Poll

You have pre-paid for a full semester at a private school for after hours piano lessons for your grade school child.  What do you need?

a grand piano or a baby grand
2 (1.6%)
an upright piano
10 (7.8%)
a full sized keys and weighted keyboard/electric piano
13 (10.2%)
a neighbor or grandparent who is fine with daily and consistent visits and practice sessions
5 (3.9%)
a small keyboard or a keyboard app on an e-reader
5 (3.9%)
nothing, wait and see how lessons go, and maybe Santa will bring a piano
7 (5.5%)
options 1-4 are ok
86 (67.2%)

Total Members Voted: 128

Voting closed: September 16, 2012, 02:54:13 PM

Author Topic: What you need for piano lessons:  (Read 6566 times)

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RegionMom

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What you need for piano lessons:
« on: September 11, 2012, 02:54:13 PM »
Hello everyone! 

This is a work situation, so I put it here, but it does deal with families and children. 

I have taught piano lessons after school at a private school for three years now.  I have taught out of my home, and years ago in another city. 

My school provides a co-curricular policy that outlines how parents pre-pay each semester, that lessons are 30 minutes,  make-ups are only at the teacher's discretion if a student misses, there are Christmas and spring recitals that you are expected, but not required, to attend, and that materials are different for each instrument and teacher so you will need to buy certain books, metronome, etc...  at the teacher's suggestion.  Pretty standard information, but general enough because we have teachers for brass, woodwind, piano, dance, study skills, photography, etc...yet only use one small handbook for all.

The policy book does not say that you have to have the instrument that you are paying for your child to take lessons.  It does say you need to have the right supplies. 

Note- none of these students exhibit a financial hardship.  We are two weeks into school and lessons are pre-paid and optional. 

So, my question is, as you can surmise from the poll, how would I address a parent that assumes the Santa Claus option? 







« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:10:27 PM by RegionMom »
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Wulfie

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 02:59:42 PM »
I would say one of the top 4 options depending on the finances of the family.

rashea

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 03:02:10 PM »
I would say one of the top 4 options depending on the finances of the family.

Ditto, and I couldn't figure out how to vote that.
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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 03:07:04 PM »
I would think one of the top three choices will work.  For the parent who thinks their child can wait until Christmas to practice, I'd ask them how they expect their child to learn if they can't practice regularly, then I'd suggest they postpone the lessons until the child has the use of an instrument.
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Queen of Clubs

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 03:09:17 PM »
I would say one of the top 4 options depending on the finances of the family.

Ditto, and I couldn't figure out how to vote that.

Same here.

As for the parent who's chosen the Santa option, I think all you can do is say that Junior will get more out of his/her lessons, if s/he is able to practise in between sessions.  How that's accomplished is up to the parents.

Shoo

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 03:12:56 PM »
The kid needs a weighted keyboard at the very least.  It doesn't do much good to pay for lessons if the child can't practice at home.  My daughter, who has taken lessons since 1st grade (in 7th grade now), has always been required to practice a minimum of 20 - 30 minutes a day, 5 times per week. 

A parent who doesn't provide his/her child with something to practice on can't be very serious about his/her child's music lessons.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 03:14:03 PM »
If the child is an absolute beginner, a small keyboard or keyboard app could be a stop gap to practice until a proper instrument can be purchased or borrowed.  But no way to practice at all until Christmas?  Why are you paying for lessons?

So unless lessons start on December 15th, Santa Claus is not an option.
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RegionMom

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 03:19:29 PM »
OP here-

I added an option to combine the first 4 as a choice.

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Veronica

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 03:22:26 PM »
Am I correct in assuming that the parents know that the child won't be able to practice at school and they will have to have a way of practicing at home?  I could see the parent wanting to make sure the child at least enjoyed playing the piano before buying one.  Not really something you could rent, like a violin, I would think. 

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sourwolf

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 03:25:55 PM »
Am I correct in assuming that the parents know that the child won't be able to practice at school and they will have to have a way of practicing at home?  I could see the parent wanting to make sure the child at least enjoyed playing the piano before buying one.  Not really something you could rent, like a violin, I would think.

Waaay back in the dark ages I took summer drum lessons.  I practiced at home using a foam pad (similar to a mouse pad) and the sticks.  I don't think it's completely farfetched that parents might not realize what was needed to take the lessons.


I actually think options 1-5 would be ok.

rashea

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 03:26:22 PM »
I think you could probably even get away with not having weighted keys until Christmas. A keyboard that was big enough for the first few months of songs would work.

They might also see if a local school or college has practice rooms they could borrow.
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Shoo

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 03:28:14 PM »
To answer your question about how to address the parent who assumes the Santa option....

I think you have to take the parent aside and explain that without the ability to practice the piano at home, his/her child is not going to succeed at learning the piano, and won't be able to participate in recitals.  Then I guess you have to leave it up to the parent.  Piano lessons are expensive and if they want to throw away their money and possibly put their child off of music education (because they tried it that one time and they couldn't learn it, remember?), then that's on them.  I don't know that there's anything you can do about it.  But it must be so frustrating as a music teacher to have such uncommitted parents.

When my husband and I decided to give our daughter piano lessons, we bought the piano first and found the teacher second.  Then we made her take lessons.  We didn't ask her if she wanted to take lessons, or give her the option of refusing them.  We, as parents, made an educational decision for our daughter and just followed through with it.  Of course, we made it as easy as possible for her to succeed.  And a huge part of that was having a piano in our home for her to practice on.

WillyNilly

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 03:29:02 PM »
I voted "1-4" but I was pretty much basing that on private individual lessons and an expectation of doing better (there are a lot of reasons to learn music and actually being good at playing it aren't' the only reasons). 

I think lessons at a [regular academic] school a parent would have the reasonable expectation the student would have regular access to practice at school.  I also think its reasonable for the parents to wait 3 months and see if the kid even likes and wants to play piano as buying even the least expensive and smallest of options 1-4 is a pretty major investment of money and space.

kareng57

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 03:30:54 PM »
I think you could probably even get away with not having weighted keys until Christmas. A keyboard that was big enough for the first few months of songs would work.

They might also see if a local school or college has practice rooms they could borrow.


The problem is that, unless the teacher also has a keyboard as well as a piano, the touch is very different.  It can be pretty discouraging for a beginner to keep switching between a keyboard at home and an acoustic piano at the teacher's.  I do understand parents being reluctant to invest in a piano if they don't know whether the student will sustain interest - although I do believe that renting pianos is an option in some areas.

I know this is out of the OP's control since she teaches at a school - but for a private teacher who has lots of beginners I'd think a keyboard would be a good investment.

Betelnut

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Re: What you need for piano lessons:
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 03:32:11 PM »
Dang, I voted before I saw the "1-4" is okay.  That's the one I should have selected.
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