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#16 Banjogirl

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:52

I'm very old fashioned. I'm still suspicious of people who don't give a landline number! There are quite a lot of people who don't have a smartphone, or who don't really use it as one.
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#17 ma non troppo

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:52

Also, I would find text or email quite acceptable for ending lessons - actually I would prefer it. I think it takes pressure off the person ending the lessons and it can be phrased thoughtfully.
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#18 Jlma

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 13:22

Also, I would find text or email quite acceptable for ending lessons - actually I would prefer it. I think it takes pressure off the person ending the lessons and it can be phrased thoughtfully.

Agree totally.


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#19 Dorcas

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 13:25

 

A text is better than not showing up at all.  

I would never just not turn up without contacting the teacher.   If I had not heard anything by the day before the next scheduled lesson i would make a point of contacting the teacher again just to make sure she was aware of the situation but I would never leave the teacher in the lurch.   i am not that rude

 

I was not implying that you are.  I meant just that, it is better to text.  Unfortunately, Adultpianist, whilst you are thoughtful, there are those out there who are too embarrassed to formally stop lessons, and simply disappear, leaving the teacher unsure what has happened.

 

To give an example, a few years ago, I was teaching two siblings.  There was a certain amount of angst between the parents about whose responsibility it was to bring the children to lessons, and I had a certain amount of attitude from one of them.  Finally, after one half term, they did not turn up, and there was no communication from them, and no payment to hold the slot open for them.  The following week, I was out and returned just after the angsty parent had given up waiting and was placing the children in the car.  I did not see them.  I had an irate phone call accusing me of having been paid, and being dishonest for not being there to give the lesson.  When I pointed out that they had the missed the previous week, the explanation given was it was bank holiday.  Oh no it wasn't.  I pointed this out, and finished the conversation.  I then texted both parents pointing out that I did not appreciate being accused of being a thief, that by not turning up, not paying and not communicating, they had terminated lessons.  The angsty parent also had a habit of insisting they were still going to come for the lesson when I had to cancel due to an emergency hospital admission for a relative.  Another time, one parent told me they were still going to come for a lesson, after I had to cancel.  10.30pm I texted back explaining I was in hospital on a drip.  I did wonder how long they waited.


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#20 Jlma

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 13:27

Perhaps I'm the odd one out but I find text or email quite acceptable as a way of ending lessons.  It's just the modern equivalent of sending a letter.  What is annoying is the no-show as it wastes one's time.  I get a lot of job satisfaction from teaching but I don't expect gratitude as well -- although it's always welcome when it comes and especially if accompanied by a bottle of wine :)   Every pupil will leave eventually, which may entail some financial loss, but every business has to suffer that occasionally.

 

Incidentally I agree with what adultpianist says about public phone boxes -- I think you would have to go quite a long way to find one in an emergency now unless you are in a city centre.

And also agree with this. Times have moved on! We don't have messengers on horsebacks either any more.

Plus, the OP's teacher clearly must have some kind of mobile phone, otherwise, the OP wouldn't have the teacher's mobile phone number to send the text to in the first place. It's true though that occasionally texts don't go through, or much later. Does the teacher have whatsapp? I think whatsapp is better as one can see whether the person has seen the message - although even this is not always entirely accurate. Additionally emailing might be good, so is informing the school.


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#21 Dorcas

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 13:31

There can't be many adults under the age of 70 who don't have a smart phone nowadays - they're a brilliant invention in many ways. I don't actually use my landline anymore and have taken the number off my website. The landline has an answering message in case anyone calls me on it telling them to email me.

 

I am in fact going the other way.  I have a smart phone, and am going to change to using an ordinary basic phone with no camera.  I won't chuck the smart phone away, but is nice not having my emails chasing me around all the time.  There is also the issue of internet security, as the public wifi networks are not secure.


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#22 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 14:15

I didn't mean to start a debate about the different merits of telephones.

 

I have a basic flip-phone with no plan.  It can call 911 (the emergency services number here in the U.S.) and that's it.  It had a plan until recently, but I don't remember the last time I used it to make or receive a call.  It was probably more than a year ago!  The service provider went out of business, and I don't see any reason to get a new one.  I keep it charged and in my pocket.  I use it as a watch and have it so I can call 911 in case of emergency.

