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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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#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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#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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#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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#1333088 Advice on wording of email to parent please

Posted by The Great Sosso on 27 March 2017 - 11:48

Well, I disagree with you, jjosiejo, although I do agree that swimming might save your life, so is a good life skill to acquire.  Never done gymnastics, so heaven knows how I've made it to my age.  Piano playing is a life skill only if the person's life is going to include the things you mention, but it is perfectly possible to have a good life without those things.  You can do what you like with your own children of course, and I am sure that I foist all sorts of stuff on my kids because I myself have enjoyed it or found it to be beneficial in my own life, but I hope that if any of those things were causing my child huge stress or anxiety, I'd be kind enough to let them stop.


Anyway, the good news is that the mother has agreed that the child should stop piano lessons.  I am relieved.  The poor girl was literally crying with the effort in her last lesson.  She was doggedly playing (at MM=52) making each finger find its note in time, her whole body was stiff and tears were running down her cheeks.  She got to the end of the piece (12 bars) and was mentally/emotionally exhausted.  So what if she never fully understands harmony and composition?  She might instead learn to play the drums, or take up judo or pottery and have a great time.

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#1312793 To let go or not to let go....

Posted by BabyGrand on 30 March 2016 - 16:43

Well, I just wanted to add a rather unexpected update to this.  Two weeks ago this girl was asked to play something in a school end of term concert, so I helped her prepare a piece.  As usual, we had battles, this time with Dad wanting her to play a harder piece that wasn't ready, and her being typically resistant to playing the way I asked.  I forgot all about the concert after the lesson, until Mum texted me straight afterwards to tell me that she had played really well and did everything "exactly the way you have taught her"!  I wasn't sure what to make of that, but when she came for her lesson the next day she did indeed play beautifully - better than she has done for ages, and was actually doing everything I have spent months asking her to, whilst she refused to do it!!   :woot:  


Then Mum called me yesterday about something else, and couldn't wait to talk again about the concert.  She said that there were other children playing much harder music than her daughter (which has been a sore point), but to her they didn't seem to play it very musically or use good technique, and for some their music seemed too hard for them.  She said it was obvious that her daughter had been taught to play well, and even the music teacher at school had commented to her that she had noticed how my students were always well taught.   :blush:  :)  AND she said it now makes sense to her why I'm not in a rush to move on to harder pieces all the time and want my pupils to play the music at their level well before we move on, and develop good technique, and she's really glad that I do things the way I do!!!   :)  :)  :)


So, I may still need to win Dad over, but at least it seems like Mum is finally on board!  Hooray!!   :party2:

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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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#1300318 Coping with non-practising bores who make up the numbers?

Posted by BadStrad on 12 September 2015 - 21:27

Mickey. I do not need to get over myself as I am completely confident that my comments were given with the best of intention and have merit whether you agree with them or not. You obviously disagree, but I would just like you to consider - if your child had lessons from a teacher who was as disengaged as you describe yourself being (from your "bores") would you be happy? I think not.

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#1254958 Can't think of a (polite) response as yet...

Posted by DaisyChain on 19 May 2014 - 23:06


Sorry..have been getting drunk  MamaDaisy home after her stay with me.  Thanks for your posts! 


Well, I got there and could hear Dragon Lady's dulcet tones upstairs.  I hastily sharpened Excalibur in readiness before she came down.  

In the meantime I had a chance to clear things up with Fair Damsel, I told her I was confused because of the text I'd had from DL saying that lessons would resume after exams etc. etc.  As I suspected, FD had no idea the text had been sent, and stressed again that as much as she enjoys her lessons, she does not want to take any exams and wished her mum would stop trying to force her into doing them.  She also confirmed that tonight is definitely her last lesson.


Enter the Dragon!   First thing she does is shove the papers for the Dof E in front of me.  "Please don't forget to complete these."  "Ok- I'll do them before I leave."  "We'll speak at the end of the lesson about FD's future."  Exit the Dragon.  :ninja:  :angry:


At the end, as I'm completing the papers, DL comes in.  Excalibur is poised and ready- darkness has descended and I'm ready to let battle commence.  She draws her sword first-

"I have been trying to convince FD that she needs to have half hourly lessons every week from now until she leaves for Uni.  Tell her that she should reconsider, and that she should be sitting music exams."

