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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:47 PM
Original message
Flaky violin teacher. Advice?
Didn't know how to write a snappy title for this.

My daughter takes violin lessons. Has since February. She's 10. She has progressed well, seems to have a knack for it and enjoys it a LOT (it was her idea).

Her teacher, "John," is a wonderful violin teacher. He has great rapport with kids, he's talented, and he can explain things in a way she immediately understands. He's a rigorous teacher, fantastic. He's 20, a sophomore in college, a viola player and studying to be an elementary music teacher. He'll be great.

The problem? He keeps flaking out on scheduling lessons.

One time he thought he called me about a cancelled lesson and he didn't. He had car trouble. When I finally got him on the phone we had been waiting for 30 minutes for him.

Another time, he forgot his family planned a get-together that day and called to ask (as I was on my way there) if we could reschedule.

I said sure. He forgot to call to reschedule in the next few days, so I called him. We rescheduled. That happened twice.

Her lessons are normally Saturdays at 2. They have been changed and rescheduled so much I can't even remember how many times. She is behind two lessons (total of 90 minutes) that he needs to make up with her. It never seems to happen.

We had another flake-out this week, today in fact.

Next time I talk to him, I need to know what direction we want to go. Should I look for another teacher, even though, when we HAVE lessons, he's fantastic???

Or should I just have a bit of a chat with him and say "ok look, she's progressing, but she's not going to for long if you keep rescheduling stuff on us. If you are too busy to have this many students, we need to find someone else. This is important to her and I don't want to discontinue or have this many disruptions."

??????? It's not like we don't pay good money for these lessons, either. It's so frustrating. Today for the first time, my daughter said "why bother practicing? I won't have a lesson on the right day anyway..."

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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hrm....
I'd bring it up, definitely. But more the way you said about "Look, we love you as a teacher, but she's feeling frustrated by knowing that her lessons won't necessarily happen, and we need them to. Is there a time that would be easier for you?" something like that... good luck to you. I miss playing... a great teacher can make all the difference!
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yeah, I think for sure a talk is in order.

I hate stuff like this. Why can't he just be consistent?

I'm afraid I'll go looking for another teacher for her and find one that is consistent as far as showing up for lessons, but not so great when it comes to teaching.

Can I sigh again?

Thanks for reading such a boring post, LOL!
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. Time for a new teacher
Flaking out on lessons is sending a message that it's ok to flake out on practice too. If your daughter works hard on her lesson then doesn't get to show off her hard work, it can be very disappointing.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. You have a good point.
And you know, I noticed my daughter isn't as much into practicing as she was in the beginning. It's sort of an "eh" thing now and the sad thing is she's really good and was progressing really nicely.
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yep! new teacher time.
Would you put up with this behavior from a S.O.
There are lots of violin teachers in the sea. Yours sleeps with the fishes.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I disagree.
Given how much you like him, I'd at least talk to him first.

I wouldn't put up with it indefinitely but, since you have this much invested in him at this point, I'd definitely give him a chance to change his ways.
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Betty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm a violin teacher
and have been for about 20 years, and I would NEVER treat a student like that. I try to keep the cancellations to a minimum, even though I also perform a lot. But I figure out when I can teach with the least disruptions. I would definitely talk to him and say that your own schedule is pretty full and it's hard not to have a regular time that you can count on for her lessons. There are plenty of good teachers out there who keep regular schedules.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. Perhaps you should ask him if Saturday is inconvenient for him...
seeing as how many times he's had to break the date, and would he prefer moving lessons to another afternoon.
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