In the last year, I've lost two students because they were secretly studying with another teacher. Very different cases, however.
In the first, it was a 10 year old who was dramatically over scheduled and her mother hired a high school student to give her extra tutoring, unknown to me. I found out in a lesson when the student let it slip that she'd gone on to other songs in her Suzuki book rather than working on polishing the pieces I was assigning. When I found out, I was angry and let the mother know why this was detrimental to the student's technique. She responded with an email defending the high schooler's competence and saying that they would not return for lessons the next semester since I so obviously had a problem with that.
Last week, my best student, a rising junior with ambitions of getting into music school, left my studio as well. She started lessons with me this past June and made her interest and commitment very clear to me. Lessons had been going great - she was focused, practicing, and improving. She asked me great questions, seemed happy, and I gave her a lot of information about the college application process. I connected her with a colleague of mine who was selling one of his old violins at a great deal, and the day after the sale was completed, I got an email from her mother confessing that they had been studying with another teacher since July because they felt she needed two lessons a week and they were deciding to switch to this other teacher. For the record, they'd never asked me about adding another lesson per week, and if they had, I would have done so gladly.
Has this happened to anyone else? How have you handled situations like this?
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