First Face to Face Lessons

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guitarist_le
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First Face to Face Lessons

Post by guitarist_le » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:30 pm

Hey,

So I'm starting these lessons next week and my instructor is coming over to my place (didn't know this still happens)

I'm nervous but excited. I'm 26 and he is 40 and the lesson is for an hour. I don't wanna seem like a nervous wreck so I wanna know what goes down in a lesson. Is he gonna ask me to play things and just critique. How do you start a conversation about what you wanna learn. What if my instructor can't teach me what I wanna know?

I get it if this post is a little dependent on the situation and may not get a response, but I wanna hear how your first lessons went. :)

jscott
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by jscott » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:01 am

It's all just a casual friendly conversation--including your playing. After telling him a bit about your experience (how long you've played and what style, what books you're working with etc.) he may ask you to play something--anything, maybe just scales, who knows. It's normal to feel nervous and he'll understand. He may want to play with you back and forth on a piece that you're working on. No expectations! you don't have to play anything perfectly or even well, esp. the first time. Maybe focus on one piece and you can play some passages while he makes suggestions. That way you'll begin to relax and play the one piece better as you go along.

The first time i met with an instructor it didn't go well. I was too nervous to volunteer to play anything and never did. he was pretty self involved and never even asked me to play. That was my first and only meeting with that teacher.
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guitarist_le
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by guitarist_le » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:05 am

jscott wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:01 am
It's all just a casual friendly conversation--including your playing. After telling him a bit about your experience (how long you've played and what style, what books you're working with etc.) he may ask you to play something--anything, maybe just scales, who knows. It's normal to feel nervous and he'll understand. He may want to play with you back and forth on a piece that you're working on. No expectations! you don't have to play anything perfectly or even well, esp. the first time. Maybe focus on one piece and you can play some passages while he makes suggestions. That way you'll begin to relax and play the one piece better as you go along.

The first time i met with an instructor it didn't go well. I was too nervous to volunteer to play anything and never did. he was pretty self involved and never even asked me to play. That was my first and only meeting with that teacher.

Ok cool. Since I'm an adult finally getting lessons, I was expecting some high expectations. But Ill feel it out and see. Super nervous, but I think I'll play that over played Prelude from Cello Suite 1 for him ;) Ill post how it goes next week!

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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by CathyCate » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:23 am

A lot will depend on your teacher. I suggest that you prepare a few pieces, scales and exercises to play upon request. Whether or not you use them in the initial encounter, this will give you something constructive to do while you are waiting for your lessons to begin.

For this fresh start and to show your guitar in its best light, change your strings soon enough to break them in.

Take a few moments to makes some lists. Write down your goals. What do you want to accomplish this month, this year, as a musician etc.? Try to be as specific as your imagination will allow. If there are any pieces you want to learn someday soon or even way into the future, share that information as well. That will make for interesting conversation and help your new teacher design a helpful roadmap that connects your ability and talent with suitable and graded challenges along the way.

The age difference will not matter if you are able to establish a good line of communication.

Just be yourself, and it should soon be apparent whether or not you are compatible enough to establish a solid working relationship. You seem like a good student off to a great start, because you care a lot. All the best!
Cathy
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lagartija
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by lagartija » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:27 am

Don’t worry! It is normal to be nervous. Part of that is that as adults, we are a bit afraid of being “judged” and found wanting. ;-)
Just say to yourself the following:
“I am not being judged...I am being evaluated.”

There is a difference between the two words. Being judged: are you good or bad?
Being evaluated: where are you in the learning process and what is standing in the way of your progress?

A good teacher wants to see how you play so they can begin to help you play better. They look at what you do well, and where you might have a gap in your knowledge or technique. Then, they find an exercise or etude that addresses that particular thing.
They went through this themselves as students, so they totally understand nervous self consciousness. Your job is to listen carefully to how they tell you to do the exercise and try to the best of your ability to do it. If after the lesson, you have particular difficulty, make a note of what was hard and what was easy. Then you can tell your teacher at the next lesson how things went when you were practicing on your own.

Most of all....have fun! Be able to accept that you may not be able to do something on the first try and keep a good sense of humor about yourself and the learning process.
:-D
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Mollbarre
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:42 am

I never even thought about worrying about all that! At yesterday's lesson (only my 2nd - on guitar) I came mostly with random questions. Got those answered - and am forging ahead with that information!

That's mostly what I do at any lesson - work on technique - get questions answered....

My guitar instructor is young enough to be my daughter - awesome! I'm almost as proud of her as I am of my own kids! :D
She's a knowledgeable, talented musician.
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guitarist_le
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by guitarist_le » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:50 am

CathyCate wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:23 am
A lot will depend on your teacher. I suggest that you prepare a few pieces, scales and exercises to play upon request. Whether or not you use them in the initial encounter, this will give you something constructive to do while you are waiting for your lessons to begin.

For this fresh start and to show your guitar in its best light, change your strings soon enough to break them in.

Take a few moments to makes some lists. Write down your goals. What do you want to accomplish this month, this year, as a musician etc.? Try to be as specific as your imagination will allow. If there are any pieces you want to learn someday soon or even way into the future, share that information as well. That will make for interesting conversation and help your new teacher design a helpful roadmap that connects your ability and talent with suitable and graded challenges along the way.

The age difference will not matter if you are able to establish a good line of communication.

