Solutions to spreading of germs? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

It's that time of year and kids are back in school--and bringing home virus's and the like. I remember going to piano lessons and the teacher always coughing, blowing nose, sneezing, as well as kids coming and going. Now I'm a new piano teacher and wondering if it's just something we learn to live with. I've always been careful not to expose myself to others when I have a cold, but piano lessons would be thrown off all winter if kids avoided lessons while they had colds. Does anyone use anything to clean off the keys between lessons to help out?

-- Rose (, October 02, 2004


My studio policy states that if the student has stayed home from school on the day of their lesson due to illness, they are not to attend their piano lesson either.

Inevitably, students with little colds will still attend and not practice good hygiene. My solution is to a) have them wash their hands before they play the piano; b) keep a box of tissues and some antibacterial hand gel by the piano and c) wipe off the keys and the doorknobs with a Lysol wipe when they leave.

This has worked pretty well for me.

-- Arlene Steffen (, October 03, 2004.

It is the action of washing hands thoroughly with any soap in the hottest water you can stand that stops the spread of germs. Antibacterial gels are great for use when you don't have access to soap and water.

Whatever you use on your piano, make sure it won't damage the surface--they do have "baby wipes" that are antibacterial too. Or you can even make your own custom "cleaning wipe" type mix if you want to avoid the rather drying commercial ones. These are from The Dollar Stretcher website:

Hope this helps.

-- GT (, October 03, 2004.

Arlene, Do you find that the Lysol brand wipes leave no sticky residue? I bought a generic type of wipe last week, but I have to use a dishtowel to wipe keys to get rid of the stickiness after I use the disinfectant wipe. (which probably negates the antibacterial effect of the wipes!) annie

-- annie (, October 06, 2004.

Can't say as I've noticed any problem, but if you are using a freshly washed towel after having cleaned the keys with a Lysol wipe, you shouldn't be taking any germs onto the towel. The Lysol will have gotten them.

-- Arlene Steffen (, October 07, 2004.

Hi Rose,

This has always been a terrible problem for me as I have a compromised immune system. I have tried nearly everything. In addition to the excellent suggestions above, I finally learned never to touch my face at all while I am teaching. I do give make-ups for illness (I allow two per year) so that I don't encourage infected people to come to the lesson. Also, I teach students to cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbows and away from my face.

Good luck-


-- Lea Johnson (, October 16, 2004.

Rose, In my experience I have found that preventing illness begins with yourself. Young students don't have always have the best hygiene, due to their lack of knowledge experience. I always help my students to wash their hands with me before their lesson starts. This way the student doesn't feel that you are singling them out, and both of us are germ-free. Studies show over and over again if you personally have good hygiene and always wash your own hands this will greatly minimize the chances of you getting a cold. I have found this to work quite well as I am rarely sick. Hope that helps.

-- Jenn (, November 02, 2004.

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