Privat lessons
 

Privat lessons

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Privat lessons    16:42 on Thursday, October 14, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

karinabina7
(89 points)

I was recently talking to one of my friends that is pretty much as musically involved at her school as she can get and she said she is taking private lessons weekly for violin, which isn't the only instrument she plays. She's a 9th grader. My question for you guys is, what are your views on private lessons? If you want to be good and reach high levels of playing in different musical groups, do you think private teachers are the only way you can make it there? Or can you make it off the encouragement of your peers and family/friends?

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Re: Privat lessons    20:39 on Thursday, October 14, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

bstrutton
(1 point)

Ok. I'll stick my neck out

I'm a Sax player by training (HS & college non-music major). I'm 41 now & decided to pick up a string instrument (violin). Reading about how difficult it was really got me thinking. I knew that I wanted a teacher but at the time (1.5 years ago) thought "well maybe just to get me started and make sure mechanics, form, etc are right so as not to mis-learn".

I found an outstanding teacher, Lana, that I really enjoy meeting with. For me, and specifically on violin, I found after a while that WITH Lana I was making such great progress, there was no way I'd stop.

That being said, I think that some key point are in order:

1) IMO, you HAVE to find someone that you 'gel' with. For me if I'd had a stick in the mud type there's no WAY that I'd have stuck with it.

2) There are obviously barely qualified as well as genius level instructors out there. In my experience it's not strictly a matter of you get what you paid for. Many of the less qualified that I've spoken with charge MORE than my instructor. I think that if you (or parents, etc) are gonna invest the money then you REALLY should do your homework. Start with someone that's well credentialed and that has a significant student base. Interview multiple teachers. Find one that's right FOR YOU.

The other thing is that there is a LOT of action items that students need to take responsibility for. For example, in learning / perfecting ANY skill, there is a very well established body of knowledge out there. LEARN to research, find out what OTHERS common recommendations for the consistent top 5 method books are; top 5 studies; DVDs, etc. Build your library. This approach has worked very well for me. I felt that when picking up the violin at 40 while most folks have 30-35 years head start on me, I NEEDED to learn and practice as EFFICIENTLY as was humanly possible. I DON'T have 5 hrs/day so when looking at books, studies, etc I pick what is commonly discussed as the best, most concise, etc.

As I mentioned I play sax & want to double on flute so looked here & elsewhere & decided to use all of the Trevor WYE stuff to get me started and that seems solid so far.

I guess my final comment is this. I was recently talking with a HS buddy (trombonist) about our HS music vs his kids. When we were in HS (outside Dallas) in the late 80's and working on regional, all state, etc we HAD no private lessons. He said that the vast majority in his kids bands take PL today and guess what.. He said they're ALL playing stuff that we'd never have attempted.

So yeah, I think for serious students PL are a good investment and a great experience IF DONE CORRECTLY and in conjunction with the other things I mentioned.

Sorry to be so darned long winded on my very first post but hopefully it helps

-Bill

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Re: Privat lessons    20:54 on Thursday, October 14, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

musicman_944
(256 points)

I believe that private lessons are ESSENTIAL if you want to be the best possible player. Playing in band or orchestra every day is no substitute for private lessons. Ensembles are oriented toward the group, but private lessons are oriented toward the individual. All the best players will study privately.

It's very easy to develop bad habits on any instrument. And don't get me started about marching band. Most band directors will insist that all the flute players hold their flute parallel with the ground so that everyone has a consistent appearance (I can speak with some authority here, because in addition to being a flutist, I am a former band director). Unfortunately, that is a very poor position for playing the flute correctly. Also, there is never enough time in band for the director to give attention to each individual player. If you don't study privately, you probably don't know the best posture and position for the flute. Likewise, you probably don't know if you have a good or poor embouchure, correct fingerings, alternate fingerings, playing with vibrato, proper phrasing, proper breath support, etc., etc. In other words, you are missing out on learning the finer points of playing the flute.