Having skillfully dodged the fire emanating from DL's mouth I ask "Why?  If she says she is going to be too busy and stressed, she does not need another pressure on top of that.  Besides, we've spoken already and FD has confirmed that tonight is her last lesson.  She has the basic skills to be able to pick up simple tunes to play should she wish to use the piano for relaxation. She does not want to do exams and I will not be entering her for any."  (Excalibur is seriously twitching by now).

"I feel as her mother that she should pursue her lessons.  As her teacher, I expect you to support me with this."

"As her teacher, and as FD is old enough to make up her own mind, I respect her wishes in this matter."

*The head goes back-- fire bursts forth and singes my eyebrows.  Excalibur is in danger of drawing blood now...*

"That is disrespectful to me.  You are in my home.  Convince FD she is to take her exams."

"I am going to say goodbye to you.  There is little more to be said now.  You can expect a letter from me in the next day or two.  All the best to you FD."


At that, I leave, and (joking aside) have never been so relieved.  I expected to have got an email by now, but so far it's been quiet.  I have sat here and written the letter,  Short and to the point, and ending with the fact that I will not  be going to their house any more to teach FD.  I have advised that there are plenty of other teachers in the area or they can look online.


Poor FD.  :(  But thank heavens I won't be going back there again.  Hateful woman! 

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#1344949 Need to change my Ts and Cs

Posted by Bagpuss on 05 December 2017 - 18:52

My T & C document starts with "teaching music is not my hobby, it is how I earn my living..."

Oh look.



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#1313072 What's Made You Happy Today.... ?

Posted by Cyrilla on 04 April 2016 - 22:17

A nice new student - a medical doctor who almost burst with excitement at really understanding pulse/rhythm and pitch - AND being able to sight-sing the five pentatonic pitches - for the first time.


He was trying to thank ME while I was trying to thank HIM - it's unbelievably exciting and rewarding to help someone start to unlock a door that's always been closed to them - and all in an hour.


I don't get out much -_- .

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#1298414 What's Made You Happy Today.... ?

Posted by Maizie on 10 August 2015 - 15:13

It takes about fifty minutes to an hour to get to the hospital, so we leave an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half in advance (depending on who is driving and which route we are taking!)  Neither I nor my 'regular drivers' mind sitting in the waiting room for the extra time - we'd rather they delayed us than we delayed them, as they are trying to get through ~200 patients per day in the department.

Today the doorbell rings at about the right time, and I open the door expecting my dad who was driving today, and it is in fact my big brother.  He lives in Devon, though I knew he was staying with my mum for a few days this week, but I didn't know which days!  It was still my dad driving, just big bro came with us to visit us both during his flying visit!  So that was a nice surprise.

Got to the hospital, checked in at reception, sat down in the waiting room and glanced at my phone - 11.41am, appointment at 12.10pm, so managed the half hour early today - but like I said, not to worry, newspapers, books, chatting etc.  Just about to hunt my vest top out of my bag (which I wear for treatment but it's a bit uncovering for me to wear otherwise, so I change at the hospital) when I got called.  By the radiographer (having initially thought it was reception calling me back).  Yep, they really were ready for me - no idea what happened but there seemed to be some no-shows, so the machines were waiting on people to treat.

All done and out of there by noon, and we stopped at a nice place to eat on the way home.

So unexpected family visit, unexpected early appointment with no waiting and unexpected yummy lunch - which have all made me happy today :D

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#1263081 My first time sacking a pupil

Posted by Aquarelle on 19 July 2014 - 10:19



I hope your primary school head understands the difference; if not he/she may be doing 9 children a lot of good, but one child life-long irreperable harm.

 She does. She also understand that allowing one child to spit, kick, throw the furniture about  etc. and also destroy the work of "nine" others may be doing "the nine" irreparable damage so she asks parents to help by removing their child temporarily, with discussion and with suggestions about referral to those professionals who can help. Sometimes these suggestions are taken up, sometimes not. You cannot force parents to shoulder their responsibilities and schools here cannot refer children without parental cooperation.


Sorry to go off topic but just as limh feels - justifiably - very concerned about the  children in difficulty , I feel  - justifiably - very concerned about the others as I have too often seen the results of  the chaotic behaviour of individuals on the rest of the class.

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