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Thoughts On Every Other Week a One Hour Lesson VS 1/2 Hour Every Week
I had an hour lesson last week, no lesson this week, back to the half hour every week next week due to instructor needing to cancel this week’s lesson. Here are my thoughts on the hour lesson every other week vs 1/2 hour every week. What do you think?
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cid
July 29, 2019 - 10:42 pm
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I had an hour long cello lesson last week. This was because this week’s lesson had to be cancelled. We will meet again next week. That gives me two weeks to work on the new piece we started this past Wednesday. Here are my thoughts on the format of an hour lesson, followed by two weeks before the next lesson.

Before I had the hour lesson, here are the Pros and Cons I was thinking might transpire:

PROS

  1. I was thinking that that would be great because we can actually get into things.
  2. I liked the idea of having two weeks to work on the lesson material.
  3. Having two weeks would give me time to just play familiar tunes that I knew.

CONS

  1. I would have to sit there for an hour and was not sure I could do that.
  2. Was concerned about my arm getting sore (I worry about the dumbest things!)

Results of the “CONS” I was thinking up.

  1. I was able to sit there just fine.
  2. No sore arm, no sugar low or highs.

Results on the “PRO” side.

  1. Wow, we got a lot done. I have a brand new piece, “Scherzo” by Webster. I love it. We worked on it quite a bit. We did scales. We worked on intonation.
  2. It has almost been a week, just couple days shy. I am glad I have another week. I am able to really work on the piece and take time and find out what parts I have issues with because I just don’t know how to do that technique or simply because I need to practice it more. This has allowed me to write down better clear more notes and questions.
  3. I have been able to get out my earlier books and play simpler songs. I actually used these to help with my intonation and timing. These are slower songs and easier to pay attention to finger placement with. I did not want to get used to playing the Scherzo at too slow of a speed. I don’t do it as fast as I heard and saw in YouTube when I searched for it, but I did not want to have to slow it down too much, just slow enough to to be able to listen and be accurate. Doing the earlier songs first as intonation and bowing exercises helped me with the Scherzo.

The time went by really fast and I did not even realize the hour was up. We actually went over the hour by about 10 minutes because I had worked my way up with baby steps to the cello I wanted and traded the last step up cello in on the day before that lesson. My instructor noticed the new cello and wanted to see and play it. He loves it and actually told me that if I ever wanted to part with it, he wanted to buy it. So, when the lesson time was up, there was still something he wanted to do. He said he spent time with my cello, so he continued with the lesson.

I am beginning to think that maybe I should just get a lesson for an hour every other week. But that has issues on its own as far as having to cancel. If I have to cancel, it is on me if the instructor is not available for a makeup. That would be paying for two weeks of cancelled lessons, not one. Also, if he has to cancel, as he did this time due to a performance, and there is not time for makeup, he would be out payment for two weeks of lessons, that would not be good for him, as a student himself, plus it would be a long long time between lessons for me.

Considering the issues of seeing if I can do an hour lesson every other week, I am thinking it is probably not a good idea. So, what I am thinking is that maybe I can request an hour lesson with the two weeks periodically when I am having a hard time with something and I think I would benefit from it. This is an interesting happenstance that the performance landed when we started the Scherzo. As long as there is no student after me, as is the case now, maybe I can just ask for an hour lesson for the next week when we are done with that current week’s lesson, when I think I will need it. I did like the hour format, but cannot pay for an hour lesson a week instead of half an hour.

Just thought I would mention this lesson format, even though it is just for these particular weeks.

What do you think? Those of you taking lessons, how long are your lessons? How often are they?

 

 

 

 

 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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July 29, 2019 - 11:29 pm
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An hour every other week seems ideal for me.  I hate half hour lessons.  Sometimes I may only get in one lesson a month.  Some months I may get three lessons in but two one hour lessons a month seems to be my target now.

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Mark
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July 30, 2019 - 12:33 am
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I agree an hour lesson ever other week worked best for me, had time between lessons with work and life comentments to actually make progress on what was assigned.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Gordon Shumway
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July 30, 2019 - 2:15 am
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I have an hour every three weeks.

Andrew

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HP
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I think it depends on the person really. I've lessons weekly (except for holidays and during the summer break.) for about 30 minutes and for me that's good. The lessons are kind of short sometimes, so it would be nice to have a longer lesson now and then. But for me it's nice to have a short session, because it tends to be a lot of information to process and he gives me a lot to work on. With an hour long lesson I think it would be more prone for mental burnouts. Mental overloads.

