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7 Rules for Texting and Emailing Piano Parents – What you might not know can kill your message!

Texting and emailing piano parents is dangerous work! Though I’ve learned a lot about emailing piano parents from my husband whose job relies heavily on email, I’ve also learned a lot the hard way.

The danger of not knowing and using these 7 rules for texting and emailing piano parents is greater than it ever has been since social media is in our everyday lives. Some of these dangers include:

  • Parents and teachers becoming seriously offended
  • Your paying customers leaving you for another, seemingly kinder teacher
  • Parents becoming defensive when they don’t feel graciousness and kindness coming from you at all times.
  • Stress and anxiety for you when trying to make policy changes.
  • Parents becoming angry with you

But in addition to these dangers of emailing piano parents, we also sometimes experience some turmoil with other piano teachers on social media! We’ve all seen these things, right?

  • Fights breaking out on social media
  • A teacher innocently asking a question about teaching only to be torn apart by other teachers who misunderstand
  • Teachers leaving a piano teaching group because of difficult comments people write
  • Teachers completely misunderstanding our spirit in which we write or comment on a question.

It’s sad when these things happen, but the good news is that so many of these situations can be avoided when you know and practice these 7 secrets about texting and emailing piano parents (and piano teachers). These can do wonders for helping to ensure that what you are saying and how you are saying it is really understood.

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Here’s the first and most useful lesson that my husband taught me about emails and texts:

1. A flat texting and email tone is almost always read in a negative way.

Here’s an example from an email/text that I wrote to my mom a long time ago:

Hey mom! We’re going to go out to eat next Thursday night and we haven’t been out for a long time. We were wondering if you’d be willing to watch the kids?

Here’s the answer I received:

Yes

But what I heard in my mind was a flat, unenthusiastic, “if I really have to” tone of voice. I’m sure she didn’t mean it. I know she didn’t mean it that way. But that’s the way we tend to read texts and emails. A flat tone is a negative tone.  

What I really wanted to hear was this:

Absolutely! I’d love to watch the kids!

Do you hear the difference?

So here is an example from the piano teaching world. Let’s say your 4:00 Monday student’s mom texts you this:

Hi! Amanda just found out that her debate team has advanced to the district semi-finals, so she won’t be at lessons Monday. Do you have spots open later in the week where she could come to lessons?

Let’s say that you are at the grocery store and are in the checkout line and so you send her this quick response:

No

Texting and emailing piano parents. Pick up the phone! ComposeCreate.comThat’s a flat response, right? Seemingly there is no emotion associated with it. But if you were a piano mom, how would that make you feel? Bleh. Angry. It would at least make you furrow your brow and be a little cranky for a little while. It would make you feel like your teacher doesn’t really care about your child.

Listen to the difference in this response by reading it out loud (and yes, I mean listen, because we can hear with our eyes!):

Wow! Congratulations to Amanda and her team! What a great accomplishment! She’s been working so hard at that. I’m sure you are proud of her. I don’t really have any openings later this week, but if something comes up, I’ll be sure to let you know! Good luck at district!

Hear the difference? Do you see the difference? As this article says, “Email misinterpretation tends to come in two forms: neutral or negative.”

Yes, it will take longer to text or even voice text that response. But the extra 30 seconds is worth that relationship! It’s worth it because it helps you have a great relationship with your paying customers! If you don’t remember anything else about this article on texting and emailing piano parents, remember this:

A flat tone is almost always read as a negative tone.

2. Exclamations points are overused, but necessary.

For the first 10 years of my marriage, my husband told me I used too many exclamation points in my writing. I would get annoyed with this criticism, but after a while, I began to see that he was right. [For an example, my husband suggests that you count the number of exclamation points in this article thus far.]

However, now my younger sister (she’s a millennial) has taught me the exact opposite lesson. When it comes especially to texting and even to email, exclamation points are crucial to demonstrating enthusiasm!

