What to do without a teacher?


Sandra said: Sep 19, 2013
 Piano, Violin
1 posts

My 9 year old daughter has been playing violin with the Suzuki method for the last 3 years. She loves it and is just finishing Book 1. We live on an island and our teacher has suddenly left so we have no Suzuki teacher for the upcoming year. My daughter is incredibly disappointed. She attended a Suzuki Institute this past summer, was looking forward to doing her Book 1 recital in the next month or so, and she is very excited about playing Book 2 songs. In fact, as we have been listening to Book 2 music, she has started teaching herself Hunter’s Chorus which she loves- and seems to be doing OK with it. One of the Book 9 students in our school is willing to do some weekly group playing with the younger students.

So I’m looking for some advice on how to proceed. We are looking for another teacher but we’ll be lucky if we get someone to start in January- we might not have a teacher for the entire coming year. I’m not sure that I can keep my daughter going- I’m especially concerned that she’ll loose the beautiful techniques that she has learned. My thought has been to just let her practice violin as she wants and have her take piano lessons (Suzuki method) until we have a violin teacher.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.



Kelly Williamson said: Sep 20, 2013
Kelly WilliamsonTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Flute, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Cambridge, ON
248 posts

Was there a teacher she really enjoyed working with at the institute? You might contact that person and see if they’d be willing to teach her via Skype while you try to find a more permanent solution. Many teachers now specialize in teaching via Skype (or FaceTime, or other)—especially for adults. I have done it various ages and levels and find it extremely useful for certain situations, such as yours. (I have always used it with students and teachers with whom I already had an in-person working relationship. For a child I think that would be a nice place to start, which is in part why I suggested you start with a teacher you already knew.) That said, I think being in the physical presence of the teacher is still the ideal, if it can be managed. Many kids like the novelty of the Skype lesson, but a very thoughtful 10-year-old student of mine told me she really preferred being together at the lesson!

I wish you luck in finding an excellent long-term teacher for your daughter, and a good interim solution as well.


Teresa said: Sep 20, 2013
Teresa Skinner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
69 posts

I agree with Kelly- Skype lessons can be a good interim solution.
May I inquire, what island are you on?

…if you listen to the music, it tells you what to do…

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services