At 65 I have been a viola player all my life - albeit with a day job in non music education most of that time! In retirement I am challenging myself to improve my playing and have a developing interest in adult violin / viola learning.
"Andragogy" is a horrible word but useful at least as a concept - it is the adult equivalent of pedagogy and refers to methods and principles applicable to adult education. A Wiki search will give you some background. I have found no direct reference to the application of the ideas behind andragogy to instrumental learning but make the following interpretations.
Andragogy proposes that adult learners are different to child and adolescent learners. Of particular relevance to adult instrumental learning are that adults learn effectively ...
Evidence of the validity of these ideas in the instrumental learning field is arguably found in the popularity with adult learners of "online tutors" and youtube videos. For all their limitations, these put the learner in control of the work they choose to pursue. I myself find "teachers" useful to assist me in solving specific problems rather than in providing me with a "program of study".
Adult instrumental teaching may be inappropriately using pedagogical approaches and resources designed for children rather than for adults. The commonly perceived difficulties of developing as an adult learner may have more to do with ineffective teaching methods than it has to do with any innate characteristic of adult learners.
I look forward to the day when a 70 year old who started learning at age 55 is acknowledged as a significant world soloist!
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