Texting and emailing piano parents. Show some enthusiasm! ComposeCreate.comBoth my sister and my husband are right. My husband’s advice is good for articles, and more academic writing. But blog posts, emails, and certainly texts are usually very conversational these days. So it’s okay and many times even necessary to use exclamation points to show enthusiasm when texting and emailing piano parents.

For example, in an email to a parents about Suzie’s great practice week, this just doesn’t cut it:

Susie had a great week of practice. Whatever you are doing to help her is working.

While you might think that the next sentence uses too many exclamation points, consider the difference in excitement level that you hear in your mind when you read it:

Susie had a great week of practice! Whatever you are doing to help her is working. Thanks so much for letting me teach her!

Communicating positive emotion when emailing piano parents is crucial.

3. All caps means you are yelling. Stop yelling.

If you know this already, feel free to skip this section. But if you have ever typed an entire sentence in all caps, STOP! Yes, I purposely yelled right there. 🙂 If you send this to a parent (who is most likely a Millennial or a late Gen X’er), your ignorance of email etiquette will be the topic of their dinner conversation:

GROUP LESSONS ARE AT 4:00 TODAY. DON’T BE LATE!

Imagine someone calling you and yelling that at you on the phone. It’s a simple lesson, but one we all have to learn at some point: All caps is yelling. Please stop yelling when texting or emailing piano parents (or piano teachers)!

4. Look for and acknowledge emotions first when emailing piano parents

This next tip could be an entire blog post, but I’ll just say that it’s important to look for the emotion in any message and acknowledge how people feel before responding.

Look at the message I sent my mom about going out to eat:

Hey mom! We’re going to go out to eat next Thursday night and we haven’t been out for a long time. We were wondering if you’d be willing to watch the kids?

Can you hear the emotion? I was excited to go out to eat. I was desperate to spend some time with my husband. I was hopeful that my mom would be excited about watching the kids for me. I was three different emotions in less than 32 words! The emails you get from parents are the same way! Let me give you an example:

Dan is finally getting some time off work and we’re going to go out of town for the weekend. So, when can you give a makeup lesson for Jon since the competition is so close?

Now, it’s super easy to notice the brazen assumption from this mom that you will give a makeup lesson. And my gut instinct is to react to the email without first looking to find out what’s really going on. What are the emotions that this parent is probably experiencing in this email? Can you hear the strain that this mom has been experiencing? Can you hear the stress that they’ve been experiencing because the dad has been working so much? Perhaps a little bit of desperation from this mom who has been trying to make everything work for her family during this stressful time?

Of course, acknowledging emotions doesn’t mean that your answer to the question about make up lessons will change. Maybe you’ll give this student a make up lesson, maybe not. That’s not the point. The point is that it’s very important to identify and acknowledge what’s going on for parents before reacting to another part of the email.

For example, a response that acknowledges emotions first might be:

Oh, I’m so glad to hear that Dan gets some time off so that you can go out of town for the weekend! I know it’s been stressful lately with everyone working so hard! I don’t give makeup lessons, but I’m happy to let you know if someone else cancels next week and there is an opening. Otherwise, what you could do is have Jon video his piece and send it to me before you go out of town. Then, I can use his normal lesson time to watch it and send him back suggestions so he knows what to practice when he gets back.

I hope you get some needed and much deserved rest and relaxation this weekend!

5. Call them when the conversation is high-stakes or needs de-escalation.

Texting and emailing piano parents. Pick up the phone! ComposeCreate.comThis is the advice my husband gave me that I still hate. I feel like I’m very inarticulate in person. I’m not good “on the fly” and I know that I can communicate more clearly in an email. But, emails are notoriously bad about communicating the wrong spirit and the wrong emotion and so much grief could be avoided if you just call them. In addition, once you send a high-stakes email, you just wonder for hours and even days, “Did they get it?” “What are they thinking?” “Why haven’t they responded?”

