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WIBU to ask my piano pupils to wash their hands?

(29 Posts)
Delphine31 Wed 07-Jan-15 09:59:25

I am just about to restart teaching piano after a gap of a few years.

I am finding the idea of children coming straight from school not having washed their hands for hours a bit grim. This isn't helped by me becoming immuno-compromised in the last couple of years meaning that I'm a bit paranoid about picking up germs.

Would it be unreasonable for me to ask my pupils to wash their hands when they arrive?

As a parent, would you think this strange?

I'd rather not explain to the parents about being immuno-compromised to justify the hand-washing, not because I'm secretive about these things but because I want the focus to be on the child when they arrive for their first lesson.

Bisgetti Wed 07-Jan-15 10:01:26

I always ask the dc to wash their hands when we come in from outside. You could get a big bottle of alco-gel like they have in hospitals close to the piano.

londonrach Wed 07-Jan-15 10:01:46

Think its abit strange but im not a parent. Gel?

wowfudge Wed 07-Jan-15 10:02:50

Not at all - I can't see the problem with that and would think it was completely reasonable and normal. You will have a number of people touching the keys, etc. I imagine the parents of your students would actually find it reassuring. Just provide whatever anti-bacterial/anti-viral handwash you need.

DancingDinosaur Wed 07-Jan-15 10:03:20

I wouldn't think its strange at all.

merrymouse Wed 07-Jan-15 10:04:25

I think its fine to assume that children coming in from school will want to wash their hands as part of preparation for their lesson.

TheCowThatLaughs Wed 07-Jan-15 10:04:33

It's fine anyway I think, you don't want a piano covered in grime and grease from lots of little hands, even if you weren't immunocompromised

mausmaus Wed 07-Jan-15 10:04:34

my old teacher sent us to the sink before lessons.
it's only sensible!

MrsCurrent Wed 07-Jan-15 10:05:26

No, not at all. Make it a routine before starting, tell them once this is what you do cos loads of people touch that piano and you don't want them picking up something off someone else. My kids hands get disgusting so I would think it was perfectly reasonable.

MrsTawdry Wed 07-Jan-15 10:07:58

No! YANBU! I used to be a face painter...massive queues...long hot summer covered in snot and icecream. I used to ask their parents to clean their faces. The amount of parents who thought it reasonable to present me with a manky faced kid and expect me to use my brushes on it!


hiddenhome Wed 07-Jan-15 10:09:06

Can't you just get an antibacterial wipe and give the keys a wipe down before each child arrives?

merrymouse Wed 07-Jan-15 10:09:50

Agree about possibility of germs being transferred from child to child via piano keys. Particularly at this time of year coughs and colds are a real pain.

Also, my children's hands are often quite muddy from outside play when they leave school - much less hassle and embarrassment if they just have to wash their hands before every lesson than you having to check and tell them they are dirty.

feebeecat Wed 07-Jan-15 10:11:34

YANBU especially at this time of year.
Dds have piano lessons at teachers house & lay-out/timings might make hand-washing a bit time consuming and intrusive in her home (wouldn't fancy having all those children trooping through my house!). Think I'd go with gel next to piano.

Crockershite Wed 07-Jan-15 10:15:04

Of course yanbu.
I would be glad you where thinking about it.
Everyone benefits when hands are routinely washed.

Clarabell33 Wed 07-Jan-15 10:18:57

YANBU. My DM (who taught piano) wouldn't even let me touch our piano at home until I'd washed my hands. It was just normal for her pupils to wash hands before their lesson, and sometimes she would tell them to cut their nails before their next lesson too - more about the clicking than hygiene, but still, if you're using someone else's kit, then it's reasonable to expect you to be in the appropriate condition for using that kit, which does mean clean hands for the piano.

MissDuke Wed 07-Jan-15 10:19:56

YANBU. Just be sure and make sure it is obvious to everyone that it is routine - 'ok so the first thing we do is wash our hands!' in a cheerful voice so the parent doesn't think it is just directed at their child grin

GingerbreadPudding Wed 07-Jan-15 10:20:30

Gel doesn't get rid of dirt. I'd just explain it was part of the practice - respect for the instrument and preserving the keys (if they're ivory) or making it easier to play as clean keys are easier for fingers to slide on and off from.

LadyLuck10 Wed 07-Jan-15 10:20:34

Yanbu at all. Keep some wipes or gel for when they arrive. Then you will know for sure it's washed.

Delphine31 Wed 07-Jan-15 10:20:51

Thank you all for responding. I feel reassured that I can ask for a quick handwash on arrival now. I'd rather do that than hand gel as washing is more effective and will get rid of mud/food etc as well.

My bathroom is the first room you come to upstairs so I don't think that it will be too intrusive or time consuming. I will just need to make sure my bathroom is always very tidy which isn't a bad thing anyway!

dietcokeandwine Wed 07-Jan-15 10:21:12

Totally sensible OP.

Used to learn the piano and teacher always asked me to wash hands before the lesson.

You don't even need to use health issues as the reason. Just explain to pupils and parents that you want to keep piano keys as clean as possible and keys can very quickly get filthy if you don't keep hands clean. Let's face it, a piano is one of the most beautiful musical instruments there is-totally reasonable that you want to look after yours!

WooWooOwl Wed 07-Jan-15 10:21:57

It's fine. Get some of that nice bubble gum or strawberry laces smelling soap for your pupils to use, they will like it.

UnrelatedToElephants Wed 07-Jan-15 10:24:00

My piano lessons (in the school music room) used antibac wipes on the keys, and antibac gel on the hands.


TheOnlyWayThrough Wed 07-Jan-15 10:25:20

You could do it from the angle of:

'LOTS of people play this piano, let's not all share our germs'.

I wouldn't have a problem with it. I never had a hand-washing ritual, but definitely understood the piano was something to treat with respect and not touch with sticky fingers, so YANBU.

MeAndMySpoon Wed 07-Jan-15 10:29:46

Of course it's not unreasonable - I think I've heard of this being part of the routine of a piano lesson. As well as being hygienic, it might get the pupils into the 'zone' for their lesson - make them approach the instrument with respect, etc.

Jill2015 Wed 07-Jan-15 10:34:24

YANBU make it just part of the routine, no need to get into explanations. It's a good habit anyway IMO.

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