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AIBU to cancel these music lessons?

(21 Posts)
FaintlyBaffled Wed 11-Jan-17 18:23:41

DS has two lots of music lessons a week during term time. Music is his "thing" and he wants to pursue it as a career (as a teacher)- the music is categorically NOT at our insistence.
What we do insist on is that he takes care of his instruments, practices regularly (I would like daily practice but in reality 5x a week I'm happy with) and turns up to lessons.
Yet again I've just discovered that he forgot his guitar today so simply didn't bother to turn up to his lesson. I am absolutely livid as
- this is not the first time he's missed lessons or forgotten instruments
- he didn't even have the courtesy to go and apologise to his teacher (who probably had a spare he could have used anyway)
- I reminded him about it not fifteen minutes before he left the house.

I've now said that I will cancel the lessons as he just doesn't show the commitment he needs (it was a tricky Christmas due to a family bereavement but I doubt either instrument has been out of its case more than a handful of times since school broke up)

AIBU? He's almost 13 and has been having lessons since yr4 so it's not that it's a novelty he's still getting used to. He's currently playing morosely in his room and giving the occasional sniff as if somehow he is the hardest done by child in the world. Meanwhile I'm about to go to work to pay for music lessons that he doesn't bloody turn up to angry

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 11-Jan-17 18:25:35

You're over reacting.

He's 13. Have you never forgotten anything?

BarbarianMum Wed 11-Jan-17 18:28:34

How often is this happening? Could you try billing him for forgotten lessons first?

DelphiniumBlue Wed 11-Jan-17 18:36:22

Yes, I went through this when DS1 was about 14. I did eventually stop paying for the lessons, it really annoyed me that he couldn't be bothered to make the effort, but I had to out and earn the money to pay for lessons he didn't show up to or practice for.
He stopped playing for about 3 years, then started self-teaching from youtube vidoeos etc, and gets a great deal of enjoyment out it now. He's paid for his own instruments and now ( at 24) is talking about having lessons again just to iron out knowledge gaps.
If your son wants to be a music teacher, he will need exams, both Grade and GCSE. He will need to practice to get these, and if he lacks the motivation then he's unlikely to out-perform the competition. However, 12 is still very young and maybe you can help with organisation strategies? I'd give him another chance or 2 IF you think he's talented and he really does want to be a music teacher.

FaintlyBaffled Wed 11-Jan-17 18:48:04

He does delph and both teachers report that he is talented and very able which he certainly didn't inherit from his mother
I have to pay the teachers invoice tonight for this half term and was thinking about roping him in to pretend that I have actually cancelled. Then DS can go back in a couple of weeks on the understanding that he knuckles down and takes his lessons seriously. I know the teacher is frustrated by DS's attitude at times and has frequently mentioned how he could be so much better if he just put in a little more effort.
Billing DS won't work as he is an only child, only grandchild and only godchild so is not exactly strapped for cash. I don't think making him pay will have any impact <gnashes teeth>

EineKleine Wed 11-Jan-17 18:50:53

I don't know, I'm sure this will be my DD in a couple of years. I think I'd sanction per missed lesson until he's missed another 5 or so before cancelling them.

Btw does he practice 5 times per week per instrument? If so that's doing brilliantly IMO, I never managed anything like that even on my one instrument and I still made it to grade 8.

KathArtic Wed 11-Jan-17 18:53:59

I think 13 is still a little young, I was expecting him to be 15. When they are younger they need constantly reminding about everything because they simply forget. At 15 they need reminding as they are into other things, and generally need reminding about everything hmm

Music would be great, I hope he gets back into it.

MumOfTheBand Wed 11-Jan-17 19:01:15

Is it just classical guitar? As you might guess from my name, I'm an unpaid roadie! Would he be interested in a switch to electric guitar for a change of pace and new techniques? It might reignite his interest.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 11-Jan-17 19:15:09

DD1 practises piano about 4x per week and clarinet once or twice at best. She's still making progress and loves the process of making music. And has just got grade 5 piano under her belt.

