November 7, 2010 at 10:40 PM ·


 I am a violin student and am wondering how you maintain you self-esteem when others try to knock you down by telling you "you aren't good enough" or "you'll never make it". Has anyone else out there dealt with this? How do you get past it? How do you maintain confidence? Advice would be appreciated.


Replies (51)

November 7, 2010 at 11:09 PM ·

Hannah, who are the people saying these hurtful things to you?  Are you a high school student?  College?  You don't have any bio information.  It seems that some young people these days can be very mean, even hateful and violent, to others.

What do your teachers have to say about your playing?  Your teachers are the ones you should listen to.

I imagine that would not be easy to ignore the hurtful things, if you are around these people every day.  Perhaps you could try to minimize your interaction with them.  Hopefully they are not family members.  Try to stay around people that are supportive, as much as you can.  

Give us a little more info and perhaps others can give better advice than I.  Site members here can also give you moral support.  Hope to hear more from you!

November 8, 2010 at 12:53 AM ·

Wow!  Are you playing the violin or showing dogs because I thought dog show people where the snarkiest around.  Actually, that's not true.  Any time you get a group of people that are passionate about something, they always pick on the most talented to try to bring them down.  Pack mentality.  Listen to your instructor.  Turn to your friends for support and ignore anyone who brings you down.  They are trying to pump themselves up by bringing you down.  It never works.  They are ultimately more miserable because of it.   In the end it's your enjoyment, your goals and your ambitions that count.  No one elses opinion matters.   I've been in your position.  It's not fun but if you keep your head straight and focus on what matters then you will achieve your goals and be happier and stronger in the end.

I found a greeting card the other day.  It said "In 20 years, when you have the advantage of age and wisdom you will look back on this period in your life and say "Well, that sucked!" 
I thought, wow!  They do make a card for everything!


November 8, 2010 at 02:35 AM ·

 Stop listening to the nay-sayers! The BIG questions does playing violin make you FEEL? If it brings you joy, keep practicing and the rest will fall into place. The opinions of others takes a backseat to the enjoyment you experience pursuing a relationship with your instrument.

November 8, 2010 at 02:53 AM ·

Hi, I had this in highschool.  It was not about violin but it was about a gang of "bitches" who were always teasing me because I guess I looked straigh and not that confident.  At that time, I was gentle with everyone and had never learned to step for my rights when it was necessary...  Also, I tried so many haircuts because I was desperate with my stubburn hair.  Got laught at mainly because of that too...  Well, as Susan told, I now looked back at this and tell myself that it "sucked" Now, I got stronger out of this and was never injured physically even If I have been scared of that a few times. In the end, they just were jealous of grades or the fact that I dared to be different (had hobbies and life different from them).  

I also noticed some weird things for my playing.  I'm a late starter and work upside down: I start with details and music to end with technical details and seeing the peice in a whole.  It looks really odd if I compare with some others but it might not be.  A very famous school that I admire a lot that produced some of my favorite soloists once told: here, people first start to play with their heart and then learn the necessary technique to do so.   I always have nice comment in exams for expressivity, musicality , power and vibrato but terrible ones for not doing like expected or not being precise ennough or my setup that is not a shoulder rest.  And they never praise the good things in the grades.  As if they just consider the bad things to assing a grade.  I have often wondered if it was because I didn't want to be like everyone?  I am tall and older than the others there.  They might just as well misjuge me because they have different expectations than  for someone younger and smaller/cuter...  (kids are forgiven more easily). 

Very often, when people see something different from what they expect (may it be because of age, situation, procedding upside down to learn things (because hey, it's impossible to start with good tone and musicality to end with technique, no? Actually it is possible with late starters. Often got told I was a lazy talented because of this... Quite the opposite! A hard working non talented...) they tend to say hateful things or just "wachhhhh" or "Berk" to protect themselves from what is unexpected to them or different from what they usually see.   

There is also the phonomenon that everyone is on your back to prevent you from going in your dream and be happy. (sometimes because they are unhappy with their lives...)  Music can be a very risky carreer path it true, but no one has the right to be mean with you with either decision you make!  You can take that decision alone.  Of course, constructive advice on your choices is good but nothing mean!

Good luck!  Hope everything will settle down.


November 8, 2010 at 03:29 AM ·

your post is a call back to reality for me. i thought ppl who play music are ppl with beautiful hearts..

i guess. you will ahve to be strong and ignore these ppl, you dont have to prove to anyone whether u r good or not, just set your target to achieve your highest potential. ignore the others, it is a harsh world out here.. spend more time with good ppl..

