stilling students

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Nobuaki said: Apr 11, 2006
Nobuaki TanakaViolin, Viola
Chicago, IL
115 posts

hello

recently one of my student change to different teacher without telling me. The teacher didn’t call or e-mail me at all and i’m very upset about this issue. The teacher told to my students that if he changed, he will improve much faster. I’m very upset about this issue. Should I complain to the teacher? or should i just ignore this issue? I feel that the teacher still my student and not fair at all.

Connie Sunday said: Apr 13, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
657 posts

It’s clear by your note that you’re upset, and I regret that you have to go through this. If you feel some other teacher is stealing your students, perhaps you should step back from the situation, take a deep breath, and be utterly and completely forgiving.

Everyone has conflicts with colleages and others, on a pretty consistent basis, I have found. I’m not sure there is any way to avoid this. If, however, you’re utterly loving and kind—no matter what people do, or the perceptions of what people will do—no one can really do you any harm, because you disarm them completely.

I would avoid conflict. If someone chooses to be inappropriate, mean, selfish or rude, that’s THEIR problem, not yours. At least no one will be able to see that behavior in YOU. This, in my opinion, will be the behavior which will serve you best in the long term in your community.

Cheer up! Things will get better. Just strive to be the best teacher you can, and the rest will follow.

violinmusic

hello

recently one of my student change to different teacher without telling me. The teacher didn’t call or e-mail me at all and i’m very upset about this issue. The teacher told to my students that if he changed, he will improve much faster. I’m very upset about this issue. Should I complain to the teacher? or should i just ignore this issue? I feel that the teacher still my student and not fair at all.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students: http://beststudentviolins.com/guide.html#handouts

Jennifer Visick said: May 3, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
941 posts

It’s very hard when something like this happens, especially if you are invested emotionally with your students (and how can we espouse a method where the cornerstone publication is called “nurtured by love” and NOT be emotionally invested in some way or other?)

I’ve had to deal with this kind of thing. The first few times, I was surprised and slightly shocked and very hurt: in fact, it took quite a long time before I could think of some of my students who had left suddenly without reliving some of the hurt.

Ultimately, I have had to face the fact that there’s a client/serviceperson relationship as well as a teacher/student relationship going on. While it’s my job to tell them what to do regarding music, I do run a business, and my students are “mine” only as long as they choose to learn from me. They are customers—and customers are always free to buy the product (in this case, the teaching service) from someone else if they want to.

Since I’ve had this happen once or twice in a way that was extremely hurtful, I’ve changed the quality of my emotional attachment to my students. I have to be more humble: I may not be the best teacher for each person, but I’ll do my best for them while I have charge over them—I’ve had one student leave in a rather sudden manner since then and I was able to handle it “successfuly”: I tried to see the perspective of the parent, who truly wanted the best for her child; and I was able to speak to the new teacher about the transition.

I’ve also been the recipient of a few students who felt that I would be a better fit for them than their previous teacher. This is an odd position to be in: I would hate for any teacher to think that I was purposely ’stealing’ their students.

I have two sets of studio policies sitting in my computer. One I hand out to my students, dealing with absences, tardiness, parental participation, group class requirements, make-up policy, and all that jazz. The other is my own personal “work” policy—it includes practical ethics, number of working hours, number of scheduled breaks, how many students I “allow” myself to take on, etc., etc. In it, I have written these statements:

I will not be in competition with existing music teachers or programs, but in league with them. The way I will do this is:

*I will support the good work of other music teachers, organizations, schools, orchestras, and groups.

I will not damage the reputation of a student’s previous teacher.

I will learn from those around me, giving credit where credit is due

I will encourage other teachers towards excellence in the profession even as i seek excellence

I will do my best to graciously pass my students on to other teachers when the time arrives for them to leave my studio.* (By “the time for them to leave my studio” I mean not only the time I think is right for them to move on, but also those times when they decide to move on without my input).

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