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A game of cat and mouse: the music teacher and the student

A game of cat and mouse: the music teacher and the student featured image

January 27, 2020

Music teachers across the land will identify with this meme. While this particular meme applies to kids whose instruments are portable, piano teachers can relate too, since all music students carry books and materials to and from their lessons.

On a regular basis, I’m faced with a student who forgot one of their music books at home, or their note cards (flash cards with a musical note per card to quickly ID). They get “the look” from me when that happens.

Then there is the poor soul who forgets his or her notebook. This really annoys me as that book tells me everything – how long the piece has been assigned, at what point I should ask for it to be played hands together, or to be memorized, or to be passed to learn something new. I also use it to scribble reminder notes to myself for the following week to go over something. Oh, the looks of fear in the eyes of wee ones when the realize they’ve left their notebook at home, knowing I’ll give them a scarier version of “the look”.

On the flip side, students sometimes leave things behind when they leave. One student left her note cards behind. When she showed up the following week, I asked, her, “soooo … did you work on your note cards this week? BE HONEST … BE HONEST …. BE. HONEST.” She hesitated and ‘fessed up. “Can you get them out for me?” I’ll ask. I’m always amused when they go through their bag, assuming they’re still there from weeks gone by, not having been reviewed. “I’m so glad you told the truth,” I said. “Because you left them HERE.” More of “the look”.

In the past, if a student forget something at my place, I would inform the parent immediately so he or she could come back and retrieve it as soon as possible. Now, I don’t. I wait. I want to see how many days go by before the student has realized the book or note cards have been missing. It’s a cat and mouse game!

Liz Parker is the Digital Content Editor for The New Classical FM, a stylist and piano teacher. She’s fond of good food.

Me, giving a student a side eye during a piano duet

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