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Jun 9, 2022 - 6:32:54 AM
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10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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Yep...A few years ago a young woman took Banjo lessons from me. She was pretty good...and decided that she wanted to ride/camp with us at Clifftop.. The first day there she showed interest in fiddling having watched me work with some beginners.  SHe had never played a fiddle before.   We left Clifftop  7 days later and on the day we left, this young woman could play the C tune, "16 days 'till Georgia'', in tune, on time and up to speed........I was sure that "I'm the best fiddle teacher there is." I was so impressed with my teaching ability that I GAVE the young woman a fiddle..(true story.. I have witnesses)
Soon thereafter, I met John.. John was about 60 and wanted to play a fiddle his entire life.. After TWO LOONG years of lessons, John could barely play a scale.. Literally, and he practiced EVERY DAY... After that I was sure that "I'm the worst fiddle teacher there is."
My point is that it is easy for me to be an armchair fiddle teacher.. That is, I can tell an instructor how to teach another from the vantage point of just 'knowing' how to teach. I have to remind myself of the variables.. Skill of student, age of student, past experience of student, physical limitations of student, yada, yada...
Teaching can be humbling.. except when I"m in my armchairlaugh

Have your teaching encounters ever humbled you??

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/09/2022 06:34:31

Jun 9, 2022 - 9:32 AM
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boxbow

USA

2745 posts since 2/3/2011

A few years ago a friend asked me if I could teach his daughter a tune that I had played with him. She was about 9-10 at the time and played her violin in a school program. So she could read sheet music and in the end I gave her my hand-written sheet music for the tune. But the humbling part was watching her learn a fiddle tune by ear for the very first time. I witnessed a true force of nature, quite literally. She worked at it, sure, she seemed to be of the formidably focused sort, and she'd already had training to operate her instrument, but I felt that I was watching genuine magic in action. All I had to do was give her a source to listen to in bite sized bits as you do and then we played it with enough repetition for her to go on with the sheet music on her own. Did I ever have that ability? It sure doesn't wok that way any more.

Jun 9, 2022 - 10:54:50 AM
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DougD

USA

10973 posts since 12/2/2007
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I haven't done that much teaching, but I suspect success has a lot more to do with the ability of the student than the skill of the instructor.

Jun 9, 2022 - 11:14:42 AM
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10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by boxbow

A few years ago a friend asked me if I could teach his daughter a tune that I had played with him. She was about 9-10 at the time and played her violin in a school program. So she could read sheet music and in the end I gave her my hand-written sheet music for the tune. But the humbling part was watching her learn a fiddle tune by ear for the very first time. I witnessed a true force of nature, quite literally. She worked at it, sure, she seemed to be of the formidably focused sort, and she'd already had training to operate her instrument, but I felt that I was watching genuine magic in action. All I had to do was give her a source to listen to in bite sized bits as you do and then we played it with enough repetition for her to go on with the sheet music on her own. Did I ever have that ability? It sure doesn't wok that way any more.


You might recall that I had a similar experience when I showed my granddaughter some fiddle stuff.. She could duplicate it right away... of course she has 8 years of Suzuki under her belt!!  

Jun 9, 2022 - 11:31:44 AM

2870 posts since 10/22/2007

I've found if a person is enamored to the point of believing in magic, that person is difficult to teach. If a person believes most anything is possible. After all music as well as the instruments were created by mortal humans. This type is receptive to guidance. Because in reality we all teach ourselves. Nobody lives in total isolation, the student is responsible for absorbing guidance. I've assisted a few learning guitar, bass, and applicable music theory.

The late Fiddlepogo was right in his assessment to learning to play fiddle. Apart from the very basics, it's like learning to pet a cat. This brings us back to the top. You really have to want to learn.

Jun 9, 2022 - 11:46:49 AM
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2070 posts since 4/6/2014

I have given a few tips to pals who ask (sometimes amazingly successfully). But i wouldn't dare to try to teach anyone who showed any talent (especially young folk). i do enjoy watching folks talent developing though. And try to support them in any way i can, such as tentatively trying to steer them away from any typical pitfalls that i know of. But if i fail in that, they will learn from their own mistakes anyway, or just give up and do something else.

For example, a young lass who had only just learned 3 chords on the guitar, wrote and performed a song that she had written for her mothers birthday, she sung it to her at one of our parties. Their wasn't a dry eye in the house. Natural talent is so beautiful, fragile, and humbling.

Edited by - pete_fiddle on 06/09/2022 11:50:51

Jun 9, 2022 - 12:58:47 PM
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10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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Yes, Pete... My OP is meant to point out that it is not necessarily the instructor who should get credit for an amazing student, nor should the instructor be considered a failure if a student can't seem to learn.. Then, there are the myriad cases between.! What I learned giving free lessons at Clifftop to whoever showed up was that Given any level of skill, there is often that ONE NEXT THING that a student doesn't  know they need to learn.. and if they get that ONE little bit of new knowledge it can catapult their playing.. to new levels.. Sometimes I was able to identify that thing....(sometimes not)...I know that that is what happened to me more than once over the years.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/09/2022 13:10:09

Jun 26, 2022 - 9:19:19 AM
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10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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This comment also elaborates on my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored.. Here is what happened:

A twelve year old boy brought a fiddle to a public jam at the Indiana Fiddler's Gathering.. He couldn't play any tunes, but could just do some random bow stuff that his grandmother taught him.. So I snatched him away from the jam and gave him some one-on-one training.. In twenty minutes he could play Cluck Old Hen.. He left. Later, in the afternoon, he came to my canopy and I taught him Tater' Patch.. I taught him the Nashville shuffle,  two string  techniques  and some bow cadence techniques.. all of which he soaked up. I even got a guitar player to play with him and me and we had a little two tune jam.. He was SO excited. He was a 'natural'. It wasn't just my teaching, he Wanted to LEARN.. That is what it takes.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/26/2022 09:22:58

Jun 26, 2022 - 12:44:57 PM

1551 posts since 7/26/2015

The essence of Fiddle Hangout.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

 ...my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored..