November 8, 2010 at 03:46 AM ·

You definitely need to develop your own support group.  Are there other musicians you can hang around with and avoid this crowd?  Perhaps your teacher can help you join an orchestra or band.  Remember that most people who complain are insecure and probably resentful about your abilities and drive. 

I think we need a bit more info though...


November 8, 2010 at 05:17 AM ·

The music world is as much a cross-section of humanity as anything else: you're going to have the best, the worst, and everything in between.

The person best able to communicate the message of music is not necessarily the most technically advanced, but the one who realizes "it's not about me."  When I give a recital, I won't complain that people came to hear me, but I hope they leave having heard Bach, etc.  It may take a long time but maybe your critics will someday appreciate the wisdom of this. 

November 8, 2010 at 07:36 AM ·


I frequently find when someone is throwing such comments out, they are doing so for one primary reason. They are emotionally lazy, and find it easier to knock others down rather than build themselves up. ALthough they may appear to be in control, or appear to have it all together, they are likely doing so because they don't have the internal courage to handle things if they are NOT in control. 

It has been quite some time since I was in school, and I always felt like an outcast. I was a bit goofy about some things, I guess, and I changed schools a lot. Somewhere, I found some friends that were not quite fitting into the expected norm, and it made life more bearable.

Years later, when I run into many of the same people I saw in high school as so together, they sometimes mention they envied me, because I acted more freely than they felt they could. They don't realize that back then, I would have done anything to be more like them, but I couldn't manage how.

November 8, 2010 at 08:41 AM ·

 This topic is close to my heart because I can totally relate.  I experienced a lot of what you described.  It was my senior year of college and my beloved teacher had left the school.  The professor that replaced her was not patient and she treated me like a talentless piece of garbage.  She told me that it was cruel of anyone to ever encourage me because I'd never become a good player.  She told me that I'd never be able to play certain concerti that I had always dreamed of playing.  After every lesson with her I didn't feel inspired to practice, I almost felt afraid to practice because I was led to believe that I was so clueless that by practicing I was doing more harm than good.  It was kind of soul-crushing and after I graduated I didn't play my violin for over a year.  Then finally I got my perspective back.  Basically it hadn't been a happy year and I realized that without the violin my life didn't have the same kind of meaning.  I started to play.  My roommate at the time thought I had given up the violin for good and he was not happy that I was practicing again (he was very attached to peace and quiet).  I said "fine, you can have your quiet" and I moved out of that apartment.  I started practicing etudes again and getting my technique back into shape.  I found myself an excellent teacher and I had to make some lifestyle sacrifices to pay for the lessons but I am finally happy again.  My new teacher is more experienced, more encouraging and WAY more helpful than the rude gorgon I'd studied with before.  Now I love practicing, my technique is improving steadily and I'm playing music I honestly thought I'd never get to play.  If you're dealing with people who are actively trying to push you down and suppress your talent then they obviously don't have your best interests in mind.  Maybe what you need is a new perspective. Don't give other people power over your life.  It's your life and you get to make the important decisions.  

It may sound kind of corny but this is what a really great violinist said to me recently "we violin players are a fierce people.  Be proud of the difficulty and don't despair, it'll make you stronger".  

November 8, 2010 at 08:45 AM ·

Hannah, it seems to me that the people getting at you are suffering from jealousy and insecurity. They must be insecure if the only way they can feel good about themselves is by ganging up on someone they perceive as different.

I cannot tell from here if this is a bullying issue. If it is then the institution should have  measures in place to deal with it. If it is bullying you probably need to find someone in authority to whom you can talk.

Because of the internet you are not just forced to be with those who would torment you. There is a community of people here on who share your passion. I'd like to bet that most of us have experienced some of the same sort of negativity from our peers and yet, somehow, we made it through.

There are lots of sympathetic folk here - lean on us!

November 8, 2010 at 10:37 AM ·

I'm with Julian on this issue.  You don't mention your age but it does sound like a bullying situation.  If that's the case, please go to someone you can trust - a teacher, counsellor, your parents etc and tell them what has been happening to you.  

I'm sure there are lots of people around you who are and can be much more constructive and supportive in the advice they give you and these are the individuals you need to concentrate on.  The rest will soon realise you are above that kind of behaviour...

