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What to look for in a teacher?
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RockingLR33
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August 12, 2017 - 11:56 pm
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So I finally have decided that I'm a bit stalled out in my learning. I know just enough to get my self in trouble (and have a bit of fun) but I'm kinda stuck in my progression. Well I finally found someone who's  near-ish to me. She specializes in fiddle (folk/celtic) music which I'm excited to learn, especially as she's even produced a record and I liked a lot of what she played.... but as they say sometimes the player is not always the best teacher....I'm curious for those who have instructors:

What do you look for?

How many teachers did you go through before finding the one?

Any info I should know/be wary of?

Any other helpful info?

 

Thanks for all your help 😀 I have my first lesson on Monday night so we shall see how it goes.

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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August 13, 2017 - 2:03 pm
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The things you mentioned about the person you found are exactly what drew me to my teacher. Her teaching style has worked for me, and so far I haven't felt the need to switch.

Fiddlerman FiddleFest October 29, 2017 CLICK FOR INFO :) 

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 14, 2017 - 6:40 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12636

rockinglr33 said
So I finally have decided that I'm a bit stalled out in my learning. I know just enough to get my self in trouble (and have a bit of fun) but I'm kinda stuck in my progression. Well I finally found someone who's  near-ish to me. She specializes in fiddle (folk/celtic) music which I'm excited to learn, especially as she's even produced a record and I liked a lot of what she played.... but as they say sometimes the player is not always the best teacher....I'm curious for those who have instructors:

First of all, that is great news. 

What do you look for?

Someone who can inspire you. Someone who plays the way you would like to and can  guide you to achieve your goals.

How many teachers did you go through before finding the one?

Could be many but hopefully you have found the right one right off the bat.

Any info I should know/be wary of?

Trust your gut. Listen carefully, ask as many questions as you feel necessary, don't be afraid to make a fool out of yourself. Your teacher if experienced has heard everything. Don't be shy...... If she lets you, you may want to record your lessons. It gives you the opportunity to study and take in the stuff that you may have missed. I always used to encourage my students to record their lessons.

Any other helpful info?

 Thanks for all your help 😀 I have my first lesson on Monday night so we shall see how it goes.  

Enjoy your lessons!!!!!

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

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dpappas
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August 15, 2017 - 12:19 am
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Someone who will push you in a good way.  Someone who will hold you accountable but also celebrate your success with you.  FM's advice about your instinct is about the best way to sum it up.  

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RockingLR33
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August 15, 2017 - 9:15 pm
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@damfino  I can say for sure now that apparently our way of looking for teachers is the way to go 😀 

@Fiddlerman  Thank you for the wonderful advice!  It was nice to read through it and have it confirm my feelings and really ensure that what I was thinking was on point 🙂 

@dpappas  I whole heartedly agree. If a teacher never pushes how do you grow?

 

Well I can say in one fell swoop it was a great violin lesson. Right off the bat she saw some issues I've been struggling with for ages (intonation) and immediately saw what my issue was (only playing with one finger down on the strings at a time) and suddenly I could almost always hit the notes! It was fantastic. She even kind of thinks like me and seems to jump all over the place a bit with learning but it keeps me engaged and excited. There was something so fun with having her play with me and me matching, and hearing myself match her that really was motivating. We even played a quick duet on a simple tune and a part A. B. on the same simple tune together.  

Now I can officially say she's my instructor!!! She's so upbeat and excited about playing. You can just see it in how talks about it and the excitement when she does play (even though she's recovering from shoulder surgery). Talk about a woman who is a great influence.  Even at less then 50% right now she played leaps and bounds above me. I can only imagine how she'll sound once she's up to 100% again! 

Anyone on the fence about getting an instructor should seriously consider it. Hopefully I can take her teachings and really begin to advance and have fun with them! 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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August 16, 2017 - 9:14 pm
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Awesome, I'm glad you enjoyed your lesson! 😀 

Fiddlerman FiddleFest October 29, 2017 CLICK FOR INFO :) 

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 17, 2017 - 9:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12636

Great news. I'm very happy that you had a positive experience and that you are happy about your new instructor.

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

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dpappas
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August 22, 2017 - 11:15 am
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Glad to hear you clicked with your instructor.  I love Youtube videos but there is something about having someone in the room, watching you and correcting as you go, that is worth it.

I will say that Pierre's videos are better than most because he also keeps them short and to the point, which helps practice time.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 22, 2017 - 12:28 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12636

dpappas said
......I will say that Pierre's videos are better than most because he also keeps them short and to the point, which helps practice time.  

Yaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Thanks

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

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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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August 22, 2017 - 8:58 pm
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I haven't posted here in a long time, but I'm still around (and playing when time allows), but this topic struck a chord, so to speak.

