Obviously she’ll be really careful with it…’ Like a complete coward, rather than put her straight about the likelihood of my having said any such thing, I mumbled something about a broken E string and suggested her daughter took a week off practising. A Scottish teacher who conducts a junior string ensemble recounts how a mother came up to her one Saturday before a rehearsal, anxious that her daughter, languishing in the second violins, was finding it hard to follow her beat.
‘Katie was upset last week because you told her she wasn’t always playing in time,’ the teacher was informed.
Difficult pupils can be the least of some teachers' worries.
Sometimes parents can be more of a handful than their sons and daughters.
Above all, never forget that these parents are simply making attempts – albeit misguided ones – to do the absolute best for their children. Communication is crucial to developing a good working relationship with parents — let them know exactly what you expect from their child, and from them too. Use a practice diary that the student can take home and refer to — it’s also a really important tool for communication between you and the parent. In another incident, parents attempted to place the blame on the teacher for damage to a violin.‘The teacher tried to fix a fallen bridge for a student, only to have the bridge snap in two,’ says Dunlop.Catherine Nelson provides essential tips for dealing with misguided parent power Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if, as a teacher, you only had to deal with your pupils rather than with their parents as well?Supportive parents can make the teacher’s world a better place, but every so often you’ll come across a nightmare mum or dad destined to stick in your memory long after their child has headed off to college – or traded in their cello for an electric guitar.They may show no interest in the child, or withhold affection or even fail to recognize the child's presence.