NEED HELP Finding a teacher

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said: Apr 11, 2011
 3 posts

Am so frustrated trying to find a violin teacher. Have contacted four in the last 11 days and only one from the Suzuki site called me back.. She would be great but the drive is 40 minutes one way which makes our travel time about 2 hours a week! the other 3 are close but don’t answer inquiries! Any suggestions?

said: Apr 22, 2011
 145 posts

what area do you live ?

said: Apr 22, 2011
 24 posts

Do the teachers you contacted have e-mail addresses? I have noticed that sometimes teachers respond faster through e-mail. This time of the year a lot of the teachers are also doing their Spring recitals so you might be able to call/e-mail them back a couple of times to try to get in contact with someone. I’ve noticed that musicians are some of the busiest people you’ll ever meet and they have the best intentions to follow-up with us, but they have a lot of responsibilities ranging from their current students, their career, and family. My son has a local teacher, but in the summer his local teacher travels to teach at conferences around the world/U.S. so we always have to commute June-August an hour away. His summer instructor is always so great about working with my schedule, so if a commute becomes a necessity perhaps you can work closely with the instructor to make it fit your needs. I am a single mom that works so the hour long commute there and back once a week isn’t easy, but it is worth having him take lessons with a great suzuki instructor. Don’t be frustrated, with a little time, persistence, and patience you will find what you are looking for :).

Paula Bird said: Aug 5, 2011
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

I spend a great deal of my time in the teaching arena and have practically no free time to return phone calls. That’s because phone calls tend to last a while; I’ve sometimes been on the phone for an hour with a new parent! Parents often don’t understand that a lot of initial phone conversations with teachers contain information that may be irrelevant to a Suzuki teacher. I’ve had many new parents contact me by phone and spend way too much time telling me how “musicall” or “talented” they or their child was. Frankly, to a trained Suzuki professional, none of that is relevant because we all believe that “all children have talent” and “talent is not inborn.” I found it easier to use my phone message to redirect parents to my email address. Then I could take the time to thoughtfully reply at a later time, sometimes the middle of the night! I have also set up a series of reply communications that introduce a new parent to my program and my expectations, and that then ask the parent to take a few steps further so that I can gauge how committed the parent would be.

Nowadays, teachers are trying to stay on top of technology so that they can stay in touch with their students who always seem to be on the cutting edge of electronic progress. Their parents, however, seem to be 2 steps behind. Email or text messages are the way to go (sometimes even social media) because they can be responded to instantly with a smartphone. I don’t have time to talk on the phone in between lessons because calls take too long. I can answer emails and text messages in minutes in between lessons.

Hope this helps give you some new ideas.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

said: Aug 7, 2011
 3 posts

The info I replied to was phone numbers and email I MADE 7 INQUIRES AND
On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 7:01 PM, SAA Discussion
wrote:

said: Aug 7, 2011
 3 posts

I made inquires by phone and email (when available) to seven teachers. The
6 were listed on the Suzuki site. 2 responded. one was moving but gave me a
referral to a non Suzuki teacher.. I went with her because she had the
credentials and had worked with inner city kids in a free program. Plus she
was willing to communicate!!! If, as a teacher, you are too busy to
communicate you won’t have time for another student anyway.

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 7:01 PM, SAA Discussion
wrote:

Paula Bird said: Aug 7, 2011
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Well! I would move on. If I’m busy, at least I answer the email or call and say so and when I’ll be able to return the call. Give it one more shot, give a deadline (if I don’t hear back from you by tuesday 8/9, then I’m calling someone else), and follow through. Good luck!

Sincerely,

Paula Bird

Http://artisanquartet.com
(subscribe to newsletter)

Http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com
(blog about teaching, parenting, and violin)

Http://lyingdownwithdogs.blogspot.com
(blog about life with a dog pack)

Http://dachshundmini.com (miniature long-haired dachshund puppies available)

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

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