I have realized, in my two years of playing, my violin teachers were human metronomes and tuners. Perhaps in the first year, they were helpful in having a novice grasp of the instrument, but I failed to derive any technical use outside of how to hold the instrument and basic fingerings.
My teachers said I have good intonation, but I say no; my intonation is only good because of my muscle memory. I don't actually know, using my ear, if I actually hit a proper note. I would constantly ask "How can I know? How can I train for this hearing ability?" and my concerns would be waved aside for more etudes and scales. As if I will magically understand it by blindly practicing arbitrary regimens my teachers give me.
I've learned (through my own effort) that there are 3 things you must have to be a competent performer:
1. Muscle Memory contains all technical ability. The ability to move your fingers and hands to where they need to be and to execute a series of movements with purpose.
2. Hearing ability is your ability to recognize your intonation that you produce and be able to accurately compare it to a standard. Intonation is relative, it requires a standard to be referenced (no teacher taught me this).
3. Rhythm maintenance. This is basically your ability to count in your head, sub-divide and "re-divide" at will to get the most accurate rhythms.
Teachers may teach 1 and 3 properly, but they disgustingly lack the ability to facilitate number 2. Why do teachers hope you accidently learn how to hear for good intonation? Why do they not bluntly state "Good intonation is relative, you need a standard. Let me provide you a standard and listen if what you are playing sounds like the standard"?
I would love teachers to comment on this.
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