 

When I'm away from the house, I don't want anyone to be able to get a hold of me, and I don't want to be calling anyone else, either.

 

At home I have the equivalent of a landline, but it's actually a VoIP thingy that works pretty well.  I can send and receive texts on that number, but I have to log in on a computer to do so and I do that once in a blue moon.  I have an honest-to-goodness answering machine connected to that telephone that does everything I need.

 

Given what I do as a day job (in addition to teaching music), a smartphone would be more like a leash.  I've always said that I would carry one if the company provides it and pays for the service.  I won't spend a penny of my own money to put a leash around my own neck!

 

My wife recently tried to give me an iPhone.  I rejected it.  I have zero interest in it, and I wouldn't use an Apple product, period, full stop, perfect cadence, forever-and-ever-amen.

 

Another thing to remember is that data plans are very expensive here in the States compared to much of the rest of the world.  My family members in Taiwan each have multiple smartphones with unlimited (or at least very generous) data plans, and all of them combined cost a mere pittance compared to what it would cost me to have a single comparable plan here in Texas.

 

I have better things to do with my money.

 

I'd just as soon have an old-fashioned rotary telephone mounted to the wall.  My father had that until the day he died (2007) and never felt the need for anything else.


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#23 corenfa

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 14:29

I've got a smart phone but I treat it like a dumb phone. I can read emails on it but notifications are switched off, so I only see new emails if I choose to manually check. I only get text messages and calls as notifications. WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media also are installed but muted and I only see new messages if I choose to look.

My teacher is happy to have texts or WhatsApp messages to rearrange lessons. I suspect she would prefer a voice call to terminate lessons but I've not had to test that yet fortunately.
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#24 violinlove

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 14:59

Personally, I would not end lessons by text and when I phoned my horn teacher to end the lessons last year it was quite a difficult phone call to make. I had to work myself up to it and it wasn't very pleasant when he sounded annoyed on the phone when I informed him of my decision.

It's easier to send a text!

I don't think any parent or pupil has ever phoned to cancel lessons. I've only ever received text messages. I'd much rather that than someone disappear without any kind of contact. In fact two pupils cancelled just before the start of the school year and both of them were text messages.

Over the years though, I've had a significant number of people just simply disappear without the courtesy of letting me know. If I've had no-shows I've often tried to phone and they haven't picked up and haven't replied to texts. I find that incredibly rude.

I've written into my terms and conditions that if people do not confirm their place the week before the beginning of the school year their slot will be given to someone else. I send text messages out just over 10 days before the first teaching day and ask people to confirm that they will be coming back and I confirm their provisional slot (this changes a lot here as I am in Europe and the children are usually finished school at 1 pm though they have 2 or 3 days a week of afternoon school and this changes every year and never seems to be sorted out until the 3rd week of term).

In the past I've had people not starting their lessons until the end of September because they were "waiting for the school timetable" meaning I lost out on 3 or 4 weeks of pay keeping a slot open for them and of course, there were some who claimed they were doing this and then either sent a message saying they were quitting after all or just ignored any contact for me. I'd kept slots open for them and other children had to wait 4 weeks for a free slot and so I lost out on being able to fill the slots.

I've got wise to this now though. If they don't confirm before school starts and begin in the first week they can't be guaranteed a slot.

 

I think we have to be firm with people and not let them mess us around. Smartphones should make it easier for us to communicate but many people don't seem to have the respect to either make a quick (uncomfortable) phone call or send a text (not ideal but better than nothing)

 

I acknowledge any cancellation text with a quick message such as "Thanks for letting me know. Wish you all the best" or similar - depending on the circumstances. I think it would have been nice of adultpianist's flute teacher to let them know that they'd received the text.


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#25 adultpianist

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 19:33

Personally, I would not end lessons by text and when I phoned my horn teacher to end the lessons last year it was quite a difficult phone call to make. I had to work myself up to it and it wasn't very pleasant when he sounded annoyed on the phone when I informed him of my decision.

