Why is having multiple teachers at the same time a problem?

July 16, 2018, 12:13 PM · For yeas, we dutifully follow the convention of having one violin teacher at a time. The discussion in another thread about changing teacher and the moral “agonizing” over it got me thinking.

All teachers have multiple students and yet students are expected to have one teacher at a time. From discussion with various violin teachers, it appears that having multiple teachers at a time amounts to “cheating”!

If money is not an issue for the student, why should the process of benefiting from multiple perspectivess be such big problem for teachers?

Replies (51)

Edited: July 16, 2018, 12:17 PM · Just to note, if by moral agonizing you imply mine, it would not be over having multiple teachers but over finishing lessons with one teacher to begin with another. Otherwise, interesting topic..interested to read the responses.
July 16, 2018, 12:18 PM · Not a very good idea for a beginner. The beginner needs one good teacher who can see and address his problems and needs, and provide the all important continuity over the first two or three years. In those early stages multiple teachers could well be giving conflicting advice and instructions - starting with the bow hold, for instance.
Edited: July 17, 2018, 10:25 PM · Tammuz, It is kind of related in the sense in that being able to benefit from multiple perspectives somehow needs an explanation; and that there may be “serious consequences” if it is not done carefully.
Edited: July 17, 2018, 10:26 PM · Trevor, what about an adult student who is, say, at the so called “Bruch level” or there about and is paying his own way?
Edited: July 16, 2018, 12:32 PM · My teacher is travelling a lot at the moment, and has offered to set me up with another teacher until they return. I am considering taking one or two lessons with the other teacher to get a different ( current teacher approved ;) ) perspective on my playing. If I do this, I'll report back.

(I decided to forgo working on the Bruch and am instead working on other material, but I guess that means I am in the vicinity of the "Bruch level". What a growth period it is.... yipes.)

Edited: July 16, 2018, 12:43 PM · I don't think it's necessarily harmful so long as the two have harmonious views about the big stuff like whether you should be using a shoulder rest or whether you should use synthetic strings or gut, or whether vibrato should come primarily from your wrist or from your arm, or your bow grip (Russian vs. Franco-American*), or one teacher thinks you're at the Bruch Level but the other teacher thinks Haydn G Major. That kind of thing.

One of the possible downsides is spending time in your lesson with Teacher A asking what they think of this or that suggestion from Teacher B, and Teacher B says that's the wrong way to go about it, and asks where you would be getting such crazy ideas (the internet?).

My feeling is that inevitably you will have a "primary" and a "secondary" teacher and as soon as you can decide which is which, the better.

*Couldn't help myself. For those that don't know, Franco-American is a brand-name of canned food, notably something called "Spaghetti-O's". We begged for it when we were kids. Now I wouldn't feed it to swine.

July 16, 2018, 12:48 PM · Throughout most of my violin-playing life, my teachers have gone away for the summer, and thus I've almost always had a different summer teacher. In most cases, my teacher recommended one or more teachers to study with, and often facilitated that connection. That meant that I benefited from multiple perspectives, but did not have the conflict of being told to do contradictory things at the same time.

For a brief period of my childhood, I had two teachers simultaneously. That was problematic, because they had very different technical approaches. I was studying different things with each, but the conflict needed to be resolved. In the end I went to another teacher entirely.

Now as an adult, I've been with one teacher for about the last five years, and I take weekly lessons. A few months ago, I started taking coaching for orchestra music from someone else (with the full knowledge of each, and I asked my teacher if he was okay with it before I did so). But I only see him about once every six weeks during the orchestra season, and it's purely focused on the music for the upcoming set, and concertmaster skills. Thus there's no conflict, and I really think of this in two separate buckets -- regular private lessons, and orchestra-related coaching (similar to the way that I take chamber-music coaching, albeit as a quartet member rather than one-on-one).

I'm also a big believer in masterclasses, in order to get a different perspective (and sometimes another person will say something that makes a concept click in your head when it didn't before). I'd do more if I could. And almost all teachers are very supportive of taking private lessons from other people when you're at camps or the like; I've done this as well and my teachers have always been very interested in and open to what was said.

