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QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" #2257173
04/05/14 11:56 AM
04/05/14 11:56 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,916
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline OP
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If you take lessons, do you take lessons/your teacher give lessons year-round or not?

If you don't take lessons, do you intentionally take time off from your studies?

If you have time off, how many weeks?

A random week or two off for travel or illness wouldn't count as time off.


I'm taking lessons through a community college, so lessons are scheduled on a semester basis. My teacher takes the summer off. I signed up with another teacher for the summer, then will go back to the first teacher for the fall. Both teachers are with the community college and are fully aware that I'm filling in the summer semester with the second teacher, and will be back with the first for the fall semester.

I'm looking forward to "sampling" a different teacher for the summer. Should be interesting!

Last edited by Stubbie; 04/05/14 11:57 AM.

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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257206
04/05/14 01:25 PM
04/05/14 01:25 PM
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wouter79 Offline
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>If you take lessons, do you take lessons/your teacher give lessons year-round or not?

yes year-round lessons

>If you don't take lessons, do you intentionally take time off from your studies?

>If you have time off, how many weeks?
We plan them in as needed. Sometimes I take off, sometimes teacher takes off. Usual breaks are around christmas and in the summer break.


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257207
04/05/14 01:27 PM
04/05/14 01:27 PM
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malkin Offline
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Year 'round.

A week off here and there for other commitments.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257218
04/05/14 01:47 PM
04/05/14 01:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 591
Italy
torquenale Offline
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I'm teacher-less from mid-June to the beginning of October, but I'm also far from home July and August, and without a keyboard for about 3-4 weeks.
We use the last lesson before holiday to plan some activity for the period.


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257220
04/05/14 01:50 PM
04/05/14 01:50 PM
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I take them year-round. The longest break I had was two weeks, and it was disastrous--it took me twice as long to get back to where I'd been. However, this was fairly early in my learning to play.

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257224
04/05/14 02:05 PM
04/05/14 02:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 392
upstate NY
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I take lessons year round with some time off for vacations and holidays. My teacher schedules 46 lessons from September to the end of August so that gives both of us some time to take off. I missed 3 weeks last fall due to a 2 week vacation and then was sick when I returned. I find it really does affect me when I miss more than a week. I will not be seeing my regular teacher for 2 weeks this summer when I go to Summer Keys but I spend even more time practicing when there as well as a daily lesson.
Judy


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257239
04/05/14 02:34 PM
04/05/14 02:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
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I take lessons year around, two weeks off around Christmas, a week or so off in the summer, and then if I have a conference or something. I would guess I have a weekly lesson probably 45 weeks per year, and it has been like this almost the entire time I've been playing (about 15 years now). The only deviation from this was when we first moved back to the US and I didn't have a piano for about 5 months, then I had a piano but no lessons for probably another 5 months until I found a teacher.



Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257330
04/05/14 06:03 PM
04/05/14 06:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,763
Georgia, USA
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My teacher takes a break in June, July, and part of August. Roughly corresponds to the summer vacation for the school kids here in Georgia, USA. But I keep working during that time, on my own.

Sam

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257351
04/05/14 07:25 PM
04/05/14 07:25 PM
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I'm self taught, but then again, I never taught myself anything. Anyway, since I'm self taught, that makes me the teacher. As the teacher, I've decided to give my students [that being myself], a break for the summer. So I really don't get taught anything during the summer months. Then again, I don't get taught anything the rest of the year either.

Hmmm, now I'm confused.

Piano is hard!

Maybe I should just teach myself instead. That would probably be much easier but I'm not sure if I could afford it.

I'll start saving today.

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257385
04/05/14 08:49 PM
04/05/14 08:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
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rnaple Offline

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I have a teacher. We're open to taking time off. Don't have any planned. Don't have any reason to right now. Don't consider it an issue.

I did have a break between teachers. I confess I didn't do much. The teacher's guidance helps me a lot.

Good luck with your temporary teacher.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257388
04/05/14 08:59 PM
04/05/14 08:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,025
NH
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My teacher teaches two 16 week semesters from September to June. There are breaks that coincide with school vacations. There is more time off than I would like. She also teachers a sort of free-lance program in the summer. I will take a minimum of 8 lessons. And this summer the school is hosting a 5 week piano ensemble workshop. Even with the school vacation breaks, these are the most consistent lessons I have taken in a long, long time.


