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#14324 - 12/04/01 09:18 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Just out of curiosity, Dr. Kalmarstein would like to know what your INTENTION is here. In your Days of Anguish after the last students left you you bemoaned the fact that you'd done everything, including rate cutting, to appease these people and that nevuh, no nevuh, again would you be a doormat.

Offering a gimmicky price rebate for something that's just part of the lesson process is the equivalent of hanging a sign out that says BITE ME.

Getting back to intention for a moment, the Good Doctor would like to get to the root of the problem. It appears that the issue is one of control between you and the parental units. WHY??? What is this really about? There is a spiritual principle at work that says whenever our intentions are not lined up with the greater good stuff will backfire and bite us bigtime in the arse. You've shared how this has taken it's nibbles from you time and time again. Why the resistance to change? ;\)

Psssst, PJ! Help me out here. It'll drive Eric Kapital K Krazy!

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#14325 - 12/04/01 10:26 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:

Offering a gimmicky price rebate for something that's just part of the lesson process is the equivalent of hanging a sign out that says BITE ME.


True. \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:

There is a spiritual principle at work that says whenever our intentions are not lined up with the greater good stuff will backfire and bite us bigtime in the arse.


False. :p

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#14326 - 12/04/01 12:35 PM Re: Motivation through Money
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Eric:
False. :p


FALSE! Maybe your own karma has bitten toi in ye ol' backside already...you just haven't made the connection (yet).

Double :p :p

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#14327 - 12/04/01 01:34 PM Re: Motivation through Money
PJ Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 43
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
I've been called to defend Lisa's position, but I see that John has already done it for me! He is one cool dude!

What Lisa described as a spiritual principle is actually THE most important, unerring, perfect and absolute Principle operating in the Universe. The Universe runs under a system of Perfect Justice. Not only does every action have a result, every cause an effect, but every Intention produces Feedback. So Lisa's right (Sorry Eric) ~ If we experience negativity, we need to carefully examine our intentions as well as our actions.

Jalapeņo's intentions might seem to be totally cool on the surface, but if on some deeper level she is trying to manipulate others or trying to accomplish her own Ego-driven goal, there will be bad feedback, I promise. Jalapeņo, you should examine WHY you want your students to do well in the first place. Is it for them, or is it for your own Ego needs? If your heart is aligned with the greater good of your students, you will see great empowerment in your teaching. If instead, you are like desiring good students to serve your own ego needs....you will encounter major obstacles.

It takes careful and loving reflection and mindfulness to be AWARE of the relationship between the intentions and the kicks in the arse!

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#14328 - 12/04/01 02:53 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
And here silly me, thinking it was gravity or somethin'. \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by PJ:

What Lisa described as a spiritual principle is actually THE most important, unerring, perfect and absolute Principle operating in the Universe.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#14329 - 12/04/01 03:18 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Rhapsody Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 2329
PJ,

I agree with you completely -- John is very cool.

Jason,

I agree with you completely -- "somethin'" is the Perfect, Universal Principle. \:\)
_________________________
There is no cure for boring.

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#14330 - 12/04/01 03:43 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
I just doubled my tuition rate, & that's what my one & only student's parents are paying me (thank the good Lord). \:\) I don't have any rebates or incentives in place, other than offering a $20 credit for each referral that results in an enrollment.

I just wonder if there's a way to somehow motivate parents to take a more active role in their children's musical education. Ego? I don't think so. I just know that the vast majority of piano students are not going to do well without parental involvement & support. I consider parental involvement as being one of the main ingredients in a student's success. How many students do you think are going to diligently practice, on a regular (daily) basis, without parents setting aside a certain time each day for practice & at least reminding them that they need to practice? How many young students (under age 8) do you think are going to practice without being told to do so? Even if they love piano lessons & love playing the piano, there will be weeks when they won't want to practice unless Mom or Dad makes them.

I guess there's a fine line in determining whether a teacher wants a student to succeed because of the teacher's ego or because the teacher honestly & truly wants to see the student do well. I submit that very few teachers can truthfully say that they're happy with a studio full of students who hardly ever practice & whose parents don't seem to care. [Let's get real here, folks! ] Furthermore, if any teachers like that exist, I say they shouldn't be teaching. IMO, all teachers should want their students to make steady progress. I, for one, would not think of sending my children to any teacher who displayed a nonchalant attitude about their progress. But maybe I'm different than most parents. \:D

At any rate, I posted this "Motivation through Money" thread out of curiosity, because I just wonder if a financial incentive would perhaps spark some parents to see to it that their children don't miss lessons & that they practice regularly. It's not something I necessarily feel like doing. I'm just thinking out loud. Haven't any of you folks ever done that? Haven't you ever brainstormed before? Do you ever try to think of creative ways to do things? Something out of the ordinary? Just curious...

So many people these days suffer from a condition I call affluenza. Their kids already have so many toys, etc. that the little gimmicky prizes we piano teachers offer to get them to practice just don't work (at least, not for long).

