I took four one-hour violin lessons with a teacher, about a year ago. I spent the first half of my last lesson waiting at the door, then, when I finally was allowed to go in, the teacher acted as if nothing had happened. Not that I learned more once inside... Any question I had about any difficulty, the reply was that the answer will come, the difficulty will be overcome, with time and with practice. My impression was that the teacher really did not want to show me anything, from fear of giving away her secrets, her knowledge. But then, what's the point? She once said to me that she could not understand why my Suzuki 1 pages were so clean, why once I was sure of something I did not write it down, so next time I would take it from there. Then she showed me a page from a piece she was preparing, where she had marked everything, fingerings, bowings, phrasing and I-don't-know-what-else. She said it showed she had worked on it, but to me it looked more like a proof that she could no longer "work" on it even if she needed to. I had nothing to mark on my little Suzuki pieces, no great discoveries, no new discoveries, nothing so important that I would not remember later... My hopes were high going into those lessons, but at the end I was disappointed and confused. Since I stopped taking lessons I made a lot of progress on my own, but I still feel I desperately need a teacher. I started looking again, my hopes are still high, but I am a little apprehensive. How much can I really hope for? Do teachers feel it is a waste of time to teach adults (as adults are not training for a career, there will ultimately be little satisfaction for the teacher)? Do they feel it would be even dangerous and irresponsible to give away the secrets of the trade to adults, for various reasons? Why did my teacher pretend there was nothing that could be taught, any established knowledge or ways of doing things?! Adult learners out there: how does/did your teacher treat you?
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