Everyone has their own goals, but most of the time, you can tell that the adult starter has serious gaps in their technique (myself included!). Whether they care about those gaps is another story. I'm not trying to become a professional, but I want to be able to play alongside them.
It's OK not to understand your student, but if you are the teacher, I believe it's your job to try.
Before I knew it, a very long time had passed since I last posted. I have about 20 posts saved as drafts, but when you are chronicling a journey sometimes the events change faster than the time to type will allow. The good news is that I have continued to practice diligently, and I am … Continue reading Oh 2020…
My daughter asked me this - she's almost 7. I started when she was about 3. To her, she has no memory of not having a mother who plays the violin.
One time, when my daughter was about 4, I left a can of bug spray by my violin. That was not smart. She pressed the button and covered the varnish with hundreds of little spray marks. I discovered it way too late to save the varnish.
In my first few weeks of playing, I distinctly remember feeling dizzy and sometimes even a bit nauseous from the strain of standing for long periods of time with my arms held aloft (25 whole minutes), struggling to concentrate on a thousand different things that all felt like patting my head and rubbing my stomach. It felt impossible to focus on any one aspect of the physical or mental experience for long. When I did manage to focus on something, I completely lost the ability to maintain awareness of anything else.
I remember vividly that the burning question in my mind wasn't so much about nature (talent) vs. nurture (practice), but about child starter vs. adult starter. This, in itself, is a nature vs. nurture debate. What kind of goal should an adult have? What kind of goal could an adult even have? Are adult goals OK to have?
I walked out of the store much closer to becoming an adult starter violinist than I was when I walked in, and the feeling was elation. It finally felt like things were coming together for me to have a real shot at learning to play the violin.
I don't know exactly when I began to feel guilty and stupid for wanting to pursue something purely for my own enrichment. But I knew I had to fix that.
There are a lot of Why's to explore within myself. Why Violin? Why Now? Why Write about and share it? Why add something like this to my plate?