Saturday, December 27, 2008

Review: The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall

Book Review: The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall

Description: The Music Teacher is 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 writer and producer 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.

I received The Music Teacher as an Advanced Reading Copy as part of LibraryThing Early Reviewers. This is the story of a woman named Pearl who teaches violon lessons in a music shop in LA after not making it professionally. Pearl focuses on one student, Hallie, who she feels has potential to be a prodigy. Hallie has a difficult home life and Pearl gets overly involved and makes mistakes in judgement that effect both of their futures. There are other characters in the book, mainly Pearls coworkers who are all floundering in life trying to find their way. I found the story a gritty, dark and sad representation of music teachers. The book wasn't about music as much as it was about how music relates to life and relationships. The story fell flat for me and I didn't find myself caring that much for Pearl or the characters in the book.

  • You can read other reviews with different perspectives including 5 star reviews of The Music Teacher at BookBrowse HERE.
  • You can read more about the author Barbara Hall HERE.
  • This book will be published in February 2009.


  1. I've got this book in my pile, so I'm sorry to see it didn't work for you. Thanks for the review.

  2. It was really interesting to see that someone else felt the same way I did when reading this book. I had no feelings at all for the main character.


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