Daniel: Do you ever take transfer students into group and how do they adjust?
Yes, and it’s rocky. The higher the level of the transfer, the more of a culture shock it is for them, because they are just not used to covering the amount of material that my students cover per week. Remember, one of the foundational core concepts of this is that I’ve covered the concepts early so that I don’t have to keep reteaching those things over, and over, and over again. And often what I find with transfers that come in is that they are struggling with concepts in sight reading, not the intellectual component of a concept, but the practical physical component of a concept. The playing ability just isn’t there.
They’ve been, as I say in session seven, they’ve been taught to their head, they haven’t been taught to their hands, and so it is a huge culture shock when they come in and they’re left to their own devices. And what ends up happening is is I have to spend a little bit more time with them for probably the first four to eight weeks, and it is tough, and a lot of times parents will come back and say, “You know, they were really happy in their old lessons, and they seem to really be struggling here and they’re saying they’re not enjoying it.”
I got that early on and I came up with a phrase, a clever way to communicate to parents that in the marketing emails, the offer emails, that are in session four or five that I started using with parents, which is this. “So, they’ve had lessons before. I want to let you know something that’s going to happen over the next two to three months. You might notice that they complain a little bit, that they say it feels harder. What I will tell you is this is them having their muscles stretched like they’d never had them before.”
You probably recognize this language from the offer emails, or the third email from that three email series. This is just to set those parents up, set their expectations up, so they’re not reacting, so that they’re looking for it, and so that we can implant the thought in their head that if the kids complain, that means this is working. It completely reinterprets it for parents, and you definitely want to do this if you did not catch that when you did session five, you definitely want to do this when you’re transferring within your own studio, because you should treat every student that comes into SGL as a transfer student. That is how it will feel.
You have to set those parents to understand what’s happening. That if kids are coming home complaining, saying it’s too hard, or that it feels harder now, that that means it’s working and that means that their skill level is going to shoot up rapidly. And so I just recommend kind of doing it that way.