November 8, 2010 at 01:45 PM ·

Hey, thanks for all the help. I am currently a senior in highschool and will be getting a degree in music next year. To help make the situation clearer, I should probably explain some of what happened and is still going on. My freshman year in highschool, I got into an advanced orchestra in an organization near my home. I was pretty excited about it and had practiced intensly all summer long. However, the weekend after my audition, some close family friends (particualrly adults) started circulating some hatefull gossip. Almost my entire social circle turned on me. It hurt really bad and I almost gave up the violin.......but someone came and scraped me off the floor and told me I was talented, so i kept it up.

 Anyways, as highschool went on, these people followed me around, forced their way into my performances and competitions hoping to hear me mess up. It was horrible. Even the conductors started to treat me...and my brother who is a cellist....with some peculiar behavior. Finally, my parents pulled us out of the organization and the group we were in and put us in a new orchestra. Good things started to happen. My brother and I are both first chair and have found some good friends.

 Now, I am getting ready to go to college. My teacher keeps telling me that nobody is going to really want me and that their studios will fill up with others who are ten times better than me. I love my teacher very much, but I just hate taking this crap. I have been through enough. I feel like he doesn't believe in me. I don't know what to do. It's not just the whole studio thing, but just little comments he makes make me feel inferior. He's not a bad guy, I think he's trying to tell me not to give my hopes up. 

  I just want to salvage some of my self-confidence. I really want that "kick butt" attitude I see in some of my friends. I want to be free to open my heart to my audience and not cower in the spotlight. I just don't know where to start.


November 8, 2010 at 02:04 PM · This sounds like the bullying we here about on the news. Remember the mother who killed her daughter's (cheerleading) competition?? I want to say, what is the world coming to, but there has always been cruelty, obvious & not so obvious. How long have you been with your teacher? Did he have different aspirations than how his musical life worked out? He may see your prospects through different eyes. These days, his perspective isn't necessarily so jaded, though. I would encourage you to arrange a few single lessons w/the best instructors you can find, such as university profs w/performance degrees from major conservatories, and ask for their considered opinions & ideas on what you should work on. Your goals may be achievable w/hard work; maybe they are too far out there for today's conditions. There are many ways to be a happy & fulfilled musician besides becoming a professional performer. Sue

November 8, 2010 at 02:07 PM ·

Hannah: How lucky you are to have shared your situation on a website that is uniquely understanding and supportive. I would add only the following thoughts from some people you may have heard of:

Anonymous: "It wouldn't be a picnic without the ants."
Anonymous:  "You can't rehabilitate a swine."
Max Lerner: "The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of your strength within you that survives all hurt."
Dr. Seuss: "I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me."
Bobby  Short: "Life is tough. And if you're creative, it's tougher."
Franklin D. Roosevelt: "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
Woody Hayes: "There is nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
Rev. Jesse Jackson (speaking of Jackie Robinson): "He took a stumbling block and turned it into a stepping stone."
Peter's Principle of Success: "Get up one more time than you're knocked down."


November 8, 2010 at 02:48 PM ·

It sounds to me as if you may have the wrong teacher. It also sounds like people area bit envious of you.

You should develop a thick skin like a lot of us have had to, and ignore these people. And I have to say that the bahaviour of your adult family members is disgusting, and they should know better. But families are a minefield.

Keep talking to the people on this messageboard, most are pretty positive and give excellent advice. I know its hard, but believe in yourself.

A friend of mine was told when a student by a well known college professor that he should give up the fiddle, and he would never make it. Since then he has led several top orchestras, does lots of professional chamber music, and teaches at two top music colleges in the UK.

Sometimes its good to call the bluff of these awful people and stick two fingers up at them.

We have a saying here in the UK which is a bit rude but you sound old enough and mature enough to appreciate it - and it is "Don't let the buggers get you down."

November 8, 2010 at 03:13 PM ·


my advice to you is a bit of the more pragmatical kind. However, it helped me a lot when people were trying to discourage me from practicing. What you need to do, is to get a steady chamber music partner (outside the family). Somebody you can play chamber music with twice per week, and that is at the same level as you are. Perhaps a pianist? Some violist? SOmebody you have fun with, and that is ready to play with you if so every second day. Together, you can then stand against the world, and be supportive to each other, and develop with each other. When you will have each other in music, nothing else will matter. Maybe try to create a piano-violin duet, or string quartet or piano trio?

