The Good Things in Life > Random acts of kindness and grace

Rhythm help from across the Ocean

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Even though it may be difficult, I too, recommend you to find a new teacher. I've been learning the alto sax (and started tenor recently) for a few years off and on. The 'off and on' was due to DH's father being diagnosed with cancer when he was in the last stages of AD, a month after I started lessons. The teacher was recommended by the music store, and he is a regular at jazz clubs in Kobe, so I was excited to be learning from him.  FIL went downhill rapidly and was gone 4 months after I began my lessons. Buddhists mourn for 49 days and during the 49 days it's practically an open house daily from 9-6 with relatives dropping by all the time.

The first time I suspected that he was not going to work out was when I told him lessons were going to be difficult during the 49 days as MIL was not handling things well. He blew up....I attributed it to some cultural thing I was not aware of, having never studied music here. I continued although exhausted much of the time.

The 49 days were over, but it was apparent that MIL too was headed down the road of dementia. I did my best to keep lesson appointments, but wasn't getting in all the practice time I should have. There was a lot of mumbled complaining during lessons when I wasn't quick enough, and I tried harder.

The final blow came when I hadn't learned a new piece in 10 days. Now I look at that sheet music and wonder why, but I couldn't get it into my head (it's 'All Alone')  and he yelled at me that I was an embarrassment as a student, and 'don't tell anyone you are taught by me'. I drove home blindly, threw up my lunch and quit.

Anyway, fast forward 3 years and DH tells me he knows someone who plays in Kobe in the evenings who's looking for a student, and I met my present teacher. He's laid back, doesn't jump all over me when I make mistakes, he trusts me to notice and fix it the next time around, sometimes goofs himself, and is much easier to be around. I've made great progress in just a year (if I may say so myself  :P)

A good teacher is everything! as artk2002 said

"Learning music should be a joy not an exercise in misery."

and I agree wholeheartedly.


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