One of the things I secretly look forward to at each lesson I teach is hearing the clever (and sometimes not-so-clever) excuses my students come up with to explain why they haven’t practiced.

I think I get such a kick out of them because I was once in their shoes: a busy kid who really wanted to excel at an instrument — piano, in my case — but just didn’t always have the motivation to do the work. I always had a handy excuse up my sleeve for my wonderfully patient piano teacher (she was a nun, after all!) and now I’m on the other side of the coin.

Since the fall session has just begun, I’ve heard some doozies after asking the dreaded question, “So have you had a chance to practice over the break?” Here are a couple of my favorites over the past two (just two!) days:

I really wanted to practice, but I had to go school supply shopping.

School supply shopping can be so overwhelming! :)

I know I was supposed to work on my chords, but I was busy writing my own songs instead. 10 of them!

Okay, this one was good.

My dad was watching TV and I didn’t want to bother him.

Mind you, this student’s dad attends every lesson, is extremely involved, and tracks his son’s practice.

The week is still young, so I have lots more excuses to look forward to in the coming days. I think I have mastered the art of balancing validation with encouragement; discipline is not my forte. How do you handle the excuses presented by your students? And please feel free to add any doozies you’ve heard to my list!

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