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Thread: No teachers in sight?

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    Junior Member mythil's Avatar
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    Default No teachers in sight?

    Well I posted a while ago, a long while ago about learning something new and so on.

    There are a few instruments I wanted to learn, I picked a few just in case no one in my area teaches my first choice.. However I've found that there are NO teachers of the instruments I want to learn anywhere near my area.

    Mandolin and other folk related instruments are RIGHT OUT, seriously I found one guy and he disappeared so I have no idea what to do.

    I've found Piano, Guitar and Violin teachers in my area but they don't really interest me.. No offense to those people who play them, I do like listening to them but I had a short list of folk like instruments I wanted to learn, but nothing..

    I don't suppose anyone has a suggestion of what I could do?

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Interactive on-line lessons with a qualified instructor. You need a decent (at least) audio and camera to do this, but there are teachers who work this way, especially to be able to reach people just like you.

    They can be far afield, the distance 'gone' by the nature of the internet, and will cost just about the same (no more, I would think) than going to a lesson in their studio(s).

    There is some loss, in that playing any instrument is physical, requiring a myriad of complex combined motions and nuance of those: the internet teacher cannot just tap your hand and re-position it, for example, but they can explain, show you and WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING. That is still invaluable, and the best it gets if you cannot find someone local.

    Past that, instrumentalist, teacher, who, I can be of no help at all. I'm sure your computer is again going to be very handy in researching that.

    Expect, please, best results with one lesson per week: if a beginner, a half-hour is usually optimal, later expanded to forty-five minutes or an hour.

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  4. #3
    Junior Member mythil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    Interactive on-line lessons with a qualified instructor. You need a decent (at least) audio and camera to do this, but there are teachers who work this way, especially to be able to reach people just like you.

    They can be far afield, the distance 'gone' by the nature of the internet, and will cost just about the same (no more, I would think) than going to a lesson in their studio(s).

    There is some loss, in that playing any instrument is physical, requiring a myriad of complex combined motions and nuance of those: the internet teacher cannot just tap your hand and re-position it, for example, but they can explain, show you and WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING. That is still invaluable, and the best it gets if you cannot find someone local.

    Past that, instrumentalist, teacher, who, I can be of no help at all. I'm sure your computer is again going to be very handy in researching that.

    Expect, please, best results with one lesson per week: if a beginner, a half-hour is usually optimal, later expanded to forty-five minutes or an hour.
    Thought about that. I've only found one website that does it but it only seems to work for people in the US.

    Another isn't exactly the same thing, you follow the videos, record your own and post them back to the guy who then critiques it, or something like that. Mike Marhsall thing.

    (EDIT) As a followup I have found one or two that are willing to teach via Skype. I've been told that it's not the best way of doing things but better than learning alone.
    Last edited by mythil; Jun-26-2013 at 00:14.

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of the limitations. If it were piano or violin, but noooooo you had to choose the mandolin (sweet-sounding instrument, imho.)

    Supervised learning vs. unsupervised DIY is a no brainer -- go for it.
    And best wishes for the best of luck, too.

    P.s. Along the way, get some classical technique, chops. They are invaluable, for any genre of music you could wish to do, including the genre you have not come up with yet.

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    Junior Member mythil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    Sorry to hear of the limitations. If it were piano or violin, but noooooo you had to choose the mandolin (sweet-sounding instrument, imho.)

    Supervised learning vs. unsupervised DIY is a no brainer -- go for it. And best wishes for the best of luck, too.
    I would love to learn the violin but too rich for my blood.. Seriously the good ones cost an arm and a leg.. With a mandolin/guitar you can get GREAT ones for a lot of money but a decent one is still fine.

    Actually I would love to learn the Violin but one instrument at a time

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    In my experience, distances, as thought of by Europeans, are proportionately considered "Far" where an American might commute the same "far" twice a day in each direction to and from their jobs. Within a 100 kilometer's radius of you are a number of other towns, city centers, more likely to have some teachers and general musical activity.

    Yes, it will add to expense, but a twice a month day trip, an outing, and a lesson might be the way to go.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythil View Post
    I would love to learn the violin but too rich for my blood.. Seriously the good ones cost an arm and a leg.. With a mandolin/guitar you can get GREAT ones for a lot of money but a decent one is still fine.

    Actually I would love to learn the Violin but one instrument at a time
    If you would love to learn the violin - so learn the violin!

