\"\"
Piano Forum logo

When to give a student away? (Read 1724 times)

Offline maybelle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
When to give a student away?
« on: May 03, 2015, 12:24:33 AM »
Hi all,

I've taught piano for 6 years to a girl who's now playing RCM 6 pieces, and has yet to do her exams. I also taught her brother for a good 3 years. I have an ARCT Performers certificate and accompaniment experience, but unlike many more esteemed members here, I am not a full-time teacher with B.A./M.A. certifications and the like. However, I do regularly prepare students for examinations as fitting their goals, and I teach all the basics, encourage musicality, and incorporate lots of listening and harmony. All of my clients understand and accept this (and I charge them, very fairly, for my level of teaching).


Starting September, I'll be doing my Masters full time and I thought of passing these two students on, because the sister has learned all that she needs from me. (She also hasn't done exams since RCM 4, because her parents insisted on skipping 5 that and I had let that slide, thinking I might pass her to another teacher soon enough anyways.) Anyhow, I foresee having to do A LOT of training to prepare her for the Gr. 6 exam, time that I won't have in September. I would like the girl to do her exam, but it is best she does that with someone else.

So, I am passing these students on in September, but I wonder when is a good time to tell her parents. On one hand, if I tell them now (a 4 months notice) they may decide to leave next month anyways - and I need their $$ to last till September (which is a terrible reason, but with my upcoming Masters, I can't just accept another student now). On the other, it feels more ethical to tell them now, because many music schools are already enrolling for September and the kids can guarantee a (good) teacher by then. I would like the parents to trust me and feel that I have their interests above all, as I've taught them for many years and they have been my best clients.

All advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Offline maybelle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: When to give a student away?
«Reply #1 on: May 03, 2015, 12:29:53 AM »
Hi all,

I've taught piano for 6 years to a girl who's now playing RCM 6 pieces, and has yet to do her exams. I also taught her brother for a good 3 years. I have an ARCT Performers certificate and accompaniment experience, but unlike many more esteemed members here, I am not a full-time teacher with B.A./M.A. certifications and the like. However, I do regularly prepare students for examinations and competitions as fitting their goals, and I teach all the basics, encourage musicality, and incorporate lots of listening and harmony. All of my clients understand and accept this (and I charge them, very fairly, for my level of teaching).


Starting September, I'll be doing my Masters full time and I thought of passing these two students on, because the sister has learned all that she needs from me. (She also hasn't done exams since RCM 4, because her parents insisted on skipping 5 that and I had let that slide, thinking I might pass her to another teacher soon enough anyways.) Anyhow, I foresee having to do A LOT of training to prepare her for the Gr. 6 exam, time that I won't have in September. I would like the girl to do her exam, but it is best she does that with someone else.

So, I am passing these students on in September, but I wonder when is a good time to tell her parents. On one hand, if I tell them now (a 4 months notice) they may decide to leave next month anyways - and I need their $$ to last till September (which is a terrible reason, but with my upcoming Masters, I can't just accept another student now). On the other, it feels more ethical to tell them now, because many music schools are already enrolling for September and the kids can guarantee a (good) teacher by then. I would like the parents to trust me and feel that I have their interests above all, as I've taught them for many years and they have been my best clients.

All advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8212
Re: When to give a student away?
«Reply #2 on: May 03, 2015, 05:19:13 AM »
I wonder when is a good time to tell her parents. On one hand, if I tell them now (a 4 months notice) they may decide to leave next month anyways - and I need their $$ to last till September (which is a terrible reason, but with my upcoming Masters, I can't just accept another student now). On the other, it feels more ethical to tell them now, because many music schools are already enrolling for September and the kids can guarantee a (good) teacher by then.

You don't really expect anyone else to make such a decisions for you... If you want to be selfish and make sure you'll get your cash, you wait until the last minute making it difficult for them to find a good replacement. If you want the girl to have the best possible chance to continue with a good teacher you give them a fair warning asap.

Of course you could also find and recommend them the new teacher and help settle things in a way that the transfer will happen at the most convenient time for you. Then everybody wins :)

Offline chechig

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 207
Re: When to give a student away?
«Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 04:08:58 PM »
If you are a good teacher, and the parents have trusted you to teach their children for years, I cant' see why should they be angry at you if you tell them the truth. On the contrary, If I were the parents, I will be grateful if you tell me the situation as it is, and give me enough time to resolve the problem. I have a similar situation as an adult student. My teacher, unfortunately for me, goes to live in the States, but he warned me some months ago, and is helping me to find another teacher. I dont think the parents would rush to find another teacher, is not that easy.

Offline keypeg

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3567
Re: When to give a student away?
«Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 05:19:57 PM »
In the other forum the advice was to wait until the last month.  Having been in the role of parent and of adult student, I don't think that is long enough to both find another teacher, and to get used to the idea of losing a teacher with whom one has studied for a long time.