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#1350450 OMG! OMG! OMG!

Posted by susiejean on 06 April 2018 - 16:18

They're in. 

And I immediately burst in to tears.

LCM Grade 8 drum kit.


What a massive contrast to the Trinity Rock & Pop result from Dec 2016. 44/100

I REALLY didn't expect this result. So SO proud of myself. blush.png

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#1340456 Thinking of packing it in

Posted by edgmusic on 01 September 2017 - 21:07

As I am on line
Apologies if you are not.
But are you trolling? It's against forum rules.
If you want to 'retire' do it. It's your decision. Go get a "low status role working for a big company". [/size]
How can we offer advice as you have the figures to make a living out of teaching or not!\[/size]
Stop wasting people's time.


A bit harsh, I feel. I saw nothing in the post to suggest trolling.

The poster is having doubts about continuing and looking for support and advice from others on the forum. That's what we are for. Many teachers on here have probably had similar feelings at some time over the years.

I found your blunt response very unhelpful and disappointing.
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#1346725 Completely gutted

Posted by susiejean on 19 January 2018 - 09:33


A very nice man gave me his email address and allowed me to scan him in a completed form.

Phew. woot.gif

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#1291815 What's Made You Happy Today.... ?

Posted by Maizie on 28 May 2015 - 15:36

A benign meningioma.

Essentially, if you had to pick a type of brain tumour to have, it's the one you'd choose.  And it's what I've got!


Future discussion will take place with a radiologist about whether to treat now or monitor and treat later if necessary (there are good arguments either way) - but it's all suddenly gone very relaxed and non-urgent (growth being ~1mm per year).


I'm really looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight...the 27 days since the 'you have a brain tumour' phone call have been somewhat intense!


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#1358690 practice in between lessons

Posted by BadStrad on 15 November 2018 - 01:10

It may not matter to the teacher but it should matter when I am the one paying for the lesson and if I do not do the homework then I am wasting my money because I am not progressing properly and not getting my monies worth.

If you are that bothered make time to do the work. Get up earlier. Read the score on your commute or listen to a recording if you drive. Mentally practice in your lunch hour, etc. There are lots of ways you can work on your pieces away from your instrument.

You can't blame your teacher if you haven't done the work. You're a grown up according to your forum name so your teacher probably figures scolding you like a child would be counter productive. If you think you are getting away with something, it suggests you know you could do more. So do it, don't blame your teacher.

As I say to my pupils, "I see you for *one* hour a week. If you don't practice what I teach you between lessons, you won't improve. Your choice, your money."

As others have said, it is okay to take a slower pace because you have commitments that take up your time but that is not the same as blaming your teacher because you didn't complete assigned work when you could have. If you really can't find the time to practice, you need to discuss that so practice expectations can be adjusted. Slow progress is better than no progress but you have to be honest.

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#1334421 A message from the past!

Posted by jenny on 23 April 2017 - 16:48

I just got a follow up email from him - he's now an airline pilot living in the channel islands. He closed the message by saying 'Thank you for setting me off on a hobby that I am still enjoying 47 years later!'  :)

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#1270435 Best enquiry questions

Posted by Bantock on 07 October 2014 - 08:01

Phone rings in middle of lesson...

'Oh hello'
'Can you tell me who wrote Götterdämmerung '
'Er Wagner'
'OK thanks'
'Why do you need to know?'
'It's a crossword clue. I saw your name in yellow pages as a music teacher and thought you might know.'

Resumes lesson...
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#1369341 student discontinuing lessons

Posted by Dorcas on 14 September 2019 - 09:04


Adultpianist, I have sent texts, and they have not got through.  In fairness to your teacher, I think you need to assume they are telling they truth.  Ending lessons can be awkward for several reasons.  From the teacher's point of view, you are only one bad review online from going out of business.  I had a defamatory review a few years ago, and it seriously impacted on my income.   I had the review taken down, and hey presto, all slowly improved.  That review cost in me in the region of £20K.   Your teacher has no idea if you are going to turn nasty, are just moving on, or going to work with another teacher.  Being neutral is often the safest approach, as it can avoid serious fallout.  


