Lessons for pros

Edited: June 3, 2018, 11:52 AM · As a professional, do you sometimes take a lesson or two?

Replies (15)

Edited: June 3, 2018, 5:47 PM · Your thread (1590) cannot be accessed without a title. Delete and recreate it.

Edit: Glad it's all fixed, thanks David.

June 3, 2018, 11:53 AM · Thanks Roger.
June 3, 2018, 1:09 PM · I have been told this does happen occasionally.

A typical scenario could be that a soloist comes to the end of a very busy season of concerts and recitals perhaps running into three figures, including radio and TV performances and interviews, and all the associated travelling, and is aware that as a consequence his technique may be getting a little ragged in one or two areas. Rather than sort it out himself it makes sense to have a fellow professional look at his technique with an independent unbiased eye and make the appropriate remedial suggestions.

This sort of thing happens in sports and also in professions, especially if someone has been absent from an activity for a while.

June 3, 2018, 2:52 PM · Young professional soloists whom I know do take regular lessons from very top teachers in the world. I don't know any professionals who have steady gigs (orchestra, teaching, chamber works, etc.) are taking lessons. Unless they are soloists, most of them are not always on top conditions if they were honest with you. They would have to put extra practice when it comes to audition or occasional recitals. Like Trevor said, they might get some feedback from other colleagues rather than going for lessons.
June 3, 2018, 5:14 PM · I know pros, especially young pros, that take regular or occasional lessons. The most common reason is audition prep. But there are also folks who finish their formal education, get a job (often in education), and feel like they still need to become better players.
Edited: June 3, 2018, 5:37 PM · Viola soloist Kim Kashkashian in mid-life at the height of her career took lessons for some time from György Kurtág. There was an article in The Strad, perhaps two years ago, in which she spoke about that experience.
June 3, 2018, 8:54 PM · When I was a young professional and still taking auditions, I took occasional lessons from the concertmaster of the closest major orchestra (several hours away). It was extremely helpful.
June 4, 2018, 3:08 AM · I'm perhaps a very experienced amateur. Lots of years but probably repeated most and say at intermediate level. I've been playing beside a pro for over a year and thinking about setting up a lesson. I want to tweek my tone. ( Which is better,A orB). Any tips for preparation and organizing?
June 4, 2018, 7:33 AM ·
"Lots of years but probably repeated most and say at intermediate level. I've been playing beside a pro for over a year and thinking about setting up a lesson. I want to tweek my tone. ( Which is better,A orB). Any tips for preparation and organizing?"

David, could you reword this? It's not clear what you are asking. What is A or B? It sound like you're sitting besides a professional in an orchestra, and you're not sure how to ask for a lesson? If that's the case, just say something like "do you teach adults? I'd like to come and play for you sometime."

I've taken lessons many times prior to auditions. No matter our age or level of accomplishment, I think it's a poor habit to shy away from criticism. I've seen many young conductors stagnate with poor habits because they refuse to be judged after getting a professional gig. We should all aspire to improve.

June 4, 2018, 8:08 AM · Not an orchestra, more of an organized fiddle group. Down East Music plus older pop. I'm not shy about asking for help. A or B refers to "which sounds better, this bow hand motion or that etc." Sorry for the confusion.
June 4, 2018, 9:09 AM · Yes, many professional violinists also take lessons, especially advanced masterclasses, because they need self-elevation. I know Fabrizio Falasca (violinist of 1st violini and assistant leader of Philharmonia Orchestra London) has taken masterclasses from Kavakos in Athens and other places.
Edited: June 4, 2018, 9:36 AM · Somewhere around this level they no longer are "lessons" and become "coaching sessions."
June 6, 2018, 1:02 PM · Ditto; call them "coaching sessions" on almost ready solos, to get another opinion. Serious singers do more of this; you don't hear what the audience hears, and self-recording can be discouraging. I heard that Pavarotti worked with a coach throughout his career.
June 7, 2018, 7:31 AM · Coaching. Lesson.
Really, what's the difference?

I have enough trouble discerning figs from dates. Mammoths from Mastadons. Paper from plastic.
That versus which. Lewis from Clark. Sovereign versus Suzerain. Pocahantas versus Sacajawea.
Mongols from Manchus. Meteors from Meteorites.

Too many things to keep track of.

Edited: June 7, 2018, 11:24 AM · Scott, you omitted stalactites and stalagmites! As a former spelunker, my mnemonic for remembering which is which, is: one of them "holds on tight".


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