changing teachers

Discussion in 'Ask Lynn Seaton' started by skipper, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. skipper


    Jun 9, 2006
    Dear Mr. Seaton,

    I began studying the upright bass 3 1/2 years ago from a very fine jazz bassist. Now at the age of 60, I am impatient to make greater progress; I feel that I have reached a plateau with my teacher. I understand my limitations and am not blaming him for my own inadequacies. Still, he is more a musician than a music pedagogue, and I think I might do better with someone who not only knows how to make music but how to explain clearly and methodically what he's doing.
    I recently contacted a well reputed bass teacher who lives at some distance from me, and he is willing to give me lessons once a month, and perhaps more often if I want. My plan is to continue with my current teacher but less frequently, i.e. twice a month instead of weekly. As a professor yourself, do you think having this kind of arrangement is musically counterproductive? Is there an ethical issue even though both teachers know what i'm doing? Is it better to choose one teacher and stick with him/her? I just want to advance as a devoted amateur, and right now I am fighting both frustration and discouragement.
    Thank you for helping me think through this matter.
  2. Lynn Seaton

    Lynn Seaton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Denton, TX
    I think that it is fine to go to a different teacher. There are many ways to approach learning and teaching. Getting a different perspective is good. It is also important to have a good rapport with your teacher and vise versa. If your current teacher is not working for you, go to someone else. Your concerns about ethics are noble, but don't worry about making a change. You said they both know, so your honesty would surely be appreciated by all. You might also consider going to a summer workshop in addition to lessons. I do one at UNT in June ( click on workshops. The info for next year is not posted yet, but you can still get some idea. ) and there are others all around the country including the Aebersold camp ( ).
    Good Luck,
  3. skipper


    Jun 9, 2006
    Dear Mr. Seaton,

    Thank you for your advice and for your speedy reply to my question.
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