Two Violin teachers

July 25, 2008 at 04:29 PM · Would like to know about adding a second violin teacher.

anyone else take lessons from more than one teacher?

Replies (23)

July 25, 2008 at 08:53 PM · I have never done that. I would think there is a significant risk that they will disagree on how you should do something. To me, that would be a problem. That said, if one is your classical violin teacher and the other teaches you jazz, I see no problem.

July 25, 2008 at 09:20 PM · My first teacher started by saying that the pedagogy for violin was well established, and certainly none of my three teachers have contradicted each other nor the abundant advice which I have read here, nor the advice given on such sites as you tube and violinmasterclass. What differes is how the teacher observes and reflects, and gives back information. They may prioritise differently, I don't see that as a contradiction though.

But I'd wonder why you felt the need to have 2 teachers, Do you not trust one to do a complete job for you? Are you ready to specialise but your preferred teacher doesn't share that specialisation. If you have 2 teachers both respecting you desire to learn, so providing etude, solo, ensemble lists etc, can you respect their involvement by providing equal and adequate attention to both lists?

July 25, 2008 at 09:41 PM · I think it's ok to work with two teachers *only* if each of the teachers knows that you are working with the other, and agrees to that arrangement. Generally, better results will come from doubling your practice time, than from doubling your number of teachers.

July 25, 2008 at 09:40 PM · Too many cooks spoil the broth. I'd never agree to it.

If you want more time with your teacher, ask for more time with your teacher. Having two teachers on a regular basis, will ONLY confuse you and hinder you rather than help.

July 25, 2008 at 10:28 PM · I think that it might be better to take occasional lessons with another teacher, if you are preparing for a big competition, recital, or audition, so that you get feedback from another violinist and a lot of teachers incourage that, but taking regularly from two teachers seems kinda excessive. :)

July 25, 2008 at 10:57 PM · We will be keeping our first/primary teacher, she is teaching with suzuki method and is very precise with proper techniques. She just got back into teaching after a few years, the other person has been performing and plays different music, latin violin, middle eastern, jazz as well as classical. He also has conducted and currently conducts one of the youth orchestras in our city. When I see him play, it is with passion that he plays the violin. I want to have him teach my daughter and myself and add his views with our primary teacher to bring out the best in my daughter. She is excited about it. We just need to figure out how to combine both. Any more ideas would be appreciated.

July 26, 2008 at 05:16 AM · Been there. Don't do it. One teacher wanted me to play the Bruch concerto no 1 in certain ways and the other wanted something different, so I went back and forth for a little while and it was just really frustrating. It's fine, however to have separate teachers for the school year and summer if that's necessary. But not two at the same time.

July 26, 2008 at 05:23 AM · Greetings,

one of my stdunets ju8st got accepted at a music school (high school level) that trains kids for the profession and she was stunned when I pointed out that she would have to stop having lesosns from me. as a courtesy to the other teacher. However, the other guy turned out to be a really open minded person and passes on requests like `would you mind workign onher vibrato etc.` through the parents. But there are a bnumber of fundamental conflicts such as using a rest, scale fingerings and choice of repertoire which I have to bite my tongue on out of respect to the firts string teacher.It can be very stressful.

On the whole, if one is still in a very formative stage technically then two teahcer sis not a good idea. There is a strong essya on this subject at wildblue yonder, westbury house violin school or whatrever the site is now called. The teacher, Roland Herrara is a memeber of V.commie so you can get the web site there.

Cheers,

Buri

July 26, 2008 at 08:07 AM · My 7-year-old son is a Suzuki Book 4 student w/ a wonderful Suzuki teacher. His classical education including technique, theory, scales, etc comes primarily from this teacher. He also takes Fiddle lessons from a talented young teacher. Both teachers are aware of the arrangement. It has been a very positive experience and it gives my son another opportunity to work on different aspects of his playing. He has been to several workshops though, and understands that music is often open to the interpretation of the musician. We have separated the lesson days and my son looks forward to working with both of his teachers.

July 27, 2008 at 01:06 AM · Hi, was looking at adding to the overall experience for my daughter as well as keeping her interest in the violin. She is excited and the other teacher will work on more with music theory, composition as well as other violin music to add to classical of our primary teacher. She has been playing violin for almost a year now, has been in 3 orchestras as well as a couple of string camps this summer. She is usually grouped with players that have been playing the violin for 4 to 5 years. She did have piano when she was younger so that might have helped her some.

July 27, 2008 at 02:17 AM · In my experience some teachers are rather territorial while others just try to help the student and don't have as much ego in it. Assuming they are both qualified this can be good I think. Sometimes teachers who perform a lot go on tour over the summer or during the season and are very positive about working with other teachers. The main thing for beginning and intermediate level players is to have a consistent lesson schedule with someone qualified. Also, many teachers attend institutes and workshops and are not around all summer. Usually, I find, very accomplished teachers are not threatened much by this type of switching scenario and prefer it to no lessons or no practice for the student. It can be a great experience for a student as different teachers stress different things. In the long run though one teacher usually emerges as the primary or prefered teacher with the other serving more in an adjunct role. Studying with a soloist is very different than studying with a professional music teacher. Just different sides of the coin.

July 27, 2008 at 04:17 AM · My current teacher actually encourages getting lessons from time to time from other teachers. He is in the "travels alot in the summer, and performs frequently" category. It was ME that was leary about taking on another teacher.

