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Let parents sit in on singing lessons

Why You Should Invite Parents to Sit In On Singing Lessons ⏱ 2 Mins

Nikki Loney doesn’t discourage parents from observing singing lessons – she invites them into her studio. Read on to discover why.

There’s no getting around it: managing parents can be a thorny issue for singing teachers.

Whether it’s a pushy mum, desperate to see their little darling win a starring musical theatre role, or a know-it-all dad quick to criticise, every vocal coach who has taught children or teenagers will have a nightmare story to tell.

So, it’s understandable that many teachers are reluctant to have parents sit in on singing lessons.

However, Nikki Loney, a Canadian-based singing teacher and music education specialist who runs Full Voice Music, takes a different view.

“I have an unpopular opinion; I think it’s good to have parents see what goes on in singing lessons,” she says.

“Hear me out; I understand why some people say that parents cannot be in the room – but there are many benefits to doing so.

“When I was teaching in person, I had a seating area for parents in my studio, and I would say ‘come in, watch, ask your questions’. Then, maybe over time, they would just drop their children off. But if I didn’t see parents for a while, I would invite them back in.”

As Nikki explains on the Singing Teachers Talk podcast, there are several good reasons why you should let parents sit in on singing lessons.

Why You Should Invite Parents To Sit In On Singing Lessons

Help shy students

“If children aren’t comfortable singing in front of their families, they won’t practice at home. It’s important to normalise singing in front of people, and that includes mums and dads.”

Support A Student’s emotional needs

“Children go through roller coasters of emotions. Parents can give us insight into what’s going on.”

Higher student retention

“It’s in your best interests as a singing teacher to have a strong, face-to-face relationship with parents. You will have lower drop-out rates.”

Answer questions on the spot

“Parents are going to have questions, which sometimes might seem unreasonable. But they’re not the expert, so how can we expect them to know what we know? Having the parents in the teaching space saves hours of unpaid time. It means I don’t have to answer tonnes of emails on weekends because I’ve talked to the parents and answered their questions during paid lesson time.”

Avoid confusion

“Non-verbal forms of communication are the lousiest forms of communication. If you have a parent who has oodles of questions and is driving you nuts, it’s because the lines of communication aren’t open, and they are not getting what they need.”

Good marketing

“If you have a great relationship with parents, and they love you and know you’ve created a safe space for their children, that’s your best marketing. Parents talk to other parents, and parents ask other parents for recommendations. Nothing is better than having great relationships with the people you do business with.”

What’s your view? Do you have an open-door policy with parents? Or do you take a tougher line on the idea of letting parents sit in on singing lessons? Let us know on Facebook.

Listen to the full interview with Nikki to hear:

How she incorporates play-based games into lessons.

– Her methods to develop learning resources for children.

Want another take on dealing with parents?

Listen to this podcast interview with Amelia Carr for her take on managing pushy parents.



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