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Differences between amateurs and others

Discussion in 'Ask Patrick Neher [Archive]' started by Andy Mopley, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Hi Patrick

    how do you tend to approach teaching for an amateur (like myself) versus the more serious students - and by serious I mean someone majoring in DB for example.
    As an amateur I have limited practice time, (about 1 hour/day) and given the multiple aspects of DB playing, I find myself jumping from etudes to orchestral pieces to bowng techniques feeling like a jack of all trades (but master of none!) What would a typical teaching period (say over 1 year) include in your approach to an amateur student aspiring to play at a comminity orchestra type level?

    Thank you
  2. PNeher


    Mar 31, 2005
    Bellingham, WA
    Sorry it took so long to get to your thread. Been a busy start to the semester.
    I expect my students to be dedicated to learning how to play the bass to the level of expectation they have for themselves. Each student is different, physically, cognitively, with regard to the type, shape and quality of instrument they own, age, etc. etc. So, I try to determine what the goals of the student are, then create expectations that I believe align with their goals. So for an amateur player in a community orchestra, my expectations would be that they practice and progress every week. The amount of time each person spends on this learning process is different. One must stay challenged, I believe, in order to progress. So, if a student is not self-motivated to challenge him/herself, I have various "motivating" exercises, and repertory, etc.
    So, your question has no simple and easy answer. If you are concerned that YOU are not practicing enough to progress enough to meet your expectations, then, duh!, you need to do more practicing. AND you need to CONCENTRATE intensely on the details that you are trying to improve. Many people practice without accomplishing anything. Have a practice goal each time; an accomplishment that will make you feel that the work was worthwhile and justified. Each accomplishment will build upon the next, and pretty soon you are playing Mozart 35th like a professional!

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