You or your child love your instructor! It’s a great fit, everyone is happy, and things are good.
Then, you find out that they’re leaving. Leaving to tour the world, or… something? Oh no! What should you do?
If this hasn’t already happened to you, it probably will at some point. We get it. You’re probably disappointed. But don’t worry, the important things is to have a plan. This change can actually turn out to be a great opportunity to work with someone new and take your experience in to a new level.
Hopefully, you’re already part of a school that is proactive, does a great job with transitions, and is eager to help you find a new instructor who will be a great fit. But if not, here are three tips to make the change to your new teacher as seamless as possible:
Step 1: Get a summary statement from your current teacher
Before the final lesson with your current instructor, ask them to write up a brief summary about you to share with your next instructor. This should include:
- what you’ve been working on
- the teaching techniques, approaches and strategies that work best for you
- your strengths and areas for improvement
- recommendations for the future.
Step 2: Ask your school for a list of recommended teachers
Read through the bio's on the school’s site, find out how long they’ve been teaching, and the styles they specialize in. Ask if the instructor has any testimonials from other parents and students.
Step 3: Take a trial lesson with an instructor who might be a good fit
Set up a low-pressure, no obligation trial lesson, where you can meet with the new teacher to see if it’s a good match. If you’re a parent, be sure to observe the lesson to make your own assessment, especially if your child is elementary age.
Bonus tip: who are other students and parents talking about?
And here’s a bonus tip… strike up a conversation with other parents or students in the school. These can be in the lobby or at a showcase, concert, or recital. If they’re studying the same instrument, ask them about the experience they’re having with their instructor or any one else who they’ve heard good things about.
Transitions can be hard, but it almost always works out
It never easy when the instructor you love decides to make a change. But if you follow these three steps, work closely with your school, and keep an open mind, you’ll quickly be on the path to building relationship with a new teacher in no time.
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