Many students at conservatories get two lessons -- a lesson from their primary teacher and a lesson from a graduate assistant or the like. However, these are usually actively coordinated, so that there isn't conflict in priorities or what the student is being taught.

Similarly, there will be students who study different styles with different teachers -- for instance, they take classical lessons, but also study fiddle or jazz or the like with someone else.

I do not think that students should take private lessons from two different teachers on a regular basis unless the teachers are coordinating to maximize effectiveness, though.

July 16, 2018, 1:32 PM · Lydia Leong - This is kind of off topic, but how did you find and choose your teacher? I want to find a teacher that I can stick with for a long time. What exactly should I look for?
July 16, 2018, 2:19 PM · It might work if the roles of the teachers are clearly defined and they are on the same page, a la Roland and Almita Vamos.

I taught a girl once who was still going to her first teacher out of loyalty and I will not do that again. Can you imagine my frustration when she would come to her lesson with fingerings I had written in for her changed, or questioning basic postural concepts I was trying to introduce to her because her old teacher didn't really know what she was doing?

July 16, 2018, 2:32 PM · Rhiannon, I was faced with the same problem some years ago when I decided it was high time I had proper violin lessons. I could have gone to any one of the several violin teachers who were in the orchestras I played cello in, but I wanted someone I didn't know and who didn't know me.

So I went to my local violin shop for advice. The proprietor heard my plea, went into his office and returned a short while later with a 3-page printout of violin teachers in the area, with information about the level they taught at (raw beginner, grade 8+ etc), their specialities (classical, folk, jazz etc), and high-lighted 4 names he thought would suit me. I chose the one nearest to where I live (literally 10 minutes walk) and haven't looked back since.

July 16, 2018, 2:54 PM · Trevor Jennings - I think starting at the violin shop is a great idea. There are two that I can go to in my area! There are a lot of violin teachers where I am, not only from music schools but also a university that has grad student teachers, so I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm even considering on-line. If the violin shop can sort them out for me and make recommendations, that would really help.
July 16, 2018, 2:57 PM · Lydia wrote "coaching for orchestra." Maybe this is too off-topic for this thread, but sometime I would really be curious to learn more about that experience. What it involves, what you learn, etc.
July 16, 2018, 2:59 PM · Rhiannon - Get in-person lessons vs the online ones if you can. I feel that they are better. (I've had both, and definitely prefer the in-person.)
July 16, 2018, 3:42 PM · Rhiannon - My teacher would walk all 360° round me when I was playing, looking at my posture and other aspects of technique from all angles, and making fine adjustments as necessary – a very important aspect of teaching. Can't see how that could be done with online lessons.
Edited: July 16, 2018, 4:03 PM · Maybe someone should start some spin-off threads from this one. :-)

You should definitely take in-person lessons. The only reason to take remote lessons is to continue with your regular teacher whom for some reason you temporarily can't see in person, or if there are no viable teachers in your area.

I found my current teacher by asking for recommendations on this forum. I also contacted the string chair at the local university. And I reached out to a former teacher of mine, who reached out to his former Juilliard roommate, who happens to be married to a particularly prominent local violinist. However, I had a solid idea of what I was looking for, and the v.com recommendation turned out to be excellent.

Paul, this is very much off-topic, but: By most measures, I had fairly significant experience as a principal prior to becoming concertmaster of my community orchestra two years ago. I spent six years as a concertmaster (and occasional principal 2nd) in youth symphonies, and then more years as the concertmaster of pit orchestras and whatnot in a mix of paid and unpaid groups. And while conductors and sometimes professional principals (mostly from the Chicago Symphony, and in my current community orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony) occasionally gave advice, I realized that I didn't really have a great idea of what makes for an excellent section leader. And I didn't want to take up my regular lessons with orchestra music.

So what I'm learning from coaching is a combination of things. One is simply body language -- how to cue effectively, especially in different entrances. A big part of it is how to choose bowings for a section, which includes not just "in the right place for the right articulation as a section" but also thinking about visual cues of where you are in the bow helping the section to keep together in tricky spots -- essentially, how to think about bowings for orchestra versus a personal choice of bowings in solo work. Some of it is repertoire-specific -- stylistic choices, etc.

