Meri’s Musical Musings

Things to do that help make your music teacher feel appreciated

Posted on: October 4, 2009

Over the years of taking lessons, and being a a teacher myself, I have thought about the ways students have made music teachers feel appreciated, even though rudeness towards music teachers, and to other people generally are prevalent in modern Western societies.

An easy way to make the teacher feel appreciated is by giving them a little extra for their efforts. Especially if it is say within a month after a student has done extremely well on an exam, competition or audition.

Give them more than they might expect from students.  At least give them an extra 1/2 months of lesson fees at Christmas if possible. At least three of my student’s families give me at least $100 extra (or a gift worth that amount), and I tell you, I go out of my way to help them a little more than I typically do.

Another way is by having students make pictures. Several students I have and have had have drawn pictures related to our lessons, and I have kept them.

A third way is to take out your teacher for lunch or dinner once or twice a year.

Bring them some baked goods from their favourite bakery or cafe. (Three times last year I brought my piano teacher something from Tim Horton’s (which is one of his favourite places to eat out)

Give them a gift for their birthday.

Give them a gift just because you appreciate all the effort.

Compose a piece of music based on what you have learned in your studies (I did this with my piano teacher, and I’m currently doing this with my advanced theory teacher. Planning to write something for my clarinet teacher.)

Write an article or essay based on their teachings.

Write a thank you card for a teacher doing something that few teachers do. Like writing custom arrangements for a student or ensemble, and especially if they wrote a composition.

Give them a travel gift card. Teachers may need to or want to get out of town for a few days.

Get them a CD of music that they don’t have.

Get them the sheet music of a piece or book they want.

Do an exchange of services, especially if your business is a high-value one. I would gladly trade lessons for someone to clean my apartment every couple of weeks, drive around and put up my advertising materials in various neighbourhoods and music stores, or web design services. I’d also consider someone who wanted to make my advertising materials look really professional, or pay to get them printed on good quality paper.

Always pay on time, even a bit early if possible. And if you have to pay late, give them at least 10% extra for the delay.

Attend at least 1 performance that they do per year, those that they do with their professional ensemble for example.

These are just some ways I, or other teachers I know have been made to feel appreciated for their efforts.

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