Daily piano tip #15.

Posted by on September 18, 2008. 2 comments

Whatever happens in a lesson, it is never personal. Once you are done with the lesson, no matter what happened, say “good bye” or “see you at the next lesson” calmly and with a smile. If you bump into your student in the hall, don’t brush him off and don’t scold him again. What happens in lessons stays there. You don’t want your students to think that you hate them, that you “just don’t like them”, that you have it in for them in some way. Every negative comment in lessons must be the result of a musical problem and it is very important that the student understands this. Don’t slam the door after them, don’t start yelling at them when you meet them in the hallways of the school or at the bus stop and remember to greet them and to let them go with a smile. I come across students that I personally dislike now and then, but there is no reason for them to know that. You have to stay professional.

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2 Comments

  • Rebekah says:

    WOW … you personally dislike students? Thanks for the honesty. (chuckles) … Sometimes piano teachers really learn to keep their cool, they scream and yell at students then on the way out they say “I know you haven’t practiced much, but I am impressed at what you presented with me today.” Just curious, is it just a personality thing? Or would you say that certain students make you ticked. (the ones that don’t practice and then say they do, the ones that say they don’t have time when they watch 1 million tv shows and tell you about them, the real pretentious ones) …

    Any students with certain characteristics that make you dislike them? Or do you just dislike them for no reason? (personality thing).

  • I’ve had students that I personally dislike for different reasons: they’re mopy or lazy, or arrogant, or weak or just plain weird. It’s the same as any other person, you like some people and you don’t. I have kept students I don’t like for as long as they want because, regardless of personality issues, they try, work hard and have potential.

    The ones that don’t practice or don’t and say they do, or don’t show up to class; those are the ones I yell at and eventually kick out, because when they consistently don’t work, it shows me a lack of respect for me and my work. I have real lazy students that I like and even get together with to do other things, but most of the time, those are ex-students. What I value above any other things in a student is hard work, to see that they are trying their best. What I hate most in students and causes me to kick them out is a lack of respect towards the music, the instrument or to me. That lack of respect comes out in things like not practicing or not showing up. Whether I like or dislike on a personal level tends to be something else entirely.

    I very rarely get a student I personally don’t like, and I always try to never show it.