Paying for lessons - parent and (teen) student - Should teen students learn resposibilty

Need help with your young piano student or maybe just like to share the joy?

Postby Tranquillo » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:14 am

Got a part time job, dads been forever telling me to pay for my lessons ... or atleast part ... to see it costs money and takes responisbility ... I understood where he was coming from ... HOWEVER ... my mum insisted that she pays for the whole thing ... here in Australia were I live a person can expect to pay upwards of $50 / hr for lessons ... It costs $55 for me ... my father was telling me to pay a partial amount

Got me wondering as parents ... if you pay did you pay partly for lessons, what is your view on getting your teens to pay ... (that is if you have teens or ... when they become teens) ... as teens do you pay ... as adult students ... did you once pay?
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Postby Tarnia » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:31 pm

In my circumstance, my parents pay.

Some time ago, like 10 years :p, it was suggested that my siblings and I would be assigned an equal sum of money, out of which we would pay for our own activities. However, my parents never went through with it as they felt this would cause us to 'hoard' the money and perhaps not invest it in activities we could otherwise benefit from. The idea had been to teach responsibility in dealing with money, and commitment to the activity. In my case, I am responsible with my money, and I am *very* committed to my piano. (I'm talking took a 60-90 bus home every weekend to take lessons with my regular teacher, bought a digital piano so I could practice at school...)

I think my parents' handling of it is a good one, for my family. They can afford to pay for my lessons and REALLY want me to continue with it, so they support it. Would it work for all families? No. Becibu, from what you have said your father may not be 100% on board with/supportive of your lessons. I am sure there are other families where lessons are more expensive/take a greater chunk of the family income. There will be situations where teaching a student the value of the lessons is needed. However, I do think there becomes the potential for it to (prematurely) limit a student that would otherwise benefit, but can't see their way to spending that money. I do agree, however, there comes I time for the student to make the choice-not just financially, but as it becomes a greater time commitment, etc.

As to the second part of your question-how to do it? Hmm I rather liked my parents' idea as a start-a lump sum for activities, give them the choice. As they get older, the sum you give them decreases and the amount they have to provide themselves increases. Another possibility I have heard of is "I will support you until you reach x level, at which I feel you can play. Beyond that, it becomes your investment". I am not *as* fond of this, as I find it to be arbitrary-IMO it is more likely for a committed student that respects the lessons to go beyond that target point! To parents: be prepared, if you give this ultimatum, that your child may drop out. Because if you aren't prepared for that, I don't think you should give it-backing down potentially does more harm than saying nothing in the first place.
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Postby Stretto » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:50 pm

Becibu,

Are you practicing regularly and as much as you are suppose to or taking it seriously enough?- based on your posts, you sound as though you are, though. Just wondered if your parents were thinking you would practice harder or work harder at your music if you were paying for it yourself. Parents have kids make their own car payments or pay there own car insurance for similar reasons so kids learn how much it takes, appreciate it more, and take care of and maintain it better perhaps.

I've heard of parents saying to kids, "if you don't practice, the piano goes out the door".

One thing I like about adult students is in paying for lessons themselves, whether they apply themselves and really learn or don't practice much or only practice when they have time, as long as they are happy with there progress and amount of time they are putting into it they are soley responsible for how much or how little they do and only have themselves to answer to.




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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:42 pm

Becibu,

Are you practicing regularly and as much as you are suppose to or taking it seriously enough?- based on your posts, you sound as though you are, though.


Almost, I have school exams ... they are statewide exams in Australia and a very big deal! I still practice... just not as habitually and long. The last exam is today! SO ... I do get my practice time back. My piano teacher understands and has told me to 'put your academic studies first, this is a big exam!'. Goodness the poor teacher must be feeling tired of teaching me its been three full weeks were I havent practiced much! He understands thankfully!
For 99.99% of the time my teacher told me that I am very keen and very musical ... as far as practice my parents tell me to stop sometimes because I can practice till its late at night.
ITs just my dad that wants me to pay for my lessons to 'learn' responsibility. My mum says as long is I practice then she'll keep paying for my lessons. I havent been told ever to practice for my parents ... only when I was little!
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:05 pm

I would think that responsible behaviour consists of doing your homework, practising your music, attending school, going to lessons, making arrangements with teachers and instructors as you get older, maybe arranging your own transportation. The student's job involves his or her studies and that's a full-time job if it is going to be done well, or? I guess it depends whether music is considered a fun hobby, or part of your education.

