Confessions of a Piano Teacher #4: Lesson Time Not Conducted In Full

Confessions of a Piano Teacher #4: Lesson Time Not Conducted In Full

Recently, I can't help but feel a mix of frustration and disappointment. I'm a full time piano teacher, and today I want to talk about a recent challenge I've faced with a parent of one of my students, Fanny, and her son, Daniel.

Fanny recently approached me with a complaint that left me quite perplexed. She claimed that I've been cutting Daniel's lessons short on several occasions. This accusation not only caught me off guard but also made me reflect on the various scenarios that I regularly encounter while teaching.


Scenario #1: The Condo Security Hurdle

One of the most common issues I face is the delay at Daniel's condo security. Often, I find myself stuck in a longer queue than anticipated, eating into the lesson time. Despite these delays, I always ensure to compensate by adding extra time in future lessons. However, Fanny seems to overlook this effort, focusing solely on the reduced time.


Scenario #2: Going the Extra Mile

There are days when I arrive earlier than scheduled, allowing me to spend additional time with Daniel, especially when we're close to mastering a new piece or wrapping up a crucial theory topic. I believe in the importance of continuity in learning, and sometimes, extending the lesson is necessary for Daniel's understanding. Unfortunately, these instances of going the extra mile also seem to go unnoticed by Fanny.


Scenario #3: The Dilemma of Early Dismissal

Occasionally, Fanny requests that I end the lesson earlier due to their other commitments. This puts me in a difficult position. Should I count this as lesson time and add it to a future session, or should I consider it as a decision made by Fanny, absolving me of the need to make up for the time? It's a dilemma that I often find myself in, yet Fanny's expectations remain unclear.


Unrecognised Efforts and Unfair Accusations

What adds to my frustration is Fanny's lack of appreciation for the times I've lengthened the lessons for Daniel's benefit. Her focus remains on the minor instances where time was lost, often out of my control. Recently, she even questioned my commitment by asking her domestic helper, Rose, to validate her claims of me leaving early. When Rose mentioned that I left 15 minutes earlier sometimes, it felt like a setup, an untrue accusation that deeply hurt me.


The Pain of Being Misunderstood

It's disheartening when your efforts and dedication are not only unrecognised but also questioned. My aim has always been to provide the best learning experience for Daniel, adjusting to unforeseeable circumstances while maintaining the integrity of our lessons. But Fanny's calculative approach and readiness to find fault without acknowledging the extra effort I put in makes me question the appreciation of my work.


Well, my experience with Fanny has been a challenging one. It's a reminder that teaching is not just about imparting knowledge; it's also about navigating the complexities of relationships with parents who may not always see the full picture.




This is a contributed article and ThePiano.SG publishes the story as-is. This article is not endorsed by ThePiano.SG and does not in any way represent ThePiano.SG's view. The contributor bears all responsibilities that may arise from the publication of this story. Names have been changed to protect the people’s identities and privacy.

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