November 8, 2010 at 05:18 PM ·

 I had this all the way through my old school and some of my current school. All the way through, even though it does knock your confidence, I carried on and thought 'Oh well, one day I will be famous and on stage doing what I love, and you're just going to be stuck in a council flat!!' (I'm generalising those who live in council flats - sorry!!) Stick with it. Try your best to ignore what they say, if you like the violin then that is all that matters. If they say nasty things then they are not worthy of listening to the beautiful sounds that they are probably jealous of and want to do themselves. Let them stew in their own juices, it'll only turn them bitter after a while!

If you ever want to talk, I'm always around so just drop me a message. Take care and good luck!

November 8, 2010 at 05:28 PM ·

 Something in this thread makes me uneasy and it does not make sense. Why would close family treat you this way and follow you around wishing you to fail and even the teacher who you profess you love very much wish you to fail. Everything here flies against normal. You are either in the situation that reminds of the book Rosemary's Baby or you are reading the situation wrong and creating phantom enemies in your mind. 

I suggest that you talk to someone in the psychology field .I think the problem is deeper than you realize and the good advice about 'cocking a snook' at everyone does not address the real problem.

November 8, 2010 at 05:30 PM ·






















November 8, 2010 at 06:04 PM ·

Hi Hannah, the unfortunate truth is that there will always be someone wanting to put you down. I've been there, and I know it's hard to ignore. I feel sorry for these people who call themselves your friends and yet hope for you to fail. Very very sorry, and especially so being that some of these individuals are adults, rather than peers. So it's really important to always remember that you are playing the violin for YOU, and not for them. If you find you can't ignore them, then prove them wrong. Keep telling yourself you CAN do it, and if your teacher is discouraging you, then find a new teacher. What kind of teacher says to a student "you can't"? That is just so beyond wrong...

November 8, 2010 at 06:07 PM ·

Eloise, exactly what is a council flat?

November 8, 2010 at 06:08 PM ·

Something no one tells you about school:  All those people who are riding high right now have peaked too early.  It's downhill from now on -- trust me.  *beatific smile*  Just keeping playing.  Never, ever stop.  Grab the neck of that fiddle and never put it down.  Anyone who wants you to can go to hell.  Never let a horrible person convince you to volunteer to part from something you love.

November 8, 2010 at 07:37 PM ·


It really bothers me that your teacher is giving you negative comments that challenge your sense of self-worth; that goes against everything I think a teacher should do. Provide criticism, yes, but always with the goal of building up the student.

I tend to be a bit agressive about such things, and I would think of some way of starting a frank discussion with your teacher; indicate that this behavior stops now, or you will be forced to find a more supportive teacher.

Although you say you like your teacher, you can still like your teacher, but they may be the wrong person to teach you. There is an obligation on the teacher end that is not being fulfilled.

November 8, 2010 at 07:52 PM ·

 Hey, thanks again for the advice. It's really nice to know i'm not the only one dealing with this. I want to clarify something though. I never said my family was abusive, in fact, they were and still are very supportive. It was close family friends who were the problem. As far as my teacher is concerned, most of his comments are off-handed. I don't think he is trying to hurt me. I Anyways, thanks!


November 8, 2010 at 08:47 PM ·

Roland, a council flat is the UK version of a housing project.

Hannah, it's just a shame so many people have to be so awful.  It's often a form of competitiveness or one-upsmanship, of course.  You may be more sensitive to this kind of stuff than some others are.  (There's not anything wrong with that, by the way.)  While high-school kids are the worst about behaving this way,  a few adults do it too.  The best advice any of us can give you is to just rise above it.  Others have given you lots of good suggestions, and it sounds like you have found a more congenial orchestra.  This too shall pass.

November 8, 2010 at 10:09 PM ·

I think you should find another teacher.  Tough but fair is one thing, this sounds like something else.  It also doesn't matter what his intent is, what matters is the effect on you.  It's not that he's a bad person or a bad teacher, but it doesn't sound like you're getting what you need from him.

To look at it a slightly different way, if your teacher was making you feel bad but you were making spectacular progress towards your goals and learning a lot in spite of all that, then it might still be worth it to stick with this situation and tough it out.  But I don't get a sense from your postings that you are getting a benefit from this in proportion to the suffering.

What I'm reading, maybe between the lines, is something of a goal mismatch.  There are teachers who only want to teach professional performers-in-training and consider everything and everyone else a waste of their time.  Individual teachers have the right to choose this way of teaching, of course, but it doesn't serve every student, or even most students, very well.  It wouldn't serve me, for example.  I need, and have now, a teacher whom I love, and who enjoys teaching advanced adult amateurs.  