Edited: July 17, 2018, 12:19 PM · Having two or more teachers at the same time of course is not a long term solution. Ideally, one should be able to have a trial period (rather than a trial lesson) with multiple teachers (WITHOUT approval from anyone!) and then settle on one with whom the student can achieve the most optimal teacher-student relationship.

Is that an acceptable practice?

Edited: July 17, 2018, 12:22 PM · I had a student whose mother had her go to my colleague as well as to me.
I found out by accident, and the poor girl didn't know where to put herself.

My colleague's approach was so different (grinding through studies with no analysis of actual needs) that my student had insufficient time (this is in France) to do anything properly and our interpretations of the end-of-year exam piece were diametrically opposed.

On the other hand, working with a completely different teacher during a summer workshop etc can be highly stimulating and my students "discover" things which I have been demonstrating for many months..

July 17, 2018, 2:54 PM · The problem with having multiple instructors that I see, is when students study with two completely different teachers who are not aware of each other's existence, the teachers themselves have limited pedagogical experience, and the student is drowning in poor posture, flawed intonation, ugly tone, and trying to play repertoire or grind etudes instead of properly working on fundamentals.

Collaboration is the name of the game! If the teachers are working together and are on board with fulfilling the student's needs, then we get good results in teaching partnerships.

July 17, 2018, 2:55 PM · I am only playing for four years. Therefore I might not have any adequate knowledge to contribute. But I really appreciate working with my primary teacher every week and once in a while meeting with my former teacher when she is in the area (she moved away). Both know of each other.
From my perspective a strong benefit is being offered different problem solving approaches. Both have “different” toolboxes how to tackle a problem. I do not see those as being conflicting but rather complementing. What is ok for adults might be different from kids.
I read a lot and watch you tube videos. Hence, one has to integrate and work with different information anyway. But my primary teacher is very gracious with me asking questions like... I have read.... . She never feels threatened but answers from a point of confidence, appreciation and amusement about my knowledge seeking tendency. Probably it would not be advisable on a weekly basis. But to have a regular lesson and once in a while the possibility to dedicate an extra lesson to one specific topic is a nice enhancement.
July 17, 2018, 5:07 PM · I've never encountered trial periods rather than single trial lessons. Usually one lesson gives you a pretty good idea of whether or not you want to study with someone. If a teacher isn't compellingly useful in an hour-length trial lesson, I'd say it's worthwhile to keep looking, rather than hoping that they'll become better during a longer trial period.
July 17, 2018, 5:23 PM · Feel free to use multiple teachers, but do it in a linear fashion, rather than a hodgepodge. Work with one at a time, learn what you can, then move on to the next if you feel it is necessary. I see nothing wrong with an occasional workshop, or a lesson or two in different styles, however, two or more primary teachers make the soup muddy.
Edited: July 17, 2018, 8:13 PM · As a teacher, I would never accept a student who had another teacher. If a student were ready to move on, I would help them find a new teacher, no problem. (In fact, I usually recognize they are ready to leave me before they do and I have to shove them out of the nest!) I would be interested in knowing how other teachers would feel about finding out their student had two teachers.
Edited: July 17, 2018, 10:24 PM · Julie, we have all been following the standard practice as you described. The question is why? What are the benefits? And for whom?

Lydia, A teacher who “isn't compellingly useful in an hour-length trial lesson” would make the decision easy. Often times, it may take a while to make a reasonable and fair assessment.

July 17, 2018, 11:03 PM · David, I cannot generalize but there is the possibility that the desire to see 2 teachers might imply that one's teacher are not each giving enough material for the student to work on and/or the student for whatever reasons is insecure with the (original) teacher's method.

There is a difference between seeing another teacher or going for a workshop once in a while and having weekly lessons or so with both teachers. You mind end up with having too much material to work on and not enough time = counter productive.

So I think it makes one ask: why do you want to see 2 teachers? I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily -in fact, it's not an experience I'm not unfamiliar with- but there is more to it than just a theories question I suppose.

July 17, 2018, 11:51 PM · I think that the more advanced a student is, the more they can potentially benefit from different perspectives simultaneously. They should have enough structure and cognizance about their own playing to be able to see the logic in multiple pieces of advice and be able to pick and choose what works for them.

