Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
KestrelPi
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:39 am
Location: London, UK

Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Post by KestrelPi » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:07 pm

After getting back into the classical guitar lately I started looking back on my tuition during my teens.

In particular the very early tuition I did at a local music school. I wasn't the best student - I never practiced enough, but I had enough musical ability in general that I managed to cover for it and make progress regardless. But even so my teacher was always reluctant to put me forward for grades, and so I really had no way of understanding how far I'd come and also nothing to stretch myself to work towards, so my progress was slow.

The main thing I remember about that first few years was him playing Lauro's 2nd Venezuelan Waltz at the start of most sessions. Perhaps to warm up, motivate me, or just show off a bit, I was never quite sure.

We finally switched teacher, and by the time I did it turned out he was happy for me to start working towards Grade 5 as my first exam. I much preferred this teacher, it felt like much more of a collaborative process to learn and I stuck with him until leaving for university.

When I was at school studying for my Grade 8 exam, years later, the old teacher came into the music room. I spotted him out of the corner of my eye. I hadn't seen him in perhaps 4 or 5 years when he wouldn't even put me forward for Grade 3, so I switched up to playing that Lauro Waltz, which happened to be one of the exam pieces.

I'm still not certain if he recognised me or not, but I remember he stopped nearby to listen, then when I was finished said something like 'You should play it faster'. It seems that even then, nothing was good enough for this particular teacher :)

I wonder if anyone has any similar or differing stories...

Richwilly
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: South East London

Re: Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Post by Richwilly » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:04 pm

I still completely idolise my first teacher, George Zarb, decades after my last lesson with him. His passion, enthusiasm and encouragement were a huge influence on my life. Absolutely the right teacher at the right time for me.

When I moved house my next teacher, who I will not name, could not have been more different. He seemed miserable and insecure and spent much of my lesson time name dropping and running down all the other teachers and players in the area. In fact I would say my lessons were more about him than about developing my love of music. I stopped lessons after just 2 terms and did not touch the guitar for a few months.

Interestingly I am still in touch with some of his ex pupils who are earning their living (as am I) from the guitar who hold him in the highest regard. Clearly the right teacher at the right time for them, sadly it just didn't work out for me.
2009 Pablo Requena spruce
2013 David Rouse spruce 7 string
2016 David Rouse cedar

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muirtan
Posts: 1173
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:00 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Post by muirtan » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:45 pm

My first teacher was brilliant and if I lived near enough ( not a 9 hour round trip) I'd probably go back and have some lessons with him. I do if I'm in the area. I only left because I went to uni and then developed joint problems. Fast forward 30 years and I had a couple of lessons with a local teacher very uninspiring but I then moved house again. The next teacher I had I stayed with for about 5 years mainly because I couldn't find anyone else locally. During the last year I felt I had grown out of her. I started looking around for someone who had the same background as my first teacher and did eventually, only a 2.5 hour round trip. The first 'trial' lesson was amazing. I've been with him ever since and can't envisage moving on.

I realise I was spoilt with my first teacher and very difficult for most teachers to match.

KestrelPi
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:39 am
Location: London, UK

Re: Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Post by KestrelPi » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:28 pm

Richwilly wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:04 pm
I still completely idolise my first teacher, George Zarb, decades after my last lesson with him. His passion, enthusiasm and encouragement were a huge influence on my life. Absolutely the right teacher at the right time for me.

When I moved house my next teacher, who I will not name, could not have been more different. He seemed miserable and insecure and spent much of my lesson time name dropping and running down all the other teachers and players in the area. In fact I would say my lessons were more about him than about developing my love of music. I stopped lessons after just 2 terms and did not touch the guitar for a few months.

Interestingly I am still in touch with some of his ex pupils who are earning their living (as am I) from the guitar who hold him in the highest regard. Clearly the right teacher at the right time for them, sadly it just didn't work out for me.
Goodness - from the sound of it I'm not sure I would have even lasted the 2 terms.

Slightly off-topic but I see you're SE London based as am I at the moment. I'm still pondering whether to go back to lessons (I think I'd benefit from a bit of private study until I get more confidence again) but I wondered if you knew anyone in the area who is recommendable. Or indeed any other good local tips for guitarists.

Freel
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:51 pm

Re: Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Post by Freel » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:56 pm

My hands started to really hurt, my development slowed down.
I never had pain before his teaching, I had never gotten stuck.

I admitted to myself that my first impression was right and that he wasn't musical and that a Doctorate from an expensive American School means nothing and I should ALWAYS trust my ears and respect my body.

D.

Richwilly
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: South East London

Re: Did you ever change teacher? Why?

Post by Richwilly » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:35 pm

KestrelPi wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:28 pm
Richwilly wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:04 pm
I still completely idolise my first teacher, George Zarb, decades after my last lesson with him. His passion, enthusiasm and encouragement were a huge influence on my life. Absolutely the right teacher at the right time for me.

When I moved house my next teacher, who I will not name, could not have been more different. He seemed miserable and insecure and spent much of my lesson time name dropping and running down all the other teachers and players in the area. In fact I would say my lessons were more about him than about developing my love of music. I stopped lessons after just 2 terms and did not touch the guitar for a few months.

Interestingly I am still in touch with some of his ex pupils who are earning their living (as am I) from the guitar who hold him in the highest regard. Clearly the right teacher at the right time for them, sadly it just didn't work out for me.
Goodness - from the sound of it I'm not sure I would have even lasted the 2 terms.

Slightly off-topic but I see you're SE London based as am I at the moment. I'm still pondering whether to go back to lessons (I think I'd benefit from a bit of private study until I get more confidence again) but I wondered if you knew anyone in the area who is recommendable. Or indeed any other good local tips for guitarists.
Drop me a PM outlining where you're at at the moment and I'll see what I can sort out for you. I am in the happy position of being fully booked at the moment but I'm sure I can point you towards someone who can help.

Just to clarify the second teacher I mentioned just wasn't right for me at the time and was probably just not in a very good place emotionally at the time.
2009 Pablo Requena spruce
2013 David Rouse spruce 7 string
2016 David Rouse cedar

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