How long have you been taking harp lessons? Do you know how long you will continue to take lessons?
Rod- I think there’s a difference between professionals and amateurs on the issue of lessons. Professionals, or students who are on the track to become professional, should take lessons until they have developed an advanced technique and understanding of repertoire, period style, musical expression, etc. After that they can work occasionally with a teacher, particularly one who specializes in what they want, like orchestra parts or competition repertoire and preparation. But the bottom line with professionals is still a well developed and advanced technique.
Amateurs(and I’m not using that term in a derogatory way), are playing the instrument more or less as a hobby and purely for fun. They will probably need a teacher to help them with every piece that they are ever going to learn. They are also going to develop their technique much slower than a student on the professional track, if only because they don’t have the 4 or 5 hours a day to practice. For both amateurs and professionals, going regularly to a teacher can be a huge help in learning new repertoire, just because it supplies deadlines(the next lesson) for getting things done. Without that even professionals can drag and dawdle on getting new pieces learned and finished.
Deb- Maybe I’m assuming too much in my previous post. But a professional or student on a professional track should have studied technique in particular very intensely and for a long period of time. Such a person has learned a lot of repertoire at all levels and so should have a very well rounded technique with lots of experience at every possible problem that could come up. An amateur, be it an adult beginner or a child just taking lessons, has not covered that amount of repertoire nor learned that level of technical skill and so will encounter problems with almost every piece they work on. Unless the person’s teacher has focused on learning technique and has made rigorous use of etudes and exercises, giving the student a complete technique at a given level, I find that most students can play certain things at a given level well but not everything at that level.
Another way of stating it is that when a student has studied (well) for a long enough time, their technique and musical understanding are so complete that they no longer have to think about it. That’s probably the point when they no longer need a teacher, at least for weekly lessons.
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