A soloist, for example, might not have any one permanent teacher, but will cycle through many coaches.

A *very* advanced student MIGHT be able to benefit from having a primary teacher for technical skills and solo studies and a complimentary teacher for auxillary things like sight-reading, orchestral repertoire, the history of music, etc...

But a student at a bruch level is not yet advanced enough to benefit from multiple teachers. Information overload would take over, and it would actually slow them down. As a beginner, it's much better to have a small amount of information that you can absorb than to have a plethora of information that drowns you. And "bruch level" is still enough of a beginner for this rule to apply.

I guess the exception to this would be someone who has 8 hours per day to ponder the differences in advice, the logic behind the advice, and other things of that nature, so they can sort out what things to remember and what to discard, through the thoughtful juxtaposition of the advice between the two teachers. But most "normal" students only have enough time and energy in a day to get their practice in and simply do what their one teacher told them (actually, most don't even have enough time/energy to do this).

Edited: July 18, 2018, 12:08 AM · From time to time I receive students who are currently studying with another teacher.

I've always been a passive teacher when in comes to students who's currently studying with another teacher, I'll address problems that the student is currently having, most of the time, being unaware of. Sort of filling in the blanks.

There's one case where the teacher suggest the left thumb should be moved forward to meet the 2nd finger while the position stayed at 1st. Huge conflict there as many of the techniques and tricks will need to address the thumb first, in my way of teaching. But he's a very well experience player who also won the concert master audition in the first class orchestra in where I lived, although he's no longer with the orchestra. Not going to be an easy task to convince the student more than from someone who has less credentials.

But the very same student was open-minded enough to accept my teaching but due to being a passive teacher I focused on other things other than techniques, at least I want my student to be able to gain something before they walk out of my studio.

July 18, 2018, 12:51 AM · For very advanced and mature students, having two teachers can be beneficial. The most important thing in that case is transparency. Occasionally at VCU, where I teach, we have students who study with both violin professors - one for an hour every week and the other one for an hour every other week. My colleague and I get along exceedingly well, keep a good track record of what was covered in the last lesson, and set down some parameters that makes it a great experience. Often we will split the rep so that one teacher is "in the lead" on particular pieces, and the other teacher tries to supplement for problem spots for example. What doesnt' work well is having two teachers who don't get along or value similar things, or who don't know of each other's existence...this inevitably can lead to conflict. I had two teachers in graduate school (one for solo rep, one for excerpts) and I definitely benefitted. Again transparency and sensitivity is key, and I think maturity for the student is important too.
Edited: July 18, 2018, 6:18 PM · In case it wasn’t clear, the discussion is about teacher(s) for technical skills and solo repertoire. Chamber music/orchestra coaching sessions and master classes are all well established pedagogical practices and participating in them would not normally risk offending one’s teacher.

The biggest problem with multiple teachers, according to the previous posts, is conflicting information. Well, isn’t that the point of having multiple teachers? Why would one need multiple teachers giving exactly the same information?

Orchestras have a significant trial *period* before granting tenure to folks who have already won the audition. When we purchase a violin, we also get to try multiple instruments over a *period* before making a decision.

Yet, when it comes to selecting a (new) teacher, it seems that we are all walking on thin ice : = )

July 18, 2018, 12:44 PM · I can't see the point in having multiple teachers except as an exercise in investigative journalism. Setting aside the considerable financial outlay this woud involve, it is all I can do to keep up with the suggestions/solutions of one teacher, let alone two or more. This goes for technical solutions, and much more so for settling on interpretive issues.
Edited: July 18, 2018, 1:10 PM · Alice, it is very simple. You have studied with a teacher for a while. It is going fine and you value the relationship to the extent that you don’t want risk it by offending your teacher.

But no one is perfect and you are wondering if others could have done things differently ( or better) so that you can move to a different level more efficiently; time, after all, is of essence for middle age adults.

July 18, 2018, 7:05 PM · Drat!! I had been writing about the Idea of Pro's and Con's of Two differing Violin Teacher's and was on to an analogy but the iPad timed out!! Back later to share my just lost thoughts, I hope this open Discussion will remain Open until Friday late in the day!!