Sometimes my teacher has called in sick, and because of that I've had almost two weeks between lessons. For me that's a long time to go between lessons and I feel like I don't make as good progress during that time. It's beneficial to have a extra pair of eyes and ears, even for a brief period of time once a week. I also find it more motivational to have shorter time in between lessons. I practice a lot more and harder when I know I've limited time to work on the things we talked about in the lesson. For longer periods I tend to be more relaxed until a couple days prior and I realize I've a lesson coming up soon. Maybe that's just me, I was like that back in my school years too lol.

As I said, it depends on the person. How much time do you have to practice during a week? What do you want to accomplish with your lessons? Do you practice well on your own? Can you keep focus over a long period of time or do you have a limited attention span? Can you easily stay motivated on your own? Etc. It's a lot of things to consider when picking out the right amount of lesson time. I would suggest talking to your teacher about what he thinks is the best solution for you. I don't know if you have a set time once a week, but maybe it's possible to have one and a half week between lessons, with a lesson time for 45 minutes. Something in between the two. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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cid
July 30, 2019 - 6:50 am
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It is interesting to read what works, or would work, with different people. I think that if we are doing something that I think I need more lesson time with and an additional week of practice, I might call before that next lesson and see if we can do an hour and then skip the following. It would all delend in his time and studio time for that next session, if he has nothing planned for that additional half hour and if that studio room is booked the half hour after my scheduled lesson. I would know if that would be helpful while working on the lessons from that last half hour lesson.

Maybe do it as an as needed option, if it is agreeable to my instructor. This was particularly good timing when this happened.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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July 30, 2019 - 11:50 am
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A lot depends on the teacher.

A good teacher will use the 1/2 hour well.  They should have a plan for that time.  They should have specific things in a specific order and not waste the 1/2 hour.

I do think that there is something to be said for consistency.  Just like with practice, consistant, regular lessons with as few breaks as possible will be the most productive.  

I also feel that coming back to the teacher as soon as possible to see where I am with progress, correcting possible problems, seeing where I need improvement, and making the seemingly small adjustments is valuable, at least to me.

Private lessons are always helpful, at any frequency.  For me, the most often I can get them, the better.

- Pete -

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Fiddlerman
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July 30, 2019 - 3:17 pm
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Glad that the experience was positive.
Lots to think about. 🙂

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

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cid
July 30, 2019 - 6:16 pm
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I think for me, if we are starting something that is extremely new, and I am usually told the week before that we will, I think I will ask for an hour lesson so I can get it to sink in before I leave. Then I can have the two weeks to work on it. 

I have an issue where if there is something new, by the time I get home, I have forgotten what was said, and notes I make do not mean anything. I am a very visual and hands on learner. I always have been. I need more instruction time to do it over and over, with corrections, before I am off on my own to work on it. In those cases, if there still isn’t a student in the time slot after me, I will ask for an hour the week that technique or whatever will be introduced. I know that when vibrato is brought into the picture, I will request an hour lesson. I might even ask for that added half hour to be in addition to the normal lessons, pay for that extra half hour that day, and then have the normal lesson the following week, instead of the hour with two weeks between. 

Anyway, this hour lesson last week, with this week’s lesson cancelled, has just opened my eyes to new options, if the instructor is available and willing. This is something I had not thought of. I wish I could afford an hour a week, but that would be way too much money, 

The timing of it happening was perfect as to where I was in lessons. This Scherzo has odd fingering that I would not have been able to figure out. It also has timing that would have freaked me out, lots of black notes! He told me not to panic, and we took time to get through it. Now, I have two weeks to work on it on my own.

He is going to start in with dynamics so, I want to get it as smooth as I can, and as memorized as I can. Not one of my other cello instructors ever dealt with dynamics. I do get confused by where notes are duplicated, done four times, eight times, etc, but I am almost getting the pattern down. Parts of it I can do pretty good, even with the shift, which is a ton of fun.

Unless a new student starts after me, I might be able to do this sometimes.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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@cid 

Here is my take on dealing with getting through new or large amounts of information in a lesson...

It is relative to the experience of the musician.  By this, I mean that for your teacher, they may see that the new material or the amount of material as easily manageable, where you might see this as daunting. 

During my 1/2 hr lesson I have to get through 2 pages of method books, one duet, a major scale and minor scale with arpeggios, and the 3 pieces we are going to perform in our upcoming performance in a couple weeks.  If you do the math, that only leaves about 4 minutes to work on each item.  So my teacher needs to be very efficient and I need to be very focused as we go through each piece.

I will stop my teacher if I have a question or did not understand something she is telling me.  But the fact is we have to go through everything pretty quick.