It’s better to call someone when they are angry so that you can de-escalate the situation, acknowledge how they feel, and have a chance to get at the heart of what is really wrong. Email and texting usually only makes a highly charged situation worse. Talking in person would be even better when possible.

You might want to give the angry person time to cool down, so you don’t have to call them right away.

In addition, remember that it’s all too easy for a parent to forward your email to anyone. So if your email is negative, angry, or otherwise unbecoming, you can quickly ruin your own reputation by putting your frustration down in an email. Once it’s in an email or text, you can’t take it back!

My husband is right. Though it is hard, pick up the phone and call them.

As Professor Shirky says in this New York Times article, “Social software,” like email and texts, “is not better than face-to-face contact; it’s only better than nothing.”

6. Always sit on an email overnight when there are highly charged emotions.

I’ve learned that typing up a response to an email or text that has made me angry makes me feel better. But, I’ve also learned that sending it right away almost always make things worse.

It’s so easy to react and type a quick response to ridiculous requests, unfair accusations, or other negative correspondence. But there is no “unsend” so it never hurts to sit on your message for a while when texting and emailing piano parents.

I’ve found that it’s also helpful to read your email out loud to someone else that’s not a part of the situation, like a spouse or a friend. Watch their face as you read it. Ask them how they would feel if they got your email.

Get a second opinion when in doubt about texting or emailing piano parents. It’s always worth it!

7. Be proper with the English language.

Typing an all lower case email, an email without a greeting, or a text without any punctuation or capitalization conveys the idea that you don’t care enough about the recipient to put the effort into these things. It also conveys a lack of professionalism. The recipient can subtly think, “If they are too lazy to type a proper response, what are they doing or not doing in my kids’ music lesson?”

For example, perhaps they send you a text that says,

I’m not sure I want Angela to be in the competition this year. I’m really concerned about her emotional state right now. Can we talk about this for a few minutes today?

You respond with this:

yep

I love what Psychology Today says about what that kind of response communicates: “I’m really busy. I don’t have time for you, and by the way, you’re not worthy of a capital Y.”

8. Carbon copying a group is rarely appropriate. Use Bcc instead.

This is crucial and I forgot about it until Andrea Dow from Teach Piano Today mentioned in a comment on Facebook about this post. If you are sending a group email and cc’ing (carbon copying) the group, please stop. It is considered horrible email etiquette to cc a group instead of bcc’ing a group. This is for several reasons:

  • When you cc, you are sharing a private email address with people who do not have the person’s permission to see it.
  • You are allowing for mass “reply-all” conversations which are very, very annoying.

It’s basically a violation of trust to cc a group of people that have not given their permission to do this. Instead, put your own email address in the To field and the Bcc (blind carbon copy) everyone. That way, you are not sharing their email with people who shouldn’t see it.

Also, be careful about mass texts. Those are extremely annoying. Every year, I get a “Merry Christmas” text from one of my friends, but they send it to a group of people. What happens is, instead of a quiet Christmas day, I get a barrage of reply texts from strangers that say “Merry Christmas” back which does not make my day very merry.

It may take a little extra time, but if you have to text everyone about something, copy your message and send that message to each individual person. Your recipients may not thank you, but they could get really angry if you do it the other way.

To summarize…

Though it takes a tad bit extra time, we really have to “go over and above” to sound respectful, courteous, and positive when texting and emailing piano parents. Of course, most of the time I think we don’t intend any negative outcomes, but the danger of email and texting is that many times these misunderstandings do occur.

If you think this is helpful, please leave a comment below. Plus if you would like a printable download of this, you can download the printable version by clicking here.

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Wendy Stevens
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52 Comments

  1. Courtney March 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Wow, super helpful article Wendy. Thank you!

  2. Anita E Kohli March 6, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for this post Wendy! Really helps..

  3. Linda March 7, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Great comments. Thanks.

  4. Gabriele March 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Yes, this post was helpful. I try to send a quick not after every lesson and sometimes I’m tired and my messages get short and terse. I’m determined to be more vigilant.