But I did have one of these other kinds of teachers when I was in high school.  I didn't measure up to a number of his other pro-bound students, neither in terms of talent nor in terms of dedication to the violin.  I had no desire to be a professional performer: I had industrial-strength stage fright, and I wanted nothing more than to play in an orchestra.  I would have preferred a root canal to solo performance.  And, I had enough other interests and demands on my time that I never practiced more than an hour a day, often less.  As a professional player who wanted to nurture and produce little mini-me versions of himself, my teacher of the time wasn't all that interested in me, and he made a number of off-hand comments that were very discouraging, bordering on devastating.  (But, I note, he was still willing to take my parents' money.)

I don't really know what your goals are.  Mine weren't that well-articulated when I was a teen.  What I wrote above about my goals then was written with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, looking back from an adulthood in which I happily play the violin for pleasure in a community orchestra.  If you really in your heart want to be a professional solo performer, then by all means, go for it.  Practice 8 hours a day and show your teacher he's wrong.  But be aware of the risks.  I personally wouldn't touch that career path with a 10-foot pole.  It's not a way to financial security, and it doesn't even sound, to me, like fun. 

Or, think differently about your goals.  When you say you want to go into music as a career, what do you mean, realistically?  Performing?  Teaching in a public school?  Having a private studio?  Freelance?  Arts administration?  Some combination of those, or other?  Become clearer in your own mind with what your goals are, what feeds your soul, what sounds like fun *to you*.  Then, find a teacher who supports those goals.  Someone and something better is out there for you, if you know where and how to look.

November 8, 2010 at 11:09 PM ·

 Roland, a council flat is a flat given to people by their council or the government because they cannot afford to buy or rent their own privately. It is *generally* seen as a trend for people who cannot be bothered to work, live off benefits and are single with several kids. But as I say, that is a HUGE sweeping statement - I just used that in my mind to make myself feel better when it came to people critisising me for my playing when they didn't have a clue really! 

November 9, 2010 at 02:06 AM ·


I know some people that were afraid to reach for their dreams try and rationalize it by saying it wouldn't have worked anyway. They frequently also try to 'save' others from that disappointment by talking them out of trying (It will never work! You'll be killed!!!!!!!).

Don't let them stop you from your dreams. Even further, feel sad that they did not have the courage to dream.

November 9, 2010 at 03:48 AM ·

I agree with Roland, some people might have had good intentions in the start to "protect" you from going in a risky path and warn you about the terrible competitivness bla bla bla but didn,t realize that, in the end, it is your choice...  Now that they've seen that you are stubburn ennough to try everything possible to stick to your dream, they have become mean and hatefull with you because they don,t know what to do else to prevent you from going in music.  Also they can be jealous of you because they never listened to their hearts themselves... One can just give loving advice to youngsters but not force them to do anything! 

When I was your age, I wanted to become a pro musician too and many people told me things about how dangerous it was that eventually contributed to change my way of thinking. Personally, my biggest reason was that I saw the big sacrifices my parents do everyday  to provide me nice things and though I would be mean to them to have them pay for a very unsure musical carreer education. BUT I evaluated pros and cons for so long before taking a decision and I only listened to the loving advice I had.  All those who have been mean with me and who have made bad jokes about professionnal musicians to prevent me from going in music had no influence on me!  I do know though that family members and friends tend to form a ligue against you and repeat you 1000 times a day it won't work...  This is truely annoying!   But keep in mine that it's your decision not theirs! 

Best of luck! I think that one must have trendemous amounts of courage to go in music or not (when one loves music).  Both options are very valuable and noble!  


November 9, 2010 at 05:17 AM ·


Sometimes people can be at their cruelest when they are "just trying to help."  I don't think it is so extraordinary.

When I was a schoolkid I performed in something of an honors recital.  Years after the fact, my parents told me a prominent area teacher commented, "It's too bad she didn't start earlier; she might have had a chance."  I may never know what all they insulated me from.  Nowadays that story is good for a laugh, since I am living (playing) well and it truly is the best revenge.

November 9, 2010 at 07:01 AM ·

 I haven't read the whole spiel.... but I do have experience in this area and have watched others go through similar.  First, I'd just like to say that some of the most mediocre players around your age became some of the best later on in their 20s.

