Was this professional?

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    My daughter was taking harp lessons from a local harpist in the


    Alicia D. Strange


    No, it definately wasn’t professional.



    I’m so sorry for what happened to you and your daughter. No one knows what’s going on

    in the mind of that teacher, but she is obviously immature and unprofessional.

    Unfortunately, with many teachers, it’s all about THEM, not the student.

    But the damage was done and your daughter lost an important person in her life. I would

    put those teaching materials (which are now only negative clutter) away where she can’t

    see them or throw them away. They will only remind your daughter, every time she glances

    on them, of the loss she has suffered.

    I recently began teaching in another state after never having wanted to make time for

    students. In L.A. my work as a harpist was “too demanding” to make time for students

    (shame on me). In my new home I found


    Teachers and parents take note (religious or not);

    Wishing ?to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a ?mother ?took the ?boy to

    a Paderewski concert. ?After they were seated, ?the ?mother ?spotted ?an old friend in the

    audience and walked down the aisle ?to greet ?her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the

    wonders of the ?concert ?hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way ?through

    a ?door marked “NO ADMITTANCE.” ?When the house lights dimmed ?and ?the ?concert was

    about to begin, the mother returned to her seat ?and ?discovered ?that the child was


    Suddenly, ?the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the ?impressive ?Steinway ?on

    stage. ?In horror, the mother saw her little ?boy ?sitting at ?the ?keyboard, innocently

    picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” ?At ?that ?moment, the great piano master made

    his entrance, quickly moved ?to ?the ?piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit.

    Keep ?playing.”

    Then ?leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and ?began ?filling ?in a

    bass part.

    Soon his ?right arm reached around to the other side of the ?child, ?and ?he added ?a

    running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young ?novice ?transformed what

    could have been a frightening situation into ?a ?wonderfully ?creative experience. ?The

    audience was so mesmerized ?that ?they ?couldn’t recall what else the great master played.

    Only the ?classic ?”Twinkle, Twinkle ?Little ?Star.”

    Perhaps ?that’s the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on ?our ?own is ?hardly

    noteworthy. ?We try our best, but the results ?aren’t ?always ?gracefully flowing music. ?

    However, with the hand of the ?Master, ?our ?life’s work can truly be beautiful. Next time

    you set out ?to ?accomplish ?great feats, listen carefully. ?You may hear the voice of ?the ?

    Master, ?whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.”

    May you ?feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there ?helping ?you turn

    your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. ?Remember, ?God doesn’t seem to call the

    equipped; rather, He equips ?the’called.’

    Life is ?more accurately measured by the lives you touch than by ?the ?things you acquire.

    Julie Knox


    Thank you for that wonderful reminder!

    Julie Knox


    Thank you for that wonderful reminder!


    Virginia, I really like that story! How motivational! I’ve been struggling a bit with violin, and I think that has given me the motivation to keep going. Thank you.

    Okay, in response to the original post: NO! That was absolutely the most UNPROFESSIONAL thing I have ever heard of!!!!!!!!! (note the massive amount of exclamation points) I cannot believe she did that! I promise you there are more professional ways to handle such a situation. I believe that every teacher, at one time or another, ends up with a student that he/she may not like very much, and they’ll either just ditch them completely (as is your case), or they’ll treat them poorly. I cannot say for sure why your daughter’s teacher treated her poorly, but I am sorry nonetheless. I must leave now, but I’ll be back soon to finish the other half of my comment.


    My feeling is, you should return the music she loaned you, with a letter stating how sorry you are that things apparently didn’t work out. But then describe succinctly how it affected your daughter, so this teacher can learn from her actions, else she may do it again. Why keep something around that will remind your girl of this event? Why keep that connection? I don’t know how old your daughter is, but I hope you can get her started again. She certainly needs to get past this lest it become a major obstacle to her entire life. She may feel guilty that she didn’t practice enough. Can you reduce her commitments? Studying harp is a major activity. With homework I don’t see how there could be time for any other activities. Harp takes a good two hours a day after the first year or two. The teacher may have gotten the impression that she wasn’t at all serious, and just didn’t have the time. She still should have found a way to tell you.


    That’s unbelievable!


    I find this story a bit strange since it is to the teacher’s disadvantage to lose a student. If it would help bring some closure for your daughter, it may be good to approach the teacher and let her know the pain she caused, and see if she can give you an explanation you can pass on that makes it clear it was not your daughter’s fault. I’m certain this teacher doesn’t know that she caused so much pain. It would be helpful for her to know the consequences of her actions in case she repeats them. I know teachers who teach over 100 students a week in my area, and an extremely hectic schedule could result in miscommunication, but it’s really hard to tell what happened here. At any rate it was unfortunate and unprofessional. I hope your daughter can find a reliable, stable teacher who can help rebuild her self esteem!!

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