second teacher once a month

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Sara said: Oct 24, 2008
 Violin
191 posts

I have two students (brothers) that have a hero fiddler friend that is a famous performer in the area. They both highly admire him and had him sign their violins at their concert. They came to lessons telling me they are signing up for lessons with him once a month. Since my opinion was not asked on this matter, I was told not asked, and knowing how much they admire him I simply encouraged them. I am hoping the once a month lesson will not conflict. But in the even it does (which I am expecting it will sooner or later as every teacher has a different style) how should I best handle this?
They were so excited to be able to get in with their true “hero fiddler”

Thanks, any advise is appreciated!

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Connie Sunday said: Oct 25, 2008
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

You will have to have the patience and understanding of a saint to put up with this. These kids are being very insensitive. You can endure it or you can suggest they find another teacher. I guess I would try to project how I would feel if I gave up these students, versus how I may feel if I kept them.

I’d discuss this with the parents first. They are likely as insensitive as their kids. You have to balance the needs of these children versus how you feel about the situation.

I’ve had two instances over the years (it’s amazing it’s only two) when students came to lessons with marks in their books from another teacher. (A teacher who couldn’t spell “baroque,” in one instance.) In both instances they hid this from me, and in both cases, actually lied to me about it, knowing, I guess, that it was inappropriate.

I’ve read instances online where teachers have said that other teachers in their community are friendly and cooperative. I have had a couple of friends with whom I could do joint recitals, but overall, that has not been my experience, unfortunately.

No matter what, of course, the most important things are kindness, intelligence, maturity and professional behavior.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

said: Oct 26, 2008
 145 posts

I would n’t continue personally, I think they’ve been very disrespectful towards you. It must be in the back of your mind all the time when you’re teaching them. I’d find it unessecary stress.
You don’t need that !

Lynn said: Oct 26, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

I disagree about the disrespect….I don’t imagine any was intended on anybody’s part.

If one of my students came to me all excited about being able to work with a fiddler they admired once a month, like Freesia, I would view it as a supplemental, enrichment activity, and I would support it. To my mind, this does not violate the one teacher rule. Actually, since I’m not a fiddler myself, I’d ask them to bring back something they’d learned at each of their lessons. Why? Because learning new things is fun, even for grown-ups, sharing knowledge is a great way to reinforce it, it gives the kids permission to talk about their fiddle teacher, and (oh, by the way) it keeps me in touch with what they are working on.

I would certainly talk to the parents about what the lessons involve, and about the importance of only one source of technical instruction. Particularly when technique is still developing, having conflicting instruction is disastrous. But if what they are doing is learning fiddle tunes, and developing fiddling styles, well, kids love that stuff, and they won’t be able to learn much of it from me!

said: Oct 27, 2008
 145 posts

I think they were disrespectful because they didn’t even ask Silverstar ,who is their teacher after all, whether it would be a good idea. I don’t think it matters who the children go to, that is irrelevant. As a professional we all need to be responsible and treat each other respectfully.
All it needed was for the parent to have a chat with Silverstar beforehand. The fact that she wrote this topic on the board shows she felt very uneasy with the situation.

said: Oct 27, 2008
 89 posts

They both highly admire him and had him sign their violins at their concert.

I’ve never heard of anyone autographing an instrument before. Is this common?

Connie Sunday said: Oct 27, 2008
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

Looks like opinions vary widely about this. I’m more than willing to think that I could be wrong. It’s similar to the time I was an undergraduate and had a job conducting a church choir. When the Christmas holidays came around, the minister always had this retired actor/director handle their Christmas event. When this fellow began work on that, the minister ignored me and didn’t even introduce me to the fellow. And I had worked very hard with that group, getting them to sing well. I was offended, and quit. Was I right?

I think what happens, one internalizes the circumstances and feels, what would I do if I were them? And when that doesn’t happen (I’m not treated respectfully or in a friendly manner), it’s unsettling.

But the OP of this thread was upset and as they say: “feelings are feelings; they’re not negotiable.”

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Sara said: Nov 1, 2008
 Violin
191 posts

Thanks, everyone. Alot of varied opinions. You’ve all given a lot of different angles to look from and that’s what I was hoping to hear. I think I will just have to keep a close watch on the situation and take it a week or month at a time and see how it plays out.
Thanks!

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Sarah said: Nov 4, 2008
 Violin
11 posts

Wouldn’t this situation be similar to a student who joins an orchestra? If the fiddle teacher was going to be teaching Suzuki repetoire it would be a different story. But, if the fiddle teacher is teaching fiddle tunes then I think it’s much more similar to a child joining orchestra.

After all of the defensiveness on this board I think I’ll make sure our teacher wasn’t offended that my boys joined a weekly fiddling group this year. I can’t imagine why it would impact her, but I wouldn’t want her to feel we were being disrespectful. She was very enthusiastic about orchestra and I really look at the fiddling group as the same type of thing.

Connie Sunday said: Nov 4, 2008
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

Sarah CB

Wouldn’t this situation be similar to a student who joins an orchestra? If the fiddle teacher was going to be teaching Suzuki repetoire it would be a different story. But, if the fiddle teacher is teaching fiddle tunes then I think it’s much more similar to a child joining orchestra.

After all of the defensiveness on this board I think I’ll make sure our teacher wasn’t offended that my boys joined a weekly fiddling group this year. I can’t imagine why it would impact her, but I wouldn’t want her to feel we were being disrespectful. She was very enthusiastic about orchestra and I really look at the fiddling group as the same type of thing.

It’s very different than joining a fiddle group or an orchestra. All of my students are in mariachi, and high school, summer, local and regional orchestras. Private lessons are a different matter.

However, I always caution my students that they need to do things just as their school music teachers instruct them to do. Please don’t say (I tell them) “but Ms. Sunday said…” No, I tell them that it’s important to make good grades so they can go on with their academic careers, and do the next grade level. So be cool, in other words. That it’s in their own best interests to be respectful of their teachers. I ask the parents if that’s okay to say that, and I always get their support. [This applies not only to my violin and viola students, but to my piano students who are taking piano in the piano programs which are offered in some of the public schools in my town.]

Any performance groups, occasional coaching, master classes—all that sort of thing—don’t conflict and are not hurtful. The hurtful part (and I’m trying to understand this, too), is when there’s private lessons. No matter how able, teachers still differ widely in their long term goals and matters of teaching. I could be mistaken, but I don’t think you can have two, long term, private teachers going at the same time. Their perspectives are bound to conflict.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Jennifer Visick said: Nov 4, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

The only examples I’ve heard of having “two” long term private teachers are in studios where a master teacher has teaching assistants.

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