Reply To: When kids quit….. :-(

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Sadly, we can’t keep all of our students involved in music or any one aspect of music like band or choir.

I had a private student who recently decided to stop taking lessons all of a sudden, without talking to me prior to at least give me notice so I would know what was going on. I had texted her mother to see what was going on and apparently playing the clarinet had been giving her pain and discomfort in her jaw for a while, so she wanted to try something else and put clarinet aside.

The hardest part of this was that in reality, we can’t just say, ‘No, you can’t quit, you have to keep coming to lessons/band/choir”. We don’t have the power or authority or even the right to say that to any student, regardless of age. We can provide them with alternative options to quitting but if they aren’t convinced, well then that is all we can really say besides good luck with your other endeavors.

If the student had decided to talk to me about the discomfort she was feeling in her jaw from playing clarinet, then she and I could have dedicated time in our lessons together to working on this problem and the problem could have been solved in say a month or so depending on how much she was willing to work on the issue in her individual practice time. But she did not talk to me so all I was able to tell her and her mother was that if she is interested in any other instruments she can let me know and I can help point her in the right direction to another teacher and that if she ever feels the desire to give clarinet another try, she has my contact information and can always let me know and we can pick back up where we left off.

Just try to not let a student quitting bother you, some things are successful but not all of them are. We just have to learn from things like this for next time.