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Best enquiry questions


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#1 flautistphilosoper

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 20:57

Don't you love it when you get questions such as the following from parents:

 

"So, how many lessons will my daughter need to learn to play?"

 

or (this was someone who had never played an instrument before)

 

"My daughter needs to get grade 4 by the end of the year for XXX award. Will 30 minutes every fortnight be ok as she's got a lot of schoolwork this year?"

 

Then there was the following:

"Do you give free lessons?" (seriously!)


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#2 Chomp

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 06:01

Love it!

I had a good one. They wanted me to come to their house but didn't have an instrument
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#3 Piano Jan

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 07:13

You get some odd complaints as well. One parent looked at me very accusingly when she dropped her son off for his lesson. She said: "He's getting very upset because you tell him he's playing wrong notes."


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#4 DaisyChain

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 07:25

"My daughter has her heart set on learning the flute. We think she'll be better at piano. We don't have a piano but daughter has a flute. What do you think?"

 

"I have introduced four students to you now.  Can my son have lessons for free from now on?"

"I need a piano to practice on? Oh... I never thought of that." 

 

And my one and only (so far!!) crank call..male "adult" asks if I would be prepared to "punish" him for not doing his homework... :huh:


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#5 Yet another muso

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 08:58

"My daughter has her heart set on learning the flute. We think she'll be better at piano. We don't have a piano but daughter has a flute. What do you think?"

 

"I have introduced four students to you now.  Can my son have lessons for free from now on?"

"I need a piano to practice on? Oh... I never thought of that." 

 

And my one and only (so far!!) crank call..male "adult" asks if I would be prepared to "punish" him for not doing his homework... :huh:

I do hope that second one was meant in jest!


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#6 katyjay

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 09:39

I had one recently

Phone rings around 8.30 am. I am about to head out to school...

Caller: Hello, is that the singing teacher?
Me: Yes...
Caller: Can I have a lesson today please?
Me (mentally reviewing diary): I could do 7pm if that's any good to you.
Caller: I'm going out tonight! Can't you do a daytime session?
Me: The first daytime space I have is on Thursday morning.
Caller: That's no good, my audition is tomorrow.
Me: Well then it's 7pm or nothing. Thank you for calling and best of luck with the audition.

I hang up at that point and drive to school. I check my phone as I get out of the car and there is a text from the caller saying "7pm ok. See you then".

The day progresses, and 7pm rolls round. So does the caller, about 10 minutes later. I show him into my music room, and he produces a tatty photocopy of a musical theatre number, and offers it to me.
Caller: I need to have a go at this with someone playing the piano.
Me: I don't play the piano. I am a singer, not a pianist.
(well I do play a bit, but nowhere near enough to sightread this stuff)
Caller: Then I am wasting my time.
(I forbear to point out that it is MY time that is being wasted. I also stuff my hands into my pockets to avoid throttling him.)
Me: Well, now you're here, let's have a go at it with a track, and see if I can offer you some useful feedback.
Caller: Is that all you can do? I wanted to hear what the piano's like.
Me: You can hear what it sounds like when I play it, but it won't sound anything like an audition pianist will sound.

We did, eventually, do some singing. And he went away happy. But I can't help thinking that if he phones again I won't have any spaces available ever.....
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#7 Norway

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 09:47

And my one and only (so far!!) crank call..male "adult" asks if I would be prepared to "punish" him for not doing his homework...

 

Tell him you issue three Bach chorale melodies to be harmonised for each item of homework missed! :lol:

 


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#8 dorabella x

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 10:28

This happened last week:   mother brought 13 yr old for a trial lesson. Mother to me "how old are you?"  Rather taken aback, I answered that I was in my early seventies, but fit and well. Mother's reply - "That's no good then - you will be dead before my daughter gets to grade 8".....


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#9 owainsutton

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 10:35

This happened last week:   mother brought 13 yr old for a trial lesson. Mother to me "how old are you?"  Rather taken aback, I answered that I was in my early seventies, but fit and well. Mother's reply - "That's no good then - you will be dead before my daughter gets to grade 8".....

