Two Stories; Two Extremes

At the beginning of the school year, music teachers encounter students and parents with a wide variety of views about what will happen in music class, don’t we? I recently spoke with two people with completely opposite expections about learning to play an instrument.

While talking with one mom about enrolling her child in music, I mentioned the Winter Concert. She laughed out loud.

“My child is going to give a concert?”
“Sure, along with the rest of the band.”
“You’re kidding. You know she’s never played an instrument before?”
“Of course. Neither has the rest of the class.”
“You’re talking about this December? A concert?”
“Yes. I’ve always had beginners perform in the Winter Concert.”

Hilarious laughter.

I don’t think the mom paid attention to anything else I said in our meeting.

Now, the opposite extreme. A phone call from a potential student wanting private saxophone lessons.

“Are you the saxophone teacher from {X} Music Store?”
“Yes.”
“How much for a saxophone lesson?”
I told him my fee and some other basic information.
“Okaythanksbye.”

Five minutes later the phone rings.

“Are you the saxophone guy?”
“Yes.”
“So if I pay you $X, you’ll give me a saxophone lesson?”
“Well, usually students pay for lessons a month at a time.”
“You mean I’ll need more than one lesson?”
“Well, yeah. Most of my students have been taking lessons with me for a year or more.”
“Really? Okay. Bye.”

The next day, the phone rings.

“Are you the saxophone guy?”
“Yes.”
“Can I take a lesson with you?”
“(Sigh.) Sure. Let me talk with your mom and we’ll work out the details.”

Now brace yourself for the exciting conclusion to the story…

The student never showed up.

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