He said that it was good to get different perspectives from time to time (as a student from other teachers). He actually sent me once to one of his colleagues to "fix my bow hold" over the summer (the other teacher was given this "assignment", which he glady did). He also encouraged the Chamber Camp at Interlochen this summer. The one thing he really stressed was that I would be playing with different people every day with different coaches (maybe even him).

As a student, I have found this helpful. Each of the teacher's that I've had have focused me on different aspects of playing viola. I don't mix teachers often, but when I do, it has always been quite enlightening. My teacher is also very open when I come back and say "the other person suggested this instead...". His reaction has always been, "well then, let's just try that and see how you do with it! If it works better for you, go for it!"

Something else to think about...

July 27, 2008 at 02:35 PM · I had 2 teachers for a period of over 2 years. One has since retired. They both knew that I was taking lessons with both.

It seemed to me that one teacher gave me the "meat and potatoes" and the other "dessert"

It worked very well.

The work load was pretty big though, and the amount of practice time almost doubled.

Now that I have only one teacher it feels like I'm on hoilidays,

July 27, 2008 at 03:58 PM · Maybe it can work if one teacher teaches the A and E strings, and the other teaches the D and G. Or, if one teaches only the up-bows, and the other the down-bows. Or one teachings only fingering, and the other only bowing.

:) Sandy

July 27, 2008 at 08:11 PM · HI, Thanks to all for you input, I think I will try out having two teachers. We will remain with our primary one with weekly lessons and add the other one for twice a month and will go from there. Only one way to find out and if it starts to go bad, we can always stop with having both, the choice will be up to my daughter. As a family we take lessons together, three of us ages 9, 11 and me 40something!!! My goal is the best all around experience for them and exposing them to other types of violin playing may or may not be helpful. Time will tell. I will update on the success of failure of this :) Its just the other just is settling down from touring and has opening to teach again.

August 2, 2008 at 01:47 AM · Well had first lesson with second teacher. Was great!! my daughter was excited and learned alot. He noticed some things that were missed by our other teacher. He had different ways to look at making the pieces sound more musical and there was a noticeable difference after the first lesson. My daughter is very proficient with sight reading and playing so his input to her helped to point her in a right direction. we shall see with further instructions.

August 2, 2008 at 02:47 AM · When I go home for the summer, my summer teacher unteaches me everything my school violin teacher teaches me and my violin teacher teaches me everything my summer teacher unteaches me. Confusing, huh? That's my point.

My summer teacher is telling me my bow hold is all wrong, while my russian style playing school teacher tells me it's all right.

At some point both of your teacher's opinions will start to collide, and it will be discouraging to you to keep having to choose between which teacher's instructions to ignore.

"Madness is like gravity; all it takes is a little push." The Joker (Heath Ledger) in the Dark Knight

August 2, 2008 at 05:03 PM · The new teacher basically is adding to what my daughter already has. He did not try to change the foundation which she has started but is adding to it. He showed her more on why some pieces are the way they are, some history to the music, in order for her to understand the intonation required, etc. How to get the music to sound like music and not just notes as written on paper, if that makes any sense!

August 2, 2008 at 09:18 PM · Let me just say that I found out that one of my students is taking lessons with another teacher. His parents are divorced, his Mom couldn't get him to the same lesson time that he has with his Dad, so she decided to get another teacher. This happened months ago. I wish she had contacted me and tried to work out another time with me. Anyway, when I found out, I discovered that (at the moment) my student is receiving the same information from myself and the other teacher.

However, I am uncomfortable teaching my student (even though I was the primary and original teacher) now because I do not want to confuse him or cause conflict later on down the road. I also don't want him to be doing 2 sets of work (piece, scales, etudes x 2) either.

It's up to the teachers involved, but I (as a teacher) am not quite comfortable with the prospect as a permanent arrangement.

August 9, 2008 at 09:22 PM · Hello, I am a teacher and many of my students also have another teacher. I even recommend it for those who are really interested in learning faster and willing to practice more in order to have two lessons a week, which to me is the whole point of it. The only thing that is important from my experience is to make sure that the two teachers are compatible in terms of basic technique like bow hold,right hand movements,etc, They also should be able to get in touch for the best cooperation in their work and I think that the student shouldn´t be too young so that he or she doesn´t get confussed whenever there is a different opinion about something . May be too many conditions, but if you put them all together those that have two teachers definetly improve faster.

August 10, 2008 at 02:50 PM · OK, have had a couple of two hour lessons with the second teacher and there is a noticable improvement in the interpreatation of the pieces my daughter is playing. She is very happy with what she is learning from the second teacher and wants to continue to have both help her to learn the violin better. I am happy with his approach, he added a better understanding of the music she is playing as well as a history of the pieces. we will continue with this as long as it is productive and she is improving.

August 13, 2008 at 10:46 PM · what if both techniques are different?

How can one decide?

August 14, 2008 at 12:14 AM · I'm not sure why some get hung up on doing things only one way.

If there was only one way to play things would be rather dull.

Its not uncommon for students at any level to change teachers, so what happens then if you run into the new teacher who has a differnt style.

A good teacher will evaluate your talent and attempt to enhance it. masterclass is a good example.

Is there only one way to hold a bow?

I think its ideal to have many perspectives and methods.

Theory is one thing but technique is altogether different.

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