You have decided to finish lessons.  Your teacher has accept this.  Time to move one.

why would I turn nasty.  That is not in my nature.   I have no reason to turn nasty.   I was taught some very good techniques which I put into practice and I am thankful for that.   I genuinely do not have the time to pursue lessons at the moment and that is the reason and that is what I told her.   If I have no time to pursue lessons why would I go on to another teacher because I would be in the same position (no time for lessons).   My job has become increasingly busy and if I try to fit in flute as well I would be running myself into the ground and would be mentally and physically ill.   I genuinely want to learn the flute but when I started , my job was less busy.    As I said I will continue to practice at home as and when I can to keep things ticking over.  Obviously I am not skilled enough to try new things but at least I can practice what I have been taught and improve on that for now


Your instrumental teacher has not spent that much time with you, and cannot be assured of your true personality.  I am not saying any of this to personally attack you, just trying to get you to see why your teacher reacted the way she did.


Your reasons for stopping are perfectly valid.  What I do think was unnecessary, was to imply your teacher lied when she said she did not receive the text.  When I send out texts asking my students to pay their fees, I accept it if they tell me the message did not get through.  To be frank, Adultpianist, you have come on here asking advice, followed it, it worked, and now you are criticising your teacher for not being effusive enough when you gave notice.  I am going to call you out on this, I think you are in fact being remarkably unkind, and your teacher was correct to be neutral.  You have decided to stop lessons, have given notice, and now prefer to believe your teacher is a liar who did not pay you enough compliments.  Stop whining.


edit: just come back to read this thread, have decided to put the boot in more often, folks on here seem to like it, crikey!! :ninja:

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#1349489 New Data Protection Laws - GDPR - will affect us all. Here’s some help

Posted by ma non troppo on 19 March 2018 - 09:25

I intend to take no action and change nothing. I'll let you know if I am prosecuted. I'll post details of my 'go fund me' account when that happens. Don't hold your breath! ;)
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#1280922 Not paying for late cancellation

Posted by Flowerpot on 04 February 2015 - 23:28

Well, after my firm but fair email she decided that she'd rather go elsewhere for lessons and said she wanted to go until half term but I said I would refund her for her lessons this month instead, as I didn't feel the remainder of our lessons would be very productive knowing that they'd be coming to an end.

Feels like a huge weight has been lifted, I won't be dreading Monday mornings anymore! Phew. Thank you for all the messages of support, am very glad I didn't let her off now!
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#1258675 What's Made You Happy Today.... ?

Posted by Misterioso on 13 June 2014 - 13:13

Thrilled to bits today to hear that younger son has got a 2:1 in his B Mus!  :woot:


It's been such a long journey for him due to various complications along the way so this is Seriously Good News!  :D

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#1360264 What's Made You Happy Today.... ?

Posted by Aquarelle on 19 December 2018 - 20:26

Well, it was yesterday actually but I was too exhausted to post. We have now done the Christmas Celebration and it was - dare I say it - brilliant! I can't believe that we got through it without a single hitch. Even the angel Gabriel (see Random thread) finished his daily temper tantrum before the parish priest arrived! The children reading the script did so with lots of expression and passed the microphones from one to another without dropping them. The nursery class did their sheep act on all fours with the shepherds realistically chasing them back into  their fold. The half that were not sheep were little angels and they danced beautifully and the choir, who had to sing while the angels danced, actually watched me and not them. Gabriel, the Three Kings and their camels and the Guiding Star all made their entries in time to the music and in a dignified manner. Mary and Joseph and the innkeeper mimed their parts very clearly. The recorder players were careful with their D's and F sharps Best of all from my point of view was the singing which was enthusiastic, rhythmic and only rarely a little flat. They nearly brought tears to my eyes when we got to the last note of the last song. Every child in the choir was watching me and they held the note  steadily to the end. And then there was this big, communal smile! 


There are times when this teaching business gets one down - I have my irritable and despairing  days and sometimes think it isn't worth the bother. And then you get a day like yesterday and you think there couldn't be a nicer way to earn your living.

