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Discouraged with teacher
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Mimi Aysha
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April 26, 2012 - 11:50 am
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Think I am too old to learn
I am a mother of 5 with 2 grandchildren...

Violin was on my bucket list!

So excited about getting my first instrument, I bought a used silent violin online....started taking lessons, I had the 4th one last week, I came home totally defeated, she would not move me onto the next page because I raced ahead and learnt some notes without her approval – I got them off one of your videos and I was so excited.

I stopped her putting stickies on the violin, cause I didn’t want them, I felt like a 5 year old....anyways, basically she laughed and said that everything she was correcting me on now she would have to break me of in the next few lessons because I would have to unlearn it all again –  go figure.

Plus she says I laugh too much....I honestly don’t think she has a sense of humor.

She is teaching me from the Book, for Strings. Book 1

I am not sure whether to pay for more lessons, is she right? If she is I will keep going until I learn all the notes – and just deal with it..... But I can’t help but race ahead because I want to see if I can recognize a piece of easy music......and it is going so slowly it’s almost painful....I live in a small town and I have not been able to find another teacher so far.

The violin relaxes for me, as I have an extremely busy life......I am looking at the violin now, it is by the back door and I am tempted to take it to a school or church and let some little kid have it, I don’t normally give up, but I am not sure at this late age if it is worth it. I was having so much fun, it kinda burst  my bubble.

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ftufc
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April 26, 2012 - 12:12 pm
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Hi Mimi, welcome to the site!  After reading your post, I'm so glad you found your way here!!!  You'll find a lot of us on this site are in your EXACT shoes.  There are a bunch of us who've been playing less than 6 mo.s, some with teachers, some with none,,, this site is an incredible resource for us.  Pierre [Fiddlerman; FM] has put together a ton of great resources/tools to help us; AND you get the benefit of the insight of a bunch of really dedicated players.

If you feel that your teacher is not good, then she's probably not; it's just unfortunate that she's the only game in town.  In every aspect of life, usually if someone is inflexible in their thinking/teaching, it's because they aren't secure in their knowledge.

In addition to this site, from which you can learn everything you need to know, as a beginner in particular, you might check out Mark O'Connor's Violin Method, I think his course is only available through Shar Music.  After having investigated dozens of book/CD courses, this is, in my opinion, one of the best and complete.  It starts you at the very starting point and builds.

But DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!  Like you said, you're at a point where this is something you WANT to do, not have to do.

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dionysia
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April 26, 2012 - 12:40 pm
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Welcome Mimi!

I live in a rural area, and I am learining solely through this site. If you are not satisfied with your instructor's teaching style, don't feel as if you have to commit to the lessons. In my opinion, any teacher who would deliberately squash a student's enthusiasm simply because they aren't "sticking to the lesson" is not worth the money they are paid. What point in learning to play if you hate it?

 

My grampa was an old time fiddler who never had a formal lesson and couldn't read music, but he could play the heck out of his fiddle!! And he played with great joy, which was definitely a contributing factor to the enjoyment of listening to him play.

 

My two cents is to ditch the teacher and come hang out with us!!!!serenade

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NoirVelours
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April 26, 2012 - 12:43 pm
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Mimi heart, some say a violin teacher is like a pair of shoes, sometimes they fit sometimes you are not comfortable in them! Maybe she is used to teach to young children and has a hard time revising her ways for an adult, maybe she is the serious type and it clashes with your more humorous nature. I think she wants to make sure you learn correctly.

Now that said, I'm a beginner, only 3 weeks in and have no teacher. I know I would probably learn better with one there to correct me and guide me, but so far with Fiddlerman, the tutorials and other web ressources I was able to give myself a start and most ikmportant: I'm having fun!

So don't feel bad about your teacher, if she is not a good fit for you, you can always learn by yourself as long as the motivation is there! You are welcomed here and we get advice from everyone with our practice videos. It's the closest you can get to a real teacher. And there is also Pierre's Skype lessons if you need a new teacher!

