Mom Knows Best. Keep Lessons Classy and Focused by Eliminating the Ultimate Vibe Killer.

Eric Branner

Oct 30, 2016

My mom is a saint. She has perfect social skills, and I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about her. She is a shining example of southern hospitality. She’s said the following for as long as I can remember…

“Darlin, don’t talk about money in social conversation, it’s not polite.”(she avoids politics and religion for that matter, today we’ll start with money)

How About this Example?

“Hey Jimmy, did your mom remember to send the check?” This mood killer is the worst. Asking a student to pay you should not be your conversation at the start of a lesson. “How was school today?” “How was your game?” “What have you been listening too?” A quick check in at the beginning of each lesson sets the tone for your practice together. Jimmy didn’t bring the check… again. Now you’re trying to teach, and wondering why Jimmy’s parents disrespect you. They haven’t paid on time in months, have a huge house, and went on vacation for half of last year. You consider selling your instrument and becoming a real estate agent. This is not an optimal headspace for inspiring the next generation of musicians.

How many times have you as a teacher experienced loss of mojo due to a payment issue?

Mom is right. Asking people how much they pay for rent, how much a car cost.. even bragging about how you got a sweet shirt at a thrift store for five bucks never elevates a conversation. It invites comparison, envy, and anxiety. Next time you hear it in conversation, notice how it’s a subtle vibe killer.

I have not talked about money once during a lesson since I’ve adopted Fons to run my studio. By automating payments, I know that each appointment will be billed at the time of the lesson. There are no late or missed payments, and I have $0 outstanding on my books.

Do the classy thing. Remove money talk from your lessons. Simplify and automate your teaching business. I did, and I’ve never felt more passionate about teaching. Notice how much more effective and enjoyable your lessons are. You’ll get right to work doing what you love to do… teaching. See for yourself at

Try these exercises this week.

Notice when people talk about money in conversation. “How much was it?” What does that do to the vibe of the conversation? Practice removing money from your dialogues, isn’t that awesome?

While teaching, notice when thoughts come up regarding money, lesson policies, or wether you’re a good fit for your student. Does your mind wander? Are you really focusing on the lesson you’re giving? Do you resent that your student hasn’t paid you on time this month? Are you worried about your car payment? Write these thoughts down, and make a plan for how you can eliminate them.

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