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My Piano Studio is NOT your playground

It is my custom to interview new and potential students before they sign on with me for piano lessons. At the interview, the parents will be invited to accompany the student to my studio. My intention is for the kid to see me, their potential piano-teacher-to-be, in the safety zone of their parents by their side. (PS. when the real piano lessons under me begin, parents are not allowed to sit in at the piano studio). It also allows me to go through my studio policy and arrange piano lesson timings to fit the student’s schedule.
As of 2019, I begin to notice quite a few of my potential students-to-be come into my studio, with parents in tow, plus the entire village of grandparents, grandaunts, brothers, sisters and what nots!!!! And in my mind I am thinking, I am only interviewing one child, how come the whole clan needs to visit my studio? Nonetheless, they are welcome to sit on my living room couch….and enjoy the aircon while I speak to the student-to-be and the parent. 
Now, even more disconcerting is I notice that more and more young children come into my studio and the kids treat my living room like a playground. So here I am talking to a parent, and out of the corner of my eye, I will spy one child playing with my table water feature. Or, the child will be so excited to sit before my grand piano, that they start to ‘bang’ randomly on the piano keys while looking inside at the mechanism. Hello!!!! and all this is happening right in front of the parent’s presence. And yet, in spite of my horrified look, the parents seem unperturbed by all the misbehaviour. Gosh!!! is this really happening? Have the human race in 2019 reverted to Neanderthal apes? Do these kids know the meaning of manners? Of sitting quietly in a teacher-to-be’s studio? But no, the children even crawled under my grand piano as if they are having swimming lessons on the floor of my living room!
So with the grandparents on the sofa, and mummy and daddy talking to me discussing my studio policy….I have to make do with ‘monkeys’ climbing, jumping, crawling and playing in the living room and on my beloved grand piano. 
While it is not possible to go back to the Elizabethan Era of refinement and elegance, or to the age where ‘children are seen and not heard’, I merely request parents to brief their children on proper behaviour of civilized and well brought up children who should sit quietly and read a book, and to refrain touching items in a stranger’s living room that does not belong to them.
My piano studio is a sacred space where Music learning takes place. I prefer to teach children the Art of poise and elegance where Classical Music can take root and blossom. And I whispered to the mummy gently before she rounded up her brood to leave my house, “Mrs So-and-So, if your children wishes to study here with me, kindly tell them to refrain from running around my living room as if they are in a playground”. Well, that must have worked. Mrs So-and-So decided that I was not the piano teacher-to-be after all. She wants a piano teacher that allows her kids to run around the piano studio like they are in a playground. After all, children need space for creativity, don’t they?

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