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The Importance Of Choosing The Right Violin Teacher

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Can you recall a teacher you once had who took what could be an interesting subject and made it seem boring? Often, math teachers are known for making or breaking the subject, either encouraging students to pursue math and excel at it or never to return to it. Violin teachers are just the same. 
Having a good violin teacher can make the difference between sticking with the development of your skills or no longer having the desire to go to your lessons. Given the importance of finding a good teacher, how do you know when you’ve found a good one?

 

Many people will tell you that a good violin teacher is a prestigious one. Maybe they’ll say a good violin teacher charges a certain amount per lesson. Good violin teachers will be well-known in the right social circles and have waiting lists three months long. The list of credentials goes on. What really makes a good teacher for you, however, is whether or not you enjoy learning from this person, especially if you’re a beginner. You have to be comfortable and even look forward to spending an hour (or more) with your teacher.

 

We’ve listed a few questions you can ask yourself when screening potential teachers/instructors to help you choose the one best suited to your own personal goals.

 

Does your practice ethic fall within your teacher’s comfort zone?

Some people — especially younger students — might take regular practicing more seriously than someone who played it as a hobby with no intention of ever giving a recital. Determine your own drive and motivating factors. It’s also a good idea to discuss these factors with your potential teacher. If you work full-time and on a particularly busy week you didn’t have enough time to practice, is this going to rankle your teacher?

 

On the other hand if you’re ambitious but sometimes allow practice times to slide, is your teacher going to push you to practice more often if you don’t make consistent progress? Ask yourself if the practice ethic the teacher exhibits matches the practice ethic you predict you will have. It’s all a question of motivation and matching your own desired pace to the comfortable pace of the teacher.

 

Do you share a common sense of humor?

Criticism isn’t always easy to hear. There will be times when you get feedback that means you aren’t proficient at a certain skill. If you never get this feedback, there’s something wrong with your lessons. Learning means making mistakes and striving for a higher level of proficiency.

 

While many people are good at giving feedback with a delicate word, a good sense of humor can make all the difference in the world. If you blunder through a piece you’ve been working, a stern look and a frown of disappointment with an exasperated sigh from your teacher might just kill your confidence. But a gently placed humorous remark might encourage you to learn from the mistakes, let go, and move on to a more successful practice session.

 

Can you communicate well with one another?

Honesty is key for any music lesson. Your teacher needs to accurately communicate what you need to improve, and you need to be able to discuss problems with your teacher regarding what’s working well for you and what isn’t. Without honest and open communication, teachers end up spending some lessons talkings and instructing without hearing whether or not the student is actually learning.

 

If you’re just beginning to to learn to play you need to find a teacher who communicates well, has a pleasant personality, including a sense of humor that matches your own, that’s more important than whether or not this person is known in the right circles