I need help switching teachers
I've been taking violin lessons for nine years, always with the same teacher. However, I've been noticing that now, most of my learning is self-directed. I read blogs, watch YouTube videos, listen to recordings, and of course, practice. However, I feel like I haven't been getting what I should out of lessons.
I need to switch teachers, and I know someone who I will (and have worked with before)well with, but my parents are skeptical about switching.
I also mentioned having to switch days to my teacher (a day she doesn't do) and she sent an email to my parents trying to convince them to stay.
I really need this switch; the chemistry doesn't work. Please help! Any suggestions for convincing my parents/teacher? The next semester is starting in 3 weeks, I need to convince them before so I don't have to go the whole summer with my teacher, because I want to make a ton of progress (more practice time - yeah!) but without proper guidance, I'm just wasting my parents' money.
No you don't, just do it. Insist, saying that you feel very strongly that you need a change and think you might work better with another teacher. But leave it open for an amicable return if it turns out that the alternatives are not better.
Maybe the first thing to do before leaving your teacher is to find one that is better (otherwise you'll end up with no teacher...).
Nina, the reasons you've told us why you want to switch seems to be quite good. But it'll help us to give you better advices if you could also tell us the reasons your parents told you why they are against switch. Also, why do you think your parents are skeptical towards the potential new eacher you mentioned?
Going on summer workshops can give new perspectives, and a spurt in progress (based, however on what went before...)
I don't know your parents so I'm not going to broach that part of the subject. But something about your post bothers me a little.
Scott: There are a lot of teachers in my area, and I know one in my music school who I've worked with before and I got a lot of technical problems fixed by her in the span of three months (she was a substitute when my teacher was out with surgery) and she's a teacher there now too.
Can you be more specific? What that she's telling you is not working?
I actually think that, "Plateaued in what I've learned from my current teacher" is a perfectly valid reason to switch. Nine years with a single teacher is a very long time. Almost all students can benefit from a change in perspective after that much time, especially if there hasn't been much other input from masterclasses, other coaches, summer camps, and the like.
You definitely have a valid reason to change teachers. Studying with the same teacher for nine years isn't unheard of. I've been with my current teacher for about 8 years and haven't had any other private violin teacher, though I have received input from adjudicators and ensemble coaches. I don't see myself changing teachers any time soon.
I had a great first teacher, and whenever I asked him about something I "learned" on the internet, he told me his advice was to stay off the internet and practice more. In hindsight, it was good advice. One of the main things a teacher does is listen to you and let you know what you need to work on most at that time. This is invaluable. Going off on your own can seem great, but having an expert opinion about whether it's an advancement or not is invaluable in saving you time and avoiding detours that can cause long delays while correcting things.
Nina, I appreciate the loyalty that your parents apparently have for your current teacher. I'm the same way. But a teacher who has done a lot for you is not a good reason for not switching, not if what she does is no longer of much help to you. Students grow up and things change. It sounds to me that there's not much good chemistry between you and your current teacher and you are worried about your progress. These are two very good reasons for switching, especially you've already found someone else who seems to be a better fit.
I think that kind of arrangement is unfair to both teachers unless it is made very clear to both of them what the arrangement is, and they explicitly agree to it. I also think that's very unlikely except in cases where the first teacher is encouraging the student to move on and is facilitating a transition.
Of course what I've suggested has to be done with complete transparency to all parties involved. I've seen this being done.
I don't think I could ever enter into that kind of an arrangement as a teacher.
Students who want to move on may end up taking a trial lesson from one or more other potential teachers. A single trial lesson generally will tell you enough about a teacher to make a decision. No need to drag things out.
I think that a teacher should be able to perceive when a student's rate of progress has changed and discuss it with the student.
I would be HAPPY to have any of my students try out another teacher, just so they can appreciate what I offer as a teacher (if they don't already, which they usually do).
OP already mentioned to her teacher that she wanted to switch, so it's matter of when, not if so far as I can see. The marriage analogy is inappropriate -- these are completely different types of relationship, commitment and emotions involved. A good teacher should help a student to transfer, how ever she feels about it. If she really can't, at least don't be the obstacle for change. It's also kind of groundless to point finger at the OP, who is just asking for our help.
One of my teachers had this rule; To avoid the appearance of "stealing" other teacher's students she would not hear you until after you resigned from your current teacher. Nine years is a very long time to be with one teacher, unless they are absolutely at the top of the profession. It's time to change and get some different opinions about things.
Everyone needs a new spark from time to time. Sounds like your firecrackers are gonna be just a little early this year. Go for it. you can always go back, or heck use your old teacher once in a while if you have to. good luck on your adventure.
It's fair for a student to examine from within when she is unhappy with her current teacher, but it's equally fair and perhaps more so for a teacher to do some soul searching, should a long term (9 years!) student be "stolen" by another teacher. To remain with her current teacherwould make sense to me if the teacher makes good effort to win OP's confidence in her teaching back instead of pressuring the parents to keep going.
Nine years with one teacher is a LOT. Sometimes it's better to move on to get another point of view after all that time.
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