    During the 45 years I did not play the violin, I often thought of returning, but I also considered the mandolin on the grounds that the string-system was the same but I wouldn't make the dying cat sound and would be able to practise without setting my teeth on edge. But then, following Taggart's glorious example of returning to his childhood instrument (in his case the piano), I *did* return to the violin, and it's been wonderful.

    I have several points to make.

    a) Violin has so many different repertoires to enjoy. I do folk & baroque/classical with my teacher but have also thought of klezmer & tango. There's also gypsy violin, jazz violin - any music you can think of, really. Which means that when you've progressed, you may more easily find other musicians to play with. Plus you have a lot of lovely repertoires to *listen* to and allow to 'feed in' to your playing.

    b) A starter violin costs very little (mine was £60) and I had a luthier put some good strings on it. It then sounded okay, and got mellower as the months progressed. I then got a slightly better one, but still did not 'break the bank' - £700, with the luthier setting it up again. I play the good one, Tiger Lily, daily and my first one, Bonnie, most days, and love the sound of both.

    c) It's usually much easier to find violin teachers than mandolin teachers. Online too, though I have a weekly lesson, just as PetrB suggested, half an hour at first, and now an hour. You can't beat it for motivating, let alone actual instruction.

    d) Since the strings are the same, I don't see why you couldn't do two instruments at once. Pianists regularly play an extra instrument.

    But if it's still the mandolin for you, I wish you all the best.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Jun-26-2013 at 08:23.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    I agree with petrb - depends how far you want to go. There are several good music teachers across the water on the isle of wight (I'm presuming you're in the UK!) including a couple specialising in folk. Google brought up several lists using things like "mandolin teachers portsmouth". There are a number of sites specialising in advertising music teachers and these can include links to their web sites.

    The guy here actually runs an Adult Ed Mandolin group as well as doing private lessons. OK it's up at Fordingbridge but ...

    Keep trying!
    Last edited by Taggart; Jun-26-2013 at 10:50.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Member Downbeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythil View Post
    Well I posted a while ago, a long while ago about learning something new and so on.

    There are a few instruments I wanted to learn, I picked a few just in case no one in my area teaches my first choice.. However I've found that there are NO teachers of the instruments I want to learn anywhere near my area.

    Mandolin and other folk related instruments are RIGHT OUT, seriously I found one guy and he disappeared so I have no idea what to do.

    I've found Piano, Guitar and Violin teachers in my area but they don't really interest me.. No offense to those people who play them, I do like listening to them but I had a short list of folk like instruments I wanted to learn, but nothing..

    I don't suppose anyone has a suggestion of what I could do?

    Alfred Brendel, a truely great pianst, was self-taught.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downbeat View Post
    Alfred Brendel, a truely great pianst, was self-taught.
    He describes himself that way because he didn't have a teacher at the conservatory or early-career stage. He had piano lessons from ages 6-16 and started his performing career at age 17.

    Full bio here
    www.alfredbrendel.com/lifeandcareer.php
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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  18. #11
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downbeat View Post
    Alfred Brendel, a truly great pianst, was self-taught.
    and Gershwin, Schoenberg, Elgar and Poulenc were all primarily self taught. And Horowitz played the piano with his fingers very flat, not curved... (for the scoop on Alfred Brendel,see Hreichgott's post #10, above.)

    In a piano seminar, one player was told by the master pianist to curve their fingers more -- the student's riposte came back that Horowitz played with his fingers flat. The counter riposte was "if you can play like Horowitz, I don't care how you position your fingers, but I wonder then why you're here."

    So if you are a Horowitz, a Gershwin, a Schoenberg, an Elgar or a Poulenc, go for teaching yourself. Just remember, teaching yourself is taking lessons from someone who knows nothing about that which you want to learn, and that teacher cannot properly answer any of your questions :-)

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Gershwin went through several piano teachers before being introduced to Charles Hambitzer by Jack Miller, the pianist in the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra.He later studied with the classical composer Rubin Goldmark and avant-garde composer-theorist Henry Cowell.

    Elgar's dad, apart from being a piano tuner was also a church organist and violinist. By the age of eight, Elgar was taking piano and violin lessons. His only formal musical training beyond piano and violin lessons from local teachers was more advanced violin studies with Adolf Pollitzer, during brief visits to London in 1877–78.

    Poulenc's mother, an amateur pianist, taught him to play. In 1914, he was introduced to the Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes. Poulenc became his pupil shortly afterwards and developed into a capable pianist.

    Schoenberg was largely self-taught. He took only counterpoint lessons with the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky.

    Still the point is clear - talent trumps teaching, but teaching helps talent.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    May be you can start learning yourself, until you find an apropriate teacher

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