Sometimes people have to travel in order to study with the music teacher they want - or to study with any music teacher at all.
A student who lives in a city with a university music program and a symphony orchestra can usually find some qualified violin, viola and cello teachers in his or her area. And in a city with multiple university programs and orchestras, the chances are even better.
But for the student in a smaller city or in a city with few music programs, the best teacher might be 60 miles away or more. That can make for a long trip every week for lessons!
When the desire to learn is high, that is exactly what students (and their parents!) do. I can think of a number of violinists who traveled far for lessons back in their student days: Tessa Lark traveled halfway across Kentucky for weekly lessons with Kurt Sassmannshaus in Cincinnati; Melissa White drove five hours to Chicago for weekly lessons with the Vamoses; Anne Akiko Meyers drove three hours through the California desert to study with Alice Schoenfeld; and the list goes on.
Sometimes a student has access qualified teachers in his or her city or town, but they find a good match with a teacher elsewhere, and so they make the extra effort to travel for lessons. For example, many of the students that attend programs such as Juilliard's Pre-College program travel from distant cities, on a weekly basis, in order to take those lessons.
Using the example of Tai Murray: her family actually moved from a larger city to a smaller one -- from Chicago to Bloomington, Ind. -- so she could study with various teachers at Indiana University.
I was extremely lucky when I was a child living in Denver; the violin professor from the University of Denver actually lived in our neighborhood, not even two blocks away, and he kindly agreed to teach me. (Thanks Mr. Maurer!) I walked to my weekly lessons. Later on in life I would travel farther for lessons in the various places I lived, but I'm very grateful for that situation that made such a difference at a crucial time in my learning.
What is the longest you have traveled, to reach your regular teacher? And by that, I don't mean traveling for a summer program or for one lesson, but traveling on a regular basis in order to be part of someone's studio. Please choose the answer that best fits your situation, and then tell us all about it. Have you had the benefit of a nearby teacher? If you traveled, how far? And for what reasons did you decide to travel rather than to try to find a teacher nearby?
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