It’s important to lay out boundaries and expectations of both the child and parent with clear communication. From 2010


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Many string players will have their expertise called upon at some point in the form of teaching - more often than not - young pupils, who will often be accompanied by their parents. While a teacher may be a master of their instrument and of communicating their love of music to the student, sometimes the challenge for them lies in dealing with the parents - whether they be pushy, have lofty progress expectations of their child, or a lack of musical knowledge altogether. Here are some tips for string players in ensuring that the relationship between teacher and parent garners the best possible results for the child.

This excerpt was published in the October 2010 issue of The Strad

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. You can chart the student’s progress in the lesson and set them tasks, so that it’s clear what they need to practise, and you can also encourage the parent to use it to comment on the child’s practice.

Encourage parental involvement as much as possible — ensure that they understand that their support is vital to their child’s achievements, particularly in the early years.

Always show the child and parents respect.

Always have the child’s best interests in mind when talking to parents, and make them understand that you care about their child.

Make your boundaries clear — let them know the best way of contacting you, but make sure they understand that you cannot spend hours each week discussing a child’s progress.

Email can be an invaluable tool, as parents are more likely to pinpoint exactly what they need to know, and you can answer their queries quickly and concisely.

What are your tips for dealing with your students’ parents? Let us know at

This excerpt was published in the October 2010 issue of The Strad

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