Changing teacher, the easy way…

Moving on from your favourite music teacher and finding someone to fill their shoes

It’s inevitable that great teachers do sometimes move away from their current students – musicians are travellers literally and figuratively. And sometimes it’s just a good idea to have a change of teacher…to tackle new ground, to find a better match, to give your child exactly the right experience. Here at MusicMaps, experience has shown us changing teachers can sometimes be a tricky moment. As parents, we are keen to keep things moving, keep our children motivated and pull in a great substitute teacher, but we don’t always feel the personal loss. Our children see it differently – they have lost a guide in their musical lives, a friendly face who helps them through the difficult bits and celebrates the successes with them. Anyone, however experienced and qualified, who comes to take their favourite teacher’s place, can seem like a bit of an imposter!

So how do we make sure your child hits it off with their new teacher and starts a great new student relationship?

Time and patience are going to be a big factors and setting expectations so your child is comfortable with the idea that they may feel a little unsettled is a good idea. They will need a few sessions to establish trust and familiarity with their new teacher. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to explain to your child that meeting a new instrumental teacher is an exciting moment, but can also feel a bit strange, different and “not quite right”. As with anything, it’s good to give change a chance.

Changes in teaching style and content can also throw a young student. Every teacher has their own carefully developed method and approach. How they impart their love of music to their student is pretty personal, even if the technical knowledge is rigorous and structured. So it’s a given that students will find need to find a new way to work with their new teacher. Of course, all teachers adapt their teaching to each and every student and this makes everything easier.

Your new teacher also needs to be aware of the dynamic of the moment. A good teacher will quickly discover what your child can do, what they have learnt, what they liked about the previous lessons and what they liked about their previous teacher. They are not going to try and keep everything exactly the same, but they should be giving continuity in your child’s journey in music. Any old loyalties to the previous teacher need to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Practically speaking, you may find you have to try more than one teacher to find the right one. You’ll have to get the right timings and ways of getting in touch to make sure everything runs smoothly. Consultations, conversations and trial sessions are always useful to make the final decision. And never be afraid to ask questions.

And once you’ve made the change and things are going well you can give yourself a big pat on the pack. You’ve successfully navigated another hurdle in the parent marathon.

As ever, we write these blogs to help everyone learn music, so if you have any queries, whether you learn with MusicMaps or not, please do give us a call.