Advanced search

Trying several piano teachers at once, selfish, stupid or clever idea?

(32 Posts)
flack Fri 28-Jul-06 12:50:40

We've had a couple of false starts finding a piano teacher. I am wondering if it would be better to book DS a lesson with several local teachers, and see which one he likes (and I like) best. Does this sound like a mean thing to do to the teachers, will it confuse DS too much, how do I politely explain it to the would-be teachers, will they get peeved at me and not even turn up?

Any other service you would shop around, and sample before committing, but I don't know what the protocal is for music lessons. TIA.

mum69 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:02:26

Hello Peteneras, I am also looking for a piano teacher. Could you please forward her details if I PM you. Thanks

peteneras Sun 08-May-11 00:29:07

I know of an excellent female piano teacher/examiner in East Barnet but she doesn't visit. She goes overseas examining pupils too - speaks volumes about her calibre, and therefore, her home pupils may have to miss lessons every now and again when she's overseas but of course, she makes up for 'lost' lessons.

siddiqui Sat 07-May-11 23:58:36

I am looking for a piano female teacher, who can come to my home to teach. I am in North London, near south gate. I have 2 kids. 7 and 6 years old. If any body know who can teachs please let me know

threebob Mon 07-Aug-06 21:11:31

My parents made me practise through many a sticky patch when I didn't really want to. And now I am very grateful to them.

I insist on practise, but I have all sorts of tools I give to the parents. Little boys love the lego model idea from practisespot, and older children respond to equal time on MSN to practise time. I give them all a scale game (like monopoly) and they go on the scale leader board (like top gear - a pupil with a reasonably priced scale). I teach them all how to practise.

Every single pupil practised this holiday and so far this term has been brilliant for me as a teacher.

tortoiseshell Mon 07-Aug-06 09:54:36

Just to add, as far as cost of lessons go, I charge £11 for half an hour, at my house. That's slightly under the recommended rate, but most of my pupils parents/siblings have to look after my children so I give a discount!

tortoiseshell Mon 07-Aug-06 09:52:54

roisin - practice/practise - when you write it, think of the word advise/advice, and which would be appropriate.

So, 'he does not practise' = 'He does not advise'
'His practice was beneficial' = 'His advice was beneficial'.

flack - it sounds like you've got a teacher well suited to you - as a piano teacher myself, I have to say I wouldn't be happy with that arrangement, as lessons when practice hasn't taken place are really unsatisfactory for the teacher AND the pupil - you spend lots of time relearning what you did the previous week. And also, looking at the 'week by week' basis, that would be fine for me as long as I didn't have someone who could fill that slot regularly, as I have to look at my regular income. But if your teacher is happy then that's ideal for you. If you can get your child to practise, you'll find they get an awful lot more out of the lessons, and will probably then be more motivated to practise, as they can see the results.

Have to confess, I wouldn't take on a pupil whose parents weren't committed to practice - it's one of those things a parent HAS to police, as a child usually won't. I used to play the piano the WHOLE time, but even then I sometimes had to be made to do some practice. It is worth it. Sticker charts work really well, and it is much much better to do 10 mins a day, every day rather than an hour once a week - just making sure they touch the piano each day really helps!

threebob Mon 07-Aug-06 09:28:20

Or ask him to make you up a piece on the black notes called the hedgehog, or sunrise, or leaves falling. You can't sound bad on the black notes.

roisin Mon 07-Aug-06 09:27:24

Apologies for my practice/practise mistakes: I have a complete blindspot about this grammatical point, and I know it annoys people

roisin Mon 07-Aug-06 09:26:14

Maybe it's just a question of language.

I wouldn't "make" ds2 practice in that I wouldn't drag him to the piano kicking and screaming, and tell him he will sit there and play for 10 mins before he can go leave. But there are plenty of other things I "make" him do, which do not turn into a battlezone. Music practice ... along with going to bed when he's told, reading his school book, doing his homework, clearing his dishes from the table, saying please and thank you, washing his hands, tidying the playroom when I ask, etc., are simply non-negotiable expectations. Music practice - along with music lessons - is optional, but the two go together. You can't have lessons and not to the practice. And I think the sooner you establish those expectations, the better.

But you can just make it fun. Lots of praise, lots of rewards. When he first started we did a sticker chart and he put on a smiley face sticker every time he did his practice, and I think I bought him a little chocolate bar or something when he'd completed in his sticker chart (14 stickers) on the first week.

What piano tutor book is he using? The first few weeks of learning the note values, notes, and basic hand position can be quite tricky. But the sooner you get into it the better. Once he is playing 5 notes in his RH, get him a manuscript book and he encourage him to play and compose his own little tunes.

Have fun!

threebob Mon 07-Aug-06 01:47:28

Why is he having lessons if he doesn't want to practise? I don't want to offend you - I just don't understand.

But if the teacher is happy, then no problem.

flack Mon 07-Aug-06 00:41:18

Ouch, Just exactly what do you think of me, threebob?

I have to "make" DS do so many things, I won't "make" him practise. It's just not in me to create another battlezone. Guess I'm just not a tough enough mummy/pushy enough parent. If he doesn't have the self-motivation to practise on his own then I will stop the lessons after a few more weeks.