There was the issue of "Learning Genius" versus "Violinistic Genius" and I was describing huge differences of each!! Suffice to say quickly, One can start young in the Carl Flesch School re known fingering patterns of Flesch, which due to their 'location' on the fingerboard produce a 'Flesch-like' Sound or Tone or Inner Ear idea of Sound ~ tbc., I must return mañana!!! Elisabeth Matesky ~

July 18, 2018, 9:49 PM · David (Zhang),

That's the exact reason why I have been a passive teachers when student is currently having 2 teachers. I usually try my best not to teach in the sections where the other teacher is currently teaching or taught.

My take is teachers also need to stay open minded and often need to agree to disagree. Also far too many cases I've seen is that the teacher never provide an explanation to go with a topic. If student understand the reason behind the things they do, or asked to do, at least students can decide if they'll stick to a choice or method that work best for them.

In the past I've received inputs from fantastic players too, but I usually experiment with the new ideas, and often worked out the best results by incorporate my own idea. And I do cherish each and every idea they gave, almost without a fail, they improve my playing.

As Milstein said it, don't just practice, learn how to invent ways to do things better.

Edited: July 20, 2018, 9:18 AM · There is a time and a place for seeking additional input from other teachers. But not at the high school level or below, assuming the teacher is competent (which is not always the case).

I do not want my students to have another teacher giving them different bowings, fingerings, or bow grips.
This just leads to confusion.

One can suggest "why not allow each teacher to assign different repertoire?"
That will just overwhelm the student.
Only one pilot can fly the plane.

July 19, 2018, 12:58 PM · I think the main problem would be that the teachers might teach the student two conflicting things, leaving them confused on what to follow. Most people have already mentioned this, though. As long as both instructors agree on what is, in general best for the student, then the different perspectives can be extremely helpful.

The way I’ve been learning with my teachers, they focus on different areas and when I combine what both of them say, it’s helped my playing improve a lot.

July 19, 2018, 3:12 PM · I guess the short answer, david, is that a single *good* teacher will already supply the exact amount of information, repertoire, and technique each week that the student can handle.

No more, no less.

And a *good* teacher will have already determined the best course of action for a particular student and adjusted the lessons accordingly.

Furthermore, two *good* teachers might have very different ways of getting a student to do a particular thing - and both of those ways might be equally valid - but the two might not be compatible methods of learning, and therefore by trying to do both at once, the student will end up doing neither.

Edited: July 20, 2018, 4:03 AM · Am I the only one around here who feels pedagogical relationship shouldn’t necessarily be a long-term commitment after a trial lesson or even a trial period?

If you’ve learned so much from a teacher that you feel ready for a fresh approach, I think the teacher should consider it a job well done and help the student find a new teacher.

David, I would not go see another teacher without telling your current one. It could only end badly. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode about loyalty and...haircut? (Geez, I feel old.) If you really want to explore taking lessons from other teachers, honesty really is your best option.

Edited: July 20, 2018, 8:07 AM · My opinion as an adult beginnerish student who has some experience there:

It's an awkward situation, even if it poses its own advantages. As stated here, especially for a student developing technical skills, rather than musically interperative ones.

The teacher (or it could be both) to whom you have disclosed your situation of having another teacher will feel that she has her limits on where she can take you, and therefore you might not be able to benefit 100% from her teaching. I think you will feel it even more accutely.

The teacher (or it could be both)who doesnt know might feel like youre not being very malleable , that there are foreign elements creeping into your technique that she might either not desire or think inappropriate for that stage and that youre not absorbing the material and/or technical instructions very efficiently (since youre also focusing on the independent linear progression of the other teacher).

I am not saying it is good or bad in absolute, but I think if one has a truly good teacher, then it might well be counter productive to team her up with someone else and the disadvantages might well outweigh the advantages.

But if you feel that there are gaps the current teacher is not filling in that another teacher would help you fill in, then the advantages might well be worthwhile. But it still would be an awkward situation.