Due to a construction accident in 1995, I had to give up playing.  In early 2016, I was pretty much determined to take it up again, despite some handicaps--My right wrist has several pins in it and mobility is limited, AND, I've had all four fingers on my left hand broken, with a pin between the third and fourth.  Makes any 4th finger use very difficult without the third following along.  Fiddlerman made some suggestions back then and I now have better control of my left had fingers and more flexibility, but it is far from "normal".

During this "take it up again" period, I was looking for a teacher/instructor to help with some ideas on how to overcome some of these limitations.  Results were mixed........

First person watched me play a little bit and suggested I take up something else.  Not what I wanted to hear.

Second teacher was more interested in collecting the half hour fee each time than actually assisting with anything, or making suggestions.

The third was finally what I was looking for.  She had the patience to carefully watch as I 'attempted' to play some of the old time tunes I played back in the days before the accident and make suggestions on what to try, one thing at a time.  No set tunes to practice, just technique with my somewhat unorthodox left hand position (now needed) and bowing.  My regret is that since I have to travel so much for my job, I could not maintain a set schedule with her.  I'll be retiring in another year, so that should finally free me up from constant traveling.  I still practice when I can, but there is no set schedule.

My bottom line is that finding an instructor that works well for you may need to be a "try-before-you-buy" experience.  If you don't like the first one, move on until you find someone that clicks with you.  I'm glad I was persistent!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 24, 2017 - 1:14 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12636

djroger said
I haven't posted here in a long time, but I'm still around (and playing when time allows), but this topic struck a chord, so to speak.

I'm happy that you are still around. 🙂

Due to a construction accident in 1995, I had to give up playing.  In early 2016, I was pretty much determined to take it up again, despite some handicaps--My right wrist has several pins in it and mobility is limited, AND, I've had all four fingers on my left hand broken, with a pin between the third and fourth.  Makes any 4th finger use very difficult without the third following along.  Fiddlerman made some suggestions back then and I now have better control of my left had fingers and more flexibility, but it is far from "normal".

During this "take it up again" period, I was looking for a teacher/instructor to help with some ideas on how to overcome some of these limitations.  Results were mixed........

First person watched me play a little bit and suggested I take up something else.  Not what I wanted to hear.

Second teacher was more interested in collecting the half hour fee each time than actually assisting with anything, or making suggestions.

The third was finally what I was looking for.  She had the patience to carefully watch as I 'attempted' to play some of the old time tunes I played back in the days before the accident and make suggestions on what to try, one thing at a time.  No set tunes to practice, just technique with my somewhat unorthodox left hand position (now needed) and bowing.  My regret is that since I have to travel so much for my job, I could not maintain a set schedule with her.  I'll be retiring in another year, so that should finally free me up from constant traveling.  I still practice when I can, but there is no set schedule.

It actually upsets me to read your post because I get so frustrated at the teachers who don't care about the person who cares so much that they are willing to pay to learn.

I find it a greater challenge when a player has any type of handicap in which we can try to overcome. Also a greater challenge due to the fact that the player is that much more motivated.

My bottom line is that finding an instructor that works well for you may need to be a "try-before-you-buy" experience.  If you don't like the first one, move on until you find someone that clicks with you.  I'm glad I was persistent!  

I could not agree more. 🙂

Also, apropos, I never charged for the first lesson. Granted I charged $75/hr but the first lesson was on the house and they knew that from the start.

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

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dpappas
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August 24, 2017 - 1:42 pm
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Teachers who discourage should think about other career options, in my opinion.  I'm a professor (sciences) and I see students every day get crushed by offhand comments or questions about their ability.  

One of my kids has picked up my spare violin (an old Knilling I found in storage), and she's been working with a book and some instruction from me.  A few people said she was too old to learn the violin, which is absurd.  

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 28, 2017 - 4:37 pm
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dpappas said .....A few people said she was too old to learn the violin, which is absurd.    

Very absurd. Good for you helping her out!

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

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RockingLR33
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August 28, 2017 - 9:59 pm
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@dpappas  I completely agree with you regardless of what is being instructed. If someone is willing to put in the effort to learn they should be taught regardless of age. I understand being a "tough" instructor by having high standards but rude and downright discouraging is horrible and it helps none. Eventually they will loose the client when they figure out what a crap teacher they are and the student may even stop learning all together on that subject or just feel defeated. It helps none. 

Glad your daughters learning! I was in my early 20's when i started learning and I'm pretty sure there are those here well into their senior years that are learning! If anyone says that to me I just point to Michael Flatly (spell) they said he was to old to learn to do Irish dancing so he self taught and he became one of the most well known dancers in the world and influenced countless generations. 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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