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Letting off steam...

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Those of you that know me via FB will know I am somewhat discomfited this morning... For about a month now I have been trying to find a new music teacher (not for cello or sax). It is proving challenging to say the least... One problem is that living in North Shropshire, there are no local music shops, the nearest are in Chester and Shrewsbury, both about 25 miles away. Music shops usually have info about local teachers... but not much for round here...

So, this leaves word of mouth and internet searches. I do know some people with local contacts, but the people they've contacted aren't replying...

So, that means using musicteachers.co.uk - which does list about 15, one of whom is local in town, the others are all 20+ miles away. So...

#1 The local guy. Doesn't return my phone messages or e-mail.
#2 About 25 miles away. I have been to see him. Seems to be a bit of a genericist, doesn't specialise in my instrument (I've previously had problems with this on cello being taught as a youngster by a violin teacher). I also appear to know rathe more music theory than they do. Not convinced I'm going to get the technique drills and info that I want...
#3 I approached before #2. He seems to be a specialist. Took him nearly 10 days to reply to my e-mail. He then decided he couldn't see me straight away as he was preparing for a wedding gig... so a delay of 10 days and a promise of a call last Friday to fix a date. No call. He eventually calls on Monday and we fix a lesson for today at midday, since I am off this week, the choice was entirely his, not mine. Text at 10.30 this morning, 'Sorry about the short notice...'. Errm, sorry but I just don't get this. This teacher's web site is full of rules and T&Cs about lesson bookings and non refundable fees paid in advance... One way process?

I know (since I know many) that the music teaching profession is pretty tough adn that it can be hard to develop a business that functions and generates reliable income. And I have seen (mostly elsewhere) teachers woes... That facet is well publicised, this other side less well so. Most of us no longer work in the towns in which we live, we no longer work a fixed 9-5, we travel a lot (my daily commute is nearly 70 miles), scheduling is not easy. I work as an IT solution architect, I design computer systems. Sometimes the hours are long, I sometimes have to trundle down to London, occasionally abroad. I book stuff and do my best to avoid work clashing with it - most of the time it works out.

This is a fundamental lack of respect for my time. Looks like I need to look for another one...
 

Colin the Bear

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I'd stick with the guy. He sounds interesting. See if you can strike up a relationship. You'll need to be flexible and a little less rushed. We don't all live at the same pace. You're not important to him yet. He sounds very sensitive and a little erratic.

As you progress your needs from a teacher will more specific and probably more artistic than technical. It gets hard to find a teacher that knows more than you and will lead you where you want to go. Top line players are more artist than businessman. A top line player willing to teach is rare. Give it another go. He may not be what you want but he may be what you need.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Well CtB you may be right, he does seem to be a performer. I'll see what happens. It's just I'm a busy guy and it's not easy to fit stuff in at times
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Sounds like a culture clash between an otherworldly musician and a corporate IT professional.

I think you will have to accept that the teacher's attitude to life may be different to yours. It would annoy me too (I've also worked in corporate computing land), but it could still be worth going for a lesson to see what he is like, especially since you are having difficulty finding a good teacher. If he is inspiring, then you may decide it's worth putting up with bad time management, but if he is not, then no need to bother.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
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10,279
Text at 10.30 this morning, 'Sorry about the short notice...'. Errm, sorry but I just don't get this. This teacher's web site is full of rules and T&Cs about lesson bookings and non refundable fees paid in advance... One way process?
Pet hate of mine :mad: you can't drop them but they can drop you !
 

BigMartin

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Sounds really unprofessional to me. If he's that careless about scheduling a time for you, how much thought is he going to put into your lessons and developing a learning programme for you? I've known a few musicians that "taught" to make a few extra bucks but didn't care about or have any respect for their students. I take it Manchester is too far for convenience?
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Thanks @BigMartin - I'd prefer to avoid Manchester/Liverpool as basically that's 50 miles each way, but I may have to reconsider that...
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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Since you seem to know what you want...
About cello and saxophone look at a professional performer. Better once a month with a top teacher than weekly with a fraudster. My last teacher used to give me two months worth of homework.
This does not work if you need things like posture or embouchure regularly.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Maybe it's the nature of me and what I do - I like things to be structured and ordered. I'm good at organising and planning things - even big complex ones. I'm good at taking systems apart and coming up with a better way of doing them. I'm good at analysing a problem and turning it into a computer system. I'm not good at make-it-up-as-we-go-along or disorganisation (no doubt there is an -ism, -itis, or -ology to describe that...)
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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You are being rather coy about what instrument or genre we are talking about.
 

Colin the Bear

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@tenorviol We are who we are and we need what we need. No need to apologise for being yourself. We're all different. I only meant to point out that disorganised people can be very interesting if a little frustrating. You seem to have got the theory under your belt and have several outlets for playing. Maybe the next step will be personal development and not a technical one. I don't think it can all be taught. A lot of it comes from inside. For me I get quite an education by playing with experienced players but I think you're after something more formal.
 

jonf

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Tenorviol, I think you have every right to be irritated. It drives me nuts when I get let down by people, particuarly when they expect me to be reliable for them. The line "I'm really sorry but I'm very busy" grates in particular. What the **** do these people think I'm doing, just sitting around waiting, doing nothing?
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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I'm probably rather grumpy - it's two weeks today since my second eye operation. I still have a lot of constraints on what I can and can't do. Reading is a struggle as I will need reading glasses, but they are a number of weeks away... I can drive, but I can't do anything strenuous for another 2 weeks. So, no gardening and a planned hill walk this weekend is off the agenda. I can play sax and cello, but not for too long because of the reading probs (I struggled with last weekend's concert).

Long story short, I was looking forward to today, as I've had a very boring fortnight of not doing much, which is probably why I got so grumpy. Still am as the rest of the weekend is looking singularly uninteresting :confused:
 
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