Edited: July 20, 2018, 2:09 PM · As a teacher I have only agreed to do that once, with an advanced student who has since then gone pro. They wanted to add me on in addition to the other, regular teacher, with his knowledge and permission. I made zero changes in form, posture, fundamental technigue, and focused on specific repertoire for solos, auditions, and we went through the Brahms symphonies first violin parts. As for specific bowings and fingerings, I always try to demonstrate alternate versions, and let the student decide which works best for them. [ follow-up; Fortunately, that student did not have any problems with form or posture, there was no temptation to change anything.
July 20, 2018, 12:23 PM · Joel, but do you think in terms of technique and posture, you could have taught the student to do better (with better consequences on their playing) had of course you had the liberty to teach them as you would your own students? Or do you think that you would just have provided them with a different way of reaching the same quality of performance?
July 20, 2018, 1:12 PM · What Joel is describing is the effect of a community of professionals working together to prepare students for careers. It's not a competition of who might potentially do it "best" by themselves...that's not a metric that's reasonable to define anyhow.

One wouldn't go study Computer Science and expect to learn everything about the field from a single professor. One might have a primary mentor that helps guide the focus of their research and aid in discovering topics of interest, but to become fluent and proficient in the materials relevant to that field, one must learn from many teachers. I believe the same is true for music.

Edited: July 20, 2018, 1:15 PM · I can understand why a teacher might prefer to be the only one.Multiple teacher situations appear to be few and far in between with many unable to secure even one good teacher, so in some ways this seems a moot point that might apply to a very few.
I was at one time occasionally going to one teacher who gave day long courses and another regular weekly teacher. That kind of thing didn't seem to have any ill effects.
I would think the main reason to have two teachers would be for purposes of total immersion. In other words a brainwashing of sorts. Eat violin, sleep violin until you get to a place where it becomes a part of you.One teacher could work on one thing and another teacher could look at something else. A totally immersive experience like that could likely crack some people. It might help others.
If I could do it I wouldn't mind a short term experience like that. Maybe a few months of nothing but violin...then a short rest.
A few take lessons on multiple but closely related instruments like violin and viola or cello. That isn't immersive so much as it is diversifying.
Edited: July 20, 2018, 10:45 PM · Eva wrote “From my perspective a strong benefit is being offered different problem solving approaches. Both have “different” toolboxes how to tackle a problem. I do not see those as being conflicting but rather complementing. What is ok for adults might be different from kids.”

This is, in my view, a very well articulated point. Every *good* teacher has strength and weakness when it comes to addressing technical problems for a particular student. Information coming from a teacher is only valid if it WORKS for the student. In that sense the problem of conflicting information is an non-issue. The student should know what works (and what doesn’t) after a few weeks.

July 20, 2018, 11:07 PM · What we observe in real life seems to point to the fact that there is normally one teacher one student, or one 'main' teacher and one student.

In the sphere of sports, a person (or team) would usually has one coach, or one main coach. If there are two coaches at the same time, then it is pretty much the case that one must be only 'complementary' and only takes a supporting role in training the student.

In the sphere of arts, a master or maestro of any arts (drawing, painting, ceramics, handicraft) probably won't accept an apprentices who would want to also work for another master at the same time.

In an academic setting, we seldom see two teachers teaching one subject at the same time for the same group of students. Such arrangements exist, but not too many.

A student, of course, can change teachers/masters several times in her life. But it seems to be a general case that she only has one teacher at a time.

Not to say the majority is always right, but in general, I believe two teachers are more likely to be conflicting than complementing, besides economic reasons.

The proverb 'many cooks spoil the broth' seems to prevail over the 'many hands make light work' one.

July 21, 2018, 8:42 AM · This is beginning to remind me of "The Mythical Man Month," a book by Frederick Brooks from long ago about the IBM System/360 that I recall reading at the time I took on my 3rd Branch Head job (too many cooks).
( https://www.amazon.com/Mythical-Man-Month-Essays-Software-Engineering/dp/0201006502/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1532179982&sr=8-2&keywords=the+mythical+man+month )

There is a time in one's career when one is ready to absorb simultaneous input from multiple teachers (or coaches). Personally, I think that by that time in one's career one would think of them more as "coaches" and be able to balance the inputs against one's own judgements. That's what happens in advanced masterclass situations.

July 21, 2018, 10:07 AM · "I work alone."
"I don't need you. I don't need nobody."