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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April 26, 2012 - 12:51 pm
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Great advice from, Dionysia and NoirVelours.

One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bushel.     violin_girl

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SaraO
Michigan
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April 26, 2012 - 12:55 pm
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Sounds like you need a different teacher, if possible. Many teachers have control issues. They were probably taught in the same manner. I hope you're able to find someone who is a better fit for you.

clapI'm so glad you found us!

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EJ-Kisz
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April 26, 2012 - 12:59 pm
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Hi Mimi!

I know what you're going through!  I just started playing a few months back and looked into finding a teacher.  Unfortunately, they all were either miles away or wanted to treat you like a 5 year old.  

In my honest opinion, everybody learns at a different rate and have different goals & reasons for playing!  I believe instructors should be just as flexible as the student is curious!  

That being said, I think you've come to the right place!  There's so much help and advice available to you here as well as fellow beginners who can share their experiences with you!  When I first joined a couple weeks back, I was amazed how welcoming and friendly everyone here was!  I finally felt that I could learn at my own pace and someone was always available with encouragement and advice every step of the way!  .....no matter what direction I wanted to take off in! blink

Don't be afraid to ask for help here!  These goofballs are some of the most genuine kind of people I've ever met!

Welcome to the site!!

~EJbirthday_balloon 

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

SkullSmall-1.jpg

 

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Mimi Aysha
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April 26, 2012 - 1:18 pm
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Thanks guys, your responses have renewed my enthusiasm - I am back in business! - online only - Everyone get their earplugs ready......I can do it!

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dionysia
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April 26, 2012 - 1:45 pm
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EJKiszenia said
These goofballs are some of the most genuine kind of people I've ever met!

Awww, thanks EJ!! I LOVE being called a goofball - Goofy is my favorite Disney character. He's not afraid to try anything, doesn't care what he looks like doing it or what people think of him when he tries, and always has fun... Kinda like learning to fiddle!

serenade

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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April 26, 2012 - 5:05 pm
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dionysia said

EJKiszenia said
These goofballs are some of the most genuine kind of people I've ever met!

Awww, thanks EJ!! I LOVE being called a goofball - Goofy is my favorite Disney character. He's not afraid to try anything, doesn't care what he looks like doing it or what people think of him when he tries, and always has fun... Kinda like learning to fiddle!

serenade

Awe, no prob!  What's music without a bit fun? dancinbunny

I agree, we all have to be a little bit Goofy!  Life's no fun without a few laughs and some good music!  ......even if we are just learning! blink

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

SkullSmall-1.jpg

 

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Cherie
Pittsburgh, PA
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April 26, 2012 - 5:06 pm
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I agree with Noir.  Perhaps she is used to teaching children and finds it difficult not to follow a strict a structured method.  Although I do find it a bit sad that she told you that you 'laugh too much.'  That may be the worst bit of advice that I have ever heard!  In my humble opinion, most of us laugh way too little!!

 

Please don't let her get you down!  If you find joy in the violin, keep the fiddle and toss the teacher!  I just ordered my violin and my plan is to use this site (which seems pretty darn amazing) to help teach myself.  There seem to be quite a few people on this site doing the same thing and I am pretty sure that none of us will tell you that you laugh too much!  Bleh!

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"”

--Winnie the Pooh

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 26, 2012 - 6:49 pm
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Exactly what Cherie said. Most of us laugh too little.
I met Mimi today on Skype and I can assure you that she is not too old to learn to play violin. She has a nice laugh and smile too. smile

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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April 26, 2012 - 7:02 pm
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Yep, welcome to the best violin site on the net.
There are some great and inspirational teachers/videos on the net, but this is without doubt the best two-way instant learning centre that I have found, and we goofballs do like a bit of fun thrown in the mix, just ask the crazy guy in the post above mine
dancing

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Fiddlerman
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April 26, 2012 - 8:24 pm
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Yep. We love to have some fun. We love to laugh too. How many weeks have you been playing now Terry? I think we have around a dozen members (maybe much more) that have been playing for under 3 months and many are over 40.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
April 26, 2012 - 8:32 pm
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Ditto to everything everyone said above!

