might teach only 5 students. They're teaching a few students because they want to, and they might not return calls because their five slots are already full and they're not looking at their teaching as their full-time business. Some might not care if they are following best business practices, just that they are giving excellent instruction to their five students.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 03:43 PM

Just for the record, I met with the student today and he is a perfect gentleman, keen and willing for all the patience needed. I signed him up but did explain the need for him to commit.
Posted by: pianolover85

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 05:01 PM

I want to personally thank you for returning every call and E mail. I don't know why, before, I find not returning e mails and calls very frustrating...no one likes to be rejected...But I found my teacher and am now very happy!
Posted by: KurtZ

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/03/13 08:43 PM

I have a younger than myself female teacher. Before my elbows started giving me problems I: took hours no one else wanted; consciously avoiding after school hours; always paid on time; almost never canceled and always willing to pay (not always accepted); practiced like a fiend and played in the recitals without being a twittering, nervous wreck. For a long time I was her only adult student and she would usually mention when she got a new one. When I asked, later, how they were doing, they were usually already gone.
Posted by: Brent H

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/06/13 11:22 AM

No excuse IMO for not returning a message, if only to say you're not available.

But I think there are quite a few piano teachers out there who can keep their calendar filled teaching only children.

Not only with piano but other instruments as well there seem to be two kinds of teachers. Those who teach a lot of kids and want to specialize in teaching children. And those who teach a lot of kids but who welcome the change-of-pace of working with adult students. But children are the core market no matter what!

P.S. You may also be trying to hear back from teachers at the worst possible time. Around here this is the first week that school is out and perhaps the most popular week of the year for vacation travel...
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/06/13 04:54 PM

I just have to say how ironic I find this topic.

I am tempted to start another topic:

Students don't want teachers?
Posted by: Barb860

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/06/13 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I just have to say how ironic I find this topic.

I am tempted to start another topic:

Students don't want teachers?


Start it up, Gary! Everybody gear up for it smile
Posted by: chasingrainbows

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/06/13 05:32 PM

There have been so many thoughtful, insightful responses from passionate, dedicated teachers to this topic. Did the OP ever respond or acknowledge any of these replies? I don't seem to find the OP anywhere other than the initial post.
Posted by: justpin

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/06/13 05:36 PM

I'm reading them! I've a prospective session on Sunday with a guy named Peter, another fairly experienced chap who actually composes and arranges things himself as he doesn't believe in any music books.


I'd note he doesn't advertise anywhere and was recommended by another dabbler on the piano.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/06/13 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I just have to say how ironic I find this topic.

I am tempted to start another topic:

Students don't want teachers?

Or maybe teachers wanting to teach, meeting students wanting to learn. And vice versa. smile
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/12/13 01:55 AM

Originally Posted By: malkin

Originally Posted By: Barb860
I received a call over the weekend asking about lessons. I called the person back this morning to thank them for their call and to ask if they would like me to put them on my wait list because my studio is full right now. The person said this, "WHY WOULD YOU EVEN BOTHER TO CALL ME BACK IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY OPENINGS???!" Yes, rudely, just like that. This might be a bit off topic but I think it's necessary to phone people back as soon as possible, even if you have a wait list.


Wow Barb! That was a wild one. Lucky thing that you didn't have an opening!

I had a couple teachers state to me that they weren't taking students and had a waiting list--and ending the conversation without asking if I'd be interested in being on the waiting list. I thought that was a little weird, and kind of another way of saying that they didn't want me as a student.


That makes me think a good initial filter for piano teachers answering or returning calls about open studio spots may be to respond that they'll need to be put on the wait list for the time being. If all goes well, the following day, a spot may just magically "open" wink.
Posted by: JazzyMac

Re: Teachers don't want students? - 06/14/13 08:42 PM

I called, emailed and left messages at a so called "piano studio". I was anxious about starting lessons, and only had Google to help me. I never got an email, call or anything back. I found the company on Twitter, and sent them a message there. They rudely replied about how busy they are and to just send an email with my information.

This was March, and to this day no response *rude*. I make sure to talk about their company loudly to anyone who cares to listen.