December 28, 2008 at 7:22 AM
Well, it's been a while since I posted a blog on here, as I mainly post on my own blog - benclapton.id.au - and over the past little while have been neglecting Violinist.com. I'm sure I've missed quite a few fruitful and spicy discussions. But I always wear my violinist.com shirt with pride, and as a new year resolution will pledge to come back and participate more frequently.
I am embarking on a new stage of my life. I have finished my Bachelor of music, and - having had enough of study for the time being - am attempting to make my way as a private violin teacher in Perth, having a few students and a couple of days teaching in Private schools in Perth. Hopefully earn enough to get my parents off my back. :)
But now it's also a stage where I'm not planning on having many lessons. Without being at uni, Lessons from teachers that I need to go to become expensive, so at best monthly lessons would be the goal. But for the moment, I've almost had enough of lessons for the time being. I want to take a different path for the time being. Teach myself for a while, and learn some of the repertoire that I've missed. I felt, especially over the past year and a half, that I've been learning repertoire that was right at the limits of my technical ability. It made learning the music slow, and unrewarding over the short term. Yes, given a year or so I might be able to play a piece, but it would be very rough, and not really performance ready. It makes it hard to inspire yourself to continue practicing - like everything is just out of reach. For the first time this year, I found myself having to cancel lessons because no matter how much I practiced, I didn't feel that I had prepared what my teacher had asked me to do.
So now, I'm going to take a step back. I'm going to take the opportunity to learn some of the pieces and studies that I want to give to my students but I missed, so that I can give them the best education that I can give, while keeping myself learning and practicing as well. It is now that I will start to rely on Basics and Practice, Violinist.com and Drew's books (which I plan on purchasing) as my guides, and hopefully rediscover the practice techniques that will enable me to reattempt those pieces which were just out of my reach.
Shall keep you informed of my progress.
Congratulations on finishing your Bachelor of Music!
Your comment about canceling lessons struck me. In my experience, canceling lessons or meetings in the workplace is a bad sign. Not that something is wrong with you, but that something is out of balance, usually on both sides. I wonder if you discussed your feelings of lack of inspiration, and repertoire always being out of reach, with your teacher, and what s/he said. If I were your teacher, I'd have wanted to know. I'm also curious how a good teacher would address such a problem with an advanced student.
I think you're doing the right thing by stepping back out of that situation, taking a look around, and giving it some creative thought on your own. But I hope you can eventually find your way back to a lesson situation that nourishes your playing and your own teaching.
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