If I feel that it becomes overwhelming, I will let her know and I will ask her to see if we can reduce some of it.  But so far, it's been ok.  Also, I want to push myself, so I usually push my limits anyway.

- Pete -

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cid
July 30, 2019 - 7:37 pm
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@Pete_Violin Wow! You have intense lessons! There is no way I could do that. Luckily, my instructor knows this. I seem to be pretty well suited to his teaching style. He seems to know what I can handle. He has things ready and knows what is going to go through. Seems to be planned correctly. We never have to rush, or skip because time ran out. Scales always start the lesson. For a college student (starts his second year this Fall), he is so organized and has his lessons planned out. I am very pleased. 

He gave a new young violin student a free introductory lesson last week. It was before mine. I get there early. He was so patient and clear with her. My husband and I were amazed. He is a beginning second year college student but has the know how to teach affectively, already.

When I got into the studio, I said, “You seem to have a new student.” He told me it was her free 1/2 hour intro to see if she likes it. He said, “She was really good and understood, and was able to do everything I explained.” Her Dad was there. His other daughter was in another studio getting a free intro to piano lesson. He was going from doorway to doorway. Usually, the doors are closed, but he wanted to see and hear. If they do take the lessons, I hope he continues that way so he knows what is said and can help out at home when needed.

I am very impressed with your full half hour! Wow 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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To be fair, the pages in the method books are fairly simple songs, the duet is a 2 line song, but I need to learn both parts, and the songs we are performing are fiddle songs, not anything really intense. 

But yes, I do have a full lesson. 

If there is any time remaining, we do look at things like vibrato to make sure I am on track.  Vibrato is an ongoing learning process I am constantly working on.

We also make sure I am on track with 3rd position shifting whenever we can.

Anywhere I feel I am weak I like to bring up and just do a quick look at and she will just help me get back on track.

- Pete -

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cid
July 30, 2019 - 10:07 pm
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I can’t wait to learn vibrato. I am hopjg that when I learn it on cello with an instructor, that I can transfer that to violin and viola myself. We will see. Have not started vibrato yet, though.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
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July 31, 2019 - 11:07 am
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I don't know if any of you do this, but I recommend recording your lessons. You get more for your money and can review it anytime.

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

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Pete_Violin
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Wow... I have never even thought of that!!!  Excellent idea @Fiddlerman 

- Pete -

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GregW
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@Pete_Violin  maybe its the rosin Pete.  It really seems like you should cut back a little. 😂

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Pete_Violin
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I'll try...   Is there a patch?

- Pete -

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intrepidgirl
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@cid I have one half hour lesson per week, and I think my teacher is very efficient in her use. She might introduce something briefly and tell me to chip away at it over the next week and then we move on. We don't chitchat too much, which I like. Like @Pete_Violin we stuff a lot into a half hour. I find my brain is pretty full by the end, a full hour might just give me excess that I have trouble remembering.

So now it is summer and I have no lessons, so I am repeating the basics and going through my exercise book. I am finding lots of stuff was looked at pretty quickly and this is great time to really go back and get a better feel for extensions, names of notes (this is challenging since I have not used the bass clef before), positions, improving smooth transitions of positions etc. I think even if I had one longer lesson every 2 weeks, I would still feel like this. I think we need a balance of concentrated teaching, plus some soak time. And I expect each of us has our own likes and dislikes, so we should try to develop a system that works best for us.

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Gordon Shumway
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Fiddlerman said
I don't know if any of you do this, but I recommend recording your lessons. You get more for your money and can review it anytime.

  

I just ordered a Zoom H1.

Sadly, I spent 11 years doing two part-time degrees and a postgraduate year without one of these. I wrote down every lecture in full in long hand as well as I could. Inevitably I lost some of it. If only I'd had a recorder!

Andrew

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GregW
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Gordon Shumway said

Fiddlerman said

I don't know if any of you do this, but I recommend recording your lessons. You get more for your money and can review it anytime.

  

I just ordered a Zoom H1.

Sadly, I spent 11 years doing two part-time degrees and a postgraduate year without one of these. I wrote down every lecture in full in long hand as well as I could. Inevitably I lost some of it. If only I'd had a recorder!

  

Gordon I have found it (zoom) handy.  I suppose its redundant given smart phone quality, but it seems to pick up better at a distance.  I'm also able to record longer without cluttering up my phone.  After each lesson I'll create a lesson folder on my computer and save the files for that lesson there.  The only thing with that process is having to change the name of each file so it represents the tune/technique being covered.  By default the naming will be something like zoom000001xy..you can change that but it will then increment by 1 each time the record button hit.  Still, its a handy little tool.

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