Mr or Mrs or…

Carrie said: Jun 7, 2013
 60 posts

Having moved a lot, I have found that where you live matters a lot. When I have been in a home school group where Mr. and Mrs. is a value to a lot of people, I go with it. When I have been in small towns with lots of relatives and people with the same last name, Carrie was normal for them. Here, many call me Miss Carrie, to one family it is important that I am Mrs. Gillett, and a few call me Carrie. Find out what’s important to your clientele. Unless there is a value here that is important to you.


Laura said: Jun 7, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Mancos, CO
107 posts

It is different with my students. Most of my children and young adults call me Miss Laura. I believe it is professional but on a personal level. Depending on our relationship, my adult students either call me Laura or Miss Mozena.

I think that Mr. Nick would be an appropriate way to address you, but you and your students want to be comfortable, so feel it out.

Your Music Supply

Emily Morgan said: Jun 7, 2013
Emily Morgan
Suzuki Association Member
Jamestown, NC
17 posts

My students (who are mostly younger children) call me Miss Emily. But like Carrie said, it depends on who and where you are teaching.

Lori Bolt said: Jun 7, 2013
Lori BoltPiano
San Clemente, CA
262 posts

I agree with all the above comments. I’ve used Mrs. Bolt, Miss Lori, etc. and it does depend on the age of the student, the community “norm”, and the parents’ wishes in addressing an adult. I feel that putting “Mr.” in front of your first name is a good middle ground.

Lori Bolt

Nicholas said: Jun 7, 2013
Nicholas ScholzGuitar
Madison, WI
2 posts

Thank you all for your comments.
I think I’ll go with Mr Nick until they get into H.S. Then maybe I will drop the Mr.

Michelle McManus Welch said: Jun 7, 2013
 Violin, Viola
Lindenhurst, IL
42 posts

That sounds about right for guitar. I agree, you should be either Mr. Schultz or Mr. Nick. I always have my students call me Mrs. Welch, or Mrs. W on occasion. As you say, they are used to it from school. Ms. Michelle always bothered me; I guess if I’d grown up down South or where this was the custom it wouldn’t have.

Michelle Mc Manus Welch

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 8, 2013
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1076 posts

I agree with asking children to call you by ‘title—name’ instead of just ‘name’. It is part of respect in most places, but it’s good to go with the flow of what the family deems respectful.

Also, when I first began teaching, I used to get parents and students who looked at my and wondered (sometimes, aloud) if I were old enough to be teaching! So at that time I insisted on “title-lastname” because I felt it would help associate me in the student’s mind with other teachers in their life.

Occasionally for pre-school age children, instead of “miss” I’ve used “teacher” as in “I’m Teacher Jenny”….

Usually when I introduce myself to a new family, in the first private lesson, and there is no precedent, I’ll say something like:

(addressing the whole family) “My name is Jennifer Visick.”
(looking at/addressing the child) “You may call me ‘Miss Visick’ or ‘Miss Jennifer’ or ‘Miss Jenny’”
(looking at the parent) “Any of these is fine with me, whatever you’re comfortable with.”

And in group class, at the first group, I say something very similar. After which, often at least one child in the group, if it a large enough group class, will raise their hand and ask if they can call me “Miss J” or “Miss V” or some other such on-the-spot shortname. Which I think is usually OK!

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of “Ms.”, as this is becoming standard in the schools around here. Maybe it’s that I didn’t grow up with “Ms” but I don’t like it as much as “Miss”.

Once, I went to New Orleans for teacher training at an institute and came home liking the convention in that part of the world of all women being addressed as “Miss—firstname”. So I started using that more often.

Sue Hunt said: Jun 8, 2013
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

Here in England, we are much less formal. I was brought up calling teachers by their first names. Nowadays, when someone addresses me as Mrs Hunt, I nearly always jump aside and look over my shoulder for someone else.

In a school situation, I grudgingly consent to being thus addressed, but out of school and in my home studio I am Sue.

Gloria said: Jun 8, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

That was refreshing to read, Sue!

Barb said: Jun 8, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
685 posts

Similar discussion HERE.

I like having the title as a form of respect—this is what we taught our kids growing up, and this is what school teachers use for the most part here (the odd high school teacher accepts first name only). Also, since my husband is Mr. in the school, I am Mrs.—just seemed consistent.

I do the same kind of introduction as Rainejen—introduce my full name to the family, and tell the student directly what they can call me. If an adult student addresses me as Mrs. I tell them they can call me Barb.

Michelle, I wonder what you meant by, “That sounds about right for guitar.” I am with you that the title with first name seems strange and southern. :-) Also I think it fits young unmarried teachers better. ???

Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Rose Costello said: Jun 9, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
De Pere, WI
6 posts

I’m flexible as to titles, used or not. I let the parents guide according to parenting style.
A note on the Ms. vs. Miss or Mrs. It’s a shame that it’s such a stickler. Men do not have this issue. They have a title, married or not. And that is all that it is about, married or not, attached to a man or not. Someone who has been married and enjoyed being someone’s Mrs. (Mr + s) no doubt has a hard time giving that up. Miss and Mrs is from a time when women did not work or vote or hold office, etc. ‘Ms.’ is more professional. I don’t need people to know whether I am married or not in the business world. And I find it odd when I get the ‘wrong’ title because they’re simply guessing. It’s awkward and deserves consistency.
I do sometimes address young children as ‘Miss Emily’, for instance, but that is different. As adults, if you want a title, keep it consistent, and keep marriage—and I dare say, bragging rights—out of it!

~ Rose Costello, Suzuki &Therapeutic Piano

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