August 28

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The Culture of Not Responding

Imagine you made a new friend. You hang out a few times. You have some nice conversations. "This could be cool," you think.

But then, a week later, they don't respond to your messages.

You ask if you'll see them next week. No response.

You ask if everything is okay. No response.

You write, "Please let me know you're alive, at least?" No response.

As we enter the fall lesson scheduling season, every piano teacher in the world is familiar with this.

We've built relationships with students. We've made memories. Had some great lessons (or maybe some not-so-great lessons).

And the decision to not continue with lessons is communicated in the form of...well...disappearing.

This has been one of the downsides of texting and emailing for years. And it's become accepted in our culture. If you're not comfortable with responding to something, even a little bit, you can just...not respond. Simple as that.

Or is it that simple?

Because while it's easy for us to blow messages off in the craziness of life, there is someone on the other end waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

Until they eventually give up.

While it's uncomfortable to say things like...

  • No
  • I don't want to continue.
  • I don't like where this is going.
  • I've found something better.

...closure is a real thing, and it brings our relationships full circle. It's a discomfort, but one worth leaning into for a happier life.

Otherwise, you'll have awkward, unclosed loops hanging all around you.

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For parents, students, and anyone else who believes that music can and should be a meaningful part of everyone's life.

About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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