The MTNA Code of Ethics states: "The teacher shall respect the student's right to obtain instruction from the teacher of his/her choice," and "The teacher shall participate in the student's change of teachers with as much communication as possible between parties, while being sensitive to the privacy rights of the student and families." [...] make it clear that before you can allow the transfer into your studio, he or she will need to speak to their current instructor.
Forum Focus: Independent Music Teachers By Carol Wallace Payne Transferring Students: Handle With Care not accomplished gracefully, the Iftransfer ofcan seriously damagestudio to another students from one rela- of the route often chosen that is most disturbing. Typically, the parent will contact a second instructor without own remarks as well. If possible, encourage the student to postpone transferring until the end of the school tionships between colleagues. Like the knowledge of the current teacher year or semester. The student may not most long-term private studio teachers, and try to arrange a meeting or realize that it is inconvenient and I have been on both ends of this situa- lessons. This puts the approached upsetting to teachers when students tion several times, and it has become instructor in a very troublesome posi- leave their studios in the midst of apparent to me that clear and prompt tion. Should he or she contact the recital preparations, contests and the communication is critical when han- other teacher? What will happen when like. Finally, make it clear that before dling this awkward and often emotion- the other teacher finds out? When a you can allow the transfer into your ally-charged predicament. circumstance such as this arises it is studio, he or she will need to speak to The MTNA Code of Ethics states: important to remind oneself that their current instructor. “The teacher shall respect the student’s although students come and go, the If the student is serious about work- right to obtain instruction from the previous instructor will likely continue ing with you and has agreed to inform teacher of his/her choice,” and “The to be one’s colleague for a long time. the teacher, you may tell him or her teacher shall participate in the stu- If you are approached by a potential that you will also be contacting the dent’s change of teachers with as much student, pause to consider the conse- other instructor. This is in line with the communication as possible between quences of your actions. If not handled MTNA Code of Ethics, which encour- parties, while being sensitive to the properly, this transfer may cause the ages “as much communication as possi- privacy rights of the student and fami- other teacher to suffer disappointment, ble between parties.” There is no easy lies.” While reasonable, the second hurt feelings and anger. Do you want way to handle this situation; the statement doesn’t specify who should those feelings directed toward you? teacher is going to be unhappy to learn communicate what to whom, or when Imagine yourself on the other side of that the student wants to transfer to such communication should take the transfer and think about how you you, but ultimately will be grateful for place. Both teachers and students are would like to be treated.1 It is neces- your candor. Invariably, an uninformed often confused about how best to pro- sary both to act professionally toward teacher will later say that a phone call ceed with a studio transfer. your colleague and to respect the stu- would have been appreciated. Students and their parents seek new dent’s needs and privacy. Consider this In this conversation with the current teachers for a variety of reasons. course of action: instructor, it is essential to assure him However, it is the “clandestine” nature When a prospective student con
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