It's easier to send a text!

I don't think any parent or pupil has ever phoned to cancel lessons. I've only ever received text messages. I'd much rather that than someone disappear without any kind of contact. In fact two pupils cancelled just before the start of the school year and both of them were text messages.

Over the years though, I've had a significant number of people just simply disappear without the courtesy of letting me know. If I've had no-shows I've often tried to phone and they haven't picked up and haven't replied to texts. I find that incredibly rude.

I've written into my terms and conditions that if people do not confirm their place the week before the beginning of the school year their slot will be given to someone else. I send text messages out just over 10 days before the first teaching day and ask people to confirm that they will be coming back and I confirm their provisional slot (this changes a lot here as I am in Europe and the children are usually finished school at 1 pm though they have 2 or 3 days a week of afternoon school and this changes every year and never seems to be sorted out until the 3rd week of term).

In the past I've had people not starting their lessons until the end of September because they were "waiting for the school timetable" meaning I lost out on 3 or 4 weeks of pay keeping a slot open for them and of course, there were some who claimed they were doing this and then either sent a message saying they were quitting after all or just ignored any contact for me. I'd kept slots open for them and other children had to wait 4 weeks for a free slot and so I lost out on being able to fill the slots.

I've got wise to this now though. If they don't confirm before school starts and begin in the first week they can't be guaranteed a slot.

 

I think we have to be firm with people and not let them mess us around. Smartphones should make it easier for us to communicate but many people don't seem to have the respect to either make a quick (uncomfortable) phone call or send a text (not ideal but better than nothing)

 

I acknowledge any cancellation text with a quick message such as "Thanks for letting me know. Wish you all the best" or similar - depending on the circumstances. I think it would have been nice of adultpianist's flute teacher to let them know that they'd received the text.

Not sure if my text was received or not  but I had to phone to say I had sent a text and then I got a reply saying it was not received.   It has been suggested that the teacher pretended it never reached her because she had not responded and when I phoned to say did you get my text she could not ignore that so to save face she pretended not to have ever received the text.   I would like to think that was not the case but now we have terminated things and I am getting a refund for a lesson I had paid in advance for and that will be the end of things.  What surprises me though it that when I stopped having flute lessons with a previous teacher because she was moving, she said to me all the best and please continue practicing as you have come a fair way.    My current teacher said nothing like that except thanks for letting me know etc.  Nothing encouraging was said as to my future flute journey or anything


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#26 Dorcas

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 20:42

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.


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#27 adultpianist

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 21:37

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


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#28 violinlove

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 21:53

YOU might not turn nasty but some people unfortunately do - there are often posts on here from teachers where things have happened. The teacher is not to know what is going to happen.

My horn teacher said nothing encouraging to me either just "OK, bye" in quite a gruff voice but I haven't dwelt on it.

Sometimes people don't really know what to say in certain situations and it can make things awkward.

 

You've cancelled the lessons now, the teacher has been informed, you've received money back for a lesson you paid in advance (which many teachers wouldn't have refunded) so the matter is over and done with now. And you've made a sensible decision based on your current circumstances.


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#29 LoneM

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 21:55

That sounds a sensible plan.  It can be hard enough for busy working adults to keep up one instrument, let alone two.  I hope that in time you'll be less busy and be able to go back to the flute.  Good luck in your new job!


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#30 adultpianist

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 00:10

That sounds a sensible plan.  It can be hard enough for busy working adults to keep up one instrument, let alone two.  I hope that in time you'll be less busy and be able to go back to the flute.  Good luck in your new job!

Thanks, i  I am still in the same job but doing different and more demanding work.   I can keep up with piano because that is easier as I have done it for a lot longer and I do not have to struggle so much like I do on the flute.    I was still learning breathing techniques which I had not yet fully mastered so that in itself is stressful.   With the piano you just let your fingers do the work and your foot for the pedal but with the flute you have to learn how to balance the flute whilst learning the fingering whilst learning to breathe all at the same time and play standing up.    You have far more to do all at once with the flute.     Anyway thats it really


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