Jun 26, 2022 - 12:55:57 PM

10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
The essence of Fiddle Hangout.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

 ...my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored..


laughYes.. and yet, at the festival some of us were commenting  that THIS Hangout is probably the most polite of all... Advice here is worth what we pay for it!!!!laugh

Jun 26, 2022 - 1:00:55 PM

1551 posts since 7/26/2015

I think, as a whole, the other pickers are tired of reading/listening to fiddlers/violinists talking. 
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
The essence of Fiddle Hangout.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

 ...my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored..


laughYes.. and yet, at the festival some of us were commenting  that THIS Hangout is probably the most polite of all... Advice here is worth what we pay for it!!!!laugh


Jun 26, 2022 - 1:05:03 PM

10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
I think, as a whole, the other pickers are tired of reading/listening to fiddlers/violinists talking. 
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
The essence of Fiddle Hangout.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

 ...my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored..


laughYes.. and yet, at the festival some of us were commenting  that THIS Hangout is probably the most polite of all... Advice here is worth what we pay for it!!!!laugh


 


Daniel, I'm not sure what you mean by that.. could you elaborate?

Jun 26, 2022 - 1:45:45 PM

1551 posts since 7/26/2015

Among people in Old-Time, Bluegrass, and Country whose primary instrument is not the violin, fiddlers and violinists often have a reputation of giving unsolicited opinions ad nauseam. 
/Everybody tellin' how the tune should go,/ where it came from and the right way to bow. Why don'tcha/ mind your own business? (mind your own business)/ mind your own business (mind your own business)./If you mind your business, you'll be fiddlin' all the time./ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd0uQJLUElE
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
I think, as a whole, the other pickers are tired of reading/listening to fiddlers/violinists talking. 
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
The essence of Fiddle Hangout.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

 ...my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored..


laughYes.. and yet, at the festival some of us were commenting  that THIS Hangout is probably the most polite of all... Advice here is worth what we pay for it!!!!laugh


 


Daniel, I'm not sure what you mean by that.. could you elaborate?

 


Jun 26, 2022 - 1:49:45 PM

10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
Among people in Old-Time, Bluegrass, and Country whose primary instrument is not the violin, fiddlers and violinists often have a reputation of giving unsolicited opinions ad nauseam. 
/Everybody tellin' how the tune should go,/ where it came from and the right way to bow. Why don'tcha/ mind your own business? (mind your own business)/ mind your own business (mind your own business)./If you mind your business, you'll be fiddlin' all the time./ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd0uQJLUElE
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
I think, as a whole, the other pickers are tired of reading/listening to fiddlers/violinists talking. 
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
The essence of Fiddle Hangout.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

 ...my habit of APPROACHING people to see if I can help them with their fiddling..I got a few "mind your own business'' suggestions....which I ignored..


laughYes.. and yet, at the festival some of us were commenting  that THIS Hangout is probably the most polite of all... Advice here is worth what we pay for it!!!!laugh


 


Daniel, I'm not sure what you mean by that.. could you elaborate?

 


 


I get it.. ... I'm very careful who I approach and have not usually been out of line except ONCE...The husband of the lady said to me, "Good luck trying to give her advice", and no, she didn't want any... Should have minded my own businessfrownlaughcheeky "Live and DON'T learn", that is my motto.. Hey will you be at Clifftop this year?

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/26/2022 13:51:11

Jun 26, 2022 - 3:40:31 PM

2870 posts since 10/22/2007

I couldn't follow this discussion because some additions were added to the top, and some were added to the bottom.

Jun 26, 2022 - 4:08:11 PM
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10728 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

I couldn't follow this discussion because some additions were added to the top, and some were added to the bottom.


You may need to download the "Hangout Keep-up" Appwink

Jun 27, 2022 - 12:05:40 AM
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1551 posts since 7/26/2015

This is ALSO the essence of Fiddle Hangout. 
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

I couldn't follow this discussion because some additions were added to the top, and some were added to the bottom.


Jun 27, 2022 - 8:26 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1087 posts since 6/22/2016

Like most people who teach, presumably, I've had many 'students' who would come for one or two lessons, then disappear. Some of them had obvious potential; some, not so much. I had one who stayed with me for years and became, to my mind, quite a good fiddler. Anyway, it was humbling for me to take her to a fiddle workshop once, and, sitting beside her, to realize that she was picking up the tune the instructor was teaching much faster than I was. Although I did teach her largely by ear, I don't think this aspect of her ability had anything to do with me; she just had a better ear by nature, IMHO.

Nov 1, 2022 - 10:26:28 AM

39 posts since 9/22/2021

I feel your pain. I think I've learned just as much as my students. Especially since I never got taught to teach.

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