Oh the sad life of a music teacher. We labor long hours to teach you and your children, only to find out that some of you aren’t practicing. At least the excuses are entertaining. Here’s a list of real excuses:
“We couldn’t find her guitar.” I really got this one once. If they can lose a whole guitar I shudder to think what else they’ve mislaid. “Doctor, we couldn’t come in for a check-up; we’ve misplaced the baby.”
“I had a zit.” Jill Allen Waters swore she got this one once. When I asked if it was true she replied simply, “Kids are self-conscious.”
“I had a touch of leprosy.” My friend Gwen was kidding when she suggested this one but I have heard some pretty creative illness/injury types of excuses. Sure, if you’re flat on your back with the flu, I don’t expect you to practice. However, a “hurt” finger that looks fine and seems to work well is not an excuse. The fiddle player in my band once broke her sternum. Now that’s a valid excuse.
“I forgot.” Try to be more creative than that – include a house fire, amputation or a dying relative. We teachers like to be entertained.
“The guitar is at my dad’s … mom’s … cousin’s … the summer cottage … the other car.” Well, go get it!
From a nine year old — “I didn’t have time.” When I suggested he cut out watching reruns of Sponge Bob and practice instead, he recoiled in horror.
“It was out of tune.” Clearly, that’s a topic we need to cover in lessons.
“It hurts my fingers.” Of course it does. Pressing tender finger tips into a metal wire is not a pleasant experience. If there was no pain involved, we’d all be Hendrix. And by the way, your fingers wouldn’t hurt if you, ahem, practiced.
“I don’t want to play that.” I’ll admit that “Claire de Lune” is not the most exciting piece on the planet but you can’t start right out on “Purple Haze.” Trust me on this one.
“I lost my music.” Lose your mind, lose your way or lose your cookies. Try not to lose your music.
“I thought my lesson was tomorrow.” So, you only practice the night before a lesson? <sigh>
“You told me to put the music inside my binder. You didn’t say I could take it out.” My friend Brandie used this one on a high school teacher. When all else fails, try to make the teacher laugh.
From a piano student, “I lost the keys.” A good joke will not always save you.
Got any great excuses to add?
Thanks to Facebook friends Jill Allen Waters, Ellen Daly, Cic Wea, Laura Connallon-Guluk, Brandie Mann, Betty Macias, Gwen Frederick, Allegra Twobly and to my students whom I adore.