I have this inkling that student numbers are picking up again after the lull of the last few years. By virtue of luck and some word of mouth, I have only one remaining space on my timetable; a good start to the year.
I got lucky though.
First off, the other sax teacher at the music centre left for Australia meaning his Wednesday night students need a new teacher. Despite being offered that entire night (I got first dibs due to tenure), I declined the offer. I enjoy teaching but with a full time programming job and all these crazy side projects I indulge in, I just couldn’t do it. If this was my university days I would have snapped the offer up in a heart beat.
I don’t think any of the new sax teachers took up the offer either though, so luck was still taking its course.
Fortune through diligence
I just happened to be at the music centre one Tuesday night to teach a single student on account of me being away the previous Saturday.
“Hey, Glenn. Could you do me a huge favour and teach Jo tonight. It turns out that Ron, the sax teacher, isn’t able to teach her advanced clarinet.” (something like that anyway, and not their real names by the way)
By virtue of being at the music centre on a day I don’t usually go, just to teach a single student, I now have the opportunity to teach an advanced student potentially to grade 8. I was able to ‘save the day’ (getting the music centre out of minor booking mess-up) and now I get to teach a student that I can tell ‘gets it’. She’s going to be able to play some wicked awesome clarinet in the near future which I’m really excited about.
This wasn’t the end of it though.
One person’s mistake is another’s opportunity
Ron unfortunately did what I’ve done in the past (a long, long time ago) and accidentally offended the student on their first lesson (although my student was a few lessons in before I messed up). It was some kind of passing remark about girls generally not taking up saxophone, or something. I feel sorry for Ron because I could imagine phrasing something completely the wrong way too.
Unfortunately the damage was done but after some emergency phone calls by the staff, I’m now teaching this student. First impressions are she’s content and rocking out some beginner saxophone. Phew. Saved from the brink.
Positive word of mouth
The last piece of good fortune was part luck or perhaps just hard work paying off. I was recommended to a family member as a good clarinet teacher so by virtue of word of mouth, I’ve earned another new student.
That’s three new students, all of which have varying levels of existing musical experience.
This has the potential to be a great teaching year.