The other day I was chatting with my teacher after lesson - her newest adult student just quit after 3 months. She admits that she does not like to take adult beginners because they cannot commit - they cancel lessons more often due to work/family obligations, they don't practice consistently (and have good reasons/excuses), and they quit! In fact, she said that she has never had any adults continuing except two - one has been with her for 6+ years, and the other is me: 8.5 months and counting, and she joked that we are not "normal." She is a serious teacher, who invests a lot of thought and care in her students, and I empathize with her frustration that after pouring her heart and energy into a student and seeing him/her starting to flourish, they suddenly quit...
I see many adult starters* on this site who have been taking lessons/playing for years and are still going strong (which gives me hope, BTW), but I suspect that they are the exceptions rather than the norms. Among the people I know personally, no adult beginners have moved beyond Suzuki Book 4 level except one. Beside the obvious reason that adults have family and/or job commitments that are hard to balance with a "hobby" that demands so much time and energy, are there other reasons that are unique to adults, why adult beginners, as a group, quit more often (if my teacher's experience and my circle are representative of the general population)? Are we more easily frustrated and demoralized than kids? Are we less willing to commit? Do kids continue because their parents would not allow them to quit, and adults just lack discipline? Do people give up because they can not catch up with their kids (many adult beginners I know started with their kids)? Do they quit because their age (stiff fingers, arthritis, etc.) prevents them from attaining higher levels? Or maybe some just switch teachers more often?
Dear teachers, what have been your experiences with adult beginners? Do you share my teacher's sentiment? What is the quitting ratio between adults and kids? On average, how long does an adult student last? What's the longest time that an adult student has stayed with you?
Dear adult starters, if you have played violin or stayed with a teacher for more than 2 years (a rather arbitrary number, I know) , have you ever thought about quitting? If so, what are your reasons? What makes you continue?
Thanks in advance for your answers!
(* I use "starters" here because many of them have gone beyond the beginner stage.)
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