I can’t remember what the teacher teaches me??
My teacher likes to give me loads of information each time I have a violin lesson with her. However, she expects me to remember everything she has said right then and there. Of course, with my terrible memory, the lesson usually ends with a very fusturated teacher. Sometimes, I would only remember what the teacher just taught me right after I play it wrong again, or I would be focusing on one thing she said, and forget the rest while playing through the piece. For example, my lesson would go something like this:
Teacher: “For the first line, make sure you are letting the bow bounce at the end of the phrase, then use short bow for the next three double stops, near lower half of the bow, the note should be lively and not flat, then use full bow for the next chord, but not fast bow so you don’t lose control, make sure to vibrate, the last chords don’t go to the frog, play lower half, and last sound make it sound ringing and use wide vibrato. Make sure to bring out the new phrase after doing a crescendo through the first bar, then a sudden piano, build it up and finish that phrase. Got it?”
Teacher: “Let’s hear it.”
Me: *remembers to do the teacher’s first sentence then blanks out at rest of her words because there is so much*
Teacher: *getting fusturated, repeats her novel*
Me: *gets scared since the teacher’s angry and blanks out more*
Teacher: “I literally just repeated it how many times do I have to tell you the same thing over and over again?”
Me: *completely freaks out and stops focusing altogether*
You get the gist.
Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little, but you’d be surprised. The point is, I have trouble remembering things on the spot. I am able to repeat what the teacher shows me at that moment pretty fast, but when it comes to putting things together, I practically forget half the things I just learned.
Any tips on how to remember a lot of information on the spot?
It doesn't sound like you're with the right teacher.
I agree with Ryan.
Do you have Adult ADHD? That can be really frustrating for a teacher who's not used to working with students that have it.
That doesn't sound like good-quality teaching. You shouldn't be given more information than you can absorb.
Thanks guys! And no I don’t have ADHD haha. My teacher doesn’t want me writing in my music for some reason, but she really is a great violin player and teacher, her style probably just doesn’t suit me...
Do you guys have any other methods for remembering things in class?
???? *Everyone* writes things in the music to remember by. That's why we bring pencils to rehearsal.
No, shes middle aged, she’s just a genius who remembers everything herself, so I guess she expects me to do the same.
I agree with Mary Ellen's "????", especially if the question marks are preceded by "What the..."
One of the core ideas in the Suzuki approach is "one thing at a time." I would suggest asking your teacher which of her scattershot suggestions is the most important idea for you to focus on, but from your description I suspect that would not go over well.
The teacher should focus on one thing at a time and not give out sermons. Most of the advice from the experienced teachers on here is spot on and exactly what I would suggest. Some teachers have weird ideas and can get too clever, so you must ask her to slow down and explain one thing at a time and keep it to one or two things per lesson to concentrate on.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
Yes, clarity and isolating each point are the essence of good teaching. Super hot players don't always make good teachers. As Adrian has said, the things the teacher may have had problems with, "may" make them better at explaining to a pupil. Red hot players often have no idea how they do it and therefore can't teach how to overcome the problems.
Ask the teacher to break the info into smaller portions and let you try them out before getting the next instruction. Perhaps record the whole lesson to help you remember between lessons (although that will not solve the problem of immediate memory). And do make notes in the music. Why try to remember a crescendo when there is a way to note it that we all understand? As a conductor put it when he was frustrated that some people in our orchestra wasn't making notes of his instructions: "Even the lousiest of pencils is better than a good memory!"
As soon as your teacher starts talking, grab your pencil and start making notes in your music or your lesson book. Make sure she can see you writing, and do it really slowly and meticulously. After the second suggestion, say, "Okay let me try those things" and then
How you approach this also depends on how bad the lesson as a whole is and on the abundance of good teachers in your area I would suggest. If it really is that bad throughout thd lesson, I think it wil be difficult for her to change (teaching competency doesn't happen just like that).
I am curious how long the lessons are? Could some of this be attributed to mental fatigue at the end of a long lesson?
Giving too much information is an easy trap to fall into, especially with talented and/or advancing students.
I've been in a similar (albeit different) situation in that my teacher's style was too much for me (they wanted me to play everything much faster than I was capable, and change everything at once too). When I asked them to slow down, they begrudgingly agreed - for that one lesson. By the next lesson, they defaulted to their old ways. My suggestion: change teachers.
I can personally speak of this because I've had two teachers that are polar opposites of what OP described.
I taught violin and cello to children, teens and adultsfor 40 years as an avocation, not as my source of significant income. I taught with the assumption that it is the teacher's obligation to help all students learn and not to overwhelm them. This requires a different approach to every student.
My second violin teacher was Paul Stassevich and he had some unique methods of teaching me - for instance - using spiccato at certain parts of the bow: He had a piece of chalk and marked two spots on my bow where the spicatto was played to the best advantage.
Once you get the principles down, the details will be easier to remember— or figure out. Sounds like you may have to do some reverse-engineering on your teacher’s comments to get full value. Recording? Play back immediately with a notebook for observations. Other than that, your only route is to try to get your teacher to focus on the important thing.
Record the lesson.
I second Arnie's suggestion. Most smart phones have this feature.
My teacher gets angry when I DONT write notes on my music. I think it’s very odd your teacher acts that way.
I personally don’t handle “monkey see monkey do” type lessons very well. By that I mean by not telling why you need to play a certain way at a certainty point your teacher isn’t teaching you but simply telling you what to do, which if you are like me, you quickly forget. If I understand why I do something a certainty way I can repeat it, but if you tell me do this or that and not why, I will forget in a nanosecond! Talk to your teacher, which obviously isn’t clueing in with your style of learning. What may have worked for her isn’t working for you and she needs to understand that and take a different approach, or else change teacher.
1. When I used to lecture, I realized early I wasn’t teaching Bio majors. The course was Bio for nonmajors. I slowed it down and geared lower for the important basic concepts. Your teacher needs to do so also.
To Ted Kruzich ~
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