Quit / pause lessons?

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kloeten
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Quit / pause lessons?

Post by kloeten » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:05 am

Dear fellow Delcampers,

I am an intermediate player (my repertoire contains several D08-D11 pieces) and I have had lessons for the past 5-6 years, plus 6 years as a child.
I have made quite some progress musically and technically the last few years.
My teacher is terrific, so is my guitar, but these days I am considering to quit / pause my lessons, primarily because I do not feel the enthusiasm that I used to feel when playing CG. To illustrate this: I am now working on BWV 996 Prelude/Presto, I only need to work through 12 more bars but I just do not find it interesting anymore to put in the effort to master the piece.

My question is: will quitting / pausing lessons for 1-2 years or perhaps longer seriously impact my ability to play?
Could I act as my own teacher for a while?
I am curious to hear your experiences with this...

Thanks
Rutger

Mr Kite

Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Mr Kite » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:21 am

I had to stop for about 6 months at early intermediate level and found I was back to where I had been within a month or two of restarting.

I can't help thinking that there must be something less drastic you could do, like changing your repertoire, changing teachers or maybe taking a much shorter break.

There must be a lot of threads already about being your own teacher. My teacher does point out things I hadn't noticed - if it's the same for you, I think that's your answer. If not, maybe you should be trying a different teacher anyway.

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George Crocket
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by George Crocket » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:08 pm

Hi Rutger. I agree with Mr Kite that a long break is quite a drastic step. Have you discussed your feelings with your teacher. If not, perhaps he can make some suggestions.

Maybe there is some other action you could take, short of giving up. I like Mr Kite's suggestion of new repertoire. Perhaps easier repertoire may prove less frustrating. I enjoy playing in an orchestra and other ensembles. I wonder if you have the opportunity for that? It is a different approach to playing, and satisfying for that. And, if it comes to it, I am sure you could be your own teacher so long as you do not put yourself under too much pressure, and do not expect progress to be as rapid.
George
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Dave Stott
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Dave Stott » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:33 pm

My humble suggestion is similar to others; Stay with your lessons and try something new & fun in your playing tastes.... Perhaps Beatles for classical guitar? Something to break the routine..
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Jack Douglas » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:00 pm

You didn't mention your age as that itself can be a flexibility issue after a long pause. Is it possible for you to continue your guitar studies with less emphasis on what new pieces are added and instead you just work on keeping your hands and body in fit playing condition. Much like athletics after a time out your mind retains the memory of how to, but after not working out for a long period of time the work to get back in shape is grueling.
Like another person suggested maybe try something fun just for the heck of it. A very talented university trained masters degree guitarist friend of mine that performs regularly added 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' as the final piece at the end of each performance. He said it's the piece the audience gushes over and gives him positive feedback that motivates him.
Best of luck with your decision!
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lagartija
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by lagartija » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:27 pm

Bach can difficult for the intermediate player. That has been my experience. It seems so simple...but simple does not mean easy. It is material that challenges one on many levels. I agree with those who recommend that you discuss your feelings with your teacher, and that you take a break from current repertoire and pick something that you really love and would like to play.
Not everyone has an affinity for Baroque music and it can be frustratingly difficult. Work on something that gives you joy until your enthusiasm returns. Your teacher can help you through this low point....we all have them at some point in our journey...
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muirtan
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by muirtan » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:55 pm

Do you play duets with your teacher? A whole new set of skills to learn and you become far more aware of what is happening in the music.

Salvador
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Salvador » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:16 pm

No it won't if you know the basics already. If the piece is not interesting anymore, it's ok to stop or even abandon it. I would do the same because i don't want to spend hours on a piece i don't like. Try Vals 3 by Lauro, that's the piece i practice everyday before. It's very interesting to me and i don't mind spending hours on it.

My teacher did not allow me to play pieces that i want. I have to finish the course first. But he allows short pieces like Adelita, Lagrima, Romance, traditional music. Pieces like Recuerdos, Capricho Arabe were not allowed, because it's in his course. Aside from i'm not ready to play it, it might create conflicts with the lessons and my practice time. I did not get bored because pop music like The Beatles is allowed, he doesn't mind at all lol.

Robin
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Robin » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:42 pm

Hi kloeten,

We all go through seasons where we feel that spark sputter a little bit. Quitting lessons for a long period of time is taking a big risk that you might lose ground. You might consider decreasing the frequency of lessons (ie once per month or twice per month) or maybe taking a summer session off to see how you do. In my early studies, I got messed up if I took even a week off. Now, I can take short periods off and still plug along but my problem solving is much slower when I'm on my own. It is reaffirming to spend some time in self discovery though. However, if I have goals and deadlines, I'm in the studio every week that I can be for the support and preparation.

I agree with many of the others that adding some fresh repertoire might help. Bach is wonderful but he is intense! You could take a slower pace with the Bach and explore some pieces that are easier and that you would find fun.

I disagree with the advice to go find a different teacher. If you have a good rapport with your teacher, talk to him/her about how you feel. I'm sure s/he has encountered this phase in student development before and can help you navigate through it. The suggestion to join an ensemble, orchestra or find someone to play duets with are great ideas. Maybe even attend some master classes, if you have access to them, to hear what other teachers have to say. Getting different perspectives are refreshing but I wouldn't suggest that you abandon the teacher you've been working with just because you feel stagnant.

Hang in there! This too, shall pass! Just keep playing!

Robin
So much music, so little time.

CathyCate
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by CathyCate » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:03 pm

Schedule a recital, book a gig etc. Nothing motivates like a deadline and a concrete reason/purpose for practicing! Good Luck.

Alan Green
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Alan Green » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:47 pm

I would pause lessons and spend some time marketing yourself to play for music societies, restaurants, parties, corporate events and stuff like that. Nothing like a run of gig bookings to focus the practising mind

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:45 pm

Don't give up, Rutger! You can always pick up pieces that you studied earlier and bring them to a higher level. There is no need to keep pushing your limits with new, high level pieces! Explore your musicality for a change. I know you have a great teacher, discuss this with her.
Personally, I can not imagine studying without a teacher. I need his/her feedback. Who else would correct me?
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:00 pm

Does your teacher entirely determine what you get to play?
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Alan Green
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by Alan Green » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:28 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:Does your teacher entirely determine what you get to play?
I hate students who turn up week after week with no idea of what they want to play. It's a two-way street; why should I do all the thinking?

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muirtan
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Re: Quit / pause lessons?

Post by muirtan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:46 am

Alan Green wrote:
Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:Does your teacher entirely determine what you get to play?
I hate students who turn up week after week with no idea of what they want to play. It's a two-way street; why should I do all the thinking?
Mmmmm. I've always. apart from 2 occasions, let my tecaher choose what I'm to learn next. He can see where I need to improve and what pieces are best for that improvemnet. Also he has introduced me to so many pieces i'd never come across. A couple of times he's said what would you like to do next and he'll get a vague answer 'something spanish' or something classical'. After all I pay him to teach me which includes enabling me to progress in the best way possible. I hope your 'why should I do all the thinking' was tongue in cheek?

We get on really well and I've been with him for over 8 years.

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