i have this jazz piano student at a school where i work. iīve only had him for half a year and in that time i have taught him lots of great stuff. stuff you donīt find in books, that has taken me years to figure out. all handed to him for free.  

now he says he wants another teacher because "itīs not developing" for him to have me as a teacher. i feel like iīm being hit right in the face. it canīt be a personal issue either, we have been getting along just fine.

have any of you other teachers encountered similar situations?

savage
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don't take it personally.  everyone needs to study with more than one teacher in order to grow.
one of the hardest things is to tell your teacher you are ready to move on to someone else.
i have been in this situation, both as a student and as a teacher.
so, as a teacher, i understood and i didn't take it personally.
a teacher where i work just told me a story about how these two students from the same family who had been coming to him for six years just "casually" called him on the phone and told him that they weren't coming anymore.

he was all upset he said things like "i'd watched them grow up, i'd been over to their house. i felt like they were my friends, almost like they were my own children. and then when they quit they just called and nonchalantly said 'goodbye', it's not  like i expected a medal or anything but it would've been nice for them to say goodbye in person..."

he went on and on.  

well, these people aren't his kids - they're customers. and like all humans, yes, we do get attached to people. and somtimes when a relationship ends it can feel like a lost love or a death in the family. but we get over it. we learn to deal with it. and we eventually learn not become overly attached to our students.

gratitude is a funny thing, unless you specifically tell someone what a big favor you're doing for them, they'll usually just accept it at face value and figure that's the way the world works.

and sometimes gratitude is delayed, it may be years (or even decades later) when it finally dawns on someone to truly appreciate what a great favor an old teacher has done for them (that's certainly true in my case).

i always tell my departing students "it's been great working with you, and when you get famous make sure to tell 'em all that you learned your stuff from me :) "

lastly, you were paid to teach this student. you did your job. if the student is unaware of the etiquette involved when ending a business relationship, that simply indicates social ignorance on his part, it does not make him an ingrate.
what is the etiquette for quitting lessons? i'm thinking of changing teachers (for good reasons) and was planning on giving a months notice.

barry
savage- some day if he continues on with his studies he'll realize what you gave him.  it often takes people time to realize that kind of stuff and really appreciate it.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
with them to let me know they're leaving so that i can immediately fill the spot with someone on my waiting list).  

the rest of them just hang me out to dry, and after a couple of missed lessons, i drop them from the roster and fill their slot.

what i like to hear from departing students is that they'll reccommend me, how much they learned and how much fun  they had (even if they're lying - lol).

you don't have to tell the teacher that you've found someone else, and if they ask you why you're quitting you don't have to give them any reasons. just say "i've got a lot going on right now" or something like that.

most teachers have seen hundreds of students come and go, they're used to it.  

but don't quit without saying anything - that's just rude (and it costs the teacher money).

so say "thanks, best wishes and best of luck".  

that's not so complex, is it?
seems like basic human interaction to me ;-).
almost all students will stop coming eventualy, often suddenly and without warning. therefore it is totaly to be expected. do not take it personaly in any way and give it no more than a moments thought.
if you like a former student there is no   reason you cannot continue to contact them and ask them how they are doing. i have established many friendships with former students.
thanks for the input guys.  

the problem is that iīm supposed to teach this student until summer. the fact that he wants to change teacher now must mean that heīs dissatisfied with my lessons. thatīs whatīs really bugging me, since i think iīve taught him lots of great stuff. i must try to convince him to stay...
likes to listen to and who his favorite jazz artists are, encourage him to start bringing in recordings and then the two of you can transcribe them together (this'll also benefit his ear big time).
good advice 7.

how old is he? something i have learnt is that you have to be totally flexible and very understanding of each student as an induvidual. maybe you're laying it on a bit heavy...i know how easy that is to do, especially when you  have someone who is young and talented, but you must remember that there is also a lot of other stuff going on around the teenage years apart from music (which we're all so devoted to that it is often the only thing we think about all day!). getting him to select material to work on is a great option.

have you tried asking him exactly what wasn't working?
trying to mold a student into what you think is a the right kind of direction will almost always cause rebellion. just like kids, just like classroom students.

when marc seales first came to the university of washington back in the late 80's, he really wanted me to love the same kind of music he did.  transcribe tons of herbie, listen to silver, etc etc.  but i'm not that kind of player- i like monty alexander, chic corea, bela fleck...

so one day, several years after i first took a lesson with him, i said that i really don't want to play like herbie or bud powell.  i told him i really enjoy how monty plays and marc said, "then practice this stuff until it sounds like monty is playing."  (or something to that effect).  

marc loosened up a lot after a few years teaching at the university, but he still makes sure you get your basics covered so that you have all the tools you need to sound the way you want.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
"have you tried asking him exactly what wasn't working?"

i will definetly have a talk with him and try to figure it out. hope i can make him stay...
i have this jazz piano student at a school where i work. iīve only had him for half a year and in that time i have taught him lots of great stuff. stuff you donīt find in books, that has taken me years to figure out. all handed to him for free.  

now he says he wants another teacher because "itīs not developing" for him to have me as a teacher. i feel like iīm being hit right in the face. it canīt be a personal issue either, we have been getting along just fine.

have any of you other teachers encountered similar situations?

savage
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