The number one goal for piano teachers, parents and students should be to give students the lifelong gift of being able to play the piano. Assuming that you have found a piano teacher that you really like for your child, a teacher you trust and respect, there are some unusual things you can do to help make the family-teacher relationship a great and long lasting one. Here are 10 things you might not think of that will make your piano teacher really happy.
1. Understand What it Takes to Become a Piano Teacher.
We start our training as children. It takes many years to learn to play well enough to teach the piano. Musical training never stops, your teacher continues to practice and and grow as a musician and as a teacher.
2. Ask to See Your Teacher’s Studio Policy.
In an earlier blogpost “Parents, Teachers and Studio Policies” I talked about why your teacher has to have a Studio Policy. If your teacher is anything like me, chances are the she feels a bit uncomfortable dealing with the whole Studio Policy issue. If you ask to see it I’ll bet your teacher will be really happy. Even if your child has been studying with her for a while go ahead and ask to review the Studio Policy. This way you can be sure you are adhering to your teacher’s studio rules.
3. Keep an Eye on The Clock
Arrive on time and leave on time. If you are late don’t expect your teacher to make up the time at the end of the lesson, even if there is no student scheduled after your child. I appreciate it when my piano parents are prepared to leave at the end of the allotted lesson time. Believe it or not, piano teaching is a demanding job. Siting for hour after hour and focusing on what students are doing is tiring, Your teacher deserves a much needed break when he has the opportunity.
4. Ask if You Need to Pay For It
Pay for what? Books, Recital Fees, any extra time or materials your teacher is providing for your child. Your teacher can always say there is no charge but she will be happy if you give her the option. Very few teachers enjoy asking parents for money, but your teacher’s time and materials are valuable.
5. Curtail the Conversation
I love to chat with my piano parents and your teacher probably does too, but sometimes it’s hard to find a graceful end to a conversation. I’m not saying don’t chat with your teacher just be mindful of the time. Every now and again ask if he has to go, this way he has a graceful way to make an exit if he needs to.
6. The Restroom
If you take lessons at a music store or commercial studio the restroom probably isn’t much of an issue. However, if your child goes to the teacher’s home or if your teacher comes to you here are some things you can do to ease up the restroom situation. If lessons are at your teacher’s home ask where the restroom is. Whenever possible try to have your child use the restroom before arriving at his lesson so as not to waste time during the lesson. When coming straight from school try to have him take care of this at the beginning of the lesson. If your teacher comes to your home let her know from the beginning where the restroom is located and tell her it is OK to use it when needed. These things may seem obvious but they will make you teacher really happy
7. Ask to help out at recital time
Ask your child’s teacher if there is anything you can do to help out when there is a recital or performance. Recitals are stressful for teachers, it takes a lot of extra work to prepare students and organize a performance. Can you take pictures? Help with refreshments? Make a Recital Program? Even helping to carry things or clean up afterward will make your teacher really happy.
8. Spread the word
If your really like your child’s teacher let people know. Your excellent recommendation will help him build his studio and this will make him really happy.
. 9. Show Your Appreciation
“A person who is appreciated will always do more than what is expected” Author Unknown. Tell your teacher how much you appreciate her and have your child do the same. You don’t have to spend money or buy expensive gifts for your teacher your words mean so much especially in the form of a note. If you’d like to give your teacher a gift a holiday time or “just because” go ahead! After all who doesn’t like getting gifts.
. 10. Keep in Touch
I have been teaching for over 30 years. One of the greatest joys of being a piano teacher is watching my awesome students grow into awesome adults. When your child graduates, moves on to other activities or you move away keep in touch send an occasional note or email. This will make your piano teacher really happy!
These are some things that may help you to have a great relationship with your child’s piano teacher. Writing this post got me to thinking…Maybe there are some things teachers may not think of that we can do to make parents really happy. I’d love to hear all of your ideas and comments.
Thanks for reading!!
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Please ask your child’s piano teacher to visit www.palomapiano.com where he/she will find hundreds of page of free downloadable beautiful music your child will love to play!