How should string teachers approach an advanced adult pupil?

left hand

Understanding the physique and psyche of a new adult pupil should not be taken lightly, writes Pauline Harding

Over the past decade I have tried out a variety of violin teachers, and each has been very different from the last. Some have been enlightening and supportive; others have been off-putting and negligent. One even said (drunkenly) in a first lesson, ‘Well, you’re never going to be a soloist.’ His other words were not much more encouraging and I soon lost the will to practise. Other teachers, however, have given me a buzz that has lasted for weeks. Collectively they have made me wonder: what is the best way to approach an advanced adult pupil?

Of course, every student has his or her own peculiarities and it is unreasonable to expect any teacher, no matter how perceptive, to identify all of these within a few minutes – even a few...

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