I agree with Arlene that learning by discovery is the best way to learn. That's what I pretty much do when teaching my own kids. I give them general instructions & help where needed, but when they're practicing I try to butt out (I usually get busy doing something so I'm not hearing all the mistakes they make) & let them figure things out by themselves. My own piano teacher "taught" me that way. There were many things I "discovered" on my own, thanks to the leading questions she asked me that made me think & want to explore.
However, since moving to Lubbock, I've had to deal with students who are used to being coddled by the public school system & by parents who don't expect much of them. :rolleyes: They're not accustomed to the way I'd like to teach. In order to keep them from shutting down (tuning me out completely), I have to coddle them.
At present, I teach 3 students (besides my own 3 children). Only 1 (the non-intuitive ult) has to be coddled every single step of the way. The other 2 are good students who need a little more detailed instruction than my own children, not because they're less bright or talented, but because I only see them 45 minutes a week. My own children have never had weekly structured lessons as such. We just have time to work on piano every day, year 'round. I think it would be unfair to compare my kids' musical progress to those kids who do not have a "Piano Teacher Mom."
Parents paying more for lessons: What I mean is that if a child hardly ever practices, his/her progress is painfully slow. It therefore takes him/her longer to get through each level; more money out of the parents' pocket because they have to pay more for the amount of knowledge/skill their child attains. For example, I've had students go through primer level in only 4 months' time [looks like my Asian student is going to break that record, btw :)] while others have taken 1.5 to 2 years!
Also, "cost" IMO is not just calculated in dollars & cents. It's calculated in return on investment. Parents whose children practice receive an excellent return on the money they invest. Parents whose children don't practice are wasting my time & their money. In this sense, piano lessons is indeed much more "costly" for the parents whose children aren't making an effort.
Regarding studio policies: I had policies in Costa Rica simply because I wanted to present a professional image to my clients & run my studio in a businesslike manner. However, my policies weren't nearly as detailed as the ones I have now because there wasn't a need for it.
[ 11-23-2002: Message edited by: Jalapeņo ]