Normally it would be odd for a parent receive an unsolicited email from one of her now-adult children’s university professors. This is different though, because this prof has been Erin’s violin teacher for four years. That includes the very first year, when Erin was still a high schooler by age and enrolment, but moved to Montreal to live entirely on her own, complete her high school courses by correspondence, and be where she could get weekly lessons with this lovely woman.

We’d gone for a visit, and I had sat in on a lesson took with her (they had met once before), and it seems all three of us had a sense that the relationship was meant to be. I had the feeling that the time come — much sooner than I’d expected — for me to entrust Erin to herself, and to the guiding mentorship of this wonderful violin teacher and human being. I believe Erin was one of only two or three “private” students the teacher had that year, and the only high schooler she had taken on in years.

Erin has just completed the penultimate year of her BMus program at McGill, and she chose to do her final “graduation recital” a year early in order to free herself up for auditions next year. It is also her teacher’s retirement year. Next year Erin will study full-time with another teacher she loves, who co-taught her this year. But it means there is a sense of closing a chapter in both of their lives, and in their relationship.

I was so touched and proud to receive this letter yesterday.

As my last academic year is coming to an end, I would like to express how well Erin has been doing during these past 4 years!

Her recital was very impressive, played with such a musical depth and involvement, mastery, and a natural stage presence.

Often, over the years , students have referred to her exemplary working habits, her amazing stamina, her determination and motivation !!!

Erin is very much «her own musical person», with a unique vision. I am always impressed by her concept of Bach !

From the very 1st  lesson until now, she has taken giant steps, and gained the respect of the full school .

For me, it was a privilege to teach such a talented and interesting young musician ; she is among the best students I have taught at McGill and she will always have a special place in my fondest memories.

Miranda, when I think back to our 1st meeting , I can only admire your trust in her and your generosity in letting her settle in Montreal. I feel sorry I did not write more often to let you know how things were going …

Wishing you a wonderful summer !

I am grateful for the reminder about the value of trusting children to learn in their own ways, and to forge their own paths in life when they feel they are ready. And I am so proud of my grown-up kid, and so thankful for the role this wonderful teacher has played in her life and her musical development.

Letter from college

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