Private teaching has its perks- flexible schedule, higher rate of pay, nice working environment.. But for many teachers, the perks stop right there. There is one problem with teaching at a student’s house- the parent!
I am teaching a new student. She’s had a couple of lessons, improving quite quickly – her tone became clearer and more resonant and her hand position looks better already. Third lesson in, the mum (who hasn’t seen how I teach), says in front of her child before the lesson “she’s not going to be a soloist, so please just teach her enough to keep up in band, you know, the notes and fingerings”.
Parent always sits in the lesson. “She needs to work on these pieces more and her high notes. Could you just do that today?”
“Sorry, … couldn’t practise this week because he had too much school work / he had friends over for a party”. (All week?!!)
Funny example: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uDF3CHqqb-4
Mother sits in the background letting me teach. After the lesson she asks what her daughter should be practising. I show her the note book and the mum listens to her daughter’s practice regularly.
The parent in example 4 is a rare species! It’s so refreshing when parents are supportive without being interfering or undermining the teacher’s expertise.
As a parent, you want the best for your child. That’s why you seek out a qualified teacher in your area with knowledge of what and how to teach students. Therefore, parents should trust that the teacher knows what they are doing, just as they trust other teachers at school.
Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts for parents.
- Encourage your child to practise
- Take an interest in what they are learning
- Listen and monitor their practice
- Give your child opportunities to perform at home
- Trust the teacher and talk with him/her privately if you have any concerns
- Ask the teacher for help with buying instrument
- Tell the teacher what to teach- they know what to teach and when to teach it
- Limit the student’s progress to note learning. This becomes boring for both teacher and student
- Give excuses for the student’s lack of practice.
For the teachers, we must learn to accept there are going to be parents who think they know best and try to dictate the course of study. It’s our duty to inform the parents of our method and expectations.
Thanks for reading and happy fluting!
Next blog: YouTube pick of the week