Advice on retirement from private teaching.

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Larry McDonald
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Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Larry McDonald » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:16 pm

Hi,

After 45 years and 145,000 lessons, I have decided to close my studio for good. My last day is June 1st.

I'm finding that closing a successful studio is not so easy. There are the inevitable tears from students, disbelief, and even some anger. Some of my students have been with me for over a decade. There are a host of issues with which to deal, such as finances, health care, family support, and all that. It's going to be hard to let go and even harder to fill my time. I retired from my University position a few years ago (that was easy). This will be much harder.

It has been a great ride, though. I have several students who have become guitar teachers, a couple of professors, a few became working composers, and several music theory instructors. I even have one who became a professional conductor. I'm proud of them all. I have a superb replacement ready to go -right in my conservatory building- (Dr. Maxim Anisimov).

I've also retired from the stage. I've toured the world and have heard my music played in the greatest venues, including the Vatican, and Notre Dame -two of the greatest thrills of my career. It is time to make room for someone younger -and better looking!

I will continue to write books and compose music. I have a bunch of dusty requests for pieces that I need to write.

This isn't goodbye. I will still be the same thorn-in-the-side contrarian haunting Mr Delcamp's forum.

So, I'm going through this studio killing process. I probably could have sold my business for a few dollars but I decided that I didn't want the trouble. It's going to be hard to let go, and hard fill my time. If any of you have done this and have some advice, don't hesitate.

All the best,
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2018 Michael Thames "Ancient Dragon" Cd/Ir
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar and Theory Instructor

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Kent
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Kent » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:21 pm

Congratulations on your accomplishments and your decision to move on.
A perfect time of year to close shop in the Milwaukee area!
Because you always have the option to teach again, the pressure is off. Enjoy the new way you look at the guitar. I am sure it will be great.

tcrist
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by tcrist » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:43 pm

Sounds like a great career, Lare. Congratulations!

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George Crocket
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by George Crocket » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:03 pm

Congratulations on all your achievements over the years. I think retirement is the icing on the cake. Quit while you are ahead!

It is difficult to give up what we have loved for most of our lives. Doing it in stages is a great way to manage it. You have already successfully managed some of that. You think it is time for the next stage - great! You still intend to write and compose - fantastic. And continuing to contribute to Delcamp - your contributions are very welcome, and I am sure your future contributions will be just as welcome. It looks as if you have plans to keep quite busy. I see that as essential. A busy retirement is the surest way to a healthy and long-lasting retirement. I wish you all the best.
George
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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:53 pm

Now on a site made up largely of old farts who rediscovered guitar in retirement because now we have the time to do it, you’re retiring from guitar, sort of. Your insights should be interesting and unique. Congratulations. Don’t leave us now!
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
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bacsidoan
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by bacsidoan » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:08 am

Congratulations! I have certainly learned a lot from your posts. I can imagine that some of your students will have felt despondent from losing a good teacher, but life goes on, and you have earned the right to retire.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:24 am

Well done, Larry. That's a big contribution to the guitar world. I teach for a living, and imagine I will never fully retire, teaching a few select students to supplement my meagre pension...if I live that long - another eight years before I hit retirement age. Good luck!

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Tom Poore
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Tom Poore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:39 am

One can never fully gauge the effect of a teacher on the lives of students. But doubtless yours has been worthy. Good luck on your new path. May it bring you much joy.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Dofpic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:42 am

Great Career Lare!
2006 Greg Byers(fan)2009 Eric Monrad(maple) 2018 Simon Ambridge Model 40 Satinwood. 2003 Tacchi Simplcio satinwood 2017 E. Bottelli 52 Hauser, 2002 Jeff Elliott spruce, 2017 Richard Reynoso, spruce/maple, 2015 Herman Hauser III(Cedar)

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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by SleepyheadRooster » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:50 am

If my math is correct, 145,000 lessons is an average of roughly 62 lessons per week for 45 years with no vacations factored in. (I hope you took a few vacations!) That is incredible, and it puts any mention of 10,000 hours to shame.

I enjoy your comments here. Congratulations! I wish you the best in your retirement. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy music as much as ever.
Best,
Chuck

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Larry McDonald » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:13 am

SleepyheadRooster wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:50 am
If my math is correct, 145,000 lessons is an average of roughly 62 lessons per week for 45 years with no vacations factored in. (I hope you took a few vacations!) That is incredible, and it puts any mention of 10,000 hours to shame.

I enjoy your comments here. Congratulations! I wish you the best in your retirement. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy music as much as ever.
That number is about right. I always thought of my teaching job as a 40 hour work week, which made it seem so much more preferable than my first job (I was a janitor in my teens; good honest work). I normally gave 75-85 lessons a week for much of my career. I even hit 90+ at one point in 2003-4, but it was too much and I was in danger of burning out. I really slacked off over the last three years or so... only about 20 to 30 lessons a week.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words.

Lare
P.S. I have a buddy who gave over 90 lessons a week for 49 years. Yikes.
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2018 Michael Thames "Ancient Dragon" Cd/Ir
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar and Theory Instructor

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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by CathyCate » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:39 pm

Congratulations on your "retirement".
I enjoy your posts, so please continue to contribute and share your wisdom here on the forum. My guess is that you will enjoy your new flexible schedule and the freedom to rest and relax as you well deserve. Your muse did not resign and your creative core is intact, so you'll be as busy as ever doing all the things you really Want to do. All the best! :bravo:
Cathy
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oski79
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by oski79 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:05 pm

Larry; You've earned a happy and healthy retirement. Kudos to you for your contributions to the music world.
“People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” --Florence Foster Jenkins

Terpfan
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by Terpfan » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:01 am

I don't know why you would completely retire?? I would at least teach people I enjoy being with. Although I've never taught before.

William Byrd
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Re: Advice on retirement from private teaching.

Post by William Byrd » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:23 am

Congratulations on all of your achievements. Please feel free to weigh in from time to time on the lesson forums. I for one would greatly appreciate any insights and advice you could provide.

Bill
1964 Shinano No 83
1981 Asturias
2010 Hiroshi Komori No 35

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