Changing instrumental teachers is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Developing a rapport and becoming comfortable with a teacher and their style is a major factor in determining the future musical success of your children. At the same time there is some truth to the saying ‘a change is as good as a holiday,’ but this is more applicable to adults in different contexts. For children, in particular, there is something special about ‘growing up’ with your instrumental teacher; physically, mentally and musically. A good violin teacher can be one of the important mentors in your child’s life. Their impact can be profound.
Changing instrumental teachers does more harm than good.
Due to the 'distance' between teacher and student in the remote online environment rapport and trust can take slightly longer to build compared to face to face lessons. However, these potential concerns can be cleared up through honest communication lines between parents and the teacher.
Have a conversation
Before you look for another teacher it’s good to have an open and honest chat about what you and your child want from their remote violin lessons. Perhaps issues have arisen due to a communication channel that has been blocked. Good teachers are flexible and adaptable. Maybe a conversation or email can get you all on the ‘right track’ to the musical improvement you desire!
Setting up patterns of behaviour that will not serve your child well in the long term.
If a child ‘chops and changes’ between teachers on a regular basis this is not a good thing. You may notice that your child will start making requests to change classes at school because they don’t like a teacher.
It goes without saying, we want to provide our children with a teacher they like and learn from. However, at a young age, children have not developed the cognitive reasoning to know what is beneficial for their development.
Persist rather then placing blame
Let us provide you with an example. The right-hand thumb should be rounded, it is important to not lock the thumb when playing. A violin student may find it difficult to grip their bow or hold their thumb correctly when playing. All violinists struggle and have to overcome these ‘teething issues’.
It is inevitable that your child will face challenges in high school when they encounter subjects that require them to ‘push through’ and do their best to learn material that is unfamiliar or challenging. Learning an instrument like the violin galvanises a child’s will to push through difficulties and to not give up. It takes time to produce a beautiful sound.
World-renowned violin virtuoso David Garrett stated in a 2017 interview: “ There is a certain level of dedication required to learn this instrument”. “It’s a general fight in life with artistry... Nothing comes quickly and if it comes quickly it’s not worth much.” “Trust me you don’t fall in love with your sound...when you first pick up the violin, it’s pretty gross and out of tune and you don’t know what you’re doing and it’s a coordination thing. So in the beginning, you need to fall in love with music to appreciate your violin teacher's job.