Teacher Going On Maternity Leave

May 25, 2004 at 08:03 PM · I have a bit of a dilemma and couldn't think of anyone else to ask about this than the good folks here (I'm afraid this is long).

I'm a recent re-beginner, I played in college but hadn't picked up a violin in at least 15 years until a month ago. Fortunately for me, my next-door neighbor (literally, we share a wall) has a Master's in violin, so of course when I decided to begin again I chose her as my teacher, and we've had a couple of good lessons.

So far so good, she even has the same problem as me in that we have very short 4th fingers, so she has great 'fixes.' She and her husband are a great young couple and nice neighbors.

The only 'problem' (I hate to even use the word for this!) is that she was pregnant (I think she went to the delivery room this weekend but I haven't been able to catch the husband to ask - the 'midwife mobile' has been parked outside for a couple of days) and is of course going to take a break from teaching since the baby is born.

Now of course I'm very happy for them but being a bit selfish, I'm worried that without a teacher for the next 6 weeks or so this early in the game (they're going 'back home' for I think a month) I'll get into some horrible habit of bad playing.

I don't know whether to try to find another teacher on a temporary basis.

Is it a good idea or when you're starting (again) to change teachers or is there a problem with different styles?

Is it considered rude or insulting (to either the regular or the 'temporary' teacher) to do this? Would another teacher even consider it?

I'm a grad student (in anthropology), and I wanted to take advantage of the 'extra' time I have during the summer to get as far as possible, since during the school year I'm swamped. I spoke to a friend of mine who's a grad student in piano, and she said that sometimes grad students in music are looking for a few 'extra' students during the summer, so I could try the university.

Any suggestions from the collective wisdom here? (of course I would discuss this with my teacher first but if you guys tell me it's a bad idea to change teachers I wouldn't even bring it up).



Replies (3)

May 25, 2004 at 08:32 PM · My teacher is going on maternity leave and she gave me an extensive list of teachers to choose from while she's off, so I guess nothings wrong with getting another teacher temporarily just make sure whatever teacher you find let them know your only going to be with them for temporary stay.

May 25, 2004 at 10:21 PM · There's nothing wrong with getting a temporary teacher and it probably will end up helping. Everyone teaches differently and they would be viewing your playing from a different angle! I had one lesson once with a different teacher when I was in high school and wow! did it make a difference. So think of this as a postitive experience.

I'm sure your teacher knows of an instructor who could take you on. Of course, she'll be really busy with the new baby, so if wait a bit if she's just delivered!

May 26, 2004 at 01:28 AM · I definitely recommend asking your present teacher to suggest someone to have a few 'top-up' lessons with. Every teacher has a different way of doing things, but generally speaking I believe that most teachers know which colleagues they'd trust with their students and which they wouldn't.

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