I’ve had my fair share of parents who wanted to participate in lessons. I’ve learned to be very clear, “Students and the teacher may talk. Parents may not.” I’ve had to say it more than once. But I rarely have to repeat it to the same parent. But once parents have sat in the studio for a few lessons I also let them now they then must move to the living room. I leave my studio door open, and they can easily hear me and their child so they needn’t worry that I’ll be abusive. They are welcome to drop by on occasion, but the studio is, primarily, for the student and me.

I wonder if I would have lost Lang Lang as a student if I had told his father my rule. I find this article a tad frightening!

And then there’s this:

But as stage parents go, Lang Guoren isn’t the worst. During lessons, Graffman said, “he sat in the corner very quietly, and at no point interfered. There were a few nice occasions when I’d make suggestions and you could see the father smiling.”

“The problem wasn’t his attitude but the tone he set for other parents. It became more competitive,” said Curtis’ dean, Robert Fitzpatrick, recently. “We’ve made it clear, we’ve posted signs, that parents are welcome in our building but not upstairs in the studios or in rehearsals unless specifically invited by a faculty member. … They want to protect their own children, but they also spy on others to compare talents.”

Yikes! And did he really tell his son to kill himself? Ouch. It’s only music, folks.

And now … I think it’s time to see if my stomach can actually handle some food. Going to a concert without eating isn’t a good idea. So far I’ve not thought I could deal with food, but I think maybe I can deal now. We’ll see!


  1. Hope you’re feeling better – this story kinda reminds me of Beethoven’s childhood (at least from what I read about it back in 5th grade almost 40 years ago), only maybe even more intense.

  2. I’m feeling much better … thanks!

    Scary story, isn’t it? No matter what people think of Lang Lang I do feel for the guy. Silly me; I thought parents were supposed to be supportive and encouraging!