Questions, Studio Business

Forum Q&A | Saying Goodbye to Piano Students Before Moving Away

At our last Forum Q&A discussion, we talked about new year’s resolutions for piano teachers!  Click here to view the responses.

Over the weekend, I received an email from a reader who is preparing to move and must say “goodbye” to all her students.  I’d love to start a discusion about piano teachers saying goodbye and moving, so here goes:

Have you ever had to move and “give away” all your students?  How did you break the news?  Was there anything you were able to do for your students to make their transition to a new piano teacher easier?  What other advice can you offer to a piano teacher who is preparing to move? 

I’ll post my answer in the comments below, including the “goodbye letter” I wrote for my students last Spring when I moved after graduation.  Please add your own thoughts to the comments below!

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11 thoughts on “Forum Q&A | Saying Goodbye to Piano Students Before Moving Away”

  1. I’ve had to move and “give away” my students twice now: once before I started my Masters degree, and again more recently after graduation. I was very open with my students about the moves, and gave them plenty of time to get used to the idea. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but I think giving the students plenty of time to get used to the idea makes it easier for them to say goodbye.

    Below is the goodbye letter I gave my students this Spring before moving away. Along with the letter, I included a list of piano teachers in their area whom they could contact. I had contacted each of those teachers to see if they might be interested in being included on the list.

    Dear Students and Parents:

    As you know, graduation is near and so is the time to say goodbye, unfortunately! It is never easy to say goodbye, and I’m going to miss seeing all of students! My husband and I are preparing to move to the _____ area in late May or early June. While my husband is working on a Masters degree in creative writing, I plan to start a full-time independent teaching studio. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we start a new chapter of our lives.

    Since we will be moving away, this means I have to “give away” all my students to other teachers. Below is a list of teachers in your area whom you may contact to check for openings for piano lessons. I wish my students all the best as they continue developing their skills as musicians and grow as individuals.

    I would greatly appreciate if you would be willing to write review/testimonial regarding my skills as a piano teacher. These reviews will be used on my website to help me gain new students once I have moved. Reviews can be hand written, emailed to me, or submitted directly to my Google Places page. Reviews do not have to be long – just a few sentences would be greatly appreciated!

    Please let me know if you have any further questions, and please stay in touch! I would be thrilled to be added as a “Facebook friend” or if you would send me an email now and then.

    Best wishes,
    Joy Morin

  2. Hey I just moved and I’m looking for new students! Thanks so much for the idea to email my old students and ask for their reviews. I only had like 6 students so I gave all of them referrels to amazing piano teachers. I think better ones that I am. So I took good care of my students. 🙂 I miss them lots!

  3. We’re moving in June, but it has been long expected since my wife is in medical school and we knew there was no residency here for her area of interest. Several students have requested I consider giving distance lessons via webcam after I move, and after long consideration and trials of it, I decided to offer it to any students interested. That’s why I didn’t feel I really needed to say “goodbye” in the letter to anyone with the announcement, because it’s up to students if they want to say goodbye to me or not. I just asked them to look over my pros/cons list for distance lessons, and for those who still want face-to-face lessons, I’m going to do some careful matchmaking for them. Part of that process will include uploading database files of my students’ addresses and selected teachers’ addresses to Batchgeo, which will actually plot every last address onto a Google Map simultaneously. This will allow me to more easily factor geography into the matchmaking process.

  4. I am moving in April from Iowa to New Mexico. Thanks for the “good bye letter” which give me idea how to say thank you for parents and ask for referral.

  5. Interesting thought. Sometime we can see the ending before the beginning. And I think one of my musicians just might have done that. When I started teaching in my studio last year I agreed to teach 3 brothers and one of them ask me a question during the interview session that plays and repeats often in my head. He asked me, ” You’re not going to leave us are you Mr. Kevin.”

    Now having to answer to not only one musician but to the other two and the parent took me by surprise. Being a very difficult question to answer from the beginning, I humbly replied, ” I hope not.” So if that day should ever come I already know the seeds of sadness have already been planted. The only thing I can do now is water thier thoughts with higher achievements and to continue on with their musical minds.

  6. Moving to do my Master’s degree required saying goodbye to all my students, so I left them all with a letter and referred several great teachers nearby. I’ve never thought of asking for referrals from students and parents though! Thanks for sharing. As we prepare to possibly move now that I’ve finished my degree, I’ll have to use the tip if I need to send out another letter!

    1. Yes, definitely consider it! I’ve read somewhere that people trust testimonials much more than the rest of the statements on a business’ webpage.

  7. I have the potential of a full time job in worship ministry at my church and will need to give up my 22 students. Some of which are new, some I’ve had for years. Teachers are hard to find in our area. I am really struggling with how to communicate the news.

    Is letter best?

    Any ideas how to find teachers in the area? I am actually the coordinator for our school of music at our church and we are having trouble finding teachers to teach at our school. That is what I would prefer to do…hire a teacher to take my place. HELP!

    1. Hi Janice! The first thing I would do is google to find piano teachers in the area. I might even consider emailing them or giving them a call to chat and ask if they mind if I give students their contact info.

      Other ideas: Is there a local piano teachers association in your area? You could reach out and ask for names of teachers who currently have room in their schedules for more students.

      Is there a university nearby that has a music program? You could reach out to the local piano professors and ask if they know of local teachers or perhaps undergraduate/graduate students who would be good teachers for your students.

      I hope this helps!!

  8. Thank you for the suggestions! I’m moving from Idaho to Kansas in June and I need to tell my students I’m leaving. I wondered if I should tell them now, or after our spring recital in April. It’s so hard to say goodbye!

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