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 slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: janlynn 
Date:   2007-09-09 12:43

after many years without a teacher, i now have a new one reccommended by the bass clarinet player in my wind symphony.

the teacher is exactly what i was looking for. not too tough, not too easy, flexible, knowledgeable.......

i could not afford weekly lessons at $45 an hour so i asked if i could come every other week and that was fine. yesterday i had my 2nd lesson (at her house) and neither of us were keeping track of the time. i paid her the $45 and left. as i was driving away, i realized i had been there for 2 hours.

i cannot afford to pay her another $45, but she gave me an extra hour. and it was a good lesson and i just dont know what to do......

any suggestions?


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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2007-09-09 12:47

My oboe lessons very often run overtime by a wide margin, but my teacher still only charges me for the one hour.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: kilo 
Date:   2007-09-09 12:52

Tell her what you've told us. You weren't trying to rip her off and she wasn't obsessively watching the clock. Seems like a pretty innocent mishap that could be cleared up pretty quickly. If she wants to charge you an extra $45 and you can't afford it just skip a lesson.

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2007-09-09 13:12

It happens all the time. No biggie.

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: John O'Janpa 
Date:   2007-09-09 14:05

If the teacher wants to adhere to a strict time limit, it is up to them to keep track of the time. Most will be flexible if they are working at home, don't have another lesson scheduled immediately after yours, enjoy what they are doing, and know that you don't have a lot of extra cash.

If they are serious about the time limit they will say " Well, I see our time is up. We'll have to stop there for today. Practice blah, blah, blah, blah and I'll see you next time."

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: BassetHorn 
Date:   2007-09-09 14:08

Bring her a cheesecake and if she asks why, explain what you told us and tell her what a cool teacher she is : ) I think she will enjoy the cake and forget about the whole thing.

In the future, let her off the hook, YOU keep track of the time.

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2007-09-09 19:26

She wouldn't charge you more than what you agreed to - the extra time was out of her own heart (my guess).

Bring her something nice to appreciate what she did for you, even a card will do.


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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: BobD 
Date:   2007-09-09 21:57

David's guess is also mine. Next lesson bring her a thoughtful gift and tell her you appreciated her generosity.

Bob Draznik

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: Garret 
Date:   2007-09-10 05:59

My teacher is not a clock watcher. My one hour lesson usually ends up being closer to two hours. When I was preparing for a full length recital, it was sometimes three. He only charged me for the one. I think he also discounts his rates for students who can't afford them otherwise. He's truly generous with his time and a great teacher. His reward is producing good students.

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2007-09-10 11:56

Most of us have had that and done that as well. It's great to be able to help somebody like that.


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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: hans 
Date:   2007-09-10 13:13

Time keeping is primarily the teacher's responsibility, not the student's. I suggest an apology for unintentionally taking the extra time and then asking if there is a way to avoid it (e.g., using a timer) in the future.


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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: Gretchen 
Date:   2007-09-10 14:27

wow janlynn,

I'd die to have a student as considerate as you! The fact that you even noticed and didn't take for granted the time your teacher gave you would probably, to her, be thank you enough.

I seem to never have enough time for my students in lessons and go over, and it's not their fault at all. And btw, I only teach seem to teach longer than expected if I'm enjoying myself. I'll bet your teacher didn't even realize the time.


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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: janlynn 
Date:   2007-09-10 18:25

thank you for all the replies.

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: Ski 
Date:   2007-09-10 18:26

I was really enjoying reading this thread, thinking to myself how I too have been fortunate to have teachers who were willing, on occasion, to give more of their time than scheduled; and when I'd remind them of the time and they'd say, "no, it's OK, let's keep going". I think it would be an insult to get up and leave when the offer is made to stay.

When this has happened I've sent "thank you" emails when I got home, or insisted on overpaying them next time around (it's hard for a teacher to say "no" if you write them a check for more than the amount agreed upon. "Oh, sorry, that's my last check"... [grin] ).

Hans, you contradict yourself... if, as you say, it's the teacher's responsibility to keep note of the time, why should the student have to apologize? What should the student say? "I'm sorry that you don't know how to use a watch?"

Just say "thank you" with a cheesecake! ©2007 Ski

[ dis-disclaimer: I am not a manufacturer of cheesecake ]


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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2007-09-11 00:28

Count it as a generous gift from your instructor. Express your thanks, and as mentioned above, bring something nice to the next lesson.

My daughter's teacher does not schedule that many students to the point that they must adhere to a rigid schedule. In fact, he told us flat out at the first lesson that they might expect to run more than the allotted hour, provided she had prepared her lesson adequately. If the lesson was not that great, she could count on a scrupulous adherence to the schedule. And if, heaven forbid, she was totally unprepared, she would be out the door in a short time.

While it made for a couple of anxious weeks at first, once we discovered that he was quite happy with her general level or preparation, everything worked out just fine. They routinely go over the hour's allotment. He happens to be one of the best instructors in the area, and she feels very fortunate to have a teacher who pushes her to improve.


“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."

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 Re: slight dilemma w/my new teacher
Author: denner22 
Date:   2007-09-11 09:46

Many teachers will often go over time with good students. If you want to thank them I suggest you follow some of the goof suggestions that are presented here - who would ever turn down cheesecake??!!  :)


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