A note on clarinet teachers

13 May

Hitting the right note when changing your clarinet teacher

Some music students start music lessons with one teacher and remain with that teacher for many years. 

Some stay with the same teacher for a year or two before moving on. 

But some learners appear to chop and change music teachers regularly – out of choice or through no fault of their own.

I fall into the last category.

In the seventeen months that I have been learning to play the clarinet, I have had no less than three clarinet teachers.

My first teacher moved out of the area after I had had about 8 months of classes.  Unfortunately she moved too far away for the classes to continue, so I launched myself into the task of finding a replacement.

I found out this week that my second teacher, who is maternity leave, is also moving away from the area, and so I will remain with my third teacher who I have been having classes with on a temporary basis while my second teacher was on maternity leave.

Coping with change

Adapting to change while learning the clarinet can be tricky.  There are a few reasons why.

A change of clarinet teacher means:

  • starting up a new teacher-pupil relationship,
  • sorting out the logistics – such as whether the new teacher will come to you or teaches from home only,
  • establishing new timetabling arrangements (agreeing on a date and time that suits you both),
  • sorting out new pricing models or payment methods

 Plus other practical details such as:

  • which books the new teacher uses,
  • what will be covered in the lessons and how much will be covered. 

The list goes on.

Good news

Starting classes with a different clarinet teacher can also bring some benefits.

These include:

  • giving you exposure to a different type of teaching
  • expanding on or complementing what you have learnt before
  • challenging you out of your comfort zone
  • exposing you to different learning tips
  • adding to your repertoire of playing techniques
  • giving a new slant on what you have learnt already but may have forgotten

Whether or not we welcome it, change is a part of life’s rich tapestry.  

My classes are working out very well with my third teacher, so I will be making the most of the changes – and staying focussed on the positives.

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