Advanced students receive 1:1 time to really develop their foundational skills which, if you try to explain, parents might not understand. Lessons become more interactive and involve more back-and-forth.
Daniel: It’s very rare that a parent, especially if a parent of student that’s never been in lessons before, it’s very rare that a parent will ask me anything about what a student does when they get advanced. For the few times per year that that might happen, I will say once they get to an advanced level, they come to see me one-on-one, but by that point in their development, that’s what they need.
What they need now is more time with me so we can develop really strong foundational skills. When they get to that level, it becomes more Socratic. It becomes more back and forth. We’re talking about why did Mozart make this choice? What is this chord? How is this transitioning between these two keys? And of course parents have no idea what I’m talking about, but they get the sense that I’m asking advanced questions.
There’s just a sense that they understand that if there’s a difference between what a student needs early on and later, and I don’t bog them down with all the details of that unless the parent really presses me and then I’ll go ahead and humor them. It is at that point, I’ll probably go more into logistical speak and less persuasive marketing speak, so to speak. That’s how I would deal with that.
But my personal philosophy is that unless a kid is planning on becoming a Lebron James or Pelé or Wayne Gretzky, they probably don’t need a private basketball coach, soccer coach, hockey coach. If they’re that intense and that dedicated, great. My accelerated program probably isn’t for you. You should join my elite program. If your six year old is going to practice piano for two hours every day, fine. We won’t do group if that’s the case, but for 99.9999999% of people, that is the best way to get started. I thoroughly believe that. I think it’s a waste of time to do something that will not allow a student to move as fast as their potential would allow and that’s how I’m going to communicate to that parent.
A parent will never believe it more than you do. I truly believe it. I mean, you can see it on my face. You can hear my voice right now and if you were in a trial lesson with me, you would hear that, too. That confidence is just that dead assuredness just really comes through. I didn’t have that at the beginning and I was a little more weak. I was a little more trying to convince people and just over time, as I saw the results and began to believe them, that belief came into my voice. That came into my eyes. It came into my tone. It came into my body language and now it’s just like, it’s almost like when parents ask questions like that or maybe challenge a little bit, I’m not dismissive, but I would talk to them almost as if explaining to a student why they shouldn’t go skydiving or something.
I don’t know. Why would you do that? Again, not rude but there’s just a belief there and all of my language and communication to those parents just exhibit that belief. I’ve seen I’ve seen it both ways at this point and I can just honestly report what I’ve seen and I think that really goes a long way with parents. They can tell when you believe it or don’t.
That’s why it’s so important to jump in and do it because until you see it in action, you, no matter how good the training is, no matter all the tricks and tips that I give you in there, what ultimately will get parents on board in the long run, not the short run, not in the conversion process, but what we’ll have parents continually believe what you have to say. What will have parents continually be loyal to you is just that belief that you have and that only comes, I think once you started doing it.