Teacher resources for adult beginners

January 22, 2018, 6:38 PM · Hello,

Over the years, as students come and go my studio is becoming dominated by adult students, mostly beginners. I have no problem with this, I think it's wonderful! But I am at a lose for resources pedogogical knowledge. I am a k-12 certified music teacher and all my training was in teaching this age group. Can any of you suggest any books on teaching adults specifically?

Replies (9)

Edited: January 22, 2018, 9:06 PM · Generally speaking, the method books used by adults are generally the same ones used by kids. You can search this site for threads on techniques that can aid in your success teaching adult beginners. Have you taught, or currently teaching, adult students? How successful have you been?
January 22, 2018, 9:18 PM · Two method sets that seem more adult-friendly based on previous discussions on this topic seem to be Doflein and Whistler. But there is absolutely nothing intrinsically wrong with Suzuki books for grown-ups.
January 22, 2018, 9:24 PM · For adults, even elder kids, traditional method seems to work better than suzuki method, I think average adult will be more interested in scale and etude than just playing songs, because by this way they progress faster and further, but specifically you should talk to individual student for pedagogical advice and preference.
January 22, 2018, 10:15 PM · For about 10 years I taught children and adults using the materials I had been taught with (in general) but then I started using the Suzuki books supplemented by appropriate studies/etudes and additional solo works for the next 30 years. This will take them up to the level of Mozart violin concerto No. 4 and (I think) No. 5 (I can't recall if it was 5 or 3 and I have given away all my Suzuki books).

I found this worked well for most of the adults. The goal was not to produce virtuosos but to get them to levels at which the could play in ensembles with other musicians.

January 23, 2018, 2:53 AM · After the initial period of learning to hold the instrument and bow, my starting point is always traditional song, or any tunes the learner knows well: nursery rhymes, hymns, film tunes. You may have to make your own arrangements for this purpose, although you may be able to find many well know tunes in the keys of A and D major on the internet. Like previous respondents, for adult learners, I also mainly use the traditional methods like Doflein, Sandor, and sometimes Suzuki. Add to this scales and etudes, and you're off on the right tracks.
January 23, 2018, 4:43 AM · From the point of view of an adult starter, I think Andrew Victor is on the right track. His suggestion is almost exactly what my teacher has done with me. It's kept me engaged, motivated, and making steady progress for the last year and a half.
January 23, 2018, 10:44 AM · I'm not an adult beginner, but as a return I "returned" with the Suzuki books supplemented with scales, etudes and additional repertoire until it became apparent that I no longer "needed" the Suzuki materials. Part of my supplementation included a Doflein book which I liked a lot and still play out of here and there.
Edited: January 23, 2018, 1:26 PM · I'm an Adult Beginner, or rather, Adult re-learner (currently age 40, played in school orchestra program from ages 9 through 13).

The teacher I just recently found is going through the exact same green & white "String Builder" book I remember starting with as a kid.

It felt a little weird at first, but as an adult I'm able to recognize & appreciate the proper foundation it provides. I also enjoy that the practice bits feel/sound like actual bits of songs.

I knew/remembered enough to skip the 1st 10 pages on what notes mean, how to bow properly & so forth.
After two-ish weeks I'm nearly halfway through the 1st book.

Once my teacher's taken me through the set of 3 books, I get to start on more interesting things (like Irish/Celtic/Folk music).
Like most anything in life, to do the fun & complicated stuff you have to start with the boring & easy.

January 24, 2018, 6:00 AM · Thanks everyone! I have taught adults before, in fact the student I've had the longest is an adult!

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