And Jason, the reason that medical doctors, lawyers & other professionals don't offer rebates is because they know that people need medical care, legal counsel, etc. The rebates are offered by companies who are selling things that are not really necessary, but that they know people might purchase if given an incentive. For most people, whether we like it or not, piano lessons fits into this category. It's not a necessity for most people. The people that really think it's important are going to pay whatever they need to pay. That is definitely true. But the other 99% of piano students who enroll for lessons are going to consider money, at least a little bit. And perhaps [again, I'm not thinking of doing this, I'm just in an argumentive mood today. :p ;)] offering a rebate or credit once a year might entice parents to do their part. Just maybe... But we'll never know, will we? We're too afraid to try something this unconventional. [I include myself in this statement. I don't feel like losing money, either. ;)]

[ December 04, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeņo ]

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#14331 - 12/04/01 04:29 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Rhapsody Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 2329
Jalapeņo,

Both Jason and Eric make good cases against not offering a rebate.

If you want parents to be more involved, make sure they know exactly what to do. Explain it in person and via a handout. If they are not musicians themselves they may have no clue and may not want to interfere in case they might do something counterproductive. Regularly ask if they have any new questions regarding their role in their child's piano study. Possibly schedule a quarterly or semi-annual session for all the parents in a group (when you have more students) to save time and perhaps let the parents get the feeling that other share their concerns and desires.

I don't think it's so much a question of ego
as it is a love of musical accomplishment and wanting students to do well. It naturally makes you feel better and may enhance your ego but I don't think ego is the underlying reason for desiring progress or excellence. Knowing the benefit of success and wanting others to share in that and the joy of music is not a selfish thing.
_________________________
There is no cure for boring.

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#14332 - 12/05/01 09:34 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by PJ:
The Universe runs under a system of Perfect Justice. Not only does every action have a result, every cause an effect, but every Intention produces Feedback. If we experience negativity, we need to carefully examine our intentions as well as our actions.


Gosh, we're gonna have to revisit the Philosophy Thread. From your perspective, PJ, a person who is suffering from a debilitating disease somehow deserves it, the people lost in the World Trade Center had it coming, and the Jews in Nazi Germany needed to examine their intentions.

While I agree with Lisa that examining our intentions is always worthwhile, I wholeheartedly disagree with your notion that every Kick in the Arse we get in Life is somehow deserved in a universe of perfect justice. :rolleyes:

But back to the subject...Jalapeno, keep going with the creative ideas. Maybe rather than a rebate, offering the first lesson free would bring you some interested students. Then during their free lesson you get them hooked on piano! Good luck!

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#14333 - 12/05/01 09:34 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
Originally posted by Rhapsody:
Jalapeņo,

Both Jason and Eric make good cases against not offering a rebate.


Yes, they do. However, I'm still not sure that some parents wouldn't be motivated by a rebate or credit to their account--some sort of financial incentive. That's not to say I'd do it. I just think it might work with a few families. But, hey, I've been wrong before. ;\)

I'm never quite sure if my philsophy should be nothing ventured, nothing gained or nothing ventured, nothing lost.

If you want parents to be more involved, make sure they know exactly what to do. Explain it in person and via a handout. If they are not musicians themselves they may have no clue and may not want to interfere in case they might do something counterproductive. Regularly ask if they have any new questions regarding their role in their child's piano study. Possibly schedule a quarterly or semi-annual session for all the parents in a group (when you have more students) to save time and perhaps let the parents get the feeling that other share their concerns and desires.

I go through everything with parents & students at the initial interview, after which they receive a handout to take home with them. I also keep in touch with parents on a weekly basis & maintain open communication regarding repertoire (what they'd like to work on), what's going on at home, etc. I've found that people respond very positively to this approach & even brag to me about how happy they are with their children's progress & with the books & CDs.

Things start falling apart, though, when parents don't supervise their children's practice sessions & think I'm totally responsible for keeping their children motivated. While I certainly agree that children need a happy, enthusiastic teacher who is willing to change his/her method or approach to fit each individual student's learning style & musical tastes, it never ceases to amaze me how parents can think that they, too, need to be involved in their children's musical education. There might be exceptions to the rule, but I've found that when parents are interested & involved in what their children are doing, the children become interested (& stay interested). When parents are not interested & involved, the children soon lose interest. I'd like for parents to understand the importance of their role in the teacher-student-parent triangle, but as of yet I haven't found an effective way to get this message across. The minute their children start complaining about having to practice or about having to do written theory work or about having to work on the computer (yes, I've had students who don't like the computer software; my daughters love it), the parents pull their children out of my studio, without even giving me advance notice. I am therefore robbed of the opportunity to switch gears & try a different approach. I'm also left without the benefit of receiving feedback from them about what they feel went wrong. So if there are problems with the way I teach or the way I approach things, I can't fix them because I don't know what they are. I'm supposed to be God or something, I guess. I'm supposed to read people's minds & know what makes them unmotivated & unhappy.

I don't think it's so much a question of ego as it is a love of musical accomplishment and wanting students to do well. It naturally makes you feel better and may enhance your ego but I don't think ego is the underlying reason for desiring progress or excellence. Knowing the benefit of success and wanting others to share in that and the joy of music is not a selfish thing.

Exactly. \:D

[ December 05, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeņo ]

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