  5. Wendy Stevens
    Wendy Stevens March 7, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Hi Gabriele,

    Yes, you are so right! It’s so easy to be short which sounds terse sometimes when we’re just trying be efficient with our time. It’s something I think we all have to work on proactively! 🙂

  6. Lisa McCluer March 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

    This is a great article, Wendy! Sometimes I think I use way too many explanation points, but it’s probably better than none. This information was very helpful. Thank you!

  7. Wendy L Chilton March 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Excellent advice. I have tried to do all of these things over the years…and one more: when typing an email to a parent,
    don’t put anything in the “To” field until you have written, rewritten, sat on it overnight, etc….so that you don’t accidentally hit
    “Send” before you are finished!

  8. Esther March 7, 2017 at 9:18 am

    i thought this was good
    thanks
    AND I AGREE WITH ALL OF THE CONTENT!!!
    😉
    Seriously, though, thank you for an excellent article! I especially liked the advice to acknowledge the emotion behind the words – I thought that was perceptive. I often use emojis to boost emotional content and connection. 🤓😌

  9. L Warren March 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Oh my word, you nailed it!!! Especially (for me) number 5. I have long felt that I am not able to collect my thoughts in person as well as in email communication. I often resent the need to have to say the right thing on the phone or be put in a position to have to solve a problem on the spot, therefore I avoid phone conversation at all costs! But I can see how a phone call is necessary sometimes. Thanks for the prompt to do this, when it is necessary.
    I just had a situation recently that still blows me away. I was able to respond graciously and articulately in a response email after the unfortunate event, but have heard nothing back from them. (And they truly had been big fans of mine!) Here’s what happened: the child came in to the lesson with the parent, sat down and without any earlier indication that this was coming, proceeded to tell me this was her last lesson because mom didn’t think they were practicing enough and the money “was being wasted.” I listened and fumbled some kind of “that’s okay….,” and proceeded to give a normal, well prepared, attentive lesson as always. The mom said something about them wanting the child to be the deliverer of the message and they left. I felt so badly afterward, because this was literally the last thing I expected from this effusive family after their declared appreciation for me as their teacher in the past, and I just didn’t seem to have the right words at the moment and just acknowledged their decision. I can see now, it may have appeared that I was not happy with them, even though that’s not the case. I emailed later in the week, a very supportive note about their decision and pointed out the growth and development of the student, but never heard a word back. So odd. And I so wish I had had the right magical words at the moment in that lesson.

  10. Wendy Stevens
    Wendy Stevens March 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Lol, Esther! Sometimes it is appropriate to yell! 🙂

  11. Wendy Stevens
    Wendy Stevens March 7, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Yes! I love this one, Wendy and its worked for me too. I just have to remember to remove the address when I’m replying so that I don’t accidentally send it!

  12. Sarah March 7, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Thank you so much ,Wendy ! I’ve been through all that you mentioned in the article and I am so grateful for your ideas and suggestions ..this is so helpful ..sometimes it feels like the parents don’t understand us and our policies and yet expect us to be above and beyond with all smiles ..but I do understand where you are coming from and I will definitely take your advice on it….
    Regards all the way from Singapore…Sarah

  13. Christina March 7, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Perfectly stated, all around, and I appreciate the way you’ve helped me further justify my overuse of exclamation points! 🙂

    Identifying emotions first is a real key to 21st century emotions. Everyone struggles with not feeling understood. Well-said, as always, Wendy! 🙂

  14. Abigail March 7, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Wonderfully written article, Wendy! I was just thinking about my written communication skills yesterday after exchanging comments with a YouTuber and they wrote back, “you are a joy to talk to and you seem very nice.” I was trying to figure out exactly what made me come across as “very nice”, and I believe applying #4 of your article (by carefully reading the person’s original message and responding appropriately) adds the feeling of care and compassion to a written message. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us! 🙂

  15. Patricia Neufeldt March 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

    So very timely and on point! In the end, I believe it all comes down to timeless principles of what constitutes good and effective communication, and whether or not we strive to understand the other party’s point of view.

