(Sorry for the length, but I want to explain this properly.)
This is a mixed Technique/Practicing and Teaching/Pedagogy question, somewhat related to Claire's Students studying with multiple teachers, but from a student's point of view.
I have a full time job and started studying violin 15 months ago, all this time with the same teacher who uses the Suzuki method. Although it's been enjoyable, a few months ago I asked my teacher to give me some method with scales and other "boring" exercises to improve my technique, knowing from my studies of other instruments that this would be beneficial.
When my teacher came back with a book of duets for violin and cello saying that this would be a good complement to the Suzuki method, I didn't say anything, but I started thinking that either he didn't understand me at all or he just doesn't have more advanced material. We get along very well, always drinking a cup of tea and talking about life at the beginning of lessons, and for what he's told me, most of his students are kids, and when they finish book 4/5 in Suzuki, they usually leave him because they apply to the conservatory.
Recently I recorded myself in a video when rehearsing with a group of friends, and I noticed my right wrist was very stiff. Even my untrained eyes noticed it, but my teacher has never mentioned it in lessons, or suggested any exercise for improved flexibility. So I looked online for another teacher in the area to ask for a single lesson to evaluate my overall level and technique, and went to her a few days ago.
She made me play a single song from the 2nd Suzuki book (with my current teacher I just finished the 3rd), and found many little details that haven't been corrected and perhaps should have, before they become a permanent bad habit. She gave me very specific exercises for posture, bow arm, left elbow, left thumb, vibrato, intonation, plus a few bowings and some scales. Also, we dedicated some time to review my knowledge of harmony, which I've also asked my teacher but the answer has always been "yeah, we could do that" (but we never do).
All in all, I noticed her observations were very detailed, and the exercises were all properly justified. There are other things as well, including her violin (from a German luthier, bought in Canada) and the way she takes care of it. My teacher plays a VSO on the grounds that he moves around a lot to give lessons, so it's too risky to carry his "old german violin" (which I've never seen), but even so, the whole area near the bridge is actually a white area with weeks of rosin accumulated, which makes me wonder how often he cleans the violin. Also, he uses a $20 bow that's always too tight, which in turn makes me wonder whether he can actually play relatively advanced bowings that require a more balanced and springy object.
Anyway, you can notice why I want to switch permanently to this new teacher, but I don't know exactly how to approach this.
As students, how did you approach your teacher changes in the past? As teachers, do you ask for any feedback when a student leaves you? Should I express some of these concerns to my teacher? I appreciate your orientation with this.
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