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#1353531 Parent not understanding importance of rhythm

Posted by hummingbird on 17 June 2018 - 19:35

Not a teacher so I hope you don't mind me replying, but this reminds me of when I first started learning the clarinet as a complete novice at music.  I started off thinking that the notes were the most important thing, but my teacher kept drumming it into me that the rhythm was much more important than the notes.  I can't remember if my teacher used this analogy but it's like being able to undrstnd a sntence even if it's wrtten wthout some of the ltters, whereas if youu set her ig htlet tersb utwi theth ewr ongs paci ngan dpun ctua tio nitsv erydi ffic lttou nde rsta nd.  That's the difference in importance between letters/notes and spacing/rhythm - perhaps your parent would understand this analogy too.

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#1352569 Worst news ever. :-(

Posted by Bagpuss on 20 May 2018 - 07:54

Perhaps the title of the thread was unfortunate but it is unlikely seriously bad news would be put out on the teachers' forum so maybe it's a bit harsh to shoot the OP down in flames.

As teachers we've ALL been where the OP is now and sometimes, when our defences are low or we've had a rotten run then this sort of thing DOES seem huge.

I do hope the OP can find an alternative but if not let's hope the student goes for it all guns blazing!


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#1319206 The Things They Say

Posted by Latin pianist on 05 July 2016 - 17:43

I take exception to the remark that someone is too intelligent to accept the Christianity story. There are many academics including scientists who are devout Christians.
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#1300310 Coping with non-practising bores who make up the numbers?

Posted by Impressionist on 12 September 2015 - 19:36

Good Lord, Mickey, you sound like my 16 year old.  The  majority of people contributing to this forum are people who can form a coherent argument without resorting to personal insults and can take on board some constructive criticism. 

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#1300308 Coping with non-practising bores who make up the numbers?

Posted by Impressionist on 12 September 2015 - 19:23

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#1273181 Was told that Grade 8 means nothing. Thoughts?

Posted by UnnaturalHarmonics on 10 November 2014 - 10:45

"If you are playing lots of concerts in your orchestras you must think about what you are putting your audience through"

:D That was my favourite bit. I expect I shall soon be hearing from the solicitors of anyone who has witnessed me and my horn in concert action.

My response would be along the lines of:

'I have considered your thoughtful post, agreed you are SPOT ON and have consequently been motivated and inspired to write to ALL the amateur orchestras in the UK requesting they either please desist at once (you're quite right, those poor audience members, forced to attend with no recourse to subsidised post-traumatic stress counselling afterwards), or hire exclusively professional musicians going forward. I feel sure that these measures will serve to raise the currently dire standards of music in the country as they will encourage participation, ensure thriving and diverse community opportunities and provide the means for members to develop personally while pursuing a hobby they can enjoy at the same time.

Oh, and I gave them your address as a reply-to. Hope that's ok. xxx'
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#1356635 Feeling fed up with teaching

Posted by BadStrad on 03 September 2018 - 12:38

I think anyone who fears for their mental health in a job like private music teaching should consider other options.
I don't expect this to be a popular opinion but taking up piano teaching after working in the NHS for a couple of decades I can hardly believe the joy in the autonomy of deciding for myself how I will do things, even to the extent of choosing my clients. Not a thing I could do in my previous career, however bad they smelled, however challenging their behaviour or hopeless the case.
I'm sorry - the stress levels are just not on the same graph.

It is impossible to say what the causes and scale of someones suffering may be and so any comparison is pointless. Everyone has a different tolerance to individual stressors. I was recently chatting to a fire fighter. I could not imagine coping with having to run into burning buildings. The fire fighter could not imagine coping as a teacher.

The lack of autonomy, respect, resources etc are undeniable stressors for NHS workers, but there are also benefits, perhaps the support of co-workers, regular income, hopefully a decent line manager and the patients come and go relatively quickly, care is by the nature of shift patterns a team effort, not a solo one, for example.

A lone teacher has no co-workers to turn to (hence forums like this, I guess). Pupils turn up every week (more or less) demanding full attention whilst sometimes giving nothing in return but expecting miracles. For some teachers that can lead to feelings of failure, of being in the wrong job, of not being good enough, of failing their pupil. There are no co-workers to share with when things don't work. Teaching is intense and many teachers become emotionally invested in their pupils' development as a musician. Some teachers have experienced bullying tactics from parents, or pupils. The isolation, the feeling of "having" to find an answer, with no one to turn to, the sense of ongoing failure are stressors which could lead to anxiety or depression. Different to the stresses in the NHS, but equally valid for the person experiencing them, and no less real.

