Teachers with different opinions
So this week me and my wife have had again a lesson with a teacher after some months.
This was our first teacher, a professional violinist. After he some months ago we have had some lessons with our daughter teacher, an experienced Suzuki teacher, much younger.
We are always happy meeting with both of them due we appreciate the person, their art and knowledge, but we are also happy having had decided to continue practicing alone for a while, so to understand how much we can improve having our decisions about what and how.
The teacher was pleased with the substantial progress we have done (alone), and we know we have much more confidence even if of course we are beginner with all the limitations.
As his style he corrected us with dozen of details. Our problem is as soon we try to put together all the suggestions he give us, we are barely able to play anymore, due also they are all different from the suggestions the other teacher give us.
Playing with the tail or the center of the arch, the arch vertical on the strings or rotated, play near the bridge or in the center, have the left hand rotated parallel to the fingerboard or orthogonal, the fingers vertical on the strings or more relaxed, these and other are all differences between them.
In our understanding this teacher - the professional violinist - teach us the way he was teached, with a professionalism goal as background. The Suzuki teacher is teaching us in an easier path, probably considering our age. The first one push us in trying new things (I.e. he bring us a book allowing us to play as a couple Suzuki songs, with first and second violin versions), the second one is very strict in proceeding little steps, no room for forward looking.
Discussing with my wife my mood was keep what we think is an improvement for us so to being able to play, use what is easier, wait some time before next lesson so we are able to metabolize the changes.
Still we are wondering which one we need to have lessons with next time, try someone else, or just enjoy both having our decisions.
There is an old saying too many cooks spoil the broth. Thus I would recommend only using one teacher.
Agree with Mark 100%.
I understand, that's logical.
You're not going to progress taking lessons irregularly. Your best bet is to find a teacher that has a track record of producing good students, hopefully who plays well themself, that you can take regular lessons with. If one of these two fits the bill, then just pick one and stick to it and do the work and trust the process.
Frequency of practicing is depending from our work, April-June was difficult even practicing once a week, after we restarted once a day, now with a teacher again.
That's understandable; our goals are often in conflict with the material conditions of our lives. Luckily, a cab can also take us to Carnegie Hall!
I think it depends partly on what goal you have in mind long-term. If the intention is to go toward a professional career in playing, finding a teacher that is heavily involved in advancing students through the various hurdles is important, and a way to determine if a teacher fits this description is to look at the students and ascertain what they’re doing and where they end up eventually. How many end up going to music schools? How many get into major schools, how many just end up with music minors at other schools? How many get good scholarships? Do the teachers who take over the students at the next level like the teacher and welcome the students eagerly?
In my opinion, committed study of something like the violin (even if only a passion) implies "blood and tears".
Blood Sweat & Tears have their place in the rat-race, but none whatsoever in amateur music making! Effort, patience, even temporary discomfort or frustration, are inevitable, but there are many joys to be had, right from the beginning.
Just to recap the situation, me and my wife have just reached or approaching our 50s, have both our career (me in technology, she in ballet teaching), so our perspective can be only the one of amateurs, that try to include as much as possible violin in their life both as singles and most importantly as couple (thus why we appreciated so much the teacher bringing us Suzuki duets book last lesson).
In retirement I seem to have even less time to practice (lack of "triggers"?)
Stephen sure you are right, to be honest there are periods we didn't have the mental and physical energy doing anything else than focusing on the overloading amount of work need to be done (like before end of year event for my wife school, where she is crazy preparing everything and I have both my actual work and the activities I want to finish for that event to complete), but other periods the lack of trigger and the 20 seconds rule prevent us to practice all the available opportunities.
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