It Has to Start Somewhere

In my post, Auditions and Tryouts, I discussed my son’s persistence and resiliency with soccer over the past few year.  I mentioned, one of my next posts would be about my daughter, Alyssa and what she taught me this summer.  Last winter she expressed to Heather and I that she wanted to earn some more money.  She’s been babysitting for a couple of years, but the 2 or 3 calls she’d get from families each month, wasn’t enough to meet her Starbucks, downloadable music, clothing needs.  She went out to a number of local businesses, but all said to come back in a couple of years as they weren’t prepared to hire a fourteen year old.

Alyssa and Heather thought about what she could do.  Alyssa is currently working towards earning her grade 8 Royal Conservatory for piano.  She decided to make posters for the neighbourhood, and try to start her own business teaching piano to beginners (5-9 year olds).  She put up her posters, and waited.  A number of weeks passed by.  She would put up new posters to replace the ones that were damaged, but still no calls.  It was about a month after the first poster went up when Alyssa received her first call and her first student.

Our piano is located in our family room just off our kitchen.  During her first lesson, I listened (spied?) in the background as she taught.  There was a lot of giggling and laughing, some good instruction and the occasional note or two on the piano.  My first impression was this is going to work for Alyssa.  She’s great with young kids, loves piano and has the personality to be a good instructor.

A couple of more weeks passed, and Alyssa asked me why she didn’t have more students.  Instant gratification is what she wanted.  Heather and I let her know that it had been our experience that building her teaching business would take time, but if you are good at what you do, word will get out and success will follow.  It did.  She now teaches eight students and this summer, she also ended up with a couple of part time babysitting jobs with her piano students.  She isn’t able to take on any more students at this time because of her schedule, but there are one or two families waiting for an opening.  Resiliency, persistence, and thinking creatively:  habits you want your child to develop.

Derek Logan
Head of School

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