    In an age with so many demands on our time, endless distractions and instant gratification, I think that we often forget/neglect to be reflective and respectful in our communications. This is particularly true when dealing with digital and written forms, as opposed to in-person communication. I have been on the receiving end of many terse-sounding texts and emails, and I’m sure I’ve sent a few myself! I’ve often been glad that I took a moment to proof-read an email (and yes, texts too!) or slept on it before pressing send.

    I also think that parents sometimes struggle in how to communicate appropriately with their kids’ teachers (I know I do). When I am on the receiving end of a negative communication (like the one described by L. Warren) it is so easy to slip into either blaming the other party or being self-effacing. I try to counteract this by reminding myself of their “imperfect humanness” and that I need to be the professional in this instance (think patient-doctor relationship). Then I try to learn from the situation about what to do or not do next time, both as a professional and as a parent/client!

  16. Stephani Austin March 7, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Very helpful for any teacher or someone working with people in any capacity. I’m going to print this out and keep it as a reminder. I especially love the first point.

  17. Ursula Newman March 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

    This blog was so helpful!! You are so perceptive discuss this! We all need help with this!! Thank-you!!!

  18. Andrea March 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Great article, Wendy! These are all so important.

  19. Lisette Sage March 7, 2017 at 11:17 am

    As I read the comment by L. Warren I just had to share my experience after 45+ years of teaching: I have found that the most effusive parents that rave about your teaching, etc. can also be the most unpredictable ones who can quit lessons without warning or explanation. Still doesn’t make sense to me but there it is!

  20. Mary Keelan March 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Wendy, this is REALLY (I’m not mad;) valuable!
    Thank you for taking the time to go the extra mile to help all of us be the best that we can be!

  21. C Bakker March 7, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Ah, yes! Etiquette on our teacher part is important on emails, texts, phone calls and conversations. If someone else desires to sound stressful or demanding that is their part of the communication with us.

  22. Benita March 7, 2017 at 11:50 am

    So helpful! Wow thank you! I am getting more into the email and text way of communicating with parents. I struggle to know how to word things correctly. I also avoid phone conversations at all costs! Hope that with time it will get better and easier for a new teacher like me!

  23. Carrie March 7, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Some emotionally intelligent advice here! Thanks!

  24. Tess March 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    (Yelling): YOU ARE THE BEST!

  25. Wendy Stevens
    Wendy Stevens March 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Lol, Tess! Thank you SO much! 🙂 You make my day.

  26. Darlene March 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Wonderful reminders for good texting and email relationships!

  27. Amanda Gollings March 7, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Love it, thank you Wendy. It’s very true – some parents read what we write to them over and over again. It’s very important to them, so it should be to us too! Thank you so much!

  28. Barbara March 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you Wendy. Just want to say that you are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Daniella Caveney March 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    You are SO good at posting relative, thoughtful, and modern topics for music teachers. Thank you!

  30. Debbie F. March 7, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    What a great article, Wendy! Thank you! I typically use exclamation marks in my texts and emails in order to convey enthusiasm (in an otherwise bland form of communication), and it’s nice to be reassured/reminded that it’s good and important to do so. Maybe also important for piano teachers to realize that quite often, after sending very carefully crafted texts, parents will respond with a one or two word answer (“ok” or “yes, thanks”). It’s a little disheartening but I try not to take it personally and just keep on with the !!!!! 😉

  31. Claire March 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Spot on Wendy! Thanks!

  32. Suzanne Lichtenstein March 7, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Truly fantastic article, Wendy. Thank you!!! I am going to send it to my husband and kids to read. I think everybody in the world could benefit from reading this article!

