April 14, 2016 at 1:13 am #14887
I had an interesting conversation with my teacher tonight about teaching adult students. He said that a lot of adult students quit in the three to nine months range and a lot of teachers don’t like teaching adult students for that reason. His reasoning of why that happens is interesting. As a true adult beginner, we improve quickly and are quite happy when starting to play songs like Twinkle Twinkle and everyone is very supportive. Things start to change around the 3-6 month mark because we start hearing ourselves more and can start to notice the intonation issues and thus we start feeling that we move much slower. Also, adults tend to have responsibilities and families and the 30-60 minutes per day of practice required to become better can sometimes become an interference. Adults don’t have anyone to buy them candy or toys to keep them motivated. Due to these things and others, adults can become demotivated and quit playing.
Now, I just hit the 7 month mark this week (yay!) and I’ve definitely noticed some of these things myself. I can definitely hear more when I make a mistake and I definitely feel that progress has slowed. I’ve also had to make adjustments to my practice schedule to not cause issues hat home (ie, play 15 minutes, stop to help out, play for another 30 minutes, etc).
My question to you is: As an adult learner, how do you keep motivated? Do you have any fun tricks?
For me, some of the things I do to keep motivated are:
1. I have this site and a couple of Facebook groups. Although I haven’t been able to connect to this site from home for a month or two, I come on whenever I can.
2. I regularly listen to fiddle/violin music both on Youtube and Spotify.
3. I have weekly lessons to keep me honest.April 15, 2016 at 9:28 pm #14950
As an adult learner, a regular routine is important to keep me motivated, as is a variety of music. I switch between the Suzuki books, etudes (Wohlfahrt currently), scales (Hrimaly & Ritter-Stoessel), more general stuff (Whistler), our church hymnal, and some Irish and Christmas music, plus my target piece – Handel Sonata in A #3. And yes, lessons keep me focused on one thing for a week or two.April 24, 2016 at 10:29 am #15314
When I was young I was always pushing to improve. Never stopped to enjoy what I had already accomplished with my playing. The criticism was one thing that caused me to quit. It helps me to practice something that works on skills I am trying to learn then spend some time playing music purely for enjoyment or fun. Find pieces that I like to play, not just restricted to the instruction book series. For me that has been Christian music on the piano and maybe Christian and fiddle music on the violin until I can get back to playing well enough that I can enjoy my playing classical pieces. Work on skills but don’t obsess with perfection on music I don’t enjoy. When I get tired of even pieces I like, go on to something else and come back to it later. When practice deteriorates and it seems I am playing worse, take a break! Sometimes rest makes a huge difference and the next time I play I can progress. Be more patient with myself! Celebrate what I have accomplished instead of getting discouraged.April 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm #15374
Hi @anteros, one thing that helped me to stay motivated is (partly) removing the cause for me being not motivated. After playing 5 or 6 months I also started noticing that my tone wasn’t quite that beautiful and my intonation was not great. So I thought: “If those are the things that make me not want to practice, I should first get those right before moving on with other songs”. For two months I mostly did tone production exercises and I worked intensive on intonation. It wasn’t fun (at least not at first) but it was worth it. And now I’m much more motivated. Because now if I take on a new song, at least it will sound pretty good and with reasonably good intonation. And that’s what matters most to me. 🙂
Well, maybe this is not a fun trick like you asked in your post, but I think it’s very helpful. Let me know what you think?June 19, 2016 at 2:21 am #15674
For me it helps to pencil in the date that I start working on an exercise, etude, or piece of music. That way I can look back and see progress. I also get a kick out of my dog singing along which he does more when I do a good job of staying in tune and producing a nice tone. Might seem silly but I find it entertaining and positive feedback!June 19, 2016 at 10:40 am #15684
I write the date I start with a piece, etude down too! Ha yes I think it’s cool that you’re dog is singing along with you. 🙂June 20, 2016 at 5:45 pm #15711
Anteros, I think that would be a good thing to work on.
June 21, 2016 at 3:07 am #15726
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Christie Morehouse.
I first started playing in January 2016 and had no musical experience at all. I took private lessons for a while and then decided to use Michael’s course because the private lessons concentrated on songs only and not technique. Today I recorded my performance piece in Lesson 1 for the first time. I know that I have come a long way but it took about 20 attempts to finally be okay with the recording. This will be my motivation to continue practicing daily so I can improve. Hope this helps.June 21, 2016 at 11:58 am #15737
Hi Mary, that’s a great way to be motivated indeed! I do record myself very often too and it’s been very helpful. Did you post your recording somewhere on the forum? Would love to see it. 🙂June 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm #15774
Hi Anteros! This is a very interesting question… This is my month number 8, but I haven’t noticed a lack of motivation. Mostly the opposite. I begun with Suzuki book 1, complete the 2 also, and after that studies came (Wolfhart), Rieding op 35, Seitz n2, 3rd position… I take weekly lessons and my teacher is wonderful, relaxing me with the sound quality but working to improve it, and proposing beautiful pieces to work on it but (very important) leaving the piece at the right moment, or changing from one to another… not looking for perfection ;).
So having a good teacher is one of the keys for keeping motivation. At least in my short experience 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by boom34.
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Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 11 total)