Violin Podcast: What to do when a parent suggests repertoire for your student


No, no, no, I’m kidding.

This is a rather interesting topic that gets some attention in the teaching world. If you’re a private music teacher, sooner or later you’re going to have a student’s parent email you regarding their development.

Here’s the thing, the email they send gives you suggestions for what to teach their daughter. Especially if it’s a piece of music that is out of the student’s reach at the moment.

This can be complicated for a few reasons.

Of course you want your student to succeed but you know deep down they’re not ready for the pieces their parents suggested due to certain violin technique restraints.

So, what do you do?

Since this scenario happened to me recently, I’d like to add my opinion to the conversation if I may.

The first thing to do is to reply to the parents. They’re investing in their child’s education and only want the best for them. At the end of the day, they’re taking lessons with YOU and they trust YOUR advice.

If you like talking with parents face to face, then you can say something along the lines of, “I think these are great ideas, let me think about it and get back to you within the week.” This is a simple way of giving yourself enough time to process this information and in a polite manner. The worst thing you can do is respond when you’re having a bad day or after a bad lesson with your student if didn’t go so well.

Second, offer suggestions that go within the student’s strengths. Oftentimes teachers make the mistake of assigning a new piece that’s too difficult. It will be a very, very long journey for the two of you getting through the piece together if you choose something that’s too hard for your violin student.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s