  33. Suzanne Lichtenstein March 7, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    For L. Warren, I want to say that there may be a money issue behind the mother’s decision. Whenever otherwise-supportive parents announce a sudden desire to quit, I ask about finances, tell them I’ve been through hard times and people were amazingly generous to me, and tell them I have a debt to pay. Then I tell them that, if they are undergoing financial hardship, I am willing to continue teaching their child regardless, until they are able to pay me again.

    Let me add that I do this only for the families that have been enthusiastic, and whose decision to quit has been totally unexpected. Interestingly, I have been right, in all cases but one, that finances were the cause. In the one case I was wrong, the reason the student had to quit was because of a custody problem, in which the other parent was forcing the custodial parent to quit the lessons. It was a sad situation, and had nothing to do with finances. So, unfortunately, my offer couldn’t help in that one circumstance.

    Offering to let the students continue regardless of pay has brought me amazing benefits. First, I know that a promising child isn’t being denied lessons just because of money. Second, the parents love me, and will do anything to help or pay me back. I’ve received meals, groceries, and even accounting help and school-logo t-shirts in thanks. (The accounting and t-shirt making were skills the parents possessed.) Every single time that a parent has been able to start paying again, they have.

    How likely is it that, after several months of being jobless and unable to afford lessons, a parent would re-enroll a student when a new job is found? Not very likely. Whereas, by not losing the student even temporarily, I am able to keep working with that student. The student continues to grow, and is not stunted. And the parents have always shown good faith.

  34. Rudy March 7, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Don’t know how many times my wife and I have addressed these very issues in exchanging advice for responding to texts and emails. Thank you for confirming most of them! Yes, parents do “hear” our tone of voice through our correspondence and professionalism requires that we respond in cheerful, timely, and thoughtful emails and texts. Thank you Wendy!

  35. Garreth Brooke March 8, 2017 at 4:09 am

    This is a great article! I identify with so much of it. The only thing I would change is point 5: I actually think the best way to deal with emotionally charged conversations is to have them face to face, begin by asking them a really open question about what they are concerned about, let them get it out of their system (don’t interrupt!), and then say something like “how can we work together to fix this?” The reason I would prefer a face-to-face meeting to a conversation over the phone is that you can really get people on your side with good sympathetic body language. So much of human communication takes place silently through body language, it helps much more than most people realise!

  36. Laura March 8, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Great thoughts and so concisely put together! I find myself deleting and re-wording emails all the time, so this confirms that it’s worth the time I spend. Thanks for all you share!!

  37. Marcia Benson March 8, 2017 at 8:27 am

    This is very helpful. I have indeed made some mistakes, and really appreciate these clear explanations. Different generations have different communication styles and expectations. I will make some changes, especially with copying people. I didn’t realize the purpose of this.
    One basic addition- I have failed to read things carefully before I hit send, and had some oops messages.

  38. Natalie Johnson March 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Thank you, Wendy! As always, you’ve given some very useful information. I especially appreciate the mass email bcc information. I never knew what the bcc stood for so I either didn’t mass email, which took an excruciating amount of time, or I used cc and worried about privacy. (grimace) So thanks for the education! I love being a part of your community!! (Extra exclamation points, indeed.)

  39. Coach David Alexander March 8, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Very good article. This answers some questions I’ve had for awhile about communication. I made a couple of these mistakes in the past 3 months and I lost a family with 3 sons all taking lessons with me…Ouch… They had an emergency and had to cancel, but I did not acknowledge her emotions properly, so she got mad and stopped lessons. Learn the hard way I guess.

  40. Sarah March 8, 2017 at 10:40 am

    This is wonderful, Wendy! I have always felt like I did a fairly good job of being courteous, respectful, and professional in my text messages and emails. I have learned the hard way in the past. 🙂 This blog post helped me see that I really do a good job, but there are just a couple of areas in which I could improve. Professionalism is pretty important to me and I want to do my best to serve my customers/clients well. This blog post is definitely helpful!