I suppose you could also say that anyone working in the NHS must know to some extent what to expect before they apply, the media are full of stories about the stress, shortages, violence against staff, etc. (It amazes me that anyone would work there, but I am so glad that they do.) Similarly there are media stories about the stresses of being a school based teacher. Private tutors mostly get the "let's regulate them" kind of story. So, likewise, it is amazing that anyone applies to work in a school any more and why private tutoring must seem like a better, less stressful option. "Teachers to be" probably imagine tutoring will be "nice" (but enjoyably challenging) because their lessons were. Finding out that it is not always like that can be a bit of a shock (to say the least) as countless threads have shown.

Many people function in the world, as doctors, nurses, teachers, chefs, electricians... with mental health issues. It doesn't mean they should quit their jobs, or that they made the wrong career choice. You can love your job and still find aspects of it stressful to the point of breaking. It could be said that the more you care about your work, the easier it is to be affected by it.
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#1308289 Aaaaaaaaaggghh - The Scream Thread!

Posted by Aquarelle on 08 January 2016 - 22:50

Well, we did it. We bussed 2 coachloads of over excited children up to the retirement home and got them up the stairs to the first floor with the remaining stage accessories -  and fortunately without any accidents despite the pushing and shoving. I was somewhere around the middle of the queue with a helpful little boy giving me a hand with a heavy bag. By the time I got into the communal room there was absolute chaos. Children were taking off their outdoor gear and leaving coats and jackets all over the floor and one of my colleagues and a mother who had come to help were putting  out the stools for the choir and the children were all trying to grab a seat. What everyone had forgotten was that I have had the choir seated in five lines, with everyone knowing exactly their place – so that those involved in the mime could exit and enter the choir without pushing and that the readers would know exactly where the next person to need the microphone would be. When we did it at school I had them lined up in an adjacent classroom and when  everything was in place they filed in in an orderly fashion. The head teacher got panicky and said it didn’t matter how they sat and I said it did and I also needed to be able to get to and from my music stand and  the two  CD players without walking over Mary and Joseph!  It was difficult for me to do my bossy boots Aquarelle act with other teachers making such a mess of the preparations but in the end that was what I resorted to and I finally got some sort of order and calm. Then I sorted my own music, flute and access to everything.


Our audience was about 60 strong. Some of them sat in armchairs but very many were in wheelchairs. I should say at this point how grateful I am to Splog and Hedgehog who had warned me that we might not get much overt response. I knew what not to expect and that I must remember that lack of response doesn’t  mean lack of appreciation with this kind of audience. I was glad to be forewarned. Most of the residents didn’t seem very responsive but there were some smiles and that made it worth it.


Once the muddle was over we got started and somehow I suddenly found a great surge of energy. I’ve no idea where it came from – maybe children are the best  anti-depressants- but the whole thing just came to life. It went well, no hitches and most the choir watched me most of the time. We had a short prayer session led by the parish priest and he suggested that the audience should applaud  the children which they did. The clearing up was slightly less chaotic than the setting up and as far as I can tell we managed not to forget anything. The staff of the home gave the children a slice of cake and a glass of orange juice and when we left there was a lot of waving from the children and the residents.


Then of course, the bombshell I thought might fall  -  did. “You will come back next Christmas, won’t you?” Well I have now seen what kind of audience we have, what space we have. And incidentally  I found that if only they had shown me, there is a wide corridor leading to the canteen where we could have parked the children and their outdoor gear in an orderly fashion while setting up the scene. I also know that if we have to  do the Celebration for two very different audiences next year I am going to have to make some adjustments to the kind of script I write and the way I present the work to the audience. It was the head teacher who presented it this time and I think I have learnt what not to do! Actually I have, in the end, learnt quite a lot from this experience; I am no longer depressed but I am knackered and am now going to bed! ‘Night everyone and thanks again for all the support - those vibes were a great help!

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