Violin damage etiquette


Heather Boulding said: Nov 8, 2013
Heather BouldingViolin
Victoria, BC
3 posts

Just a quick question as to how other teacher’s handle an instrument that was damaged in group or individual class. If there is an accident with the violin is it the teacher’s responsibility to pay for the repairs or the student’s? If a student damages another student’s violin, what the protocol here? Do you put a clause in your studio policy?

Thanks in advance!

Heather Boulding
Blue Octopus Studio

Connie Sunday said: Nov 9, 2013
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

I don’t think teacher should be held responsible. The only thing I have in my policies pertinent to teacher’s financial responsibilities are sections four and eight:

§4. INSTRUMENTS: Students are not required to purchase an instrument from me, but reasonably priced instruments are available for students who want them. A student instrument may be upgraded to a larger size at no additional costs, except that if the instrument needs strings, bow re-haired or other costs, that cost will be covered by the student (not the teacher).

§8. PARENTS: Please observe carefully and have a clear idea of what your student is expected to work on during the week. Please wait until the end of the lesson, however, to ask questions; it is too confusing for a child to take direction from two adults at the same time. Also, help me by picking up any toys your child may have left on the floor. Teacher is not responsible for any items left in studio.

Why would the teacher pay for repairs if the student(s) did the damage?

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:

Heather Boulding said: Nov 13, 2013
Heather BouldingViolin
Victoria, BC
3 posts

Thanks Connie, I just wanted to be sure of what other teacher’s did as this isn’t something I’ve come across before. I agree that if the student damages their instrument in class or at home, that they are responsible for the damage.

Heather Boulding
Blue Octopus Studio

Barbara Stafford said: Nov 13, 2013
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Plano, TX
59 posts

For the future, it might be good to encourage parents to decide if they are going to purchase insurance through their home, renters, or rental instrument policy— understanding that if their child attends events with other young children there is always risk. And in that situation, even if it is someone else’s clumsiness or lack of awareness, my tendency is to believe each person should be ready to replace their own instrument, unless the damage caused is not by accident. If I were running group classes, that would be something I would want to remember to discuss with parents—as well as have it in writing. If someone in the class tends to be obviously careless, then I think it is important to talk with the parent about helping the child become more careful during the group classes, and to have the parent close to that child until the child becomes aware and is able to be careful.

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