 

Maybe, rather than an insult, it was honesty about their level of commitment?!   :sadvio:


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#10 sbhoa

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 11:13

Love it!

I had a good one. They wanted me to come to their house but didn't have an instrument

I've had that one.


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#11 hammer action

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 11:42

Some of the above have made me howl with laughter, thanks!   :lol: 

 

I had an enquiry years ago from a girl in her early twenties who appeared at the music school where i taught, pushing a baby in a pram.  She was enquiring about piano lessons for her son.  After some conversation, i asked her how old her son was and she pointed at the baby in the pram.  I laughed as i thought she was making a joke and she ended up becoming quite defensive and reeling off a list of "child prodigies" to me.  I advised her to call back in seven years time.

 

Two of the most bizarre reasons for not practising i've had from students in the past are:

 

1.  "I haven't been able to practise since last time because we had to go to Asda."

 

2.  "I couldn't practise because the piano is up on top of the wardrobe."

 

I've also had people thinking that lessons are free.


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#12 Brynfan

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 12:21

I often have this type of conversation:

 

Enquirer: Hello, I got your details off the internet.  It says you teach piano and singing.

 

Me: Yes, that's right.

 

Enquirer:  You don't teach clarinet(e.g.) do you? Cos we're looking for a clarinet teacher.

 

Me: No, sorry.

 

Enquirer: Do you know anyone who teaches clarinet?

 

Me: No, sorry.  Have you tried searching for clarinet teachers on the internet?

 

Enquirer: No, I just looked for music teachers and your name came up.

 

And despite them looking for clarinet teachers, they'll often ask me how much I charge :lol:


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#13 BabyGrand

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 12:21

Some of the above have made me howl with laughter, thanks!   :lol:

Me too!   :rofl:

 

I've had nothing like some of yours - I think the strangest enquiries I've had are:

 

1.  Someone who refused to start lessons without first taking a music 'aptitude test' to see if they would be any good.  They also wanted to learn music theory first, and wanted to know how long it would take to 'learn' that (entirely?!) before progressing to learning violin.  

 

2. Someone who was concerned about whether I had experience of 'teaching a left-handed person to play a right-hand violin'.  

 

There are also those people who contact you and ask for "a one and a half hour lesson at precisely 4.35 pm on a Thursday please", and seem genuinely shocked and put out that you can't accommodate them.  Even if I weren't full, the chances of me being able to give someone a specific time like that is pretty slim.  Do they honestly not realise that I currently have other students....how do they think I make a living?!   :blink:   :rolleyes:


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#14 Hedgehog

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 12:52

Gosh what a lot of interesting questions!  Mine are dull by comparison.

 

The only exciting person I had was a lady who wanted to learn piano - to brush up her skills, and learn to read music.  Could already play by ear, with a very flat fingered splayed out hand style  :sick: .  We battled through the first 2 lessons, she was upset that I criticised her "technique".  

 

The third lesson she rolled up with a rabbit in a hold-all type bag.  She fished him out and demonstrated that he was alive and well, and said he'd be all right in my hall way (well, if he wasn't I didn't really care - but I didn't want rabbit hair and po o all over everywhere because DD is asthmatic) but she brought him because she was on the way to the vet (ie piano lesson fitted in round vets visit).

 

Strangely enough, that was the last I saw of her. ....


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#15 Bagpuss

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 15:22

Priceless, guys.  I long to write a book called "It Shouldn't Happen to a Peri" and these are the kind of anecdotes one needs.  Lol.

 

I had a gentleman phone once asking for flute lessons for his daughter who just happened to go to my old school.  Fully booked I suggested he get her started off in school and mentioned it was my old stomping ground so knew the music was good in addition to having very high standards of academic excellence.  There was a long pause.  "You went to {name of school}?" he asked.  I confirmed it.  Another pause.  "So what do you do for a living?"  "Er, I'm an instrumental teacher."  No pause this time - "But you went to {name of school}!!!!"  Very Big Sigh.  Of COURSE, in between performing open heart surgery, flying the space shuttle and dabbling with my irritating little hobby of quantum physics I am an instrumental teacher......

 

Ahem.

 

Bx


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