This was written on April 3, 2010.
I often get very attached to my violin students and, if they're kids, to their families. Losing a student can be very hard on me, especially if the loss is totally unexpected.
Recently I got a letter from the mother of one of my best students saying that her daughter was stopping her violin lessons right now and would participate in other activities instead. I was stunned. I have taught her daughter for about three years. She is a very sweet and talented girl, and she loves to play the violin. She even practices regularly (many talented kids do not), and I'm always impressed with the progress she makes in just one week. Her mother is musical and has been quite supportive of her daughter as a violin student until now.
I'm very fond of this little girl. Recently I bought her a small violin related gift for her and wrote her a note of praise. My praise was specific and heartfelt. The girl was really excited about it, and I had her read it out loud to her mother.
I will write back to the mother and implore her to let her daughter continue violin lessons, if not with me, than with another teacher. I'll tell her that her daughter has an unusual gift, and it should be nurtured. I'll tell her that her daughter will feel very bad if she is separated from something she loves so much. I'll offer to lower my charge if money is tight. I'll tell her everything I can think of.
I hope that the sweet, talented little girl will be able to take violin lessons, if not now, then at some time in the future. I'm very glad that I praised her so much when I did, not knowing how soon I would lose her. I hope that my praise will stick with her, reminding her that she is blessed with talent and keeping alive the wish to resume her violin lessons.