Wendy B. Fischer
July 26, 2016
Honor is a great violin teacher but needs to learn how to mature as an adult and a professional if she wishes to continue teaching violin lessons. Just because there's some upheaval in a family's life doesn't mean it's the teacher's call to drop a talented student that looks forward to the teacher's visits. It's the parents and the teacher's together. Parents should have a clear understanding why the child is being dropped so they don't make the same mistakes with the next teacher. It's one thing to have 3 strikes and you are out; it's another to drop a child at the last minute without a clear reason thereof, particularly if the child really likes the teacher, is good at playing, and looks forward to the teacher's visits.
If a teacher is dropping a student, then let the parents know exactly why. Don't leave the parents and the child without closure, particularly the chid. Get a plan in place so the parents and student are left looking at the last moment to find another teacher that fits the child's personality and style of playing. Honor is fairly flexible with scheduling and will come to your home, or teach classes at Mills College.
The one thing I did find with Honor was she was inconsistent with her scheduling, often canceling at the last moment due to classes and performances for her graduate degree. I respect that. Graduate school should come first at this point in her life, but it got to be too much several weeks in a row. Her scheduling is flexible which is great, but she will charge you if you cancel a lesson that is less than 24 hours. The parents cannot do the same.
If she is teaching violin lessons, that is her profession. She needs to learn how to balance personal life with work life better, communicate clearly with parents and students, and set personal boundaries with parents and students.
I appreciate the year with Honor. She is a great violin teacher, and has a good repertoire with the kids.She is good for beginner and mid level children and adult students. My daughter and I both learned a lot, and I'm sad with her decision to part ways. I respect her decision, but am completely unsure why she dropped us. I'm guessing it was us the parent and not the child.
Lesson learned, keep a brick wall between the teacher and the family. Don't let people in, particularly in times when consistency and compassion are needed. And really Honor, all it takes is for a 45 year old thyroid patient getting her thyroid out to finally cry at her doctor 'My endocrine system is talking to me, make it stop' and for him to give her one pill, a beta blocker, which sets that all aside. Unfortunately I'm still ticked off at the doctor for finally telling me I'm in the thyroid hallucination phase and not telling me far earlier, like 16 weeks ago. But he's not on takelessons.com and I still need him. As much of an idiot as he is, he's a great doctor. It did cost us the relationship with the violin teacher, however.