If you are serious about playing the flute and you aren't getting private instruction, you are cheating yourself. It's nearly impossible to reach your maximum potential without private lessons.

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Re: Private lessons    05:07 on Friday, October 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1328 points)

If you are serious about playing the flute and you aren't getting private instruction, you are cheating yourself. It's nearly impossible to reach your maximum potential without private lessons.

I am a professional private lesson instructor on flute. What I'm writing here is not to further my own teaching but for the whole system of music education.

I'd agree with what I've quoted above but I'd say that it is completely impossible to reach your maximum potential on your instrument without private lessons.

There is no substitute for a qualified instructor on private lessons. A qualified private instructor can fix the specific issues that each student may have before they become deeply rooted bad habits. They give the student a reason to practice intelligently at home and in weekly lessons as well as informing the student how to practice for quicker improvement.
The band and orchestra teachers aren't generally well-trained with all the instruments, how they should be properly taught, nor are they closely familiar with the repertoire (Music) of those instruments. Band teachers are more geared towards the whole band situation and can't give all of their students as much individual attention that is often needed. When students only play in band class, they usually aren't listening to themselves very closely because doing that is impossible during band.

Regarding qualified teaching of an instrument, I'd say that the best situation is to find the most qualified private instructor that is a specialist on your instrument. This should be a person that successfully teaches privately an that the student has some respect for as a fine musician. Generally, the best private instructor in the area would hopefully be a person who is performing in the the best local ensembles on the instrument, has had univ. or conservatory level training specific to that instrument and is a responsible adult.
This situation should be a one-on-one (in person) setting. I think that on-line, live chatting, live video conferencing or email lessons are far less effective for many reasons. Even though they seem to be an attractive choice, they serve better for the instructor's esteem than the student's education. I also consider that teaching music by high school age or younger private teachers should be discouraged unless there are no other alternatives in the area.
I sincerely hope that I've not offended anybody as it's not my intention but proper study of music is dear to my heart.

~bilbo
N.E. Ohio

<Added>

"Or can you make it off the encouragement of your peers and family/friends?"
To answer this metaphorically....All the encouragement in the world without proper instruction will not tell you how to get your parachute open while you are skydiving -nor will encouragement tell you how to play a F to Gb trill properly on a flute.

To the best of my knowledge there have been no self-taught flutists that have ever achieved first chair in any major symphony orchestra...ever.:-)

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Re: Privat lessons    06:07 on Friday, October 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

I agree with Bilbo, I am also a teacher, what he says rings true, remember that what you put into it is what you get out of it...if you listen to your teacher and follow the instructions, you will do well...but having a private teacher doesn't automatically mean you will do well

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Re: Privat lessons    09:14 on Friday, October 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

PhilOShite
(150 points)

"Or can you make it off the encouragement of your peers and family/friends?"

One would hope you had the option of taking both, and if you do have that option take it.

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Re: Private lessons    09:41 on Saturday, October 16, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

karinabina7
(89 points)

I am thinking about Private lessons--and I do have the option--but I guess the next question would be, what's the appropriate age to start PL?
Thanks for answering--kind of a silly question now, but I need all the information I can get.

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Re: Privat lessons    10:33 on Saturday, October 16, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

CessiMarie
(152 points)

I don't think age matters. If you are old enough to play flute at all, you should be old enough for lessons. Remember that you can always quit lessons or switch teachers if you don't like the lessons. Why not give it a try and see how it works out.

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Re: Privat lessons    08:51 on Monday, October 18, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1328 points)

I have had students start as early as Kindergarten and as old as 60ish.
Of course some of the students that aren't grown enough yet may not quite start on the usual flute. They may begin on a recorder, Flutophone or even one of the flutes with a curved head joint. I started lessons myself in 3rd grade though.

