cid - Wow!
Read your posts - really admire your resolve!
I think you just helped me understand a couple of people very near & dear to me...
It is very important each of us figure out the best way we can learn.
Maybe it's good to keep in mind why we decided to pick up an instrument to begin with.
Thank you, @ELCBK
We all learn differently. I really need a good foundation when learning anything. I think you need to let your instructor know. For the most part, teachers assume (most often correctly) the student will be bored with scales, exercises, etc and will maybe not stick with it if songs are not done. Many also find that most students don’t want to do the same song for a long period of time. I am the exact opposite. I need the basics and repeating is no problem. I have no problem doing songs over and over, section by section and joining them together. Kind of not the way other students want to go.
I want to, and can, learn this to a level I will be happy with, I just need to do it at a slower pace. Since when I started I did not receive a solid foundation, I am being haunted by that now. So, rather than to just keep burying myself, to reach the level I will enjoy playing at, I need to shore up that foundation. I know that I can do it, I just need to back up and fill in some holes in my foundation, and then pick up where I left off.
I don't get the impression that teachers make that assumption -- though maybe it's much more true of teachers who teach mostly beginners, because they're used to teaching young children most of the time. Keeping young children engaged is a real skill, and an important one for any teacher who accepts beginners, but it's much less applicable to adult beginners.
My only experience with lessons was focused almost entirely on technique and technical exercises. For me the emphasis was on fixing my bow hand, so my teacher actually had me set aside all of my pieces and practice nothing but open strings for two weeks, then gradually add in scales and older pieces that I was already extremely familiar with. The idea was to minimize the amount of attention I had to give to my left hand, and focus entirely on my right hand. Then again, I showed up to my first lesson as an experienced orchestral violist (and my teacher was aware of that), and she taught mainly advanced students, so my teacher could easily assume I'd have a high tolerance for technical exercises.
Although I did stop after three months and only five lessons, it was not because I was unhappy with the lessons -- it was because I never got a regular time slot, and every lesson depended on either being able to take time out of my work day or waiting for someone in an evening or weekend time slot to cancel. I was quite satisfied with the instruction I was getting, just not the effort involved in scheduling each lesson.