I am an adult learner learning both classical violin and bluegrass fiddle. In terms of classical, take weekly 60-min private lessons and am on Suzuki Book 4. With fiddle, I take weekly 45-min private lessons and am at a solid intermediate level.
Aside from the significant financial costs of taking 2 lessons a week, I am having a really hard time fitting in enough practice on both styles. Currently I'm practicing 5 days a week for 1.5-2 hours a day, split evenly between classical and fiddle (so 45 min to 1 hour for each style).
My fiddle teacher has gently suggested that I quit classical lessons for now, if I want to "get serious" with the fiddle. She says that doing so would allow me to essentially double my practice time for fiddle. She also said that with 2-3 years of intense practice, I'd be at a decently advanced level, and likely be able to compete at some local bluegrass competitions.
I LOVE classical, but I love fiddle music ever so slightly more. So, I'm considering putting classical lessons on hold for a few years, and then definitely returning to them later.
However, my main concern with stopping classical lessons is that I am worried that my technique and "proper" posture will suffer. My fiddle teacher (excellent and very well-respected in the fiddle community) has NO classical training, so she doesn't do anything with exercises/etudes (e.g., Wolfhardt or Sevcik), and she's not at all concerned with making sure I hold the violin correctly, etc. I'm worried that if I stop classical lessons for a few years, when I return to taking classical lessons I'll have inadvertently picked up all sorts of bad habits. In addition, I really do believe in scales/exercises/etudes, even for fiddlers, and I'd like to keep building up as strong of a technique as possible.
So, my tentative "solution" to all of this: I'm thinking that I might try to find a classical teacher who will see me on a biweekly basis, for 30-minute lessons. During those 30 minutes, we would focus solely on scales, exercises, and etudes. This would allow me to make sure that I still have good technique, and keep my fingers in shape for when I return to classical music.
What do you guys think of this plan? Do you think it is a wise one? And do you think I'll be able to find a teacher to agree with it?
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