-Lego Batman

July 23, 2018, 8:17 AM · Having multiple teachers at the same time can be a problem if they try to talk at the same moment. Better to have them in different rooms.
Edited: July 24, 2018, 6:50 AM · To Casey Jefferson ~

Very distressed you are trying to quote my Great private Violin Mentor, Nathan Milstein, whom I'm presume you never met nor audited a Zurich Violin Master Course with, and applying my quote of Mr. Milstein's words re experimentation, (but, dear Casey, on an extremely rare artistic- violinistic level, & having nothing to do with 2 teachers at a time.) At the very least, please explain & give credit where credit is due. You must have read some of my writng's here on Violinist.com, & in speaking of my over 2 Decade's
longtime friend/artist mentor, Nathan Milstein's, advice to me, applied his words to me to this situation which, I'm sorry to say, demeans the Value of Milstein's words intended for me. You really must not 'borrow' Gold to wear or dress up your view without stating you read my account of my private violin mentor, Nathan Milstein's, view of the fine practise of experimentation on the violin of high ideal artistic/violinistic artist level's to add credibility to your opinion on taking ideas from Your Teachers & working them out for yourself to Your liking & betterment ~

This is a serious mis-use of my good willed sharing of Mr. Milstein's artistic aimed idea to me re a given musical situation encountered in major Violin Concerti ~ Perhaps I must learn from this difficult-for-me to read jolt, to not share pearls of artist advice from Mr. Milstein on a forum with some of whom I truly do not know ...

Please defer from giving an impression you heard Nathan Milstein, himself, say such and such but credit his 1st Artist Pupil & Assist P.T. Help for Mr. Milstein's Zurich Violin Master Courses as your source, which must be A + accurate & In Context, okay, dear!

Elisabeth Matesky

Edited: July 24, 2018, 6:54 AM · ~ Joel Q. ~ I thought your honesty more than admirable, yet as you can see, putting specific issues in black and white can cost one's integrity and or both artistic judgement a high price = Doubt from some not being familiar with your expertise ~

Assured your wise advice & coaching on the Brahms Symphonies was A + authoritative & stylistically excellent, take great care when sharing specific teacher to pupil or visa versa situation's, as it runs a high risk of possible misinterpretation ~

Saluting you for bowing's in Brahms' 4 Symphonies, learn from my mistake as penned just above, my respected colleague, Joel Quivey ~

Elisabeth 'M.' ~

July 24, 2018, 12:16 PM · @ Elisabeth M. -- It is always interesting to hear your views on things. Thank you ~ J Q
Edited: July 29, 2018, 8:31 AM · Different teachers could have different ways to achieve the same goals. For example, to improve your bowing technique one would recommend Kreutzer 1 with bowing options, another one will find some specific study - just two different visions, both of them might be right though, however, you need to choose one.
As a teacher I had this experience before, when my student studied with me once a week and another lesson a week was taken from another teacher. Quiet hard to work this way.
You will rather want to find one good teacher, than to mess up following both of them.
Another thing, if you want to learn different things from different teachers. For example, you learn the violin primarily from one teacher, but you got the tutor to learn jazz violin. That may work, however, there should be a line between the teachers, so they will not injure each other, lol.
Edited: July 31, 2018, 4:23 PM · David, thank you for starting this discussion. I share some of your concerns as well over the years. Above many professional teachers stated some good reasons for and against having multiple teachers at the same time. My take away message is that it's a matter of how to approach this teaching -learning arrangement rather than whether it is good or bad in and of itself.

For me, I have been with my current teacher for nearly 10 years, on and off. We become such close friends that we are almost like family. I do get other teachers to coach me or even had occassional peivate lessons in masterclasses or workshops. I always report back to my teachers afterwards. Should I have a secondary teacher in mind for regular lessons, I would ask my teacher to talk to him/her first about the possibility of aranging it. I think doing so not only shows respect for both teachers, it will also likely to benefit me the most as they can exchange notes on how best help me to progress.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Violin Finder
Yamaha Violin Finder

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Warchal Strings
Warchal Strings

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Dimitri Musafia
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pluhar Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings Ltd

Violin Lab

Violin Pros

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Subscribe