Parents unwilling to attend lessons – Neil Moore
Found in: Coaches
Marsha L., Virginia
Has anyone had success teaching SM without parents in attendance? I had my second FIS today with current families, and they were all excited about it until I told them that a parent had to attend lessons. That was kind of a show stopper for them. Many of them work while I teach their kids. It left me wondering if anyone has tried teaching without parents and what the result was.
One of the students is 16 and has taken lessons with me for 4-1/2 years. She and her mom were totally on board with trying a new way of learning since she has really been struggling with her increasingly difficult sheet music anyway. Her mom works while I go to her house and teach her. She is one I am most willing to try it with her because of her age.
Susan M., Canada
When I switched from traditional teaching to SM, that was a concern for me too. I tried to continue with many of my students without the parents, and it was not successful. I have never taken another student without the parents attending.
Joy O., Alabama
I’ve taught a few students with grandmother or an aunt attending in place of parents. None of those students had good home support, and none has stayed with it.
Jaclyn O., Tennessee
I have six students and only one parents stays. It has worked well for me so far. Most of them have been with me for nearly two years. They are all private students.
Pat M., Canada
There is a disconnect if parents are not in attendance that is hard to bridge.
Leeanne I., Australia
I have one student who is 14 and at the end of Level 4. I think his parents have attended two lessons over the years. He is a very committed student at the moment. However, I know the day will probably come when he decides he has had enough. You cannot effectively manage the long term relationship without a coach’s support.
Sherrie A., California
Maybe an agreement with occasional parent attendance could be worked out for those students who appear ready to move on independently. This is the goal after all, right? That they can self-generate. I would imagine this to be a gradual process and best figured out on an individual basis.
I had a parent on board until they heard that requirement and they were no longer interested. Her kids were young so it would not have worked. Some people just care more about what’s easy for them and have a hard time seeing the relationship opportunity with that child, and that anything worth anything will take hard work, even for the parent.
Nancy W., Texas
All of my students are private. I tell the parents up front that a parent needs to attend, and for those whose parents do attend, the student does much better. With that said, the others are getting it, slower. The videos are highly encouraged but rarely watched.
Have you read my book ‘Music and the Art of Long-Term Relationships’? If not, I’d highly recommend that you read it asap. It only takes 30-40 minutes to read.
And for those parents who are on the fence about attending, it will impact their understanding of why their role and participation is so absolutely crucial.
Robin Keehn, Washington
I never take a student without a coach. I’ve attempted it three times and each time it ended prematurely or badly.
Patti P., Hawaii
I’ve done it with teens, depending on their maturity level and responsibility. When I start students, I let them know I expect parents to attend until the student can drive themselves to lessons. Then we’ll talk about it.
Joy O., Alabama
I would also have another look at the Shared Lessons training. Laurie talks about how piano lessons have emerged as a “drop your kid off” activity with a resulting high failure rate. Maybe something she says will help you talk to those parents. One key in persuading the parents is that you believe in it yourself. The further I go into SM, the more I realize that every detail is part of the whole picture and is designed to bring the high degree of success for our students in having music as a lifelong companion. Even if I don’t understand the “why”, I trust the method. If you only do bits of the method, you won’t have the breakthrough that is possible when you embrace the whole.
Joanne D., Australia
I have a 13-year-old girl who just made it to her 200th lesson last week. She used to have her mum attend lessons but doesn’t anymore which I am happy about. To be honest, her mum was never a great coach from the beginning, and even though she was present in the room she wasn’t really “present”. Perhaps that was my fault for not setting it up correctly 5 years ago. This girl is a great student and very mature. We have loads of fun and she is about to complete Level 8.