Choosing one teacher amongst others
I would like to ask what is the usual etiquette while trying to choose a violin teacher.
Supposing that one is faced with a few contact who show interest, how does one go about the process?
I don't know if it is acceptable to have a first lesson with some or all of those contacts and tell them upfront that this would be a trial lesson (of course paid), then pursuant to choosing one, telling the others that I've decided to go with someone else.
How does one go about this while not seeming to be brusque. Firstly, I do not want to pass a message, even indirectly, that one is inferior to someone else, so the message must not reflect that (after all, it is also about rapport, choice of teaching style, etc...and different students might like different approaches). Secondly, one might well go back to one of those other teachers, a first trial lesson might not show everything.
What sort of proposal do i make for a trial lesson and what sort of feedback (in case i prefer going to another teacher) do i give keeping in mind the above? And is this process acceptable?
Your suggestions would be most welcome.
Tammuz, I think it's wise that you're going for trials and be upfront about it. The trials would go both ways. This is what I would do:
I encourage students to try multiple teachers at first, so that if they do choose me, they can properly appreciate the specific skills that I bring to the table as compared to the others. I don't think most teachers would be offended by you trialing them. And if they are, I would be wary of them.
I think there's nothing wrong with scheduling a few trial lessons with different respective teachers and being up-front about it. But unless you have a really unpleasant experience, give the teacher and yourself a little time to get used to one another over the course of a few lessons, not just one. I wrote an article on the subject in the writings section of my website http://rkviolin.com
I don't know that an unpleasant experience is necessary. Sometimes you can tell immediately that it's not a good fit. I've taken trial lessons from people whom I am sure were very good teachers, but whose way of teaching I found very difficult to understand (I learn better from verbal analogies than from a "feel these muscles I'm using" approach, usually).
Yes, it can be like that sometimes. But generally speaking, give it a chance.
There is really no substitute for taking a lesson(s), but if you have some time, you might speak to other people and get their opinions, as well as hear the prospective teachers or their students play. Violin shops often have a good deal of contact with both teachers and students, and if you have a relationship with a shop, they might give you some of their opinion.
Some teachers allow a free observation of another student's private lesson. Utilize it if available. You can learn so many things from the interaction. Also I think one trial lesson per teacher is often sufficient, and looking for a good teacher is at least as important as shopping for a good violin.
One trial is sufficient for
I did an intensive search and sent about a dozen of emails. I checked craigslist, posted on thumbtack.com, asked and visited my local music store, talked to my musician friends. I only received about 25% replies from my emails. I'm assuming you've completed your initial search process and now deciding to do trial lessons.
Try as many teachers as you can before settling for one. They are critical for your learning and enjoyment of the instrument especially if you're new.
Thank you all, great suggestions.