Parents not wanting to “force” a child into lessons
Gabrielle K., Iowa
“I’m a free-thinking parent, I’m not going to force them to do anything they don’t want to do.”
When someone says this, do you even attempt to take the student, or do you pass altogether?
Carrie L., Michigan
I have had some wonderful families with this mentality honestly. It’s a different one but you just never know with families. I had one that said they would try it out. Their daughter was 4 and continued lessons through freshman year in high school. She quit only because band was taking over and she was at the point she wanted to be.
Missy M., Iowa
I would say something like “Yeah! It’s great to teach our kids to think for themselves. That’s one of the unique philosophies of SM. Students learn to take responsibility for their progress and generate independently. The way we accomplish that is with lots of parental support and a breakthrough system. We all do our part.” You know, kind of like that. I always make clear the plan with everyone. They can take it or leave it.
Robin T., China
Trust that the kid’s instincts may be more realistic than the parents.
Leanne I., Australia
I had one of those parents. The child also went to a “homework optional” school. I made it quite clear on my requirements but the parent constantly claimed territory. I was relieved when they quit. These students are doomed to failure if the parent won’t help them through the valleys.
Stephen R., California
I have a few teenagers that I have had for a while and the parents like to “stay out of it” and not nag the student. That age group is different than working with a child where the parents do need to be more actively involved. I’m trying to communicate this more from the beginning with new families.
Sue L., California
I had a dad take that attitude in an intro session and it was clear they had tried out other piano teachers. I said, “Well, that’s up to you. If you work on your music between lessons you get to move on; if not, you stay stuck on one song for a long time. That’s just how it works”. He did not sign up. Maybe I was a bit tactless, but that was what came to me in the moment.
Carrie L., Michigan
I’ve taught students that didn’t practice much and were unschooling, homeschool families. One girl took about 5 years of piano and now is writing screen music for independent films and went on to learn cell and play in one of the youth orchestras in the area. I never would give up quickly on a family just because the teacher may be a little different.