I'm taking private lessons and, like you, I've had four lessons so far. I'm also impatient to get past the simple exercises in the book and hone my ability to play songs. When I practice, I tend to spend more time playing songs than the exercises.

Nonetheless, I'm trying to take away as much as I can from the lessons. It's helpful to get one-on-one feedback.

I learn a lot from this site, too, both from Fiddlerman and from exchanging tips and experiences with the other fledgling fiddlers.

I'm sorry that your instructional experience wasn't so good. I'm glad you found this site and forum, though. Welcome!

DON'T GIVE UP!

cheerleader

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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cdennyb
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April 26, 2012 - 9:50 pm
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welcome... you're in good hands around here. I too have only been working on the violin since Jan of this year seriously.

If you work with the videos here and then post one of yourself, everyone here will give their views, (whether you like them or not actually. LOL) of your performance. It's really one big happy family of crazy goofballs, all trying to learn from one another with a "sheepherder" called Fiddlerman, riding herd on all of us.

Enjoy the time you spend here, It'll be an experience like no other, and then you can go back to the 'teacher' at some later date and see if you've progressed enough to warrant another lesson. LOL

 

Glad you came, hope you stay...thumbs-up

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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April 26, 2012 - 11:20 pm
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Welcome Mimi! We're all nuts here but love our music. Glad you took a skype lesson with FM. There's many beginners here and we all have our own twisted sense of humor. You'll find we all love to laugh and we love our violin 😉

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dionysia
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April 26, 2012 - 11:33 pm
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cdennyb said
 It's really one big happy family of crazy goofballs, all trying to learn from one another with a "sheepherder" called Fiddlerman, riding herd on all of us.

Don't you mean "CATherder" ???

tonguerofltonguerofltonguerofl

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Joe
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April 27, 2012 - 4:23 am
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Hi, and welcome.  Im a new player without a teacher, but Im about ready to find one.

Here is my experience with paid teachers:

  When I was learning to fly airplanes, helicopters and gliders, I had many instructors through those years.  Some I felt were pretty good and others I felt were horrible.  Now that Ive been flying 3+ decades I can look back through my log book and recall many of those initial flights....What I remember now is that some of those guys who I thought were unfair or who withheld sign-offs were actually pretty good pilots who wanted to teach me the right way....not just any old way.    On the other hand some of those instructors who I thought were pretty good to me, including my best friend, didnt really do me any favors by letting me do just about whatever I wanted.

 In the end I had to unlearn some of the bad flying habits so as to fly a bit safer. I learned from those experiences that I shouldnt have been trying to please myself, but rather I should have tried harder to please my instructor.

Personalies and teaching methods, I assume, are as varied in the music world as what's common in the world of aviation.  I believe that when I do find a fiddle teacher Ill have to take a back seat to personal desire and just do what the doctor orders.  Im sure Ill have plenty of opportunity to deviate from the instruction should I desire...but when it comes to that paid hour of music lesson you can bet your last Stradivarius that he or she will have my undivided attention....And why not...Im paying for their talent, not their ability to laugh at my bad jokes.

 

crossedfingers

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Mimi Aysha
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April 27, 2012 - 2:47 pm
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All the comments are so uplifting, thanks so much.

You are right, the teacher is nice, but just used to teaching kids.

Mr Fiddlerman sorted me out - I was a little embarrassed with how bad I was, he corrected me on how to move the bow without squeeking! and then I went back and did all my tutorials again - absolutely wonderful.....that simple correction has renewed my faith, and given me the enthusiasm to continue.

Sometimes when you feel so alone in something it becomes frustrating.

Now every morning and evening I am giving myself a little time to enjoy playing and learning....my fingers are a little sore but I am so happy...

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