Keeping a teacher from childhood into adulthood

November 22, 2019, 2:52 PM · Has anyone ever heard of this happening or experienced it themselves? Some students continue to take lessons into adulthood, but I wondered if the *same* teacher that they started with has ever ended up being the teacher they kept into their adult years? Or, perhaps they stopped lessons for a few years upon entering adulthood, but returned to the same teacher later on when they resumed?

Replies (10)

November 22, 2019, 5:34 PM · I take my young son to my old teacher in occasion. She would be his full time teacher if we lived closer.
November 22, 2019, 8:03 PM · I've occasionally seen students come back to study with their teacher from the college years as adults, but it's less common to go back to a childhood teacher unless the childhood teacher was a conservatory prof or equivalent top-rank teacher.
November 23, 2019, 12:35 PM · I know many teachers in China who take their students from 0 to advance ( that is from raw beginning to Paganini) . It is rare in the US, perhaps because most kids start in the public school string programs in which most teachers can’t teach/play advanced repertoire.
Edited: November 23, 2019, 1:31 PM · This is exactly what happened to me with my piano teacher. I never took any official or exam, but I took lessons through all my life, and she’s been my teacher at my childhood, teenage years and adulthood.

I was around 10 when I received lessons with her for the first time at a music school. She made piano playing look enjoyable and fun instead of a chore. She taught me music reading and made me play funny children songs from a beautiful book full of drawings. She assigned me homework around the things I found most enjoyable. I kept going there for a couple of years. The music school got robbed and had to close, so my parents signed me up at a different school, where I had a new teacher.

Eventually, when I was 15, my old teacher got hired there in substitution of my other teacher who moved to a different city. During another couple of years with her, she took me from playing very simple songs for 4 hands to playing Mozart sonatas and Bach inventions. Again, I really enjoyed the lessons with her. She gave me some liberty, and I became her most loved student. Not her best at all, but the most hard-working. She even made me talk to other students she had to see if I could transmit them my enjoyment for the music (which embarrassed me a bit, since the other students were way better players than me).

I gave piano up for some years and when I returned to my city again, I directly contacted her. We resumed lessons by recovering a bit of technique, and 5 years later, I’m still with her, learning Bach’s partitas, Rachmaninoff’s preludes and looking forward to continue learning. She gives me complete liberty knowing my current work schedule, and we both enjoy my lesson time.

I must say that her lessons and the enjoyment she made me have for music both at my childhood and my unmotivated teen years have played a big role in my determination of taking up the violin as an adult!

November 23, 2019, 4:10 PM · That's really wonderful to hear, Miguel.
November 25, 2019, 8:26 PM · I wish I could go back to study with some of my childhood piano teachers, but definitely not my childhood violin teachers. No clue about pedagogy, really.
Edited: November 26, 2019, 3:33 AM · I dont know about adulthood as it is very common here to stop taking lessons once grown up. Actually I know only one man taking pianolessons as an adult and he is somewhat strange. There are cultural reasons probably for this and also there are no university orchestras if you are not training as a musician so it sort of fades away in university and cilkege,

But my daughters violin teacher does have some pupils that are very close to adulthood and similarly in all music schools it is very common that only one teacher teachers the entire span of lesson-taking. And this is probably due to the fact that the music schools are partly state-funded and all the teachers have lower or higher university degree. My girls teacher has a degree plus qualifications for up to Book 10.

The ones that are going for professionalism do transfer at some point depending on the teacher-situation where they are and also depending how talented they are. We have been thinking of a transfer since last spring but in the end opted for staying with the current teacher as the conservatory has a problematic head master and frankly my girl gets more opportunities in this current music school than she would in the conservatory as she is young.

November 26, 2019, 4:58 PM · If I had of kept my teacher from when I started at age 10, I would be even further behind than I am currently
November 27, 2019, 9:43 AM · I have mixed feelings about my teacher from "childhood" (more my teenage years). For one, I have very fond memories of my lessons with him, yet on the other side of this is that I now know that I missed out on learning a massive amount of fundamentals, the basics of "how to practice", and so on. Whether this is my former teacher's error or my own teenage stubbornness/ignorance/etc, I don't know. However, if my teacher were still alive, I'd actually like to go back to have a lesson or two with them for old times' sake. Simply because I enjoyed my time with him.

I'm hoping to stay with my current teacher for as long as I'm able (or they are willing) - I have learned so much and improved so much with them.

November 30, 2019, 1:25 PM · I did. I took violin lessons as a schoolboy but stopped them when I went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. After graduation and sea duty, I returned to the Washington, DC area and in 1987, at my father's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, I met my teacher and his wife who were there to attend the funeral. Several months later, I began studying with him again and took lessons with him for another 23 years until he passed away in his early nineties. We covered a large amount of studies/etudes/caprices as well as concertos and sonatas and I cannot tell you how much I learned about music, and life, from Mr. Krasney. Mr Krasney was a very fine violinist and conductor (he was the founding conductor of one of the local symphonies in Virginia, the Fairfax Symphony, and he conducted it from 1957 to 1967.) I continue to study the violin, although my fingers, wrist and arms are not the same they were forty years ago. Progress on music is slow, but there is progress-- Mr. Krasney remains my role model as a musician and taking lessons wit him as a adult is one off the smartest things I have done.

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