Learning WHAT your new teacher expects from you and HOW to deliver on those expectations is one of the most difficult areas of transition for the transfer student. Not only must you learn new approaches, technique and theory from the new teacher, the teacher is also learning about you and how you learn. Help your teacher understand you by accepting that the transition is a two-way learning process and by asking as many questions as possible to facilitate communication between yourself and the new teacher.
JUST DIFFERENT: As mentioned on the other pages, each teacher has different priorities and as a result what was "fine" for the former teacher, might suddenly be "totally unacceptable" for the new teacher. We hope that these differences were ones you were hoping for, and among the reasons you chose to change teachers. We believe that our priorities will make you a better musician, even if the other teacher seemed not to emphasize the same issues as much.
EVERYTHING IS FINE AND WONDERFUL: We all love to hear that we are doing well, we are doing wonderfully or heaven forbid, we are perfect! Although praise and encouragement is an important part of growth and learning, unfortunately, in the world of eduation such constant praise is harmful and counterproductive. If you have a teacher who never seems to find any mistakes, never suggests areas for improvement and just lets you go on to the next thing, that teacher clearly IS NOT TEACHING you anything, and probably CANNOT TEACH you anything. Even the best students make mistakes and have areas for improvement, and any good and capable teacher will have some suggestions for how you can play better. A student that is not being challenged, must find a new teacher capable of teaching and challenging the student, no matter how bright, talented or diligent the student might be.
EXPECTING MORE: All good teachers will expect slightly more from their students than they believe they can actually do. This is called challenging the student, and is an extremely important aspect to teaching, especially music teaching. If you feel your new teacher is expecting too much from you - GOOD! That is what a good teacher should be doing. If your old teacher did not demand as much, more the pity and more the reason you should have changed! However, your new teacher is well aware that you may not learn or perform to the level that she/he seems to be asking. If the teacher does not make the demand with the assertion that you are capable of doing it, it would not be a challenge but instead an optional "maybe if you can" which is never enough. You are fully expected to ask questions and request help for anything that you are trying to do. Your teacher is fully open to answering your questions, and giving you the help you need to reach that next level. Likewise, your teacher will probably give you only as much help as he/she believes is necessary for you to reach the goal on your own. It is your job to work harder and rise to the demands placed on you. Always keep one thing in mind, every teacher has had students who have tried to do what was asked and then given up, have tried and needed help, or have tried and succeeded. The teacher will except whatever outcome from you happens, but in the end, which one would you rather be? After all, it is only fair that the new teacher expects more from a transfer student than the former teacher might have. Do not the parents and student expect more from the new teacher as well?!?!