I remember when my son was still a highschool student. Between practicing, rehearsals, homework, and in the last year additional night school as well as auditions, there is no way that he could have taken a part time job even one day a week. I would not have expected it.
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:39 pm

Yeah, I thought of arranging my own transportation ... my dad and mum wait outside at times.(they take shifts)
My lessons are 45 minutes away from were I am ... and there is a person a block away from my place .... I am just really happy with my teacher ...
Pianissimo, I know what you are descibing ... I had a part time job so I could earn extra cash , but with other commitments I found it so hard to fit in. Every afternoon/ evening I was not at home but somewhere else.
I dont know if I am 'normal' but to an extent I feel like I am robbing my parents of their expense by taking lessons....
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Postby Stretto » Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:09 pm

You sounded to me like someone who is really committed to piano. Piano lessons or music lessons pay off big dividends over a life time that no value of money can be put on it. The things a person can do with music are endless. Even if one just goes on to play for one's own enjoyment over the years, the gift of music is such a tremendous gift to give someone, for example, a parent paying for music lessons. A lot of things can come and go in life, a lot of ups and downs, but music you can and will always carry with you. It helps a person celebrate the good and is encouraging and comforting through the bad. You really can't put a monetary value on that.

My parents paid for lots of piano lessons and I wasn't as dedicated as you but they never said a word. It's something I continue to enjoy and do things with and always will over my lifetime. And I can pass the joy of music and the importance of music in our lives down to my kids, and maybe them to their kids and on down the line.

I would appreciate what your parents are able to give you and not feel guilty at all. All the other things the money could be used on can't even begin to compare with the dividends and the value of having music in your life. My dad paid for two years worth of college and then I quit to get married! My mom went to work so we could go to a private school. But I did go back and finish college later with my own money after I got married. I appreciate these things rather than feel guilty they had to spend their money on my education or my mom had to work full-time. I can't think of anything more worthwhile that had as lasting value with the money as that.

In high school and college, I worked part-time just 12 hours a week, usually 8 hours on Sat. and 4 hours one weeknight and more during the summer although I didn't work during my senior yr. in high school so I could enjoy and go to all the school activities without being tied up working. It's fun and a good experience but if I ever felt like it was too hard to keep up with schoolwork and get good grades and work, I would have for sure not worked.




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Postby Tranquillo » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:39 pm

Thanks stretto,
As commited as I sound, I wasnt always commited. I used to only fit like 2 hours of practice at the most in a week. This was when I was younger. (6 years ago) ... Since I am older now my attention span has increased!
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Postby pianogal » Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:12 pm

I have scholarship.
scholarships are nice........... :p
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Postby Tranquillo » Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:17 pm

pianogal wrote:I have scholarship.
scholarships are nice........... :p

Do you mean to say that you have a scolarship to have private lessons? Never heard of such a thing ... are you being taught in a studio with multiple teachers?
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Postby pianogal » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Yes, it's a scholarship for private lesson with one teacher.
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Postby pianogal » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:03 pm

Well, if you can't afford paying private lessons once a week, once two weeks is acceptable to my opinion. You just have to talk to the teacher.
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:23 pm

Well, if you can't afford paying private lessons once a week, once two weeks is acceptable to my opinion. You just have to talk to the teacher.


I have always thought that private lessons once in a fortnight doesnt really do anything. Well if anything progress is really really slow. I take piano lessons for an hour once a week and a week of practice is enough. I know in some countries ... like when I went on holidays to vietnam ... people take lessons three times a week. (I didnt end up taking lessons on my holiday since the guy didnt speak English and I couldnt understand a word of Vietnamese. ... Ok I am going off track ... Actually might start a new thread on this..

Yes, it's a scholarship for private lesson with one teacher

Cool! I thought you meant a competiton scholarship thing.
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