teacher dilemma


said: May 5, 2006
 1 posts

MY dd’s violin teacher of 5 years is leaving the school where she has taught for some time. She will be starting her own studio with former teachers from the school.

The school has told us they have hired a new teacher who is a violin professor at a local university. She was taught with the Suzuki method but has not had any teacher training. My dd is completing book 6 and I wonder if this would be detrimental to her training at this level. Keep in mind the teacher does teach college age students.

To leave the school will be difficult as friendships have been made. There is an advanced ensemble group which has required up to 2-5 hours of rehearsals a week. This has been a strain on our family based on the scheduling of these rehearsals but it is an excellent musical experience and has provided touring opportunities. We would also miss the community but want the best situation for dd. She can not participate in the ensemble unless she takes lessons from the school’s teachers. There are only two other teachers to choose from but they aren’t likely to have room for another student.

What’s more important, the teacher, the group, or the community?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Lynn said: May 5, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

It really depends. On teacher, on the student/family and what keeps them going and on what opportunities each situation provides.

Assuming that the incoming teacher will be as effective in her own way as the current teacher is, I would recommend talking to your daughter about what SHE values most out of the package, and what she would miss more if she had to give parts of it up. Talk also with your current teacher about what she might be able to offer that would take the place of the school opportunities that your daughter would no longer be eligible for.

said: May 6, 2006
 44 posts

I have had to make this same decision two times in the last three years. The first time, I elected to stay with the school because my son enjoyed his group class so much. He liked the peer interaction, plus it was very motivating to him to see what others were working on in the repertoire. Some of his group pieces were very challenging and he loved playing them. The second time, we left the school to go with the teacher. I didn’t want him to have to change teachers again. Also, he has opportunities like youth orchestra and chamber groups for peer interaction.
The tour group sounds really fun. Does your daughter really like it and want to continue with it, or is this something that you want her to do and she doesn’t really care? If this is what is really driving her, I would talk to the teacher at the school you think she would work best with about openings in the fall. All teachers have students that move or graduate. You also might ask for a trial lesson with the new teacher coming on board. Often you can tell right away if this is someone you can work with. Are you sure she can’t continue to play with the group if you stay with your teacher? Since she has been there 5 years, perhaps they could make an exception and let you pay a fee to continue with the group. On the other hand, if your daughter loves her teacher and is doing well, look arould for other performance opportunities like youth orchestra, fiddling groups, etc. Often we become so comfortable and secure with what we have, that we don’t notice all the other great things that are happening in the community. Good luck! This is an agonizing decision.

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