Changing my violin teacher?

Edited: January 14, 2018, 5:18 PM · Greetings from Egypt,
I'd like to know your thoughts on my short trip with learning the violin.
I started attending a violin class almost 8 months ago and have been with the same teacher. My confusion arises from the fact that my teacher isn't systematic. He doesn't follow any certain method or curriculum and I really don't know how my progress is or where I am or even if there is a bigger picture...
He said it's important to focus on the technical issues and I agree. But he doesn't focus on playing music pieces or melodies. At the very beginning, I practiced twinkle twinkle and ode to joy but then nothing of that sort. A month ago, he instructed me to practice the G minor scale as a start to learn playing Hungarian dance No.5. I got excited and told myself "at last!" and tried to practice the notes on my own (I felt it's advanced for my level) but last week, he didn't show enthusiasm for it and asked me if I knew a certain pop Egyptian song so that I can work on it...then I told him I wish if we focused on one thing and to finish what we start. He told me ok, we will work on Hungarian dance phrase by phrase the next time.
The next time was today and there was a different plan; practicing a song he composed!!
I told myself ok I can follow the Suzuki book by myself and I just started and really felt that this is how I should've learnt the violin from the start.
In addition, it seems my teacher hasn't practiced the violin for a while, it's very clear when he shows me a technique or plays something and even he told me that once.
I know my teacher is a talented young musician; he plays different instruments, he composes and sings. He is very patient with me, he uses the piano in his teaching.

But I need to play simple pieces and then to take it up gradually and systematically.
Switching teachers is a difficult step especially I took like 4 months getting used to my teacher and be less stressed during the class, it's hard to repeat the same thing with a new teacher. In addition, if I switched teachers, it'll be in the same music center as it's the available center near home, so the new teacher will mostly be my current teacher's friend and it'll upset him. I don't want that as I am very grateful to him, regardless of my issues, and I am sure there are many things to learn from him.
I am confused and don't know what to do...I really like the violin and I need to know if I am taking steps in the right direction.

Replies (9)

January 14, 2018, 6:12 PM · I think you really need to learn violin from an actual violinist, if that's possible where you live. If it's not, you might consider taking lessons via Skype or the like instead.
January 14, 2018, 6:46 PM · " it seems my teacher hasn't practiced the violin for a while, it's very clear when he shows me a technique or plays something and even he told me that once."

I think it's OK for the teacher to change strategies for you based on your playing or how the previous instructions have worked or not for you, but I don't think it's OK to be learning from a teacher whose lack of technique is apparent even to a beginner.

January 14, 2018, 8:45 PM · He should have some sort of system. It doesn't have to be conventional, as long as it teaches you good technique and musicality, which I don't think it is in this case.
January 15, 2018, 8:26 AM · "I know my teacher is a talented young musician..."

"Young" is the operative word here.

Yes, young teachers often have not come up with a system. It takes experience and experimentation to teach systematically.

Edited: January 15, 2018, 9:34 AM · I totally agree with Lydia and Scott. By the sound of it your teacher is not a professional violinist, is inexperienced and unfocused. He might be a nice talented young person that is well intended, patient and eager to help, but it doesn't sound like he's a good match for you. I'd be looking for someone else if it were me.
January 15, 2018, 1:30 PM · You should find a systematic teacher. Living in Egypt, I can understand that you may not be able to find the perfect and best teacher for you.

Like Lydia suggested, maybe online lessons could be an option? Another thing to consider is in addition to the lessons with your current teacher. At least on that website, there some great instructional videos to teach you techniques following the Suzuki method books. And I do believe you can pay per video critique by her.

January 15, 2018, 1:53 PM · all sticks and no carrots, eh?
Edited: January 15, 2018, 2:23 PM · I would highly encourage you to seek a new teacher. Finding a good violin teacher will help you as a violinist in the long run. Keep searching for teachers in your area and look online. Read their entire bio and ask questions before signing up for lessons.
January 16, 2018, 7:46 AM · I don't mean to be unkind but it sounds like your teacher doesn't have very much experience training students.

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