I have told the teacher that the entire enterprise is on a trial week-by-week basis, that I will not "make" DS practise -- teacher fully supports that.

threebob Sun 06-Aug-06 23:54:41

Lots of how to make practise not feel like practise ideas on

I'm only strongly opinionated because multiple teachers were interviewed and then there is no expectation of practise. It doesn't reflect well on you.

roisin Sun 06-Aug-06 22:54:24

I kind of agree with threebob - though not quite so strongly! But I made it clear to ds2 that practicing is vital to learning to play the piano: you simply cannot make progress on just a 30 min lesson each week, and I'm not paying for lessons if he doesn't practise. Of course I did/do other things to encourage him to practise, but that is the bottom line and he is aware of that.

It's actually one of the benefits of learning an instrument IMO, that you have to struggle with it. No-one finds it easy: even "very musically talented" people, have to work hard and have to do some pretty mind-numbing practice at times.

threebob Sun 06-Aug-06 22:36:37

Why will you not make him practise? - you may as well just flush fivers down the loo. Practising for your lessons is just something you do. Why can't you tell a 6 year old to "play" the piano for a few minutes each day - "play me that great piece that Mr S showed you?"

As a piano teacher you attitude would pee me off - interview everyone and then not help a 6 year old organise his time so that he made progress and enjoyed his instrument.

flack Sun 06-Aug-06 22:23:33

Hi roison! We found 2 teachers we liked, we have gone for the one who lives closer to us (who was also the one with recommendation, turns out he teaches someone else we know, too). DS isn't into practicing, though, and I will not make him, so am not sure whether it's all going to go.

The teacher who lived further away I slightly preferred, actually, but he had over 20 miles travel to get here which seemed silly. I told him I'll definitely recommend him to others, though.

roisin Wed 02-Aug-06 20:48:22

How's it going flack?

roisin Sat 29-Jul-06 14:16:16

You seem to have more than your fair share of "fuddy duddies"! I do think that for learning at 6 you do need to have a teacher who is geared up for 6 yr-olds.

My SIL is fantastic, but she's in Yorkshire!

Hope you find someone to suit soon.

flack Sat 29-Jul-06 14:08:12

I am mostly getting quotes of £10-£13/hour for home lessons (1/2 hour), Roisin. We live in rural East Anglia and compared to what other MNers say, costs here seem to be lower for most services. The teacher DS saw today (another fuddy duddy) said he'd charge £18 or so per hour for home visits.

threebob Sat 29-Jul-06 09:06:05

I know of several teachers that do this - I think they are mad. They never seem to charge enough for the travelling.

I teach in a school 1 morning a week and that represents great value to me (I can work during the day while ds is at nursery) and to the school (prestige of having visiting teacher) and for the parents (don't have to rush after school, pay for extra petrol etc.)

roisin Sat 29-Jul-06 08:27:40

Oh, I've just realised the teacher comes to you! Can I ask how much you pay for such service?

Is this common practice [agonising about my grammar now Swedishmum ] does anyone know? I've never heard of it before.

It is a pain to take ds2 to his piano lessons because it's in the next town. But he quite likes playing on the teacher's Bechstein Grand, and it's obviously far more efficient for the teacher for us to do the travelling, rather than him.

flack Sat 29-Jul-06 03:31:15

Thanks for the replies. September-start teacher doesn't have a waiting list, is just going on holiday for a few weeks and didn't think we would want to have the break so soon after starting. So he's coming next week, now .
I decided to book DS to meet 3 teachers in the end, and we will get a chance to see what they're like before trying to settle with just one.

threebob Sat 29-Jul-06 00:48:54

I have had a couple of children who saw several other teachers as well as me. They were honest about it and I didn't mind at all - I prefaced both conversations with "if you can't come on Thursday at 5 (or whenever) for a lesson then just see the other teachers instead because that's all I have at the moment."

I don't know if I would get in my car and drive to see you if I had a waiting list. I would see you if you came to me.

I think you have to see who YOU think is the better teacher - your son is 6 after all.

But be honest with them - if they can't take it then I don't think they will suit you.

swedishmum Sat 29-Jul-06 00:31:24

Do excuse me because I've been drinking lots of wine, but practice is a noun, and practise a verb. I feel passionately that there are too few people around who are good at teaching young children. The wrong teacher definitely puts kids off. I'd speak to the teacher in person before going along with my child, and also ask to speak to other parents. (Bugbear of mine - started out as a violin teacher and there are so many dull ones around.)

roisin Fri 28-Jul-06 13:49:25

I remind ds2 to practice, and whenever I have time I sit down with him - especially when he's learning new pieces. He's happy to practice on his own, but usually perseveres more/tries harder when I sit with him. I probably manage about 40-50% of his practices!

DS1 would be a nightmare to motivate to practice: it's not really in his character I think. But fortunately he has no musical aptitude whatsoever, so we've never encouraged him to have lessons!

He is 9 though, so it's a relatively simple thing to say the room is out of bounds when ds2 is doing his practice; and we haven't had any difficulties there.

LieselVonTrapp Fri 28-Jul-06 13:42:53

Its a good idea cause if you try a couple of teachers and its still not for him then you'll know

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now