Back in 2012 or 2013 I used a leased cello and took lessons. I loved it, but I did not particularly like the instructor. I liked her as a person, lovely friendly lady. Just not a good instructor/student match. She was told by me that I am not interested in performing or joining groups, I cannot do that and have no desire. She kept pushing me to attend her Saturday morning whatever it was, some kind of group. I kept telling her “no”. I also told her that due to my back I could not sit normally on a chair, for a cellist, and I need to sit how it is comfortable for me and work around it, not a big deal, just had to sit back further. According to some professionals, that is what they do. I also to her that I am not in a rush. I need to go slow because I want to make sure I learned one lesson before moving on, I really need to learn before moving on.
Well, she kept telling me to sit closer to the edge of my seat, it caused my back to really give me issues when I did it that way. At home I went back to my way and had no issues playing. She was rushing along to the next lesson and notes before I had any accuracy with the current lesson at all. I told her I need to go slow or it won’t sink in. I know how my brain learns (actually did a course in that when I signed up for classes as an adult and it was accurate), bowing was not really being corrected, intonation was terrible and she kept moving on and piling more on. She also kept bugging me about that group. Finally, I said that maybe I would. Big mistake! All of a sudden she is having me do their music and it was a group with many instruments and I am sitting in my lessons counting measures for other instruments and not getting instructions for actually playing my cello. Most of the cello parts were measures and measures of the same note, and then just sitting there. Yes, during my half hour I was paying for, I just sat there for many empty measures. When my lease was up, I opted to return the cello rather than apply my monthly payments towards the purchase. I was not taking lessons from her any longer.
Well, that was a good thing because we moved to Vegas and spent Fall, Winter, and Spring there. Then we would drive back east. The cello would not have been able to come with us and would have been sitting in the house unused all that time until we got back in April or May. We are back east permanently, now.
I purchased another cello about 3 weeks after we got back permanently in 2017. Husband said it was an anniversary present. He is really supportive of me doing this. Now I am taking lessons from one of the former teacher’s students. It is working out quite well. She is an older lady, also. We understand each other’s aches and pains and that we have to work around them so as not to cause damage to our joints. She is also working on my intonation, bowing, and we are moving along slowly. It has been about a year of lessons, now.
Well, I still wanted to do violin and viola. Originally, I wanted to do violin but figured my fingers were too wide to handle that little fingerboard. I tried guitar for many years and had real issues with my wide fingers and that was a wider finger board, but there were also 6 strings to deal with. But, I figured the cello would be better, that is why the cello was first.
I bought a cheap violin just to see if I could finger the finger board, and hold it, and bow it without discomfort. I found out I could, and actually found it easier than the cello. Weird. I was hitting the mark for the notes. No cheater dots on the fingerboard. Just figured out where the notes had to be played, via youtube, books, etc. I now have a Revelle 500QX violin and an Eastman 100 viola.
I am having a lot of fun and have been getting very accurate with my fingerboard with the first position. I found a very good instruction book that is formatted in a way that makes sense to me, not the crazy Suzuki. The problem? This is a very small area and the only violin/viola teacher is the one I originally had for my cello!
I would just continue with my book, but the format I found that I love for both my viola and violin, is not a complete series. It is Play Violin (Viola) Today. Each one, the Violin and the Viola version, have online access and I can play the songs with accompaniment. This series is very nicely organized, in a way I understand. The violin only has two books in the series, and the viola only has this book 1 that I have. I am really not interested in using this former cello instructor. I have been looking and looking. I cannot go to the closest cities, they are too far and the Winter would be impossible. I have been checking the internet, asking around, etc, nada. This is the only violin/viola instructor at the music shop, too.
My question is, does anyone know of a series I can use after I am finished with books 1 and 2 of the violin series, and the book 1 of the viola? I am going to continue to look for an instructor, but until I find one, I am using these books, at least I will be able to finger the keyboard accurately. I really love the format of those books. No jumping around. It is systematical with with strings.
I am so sorry this is so long, but I wanted to explain why I need to use books, and YouTube only for now. I know I need an instructor. I know you can’t beat an instructor. Online with skype is not happening. But for right now, I need to line up some good lesson books that are geared towards the self-learner. These books start with the middle strings. One string is learned with the first position notes, then the next string. I have the two middle strings down pretty good on the violin and viola and will be moving on to the “E” or “A” string next week. Then the books go back to the lowest string on each instrument. It is very well organize to the way I need to learn. Suzuki is not organized that way. It starts with the higher strings, and seems to move along too quickly. I hope that explanation of the format helps.
I love playing these. The weird thing is, is that since I purchased the violin and viola, my cello intonation and bowing has greatly improved. Even though the bowing is done differently in many ways, including the hold, starting the viola and violin has improved my cello. Maybe it has caused me to pay more attention.
I am not stating where I am located because I do not want the instructor identified. With the internet, it really is a small world. She is a lovely lady, and has a lot of happy younger students, but as an older adult student, I think different structure and considerations (old bones!) need to be taken into account. I think most students are not so anti-performing or joining groups as I am, and that may be an issue, too. I might have to give her another shot with my violin and viola if I can’t find anyone else. I will just have to be firm. I can’t stand up all the time with these instruments. I need to sit at times, violists and violinists sit in orchestras anyway. It seems all lessons I read and see on YouTube the student is standing. I have to switch off and on. Sometimes my back is just too sore to stand for any time during the day. I will have to be firm with her on this, if I use her again.
Thank you for any lesson book series you can suggest. I have to get them online, sight unseen, so it is hard to tell, even with reviews, which are usually poorly written and not helpful, anyway.Tweet
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