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The Music Teacher

The Music Teacher

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3.52

(43)
|Views: 35 |Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
In The Music Teacher, a penetrating and richly entertaining look into the heart and mind of a woman who has failed both as an artist and as a wife, Barbara Hall, award-winning creator and writer of such hit television series as Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, tells the story of a violinist who has accepted the limitations of her talent and looks for the casual satisfaction of trying to instill her passion for music in others. She gets more than she bargains for, however, when a young girl named Hallie enters her life. For here at last is the real thing: someone with the talent and potential to be truly great. In her drive to shape this young girl into the artist the teacher could never be, she makes one terrible mistake. As a result she is forced to reevaluate her whole life and come to terms with her future. Hall has crafted a thoroughly engrossing novel that examines the pitfalls of failure and holds up a mirror to the face of a culture that places success and achievement above all else
In The Music Teacher, a penetrating and richly entertaining look into the heart and mind of a woman who has failed both as an artist and as a wife, Barbara Hall, award-winning creator and writer of such hit television series as Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, tells the story of a violinist who has accepted the limitations of her talent and looks for the casual satisfaction of trying to instill her passion for music in others. She gets more than she bargains for, however, when a young girl named Hallie enters her life. For here at last is the real thing: someone with the talent and potential to be truly great. In her drive to shape this young girl into the artist the teacher could never be, she makes one terrible mistake. As a result she is forced to reevaluate her whole life and come to terms with her future. Hall has crafted a thoroughly engrossing novel that examines the pitfalls of failure and holds up a mirror to the face of a culture that places success and achievement above all else

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Publish date: Feb 10, 2009
Added to Scribd: Oct 13, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781565126725
List Price: $22.95

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12/11/2014

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9781565126725

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
It's High Fidelity for the orchestra set in this slim, assured drama. Among the clerks and instructors of McCoy's music store is Pearl Swain, a recently divorced violin instructor and almost a great violinist who spends most of her time mourning her perceived failures--her marriage, her musical career and her various relationships. But when Pearl meets Hallie Bolaris, a promising young musician with a troubled history, she recognizes in her young student a natural ear, and soon Pearl convinces herself that Hallie is the world's next violin prodigy. She immediately hatches a plan to mentor and train Hallie for the life she herself never had, but Pearl's interest in her favored student soon diverges from her musical training and builds toward a more disheartening climax. Hall, who wrote for television shows Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, doesn't shy away from the sour notes of lost dreams, failed careers and misguided intentions, and her novel, despite its heavier than necessary dose of navel-gazing, rings true because of it. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2008-10-06, Publishers Weekly
limelite_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Pearl Swain is recently divorced and living alone in a trailer park in LA where she works at McCoy’s music store among a host of male colleagues, and gives violin lessons. It’s a dead-end place where musicians without careers in music congregate.Franklin, the owner, wants to start a band and recruits Pearl. On their first gig, he abandons her for a female agent – a siren – who woos him away from Pearl.Craig is 20 years younger than Pearl, gets fired, and becomes her lover.Patrick is a mysterious physicist who burnt out and says he can play all instruments and none of them. To him, music is just math.One day, Pearl acquires an amazingly talented student, Hallie. But she is also troubled, and Pearl deciphers that Hallie uses her lessons to escape an abusive foster father whose price for letting her go to lessons is sex. Pearl attempts to rescue Hallie from her fate and is determined to see that Hallie has a musical career – something she, Pearl, never achieved. But Pearl learns that her dreams are not Hallie's, and her attempts to intervene on Hallie’s behalf have unintended and disastrous consequences.Original characters, lots of interesting insight into the technique of violin playing, and a lesson about no good deed goes unpunished. Enjoyable story that’s easy to read; provides entertainment plus is informative; and is completed by a satisfying but ambiguous conclusion. Hall doesn’t tie up the loose ends, doesn’t give her book a Hollywood ending in spite of an LA story. For which I'm grateful.
maricello_1 reviewed this
This book appealed to me because I am an amateur musician and I used to work in a music store. Though this store, and the relationships between the various people who worked in the store, were quite different from my music store experience, I found it interesting.I was disappointed that the teacher's relationship with her student became secondary to her relationship with her younger lover. Such is life, I suppose, but to me, this romantic element made this into an ordinary novel.
cdyankeefan reviewed this
I enjoyed The Music Teacher particularly the relationship betweenPearl and Hallie. I could relate to Pearl's frustrations at not being able to achieve her dream and through time helping Hallie realize hers. It was a quick read and a very enjoyable one
junielou reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Pearl is recently divorced from her husband, a professor, who left her for a much younger student. She winds up renting a small mobile home and starts teaching violin lessons for a music store that is a well known, family run business. Pearl always felt like she was never good enough to be a professional violinist. She meets Hallie, a self-taught violinist whom Pearl believes can be extraordinary. Pearl helps Hallie confront life and family problems on her way to discovering her talent and a future as a professional violinist, and in the process heals herself.
mlanzotti_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Is a teacher acting for the good of a student or for vicarious gain? If one has been betrayed how do you learn trust? What is the nature of music and the people who need to play it? And, can a 40 year old woman find sexual satisfaction and love with a twenty seven year old "hunk"? All these questions are explored in this short and soulful novel.
marykay1822 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I have never played a musical instrument but as another reviewer stated, when reading this book I found myself envious of the abilities of Pearl the music teacher and her prize student, Hallie. The common thread in this book is the profound effect music and musical ability can have on a person's life sometimes not always positively. Some people listen to music occasionally, primarily as a background noise , but then there are people like Pearl who eat, breathe and sleep music . I almost get the feeling that there is a soundtrack playing along as she goes about her daily life. Everything in her life is determined by her love/hate relationship with her music.I found the characters in the music store very well written. I would have liked to get to know Hallie better, for some reason I didn't relate to her as well. However the character of Pearl I loved. I found myself turning the pages anxious to find out what her life might become. I wanted more for her even when it always seemed she was willing to accept less. I would recommend this book for the story it tells and also for the opportunity to get to know Pearl.
connielc_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I requested and rec'd this as a Library Thing Early Reviewers. I started reading it and couldn't put it down. But then forgot to write my review. I loved the characters and could relate to the common story of growing older and wanted to see our dreams realized through others. It's always a story that teaches us so much about ourselves and our journey through life. I would highly recommend this to anyone, every if they aren't into music.
nyiper reviewed this
Rated 2/5
I was so impressed with Judging Amy (TV show) that I was really looking forward to reading this book. But I found myself never really liking Pearl, the main character. I liked parts of her and that's why I kept reading, perhaps searching for little pieces of Amy, the judge, in this similarly divorced but childless woman--rather a silly reason to keep reading. Instead, Pearl kept me confused. I kept wondering if maybe her feelings would make more sense to someone who felt closer to music than I do. I found as the book continued that I was just getting very tired of her problems -- everything, absolutely everything, was an issue. Part of that was the result of her ability to remember details about situations and she described ALL of them...telling me more than I wanted to know for too long.
leahboyer reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The story of a violinist who realizes she will never become a great master and starts teaching to share her talent with others. When a girl named Hallie starts classes, she sees that she is very talented and could go far. In her attempts to create a great musician in Hallie, she must evaluate her own life.

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