Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, overscheduled piano students, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano students and sports conflicts, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press,

Overscheduled Piano Students

Here’s a snapshot of overloaded kids FOLLOWING their Friday afternoon piano lessons.

MOM: “Shiloh, Get ready for swimming. Your towel is folded into your backpack…. Math Club reminder. Your cubic folder is on top of your cups. (athletic protectors), and grab your Ukelele for choir. (The private school purchased 150 ukeleles so each over-booked kid got one.)

“Honey, your fanny pack has three snacks separately wrapped and labeled. They should last you until Ian’s mom swings by for soccer. Grab your cleats, shin guards, and uniform, please. Benedict’s dad should be parked behind the goal posts to take you both to horseback riding. Pack the saddle and riding boots. And put your snorkeling gear on top of your dresser for tomorrow, before Swim Meet and Soccer Play-offs.”

Lila, the older sister, had tennis lessons, breast stroke, harmonica ensemble and miscellaneous. Mom doubled on all instructions, hardware, software, everything short of making sure the kid’s head was screwed on tight.

“Don’t forget, Monica’s mom will be parked next to the coach’s BMW, so be ready to pack in the harmonica after swimming. Your bathing suit and cap are tucked under your seaweed snacks.

“Set aside your tennis balls and racket for tomorrow along with your fins, goggles, and inhalers for scuba diving. Be sure to tell coach Bob when you stop breathing.”


So what about piano? I didn’t hear anything about time to practice reminders?

Mom had a NOTE on her calendar to change lesson days to avoid a conflict with Junior Golf. The schedule had been previously altered 4 times to comport with sports season changes.


A brand new set of clubs was leaning against a corner table with brother’s cups and sister’s ballet shoes.

Poor Shiloh had been complaining lately that his “arms and legs hurt,” knowing  football was around the corner.

Mom’s voice trailed off as he piled into a pick-up truck with his teammates.

“Dad’s going helmet shopping with you after the MEET tomorrow, so get the old one and put it in a separate drawer, but not with your fishing tackle. Reminder: You have Water Polo Club on Monday, so set out your nose clips.”

Both kids were too exhausted to take piano lessons. They knew, deep down, that it was not on  mom’s list of priorities.



9 thoughts on “Overscheduled Piano Students”

  1. I caught myself a couple of times sounding like that when talking to my daughters. Their stress levels skyrocketed visibly. Not good.

    So many issues here – so many things to say – and so hard not to get caught up in that whole over-achieving, over-booking thing.

    And yes – I did issue the reminders to practise! That didn’t help.


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