When a student wants to leave the studio

Hi folks,

Recently one of my lovely students decided to quit singing lessons with me. She wasn’t practising, and that her interests were taking her in a new life direction. But she was very worried about telling me! Occasionally students decide to leave the studio for any number of reasons. Making the decision to leave is easy, but telling the teacher can be hard! A relationship built up over several years can affect a student’s feelings of loyalty, and students can feel terribly guilty or even feel as if they are betraying the teacher by quitting.

Singing is about the personal expression of one’s deepest emotions and it’s important that I as the teacher facilitate the best way to do this through song. However, sometimes, with all the best will in the world, students and teachers don’t always share the same vision. It’s at those times when challenges occur.

In my studio I value openness and honesty from my clients – and I run my studio with transparency and directness so that there is no miscommunication about events, times, or conditions of the studio. If students have an issue with my teaching, or with their commitment to singing, then it’s important they communicate that to me in a timely fashion, so that together we can make a decision regarding continuation of lessons. Sometimes students just want and need a change of teacher. That’s cool by me! I don’t take it personally when a student needs a change of pace. And many times I will happily recommend a new teacher who I know has a commitment to excellence and whose teaching abilities I trust.

So, if and when students feel the need to move on from my studio, just let me know, and you’ll even get a Bon Voyage card from me!


About Jessica

Dr Jessica O'Bryan PhD is an educator, researcher, singer and author. Her next book on Musical Theatre Education and Training will be published in 2020 through Routledge. Her last book was Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (2014, Springer). She lives in Brisbane in a semi-renovated 20s Queenslander home with her husband, Dougal the Groodle, and all the single ladies (Poppy the Groodle, Lucy the Cat, and the chooks).
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