Violin Teachers: How long do students study?
In your experience, with all the students you have, how long do students stick with it? I know many students study violin for years, but I suspect that isn't the case with most. So, how many stick with it for a year? Two years? Three? Also, if they do leave, why are they doing so? Thanks.
It depends on the kinds of students one attracts.
What Gene said.
I think you're probably referring to *adult" violin students, OP, since you are one of those.
If you look at the committed adult students who regularly post here, they all have been taking lessons for a long time and will go on indefinitely. I myself have been taking lessons for two years (as an adult) and fullly intend to go on until I can no longer make progress.
I agree with David. I have been taking lessons since returning to violin 2007 and I'll keep going for as long as I can afford. I took some short breaks due to injury, loss of family members, etc. during the past 11 years. My lessons usually are hourly once per week or once every 2 weeks when I didn't have enough time to practice. Lately I've been taking one and a half hours/week because I have more stuff to cover. Of course one has to practice to progress, but with the right teacher(s), the improvement of one's playing can be seen on a day to day basis.
My adult students come and go. It's not that they aren't committed, it's that life gets in the way sometimes. We are just grateful that they are able to get "in the saddle" on the journey of playing the violin, and that it is no longer limited to just very young children.
Actually OP, I forgot to mention: my adult starters who start in their 60s or 70s almost always seem to stay indefinitely. I think it's because many are retired and their lives are very stable.
Some high school students drop out of the music scene when they get into organized team sports. As a youth orchestra director I found it puzzling that they would find time for multiple practices per week and weekend tournaments, but not have time for one lesson and one rehearsal per week. I suspect that some of the girls were hoping to win title 9 athletic college scholarships. Then, unless they are actually music majors, more stop playing in college. A minor in music performance might help; none of my Cal. public universities do that. And then, the distractions of adult real life leave little energy left over at night for a practice session.
Stability comes when a student treats violin and music-making as a way of life. Passion, motivation, goals and dreams are useful, but none of them is as reliable to sustain over a long time as integrating violin playing into one's way of existence and means to express who we are.
My main teaching was two years at a very low SES high school in a high migrant area where I bought and loaned the instruments as well as learning to teach.
Thanks for sharing that story, Anish. You're right about needing more than just players for a musical community to exist; what's a performance without an audience?
I think my most dedicated students are those who do not have the greatest opportunities elsewhere. They are not the most likely to be picked out for sports, they may not be the tallest or the most fashionable. They may not strive to be performing in front of a crowd on their own. They are not overly competitive but they may be quietly and inconspicuously nerdy and have their nose in a book while waiting for lessons. They may be the ones who get the musical citizenship award for contributing teamwork to their school orchestra regardless of how talented they are.
In formal education, it depends on curriculum and the number of years.
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