I'm taking the view that I'll keep paying as long as she's loving the music, even if it's sometimes like pulling teeth. I meet too many adults who gave up too soon and wish they'd stuck at it to a higher level.

But in your situation I'd possibly be taking some cash for the wasted lesson and/or making him go and apologise to the teacher for not turning up.

BarbarianMum Wed 11-Jan-17 19:19:36

Well if he's got plenty of money why not let him pay for the lessons? Then it's no skin off your nose if he goes or not.

TheMysteriousJackelope Wed 11-Jan-17 19:21:14

Have you pointed out to him that many good teachers have waiting lists and don't put up with this sort of nonsense more than a couple of times before they get somebody else as a pupil. It isn't very rewarding teaching a person who won't practice and doesn't progress, let alone one who simply doesn't turn up to lessons.

I wouldn't rope the teacher into lying for you though. That will just mean that any future threats from the teacher to stop the lessons will be written off as not being serious by your DS. It probably wouldn't hurt for the teacher to give him an idea of how many more times he can get away with this before he's dumped.

rookiemere Wed 11-Jan-17 19:22:51

I think you are overreacting a bit.

He practices 5 x per week. He missed one lesson on the first full week back to school. Take some money out of his pocket money or make him do some chores to pay it back.

If you are genuinely struggling to pay for the lessons could he get a paper round or wash neighbours cars or something to contribute towards it.

FaintlyBaffled Wed 11-Jan-17 20:50:38

It's not the forgetting as such, it's the fact that I asked him where his guitar was fifteen minutes before he left the house. I have to do this as DS has form for scattiness which we've worked hard to overcome.

As for the five weekly practice sessions that's the aim, the reality is somewhat different hmm If he didn't want passionately to do music as a career then I wouldn't think twice about cancelling.

And yes mum it's acoustic guitar. Until recently he played electric and followed the RockSchool syllabus. Once he got the initial novelty of the noise and effects of an electric guitar out of his system he opted to do acoustic only.

ChipmunkSundays Wed 11-Jan-17 21:33:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrandDesespoir Wed 11-Jan-17 22:54:11

If your son wants to be a music teacher, he will need exams, both Grade and GCSE.

If he wants to be a class teacher he will need a degree, never mind GCSE. confused And if he wants to do a music degree at a decent university he will need Grade 8 practical.

What systems does he have in place to remember other things he needs to take to school, such as the correct books / PE kit / his lunch?

80schild Wed 11-Jan-17 23:03:45

All children do this occasionally. Rather than threatening to cancel, maybe it would have been more appropriate to remind him why he is doing it and make him apologise to the teacher. Also, reinforcing that if he forgets his instrument he still has to pitch up and explain himself.

I know it is difficult, especially considering how much lessons are. An hour of theory usually sorts things out though!

TheClaws Wed 11-Jan-17 23:04:37

Are you absolutely sure that he is as committed as you think he is? If he was, he wouldn't be forgetting his instrument carelessly, and he wouldn't be missing lessons. He would be practicing in his spare time, even at 13 years old. I would stop the lessons for a period and let him work out just how serious about music he is. Perhaps he just needs a break.

MumOfTheBand Wed 11-Jan-17 23:45:45

Rock School exams are so dull! Get him in a band: that's when they really start to learn as well as gaving fun. It gives an immediate purpose to the learning and practise.

Does he perform publicly on his acoustic guitar or other instruments? Grades aren't much motivation to some children: others need the deadline & expectations of a performance to focus their efforts.

trulyscrumptious33 Wed 11-Jan-17 23:54:08

Why don't you find someone outside of school? That way you can ensure that he carries on learning, but also shows up!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 12-Jan-17 00:01:51

We had to stop lessons on school as tests kept clashing with music lessons so we have someone come to the house now for the same price.

Our deal was if DS failed to turn up to a lesson he paid for it . Think he did it twice- soon focused his brain wink

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Thu 12-Jan-17 00:22:45

Yanbu. DC2 was like this - I ended up taking the money out of his account, for every lesson missed. Eventually I made a private arrangement with his in-school teacher. Took DC2 to every lesson, and picked up afterwards. Which ruined his weekend - he soon knuckled down to in-school lessons

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