I think if people play long enough they inevitably run into this sort of thing.  When I think back to someone who said that, he was right; if I'd kept studying with him I wouldn't have gotten very far! Whereas better teachers tend to see possibilities in their students because they know how to take them to that level.  If possible, find a teacher who can take not-so-good players and turn them into quite something.  THAT'S the mark of a good teacher.  Don't let people tell you you're not good enough to study with xyz stop you.  Frankly it's difficult to tell xyz's teaching level if their students are truly that good going in anyway.  A good teacher should be able to make you good, regardless of your level going in.  Somewhere out there is the right teacher for you who can get you to a level you are happy with and inspire confidence in you.

For me, personally, while I found difficult situations rather--erm--difficult, it taught me a lot.  If you persevere through adversity you find out how much strength and passion you have.  That trumps discouragement any day.  Also, people who tear you down are saying more about themselves than you.  It takes a lot of courage to stick to your guns when everyone around you can disagree.  This is true in every area of life, not just violin, but it's a philosophy I don't regret sticking to in many aspects of my life.  When you get through to the other side, you'll see how it was all worth it.  Also, more likely than not, in the process you'll have met great people who treat you well.

November 9, 2010 at 08:41 AM ·


Maybe you should be a bit more like me! (Oh NO, I hear people shout).

What I mean is that I'm pig headed. I will only do what I really want to do. I'm very thick skinned.

Between the ages of about 16 and 20 I really only wanted to do music, and that meant the violin. My parents wanted me to be an accountant or something like that, a safe well paid job.

I had all the advice about it being a rogue profession, badly paid, lots of unemployed, people out on the streets in a time of recession.

But I did not care. I wanted to go to music college for three years and if, at the end, if I couldn't get work in an orchestra, I didn't care. I wanted the experience of doing music seriously and full time for three years. (In fact I did it for four years). Looking back I wouldn't wan't to change my decision. Of course, it was easier then, with lots of scholarships and grants available.

November 9, 2010 at 09:22 AM ·

@ Peter: your parents sound a bit like my parents. I only wanted to do (violin) music until somewhere age of 15, when their pressure got too high for me to support. I could support it while I had a teacher, but when I no longer had any teacher (parents disemployed could not pay for my lessons + did want me to have a safe job), when I had a damaged shoulder, horrible performance nerves, I surrendered easily to their pressure. I suddenly developed some new talents in school in which I were far beyond my school mates (even though I went to an elite school): writing and painting, and I learnt some new languages well enough, white biology. In some way, surrendering the violin allowed a boost of creativity within me.

But when my parents did not either want me to do any writing or painting (and were deeply discouraging father is an author and everybody in his family are painters), and only were pushing me into medicine or biosciences...I ended up as an astronomy student only wanting to play the violin, and eternally postponing the graduation! :)

(I think the message is to not listen to your parents when it comes to your dream goals, because you wont ever make them happy anyway.)

November 9, 2010 at 01:40 PM ·

When i was in art school. Someone when into the cubby where i kept projects I was working on. They removed a particularly detailed drawing, ripped it and stomped on it with dirty shoes. i took all this as a compliment. They were jealous of what I could do. Some people just want to destroy that which they can't have. Those people who are putting you down probably wish they could do what you can.

November 9, 2010 at 01:49 PM ·


Mind you, my parents were right about me marrying the wrong gal ...

November 9, 2010 at 04:40 PM ·

@ Peter: well, when it comes to choice of partners, our parents might be better at foreseeing what kind of difficulties we will have with a chosen partner, rather than see which advantages it brings! :)

November 11, 2010 at 03:36 AM ·

Your teacher is supposed to help you become better and help you believe you are awesome, not bring you down with negative comments. Otherwise, I don't think they should bother to teach you (not saying you suck [I mean that if they don't think you can do it but are still teaching you then they are either only doing it for money which is unfortunate or they can't get rid of you {you general not you you} in which case hang on!]). Sorry about the horrible number of parentheses and brackets etc.

November 11, 2010 at 06:00 AM ·


In addition to all the other excellent quotes I offer Nietzsche: "That which does not kill me makes me stronger."

Good luck!


November 11, 2010 at 11:03 AM ·

I've read the topic from the top and am amazed and enthused - and also inspired.  What amazing insight - and what a lot of pain many people had to go through to pursue their dreams (or discover other ones). 