    Someone may have already mentioned this, but another invaluable tip is to proofread, proofread, proofread! Ha ha! Once my pastor’s wife (who is not a native English speaker) was texting someone, misspelled a word, and auto-correct changed it to a curse word. She was completely mortified when she sent the message without proofreading it. She explained to the person what happened and the understood, but it just proves the proofreading point. LOL! I’m almost neurotic about proofreading when it comes to my business…It’s good practice for others to keep this in mind as well. 🙂

  41. Cynthia March 8, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for the tips Wendy! You’re right, some of them were ones we may instinctively know, but, wow, there were a couple that made me pause and want to read them again….and maybe again! Garrett had a good point about face-to-face. The body language and listening stance would’ve helped me with one mom who was really steamed about a misunderstanding! The proofreading tip was funny and really true.

    I’m sharing them with my husband too. 🙂

  42. Ellen March 8, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    My husband used to wonder why I work so hard to craft text or email messages. But I’ve find that everyone, regardless of gender or age, responds positively (in some way) to thoughtful messages.
    How true, that in lieu of direct expressions of thanks from our studio families, we may certainly appreciate and simply welcome the harmony created by our courteous (and effective!) communication.
    And, as interesting as the blog is, all the responses are helpful too. Thanks, to everyone!
    (Very much an aside: Wendy, has an article on handling face to face “sudden farewells”, as was described by a couple of respondents, already appeared on ComposeCreate?)
    It’s a pleasure to read your articles, Wendy! Thank you again!

  43. Teresa March 10, 2017 at 1:24 am

    Excellent!

  44. Loriann March 10, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Great article! There were definitely some points I need to adopt. Thanks!

  45. Linda Arnett March 17, 2017 at 9:17 am

    This is so very helpful. I try to always reread what I write, but now “hear” what something might sound like to the recipient. I have often thought that the old fashioned phone call is more helpful, but know young parents prefer the texts. Thanks for great reminders!

  46. Mary Beth May 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Yep! (Just kidding!) I don’t know what I’d do without you!

  47. Wendy Stevens
    Wendy Stevens May 9, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Lol. Thanks Mary Beth! 🙂

  48. Urvi Drummond May 9, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Great advice and thanks so much for going the extra mile and documeting your tios so clearly. My husband who is in business and communicates a lot of complex information also gave me tips on texting and emailing my students’ parents. Your article covers them all.

  49. Heather Nel June 27, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I really enjoyed reading the well deserved list of great feedback regarding your advice, Wendy.
    My husband once said that everyone is striving to do his (or her) best in life. “We are all trying to stand up tall”, as he puts it, “but sometimes we get bent over a little.”
    I have learnt over 36 years of music teaching that graciousness saves the day every time. If we have no personal agenda or ego to protect, it is much easier to allow others to keep their dignity intact. This thought has given me confidence to attend to the necessary phone conversations sooner rather than later…no one is going to eat us up on the phone if we are genuinely concerned for their welfare.

  50. Wendy Stevens
    Wendy Stevens June 27, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    This is so well said, Heather! Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom in such a lovely way. I hope everyone reads your comment!

  51. Melinda July 20, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Love!! The mass text thing has some work arounds-you could set your phone so that replied only go to you instead of to the group; you can just copy and paste the content of the original message to each individual; or you could set up a free remind.com account which allows you to contact people via email or text and send a group message-but no one uses their personal number, it auto generates a new one-which is why it’s approved for use by school teachers so students can contact their teachers with questions after hours. Everything is archived and CANNOT be deleted, which comes in handy if someone says “I never got a message about…” On important things, I always ask for a response. All responses to a group message only come back to you and you can message people individually. It also lets you schedule a message, so if you think of something that needs to be communicated the next day, but it’s 10pm and you’re worried, just type it up and schedule to send at an appropriate time. I know you can also share pictures, but not sure about video yet. It can text any cell phone, can go through an app, go to an email, or accessed on the website. I love the generated numbers also, because group texts if mass replied to will be giving out personal cell numbers too!

  52. Melinda July 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    *worried you’ll forget* it should read…

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