Just be yourself, and it should soon be apparent whether or not you are compatible enough to establish a solid working relationship. You seem like a good student off to a great start, because you care a lot. All the best!
Thanks so much Cathy. Great idea! I do need to sit down and think about what I want from these lessons and where I wanna be in the future. I got a couple pieces down and ready to perform. I'm changing the strings on one guitar tonight but just in case they don't break in fast enough. I got a spare guitar :)

jscott
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by jscott » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:01 am

I don't think about 'performing' for my teacher--or at least I'm trying not to! Maybe I have this wrong. Mostly I play pieces that I'm working on with my teacher. It's understood that I won't have these in performance shape.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in my case at least, the relationship that I have with my teacher isn't at all the same as the relationship that a performer has with an audience. The expectations are entirely different--unless I was trying out a piece that I was going to perform for others in front of my teacher.

But again, others may disagree! I will sometimes play through a piece that we're working on as a starting point for the lesson. Maybe I SHOULD start thinking of this more in terms of performance...
location: Berkeley Ca.
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Lawler
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by Lawler » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:07 am

guitarist_le wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:30 pm
...I wanna hear how your first lessons went. :)
My first lessons are firmly in my mind. My teacher, John Griggs, was kind and skillful. The ideas I learned there have affected everything I've done since.
Thank you, Mr. Griggs.

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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by celestemcc » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:08 pm

Just expect that you'll be nervous! And don't worry, lessons are the place to make mistakes. We've *all* (ALL) experienced the "I played it perfectly at home!" phenomenon, lol. But your mistakes are a good thing, in your lesson. It tells your teacher what to focus on to help you improve. So you don't need to impress your teacher. With time you'll get much more comfortable playing in lessons. Remember too that this is the place for critique, so expect that you'll be corrected a lot. Some teachers give a lot of praise, some don't, so it's OK if the teacher doesn't do that. However, never should a teacher put you down, either, and the line can be fine between our own ego and realism. As someone said above, you'll soon find if you're compatible with your teacher. The most important thing, I think, is that the teacher adapt to your learning style. If you ask a question and you don't understand the answer, tell him or her. A good teacher will figure out a way to explain in a way you do understand. Have fun. Lessons are great, and so inspiring. I just had a lesson yesterday and I always come away with so much to learn, and excited about it all! Enjoy the process!
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by simonm » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:23 pm

My first lesson basically involved the teacher seeing what bad habits I'd learned over the years of teaching myself. There was next to no "music" in the first lesson. He showed me hand stretching exercises and spent time on getting my posture correct and explaining the whys and why nots of good posture (guitar angle in 3D, shoulders, arms, pains/injury). The we talked about objectives and that was the hour pretty much done. We got to the basics of reading sheet music in the second lesson. Time flies at a lesson.

If you have not done so already, certainly consider a guitar support or a strap.

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guitarist_le
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by guitarist_le » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:57 am

simonm wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:23 pm
My first lesson basically involved the teacher seeing what bad habits I'd learned over the years of teaching myself. There was next to no "music" in the first lesson. He showed me hand stretching exercises and spent time on getting my posture correct and explaining the whys and why nots of good posture (guitar angle in 3D, shoulders, arms, pains/injury). The we talked about objectives and that was the hour pretty much done. We got to the basics of reading sheet music in the second lesson. Time flies at a lesson.

If you have not done so already, certainly consider a guitar support or a strap.
Yes! I really wanna undo any bad habits I have and hope its not too late. I wanna tackle technique and position first. Get things set in stone and then start working on repitoire material. Classical guitar instructors are hard to find in my city, but Im eager to learn and make the best out these lessons. I hope he's ready for a learner. Nothing more I wanna do in life than to get profficient at this wonderful instrument!

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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:50 pm

Remember, you are auditioning him. He’s the one who should be nervous. Good advice about thinking about your goals, most admired performers, favorite pieces you’d like to play. But more importantly, can he take you where you want to go? What is his philosophy on teaching: just play pieces, just mind numbing drills, health mix of the two? Is that what you want to do? Does he control and direct you where you should go or just let you noodle through it? Rigorous or just fun? And is this the approach you want to follow? Can he connect you with peers? How does he give feedback? Positive, constructive, or negative, condescending and arrogant? Does he seem fun? Does he love teaching or is this just a gig to make money? Is he a skilled teacher or just shreds? Can he put things into words and demonstrate how to do it? Does he have a system? And finally, do you feel a connection?
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by celestemcc » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:32 pm

Yes! I really wanna undo any bad habits I have and hope its not too late.
Probably not; just expect that you may have to work a bit harder. On the other hand, some ergonomic corrections may feel so much better that you'll pick them up right away!
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chien buggle
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Re: First Face to Face Lessons

Post by chien buggle » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:57 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:50 pm
Remember, you are auditioning him. He’s the one who should be nervous. Good advice about thinking about your goals, most admired performers, favorite pieces you’d like to play. But more importantly, can he take you where you want to go? What is his philosophy on teaching: just play pieces, just mind numbing drills, health mix of the two? Is that what you want to do? Does he control and direct you where you should go or just let you noodle through it? Rigorous or just fun? And is this the approach you want to follow? Can he connect you with peers? How does he give feedback? Positive, constructive, or negative, condescending and arrogant? Does he seem fun? Does he love teaching or is this just a gig to make money? Is he a skilled teacher or just shreds? Can he put things into words and demonstrate how to do it? Does he have a system? And finally, do you feel a connection?
I would be very careful about thinking like this. The fact is that the OP is not qualified to assess the teacher. Beginning students are really not in a position to have an opinion on things like teaching philosophy. Also although I sometimes joke around too much with my students, whether a teacher is fun or not is really irrelevant.

Of course you must try to find a well qualified, teacher who is a good performer with plenty of experience teaching. However being open minded as a student is one of the most important things. If you go into lessons with the idea that you should be in control and you are only learning what you think is best, you will not be able to learn anything that contradicts your own opinions, which as a beginner, are not informed.

You should of course get along with your teacher but it's not a date. The real test is, are you learning? If the answer is no, then leave but if you like how your teacher plays and you're learning then stay on.

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