I never wanted to be a professional violinist.  Well, never as a child anyway, perhaps now ;)  But what this topic really is about to me is passion.  Passion is word that those with it recognize and relate to instantly and those without it also recognize and loath instantly.  Many of the latter are like cold water to the former's fire.  They are not satisfied with letting passion be; thier envy (as close as they can get to the feeling) make them either deny its existence (and save you from yourself) or want to destroy it (and justify thier own numb state).  Some of us are born with passion, some aquire it but others never feel its burning urge.  I'm one of the lucky ones - and I think every poster above is another.  We recognize your passion.  The fervour in this topic reflects our collective wish that you stay strong and let it blossom and take its course.  

Perhaps your teacher is trying to protect you from failure - perhaps from his own failure.  Since you already have a good working relationship and you obviously respect him, before quitting why not ask him why he radiates a lack of enthusiasm.  I'l guess that he has no idea that he is doing it and will recant once you point it out. 

One more thing on passion - its a double headed beast.  Nothing is as satisfying as using its fuel to drive you to achievement.  And nothing more bitter than to ignore its drive.  Interestingly, I've observed that people who follow a passion but yet do not reach the achievement goal generally take up a related interest (teacher rather than performer for example) and nonetheless are happy.

November 11, 2010 at 06:01 PM ·

Elise, very nicely said.

Hannah, many good wishes to you.

November 12, 2010 at 10:39 PM ·

Hannah, get away from those people.  If you can't, the hell with them...your determination is your determination, your desires are your desires, what YOU want is what YOU want.  If I went on further I'd be banned from the board for the language I'd use against these guys. We all go thru the browbeatings of life, particularly when you want to achieve something.  I think it is within the nature of many people to stoop to making other people unhappy when they know they are trying to achieve something.  Chalk it off to the shortcomings of their personality, their weak ego and borderline sociopathic lack of empathy, lack of compassion and yes, jealousy.  I've found that in all my major achievements in life that there were always those who had a need to try to knock me down.  I couldn't take it personally, because I realized they NEEDED to do this because of some weird defect in their personality, jealousy or purely sadistic joy generated from their own poor self esteem dealt with in an inappropriate way.

Did I go on about this????

November 12, 2010 at 11:25 PM ·

I think Hannah got the message by now, she has made friends with all her relations, they have formed a Hannah fan club. Her teacher is her best friend and very happy with her progress. Hannah has moved on while we are still psyching each other up. In fact I don't think Hannah reads this anymore.

November 13, 2010 at 06:46 AM ·

But Hanna opened a can of worms - seems that many violinists went through the same experience and who knows how many super talented players gave up because of it..

November 13, 2010 at 06:47 AM ·

But Hanna opened a can of worms - seems that many violinists went through the same experience and who knows how many super talented players gave up because of it..

November 13, 2010 at 06:48 AM ·

Elise:, elise already said that.

November 14, 2010 at 03:23 PM ·

This is the way of the world. You sound determined, that is what is important. In any of life's situations, there can be people who spew negativity, and you now have the opportunity to learn how to turn away from those. It actually sounds like a bullying situation. People can read so many non verbal signs of someone feeling pressure, and sadly, many jump on the bandwagon. Stick to what you love, leave those that choose to be negative behind. It's hard, I know, but you can do it. I wish you the best of luck and hope your next situation is a positive one.

November 14, 2010 at 11:00 PM ·

 Do not worry Hannah,  we all go through the same thing.   The people that put you down are jealous people.  You should keep company with people that build you up and support you.

Just be all you can be.  

November 15, 2010 at 11:26 AM ·

It means if you want to be a  world champion you must be bullied. 

A medical professor wanting to explain the effects of alcohol on the body dropped a worm in a glass of alcohol, asking the class what is the lesson to be learned. The general opinion was that if you drink alcohol you won't have worms.

November 15, 2010 at 03:36 PM ·

"I come from Plymouth ( UK) and the young Olympic diver from there won medals but when he returned home to school he got bullied.Now he is a world champion. What does it all mean?" (John Cadd)

It means anyone with any sense should move away from Plymouth!!

November 15, 2010 at 04:44 PM ·

It means if you stick out above the crowd, the crowd will try to hammer you down.  Don't let it -- there's other crowds out there composed of the people who stick out, and they are much nicer places to be.  :-)

November 16, 2010 at 09:10 PM ·

I agree with Janis. This thread might not even be read by the OP, but it is nice to see so much support for others on this site, it does my heart good!

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