Monday, June 27, 2011

Piano Parent Tip: Notify Me If You're Going To Be Absent

Video is from Dan Shure of EvolvingMusic - When Your Piano Student Forgets Their Lesson.

There's nothing quite so frustrating as waiting for a no-show student, particularly when you could have been doing something useful with the time. A 45-minute lesson is long enough to run an errand to the post office or bank or cook my supper, but if a student doesn't arrive on time, we teachers assume that you're running late, so we wait. The worst thing is finding out later that you didn't have an emergency, but it was a planned absence that you knew about days in advance.

I know sometimes things come up at the last minute that you can't control - a child comes home from school sick or your car breaks down. That's a good reason to keep your teacher's phone number programmed into your cell phone so you can call, even if it's last minute. If your absence is planned, let your teacher know with enough advance notice to use your time for something else. Depending on your teacher's policy, they might want to know far enough in advance so that they can offer a different student the time for a make-up lesson.That means they need time to try to reach the other parent, leave a message, have the other parent call back, leave a message...

To ensure that you are one of your teacher's most beloved piano parents, do all of the following:

1. As soon as you make the decision to do something that will conflict with your scheduled lesson, notify your teacher. If your child wakes up sick and stays home from school on the day of the lesson, notify your teacher as soon as that decision is made. I prefer an email notification, but ONLY when notification is at least 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, I'd like a phone call. Ask your teacher how he/she would like to be notified.

2. Program your teacher's studio phone number into your cell phone so that you can call if you're stuck in traffic or your child gets sick on the way to your lesson.

3. Don't schedule other things during your lesson time. Should be obvious, but you'd be surprised how often it isn't.

Thanks in advance for your support!

It should be noted that I currently have a fantastic bunch of piano parents who are considerate, respect my policies, and are great all-around parents. I'm very lucky! This hasn't always been the case!


Tamsyn Spackman said...

My worst experience was when I worked at a school of music and the parents called the school administrator, but the administrator didn't call me. It was a 15 minute drive to the school for nothing, and she refused to pay me for coming. That happened twice. Needless to say, I didn't work there long.
And parents, if the teacher is nice enough to come to your home, PLEASE be home. As a commuting teacher, this happened a few times, and it is doubly inconvenient. If I'm home, there is plenty I can do and it's not as bad, but the commute time is wasted if you're not home. Luckily, that didn't happen very often.

Dan said...

Hi Laura - Funny you used my video :-) That was actually a real instance where a student forgot his lesson - two weeks in a row!

Laura Lowe said...

Thanks for the comments, Tamsyn and Dan! I've enjoyed exploring at both of your sites!