To get some sort of idea about how well a young student can do, check out Emma Resmini's playing (Who is not my student), and then ask yourself why wait?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCtH42vjzsU

Also Check Out Mimi Stillman's early performance from when she was 11 years old:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIMYu27NTM8


~bilbo
N.E. Ohio

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Re: Privat lessons    05:33 on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

karinabina7
(89 points)

Wow--good examples...


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Re: Privat lessons    05:58 on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

Bilbo is right, the flute doesn't know your age, nor does it care

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Re: Privat lessons    20:50 on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1328 points)

Thanks Patrick. This is a comforting thought.
BTW: Still very much enjoying that old Haynes head-joint.
I want to post some sounds soon as I am able to record.
~bilbo
N.E. Ohio

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Re: Privat lessons    10:58 on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

thanks, glad it found a good home...

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Re: Privat lessons    01:56 on Thursday, October 21, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

meisjevanfluit
(47 points)

For the record, Emma's old private teacher was my former flute professor (may she rest in peace).

She was an incredible teacher. She was offered to teach at some of the prestigious schools of music in the world, but she decided not to...

ANYWAYS. Not the point.

Private lessons: it all solely depends on your teacher. I do believe if I didn't have private lessons before I entered college I'd be a lot farther, because my three teachers before then, were not consistent and kept on thinking and didn't teach me...

But I would have probably reached a stumbling point at some point ...

It all depends on the student and the teacher. If the teacher can teach well, it is good. Unfortunately, there are a lot of teachers who can't teach out there, so be careful.

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Re: Privat lessons    11:55 on Thursday, October 21, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post -1 votes

Pyrioni
(437 points)

I agree with meisjevanfluit above, most teachers in this world are terrible, you never know until it's too late.

If you had a bad teacher, taught you the bad way, then you are his follower.

If you had a good teacher you will become like him or her, a good player.

That is why I think even for a beginner, you need to spend a high price to hire the best teacher or professor at the very beginning!

Especially for your embouchure, if you started wrong, it will take you years and years to fix the problem, or you can't never fix it. Pahud said to us when we were young,"If you don't correct your embouchure now, you will sound ugly and thin for the rest of your life, and you can never become a professional flute player". My embouchure was very tight, because my first teacher was a bit tight. Then I changed a teacher, spent 3 painful years to change completely my embouchure, by starting from square one, completely loosen my lips and blow without tension at the beginning of correction period, then graduately increase muscle only a little at a time. It was painful for me, 3 years!!

I am now much better tone, many judges and professors said I have a good tone now. Patrick heard me play in his master lesson.

If you have a bad teacher, it will waste your time, and cause double of the times to correct it! life wasted.


<Added>

Also, you need to use your brain, to decide what to follow and what not to follow from your teacher(s). I am having multiple teachers and online teachers and master lessons, they are professors of conservatory, ex-principal, ex-2nd flute of professional orchestras. I have noticed, all of them have their own ways, many have extreme ideas. So you mustn't follow blindly, you need to think and follow what is good for you, use your brain.

One example, in masterclass, Sir Galway always tells us to cover 2/3 of the Embouchure Hole and roll-in more to blow, will you follow blindly just because he is a great master of flute? No, his method may work for somebody, and may not work for others. We need to choose and experiment see if it works for you.

<Added>

Many teachers, even good ones, they tend to stick to their own method of blowing that worked for them, but they forgot every human being has different biological mouth,lips,teeth,oral chamber,jaw etc.., if they teach students the same way! This is very poisonous, it will ruin many students.

<Added>

I had a teacher she was a principal of orchestra, she played with smiley embouchure (it is a not good embouchure ~ old method), her teacher taught her this way when she was very little long time ago, but she spent decades perfected it with a perfect Round Hole in the centre of her lips even with her smiley embouchure! Amazing! But should I follow her smiley embouchure and then spend 10-20 years to create a perfect round hole with my lip muscles? no way! So I only learn musical and technique with her and I learn tone with another teacher who studied in Paris.

   





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