1918 Mason & Hamlin BB
1906 Mason & Hamlin Es
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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257466
04/06/14 01:02 AM
04/06/14 01:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,019
Brussels, Belgium
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Since my music school is part of the official school system, piano lesson breaks coincide with school vacations: two weeks around Christmas, the first week of March (we call it spring break, but it's not really spring then, yet), two weeks around Easter, eight weeks in the summer (July 1 to August 31), and the first week of November (that one's called fall break).

That's 14 weeks of breaks throughout the year, which theoretically leaves 38 yearly lessons. One or two more might be sacrificed to professional development for teachers, or an optional day off when Thursday is a national holiday so everyone can have a 4-day weekend. And then I missed 4 lessons due to illness, this year.

It has never occurred to me to continue lessons with a different teacher during the summer. If I really wanted to continue, I think I'd ask my teacher to give me private lessons. I know she used to do that occasionally, but I don't think she still does. And in a way, this arrangement suits me. Sometimes, I just need more than a week to get a piece to the point where I can somewhat confidently play it in front of my teacher. Quite a few of my lessons go to 'waste' because my preparation just isn't solid enough. And in the summer, I want to tackle "big" projects that will take a while to get there.

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257488
04/06/14 02:36 AM
04/06/14 02:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 190
New Zealand
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We used to stop for term breaks when I was learning as a kid.

Now on my own I just take it as I can, playing every day or second day. I don't deliberately take 'holidays' from playing. I don't want to backslide.


Inspired by Einaudi and Tiersen.
Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257497
04/06/14 03:20 AM
04/06/14 03:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,016
Italy
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Italy
Unfortunately my lessons stop in mid-June and then continue in mid-September, because the teacher works with the middle-school where the lessons are hold. Most of the students are kids, and there are just a handful of adults.

With my first teacher we worked through the summer, because we were independent of the school - but this one doesn't even live nearby. I hated the long break last year and will hate it again this year.


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257538
04/06/14 07:33 AM
04/06/14 07:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,349
south florida
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Lessons year-round, except for one week my teacher takes in June and any out of town travel dates for me.

My teacher has suggested I take an occasional break from practicing, but I think that is just her perception of my individual needs.


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Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257599
04/06/14 10:51 AM
04/06/14 10:51 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
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Santa Fe, NM
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jotur Offline
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Stubbie - on April 12 do we get a new question? That would be fun smile

Maybe, for those of you who don't have lessons all year around but wish you did, we should revive that self-teaching support thread, or maybe use the FOYD thread, or even start a new one - Orphaned Piano Students or something.

I take haphazard times off. I'm not an MOYD kind of person, so I've never played every day, but it's also stressful for me to think I have to do something to a strict time table. So I have things I want to get done that motivate me to get to the piano, but if something else is bugging me I just go do it (a sinkful of dirty dishes, for instance) and if I miss piano that day, oh well.

I don't think I've ever been off as much as a week at a time, but I don't worry about it if I'm out of town or something. So I guess holidays out of town are my "off-season", but nothing formal.

Cathy


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: jotur] #2257624
04/06/14 11:28 AM
04/06/14 11:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,394
Costa del Sol
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Costa del Sol
Jotur - I like the "Orphaned Piano Students" idea. We could give each other moral support when we wander off in the wilderness of unguided self-teaching. I know I always have things to fix after a few weeks on my own.

I do have lessons through the summer, bur my teacher conducts music physiology workshops throughout the world throughout the year, and is often away two or more weeks at a time. So I double up with two lessons a week when she is here. The longest break I have had was six weeks from Thanksgiving through the middle of January. She didn't have TOO much to fix when I came back. smirk

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: jotur] #2257805
04/06/14 06:08 PM
04/06/14 06:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,916
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline OP
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Midwest USA
Originally Posted by jotur
Stubbie - on April 12 do we get a new question? That would be fun smile

Cathy


I've been doing these questions on an irregular basis for a few weeks now. Maybe I should have called it QOANATB (Question on a Now and Then Basis), but QOTW--well, let's just say there's precedence for the acronym and it's a lot easier to type. smile

It's a way to generate some interesting conversations and contribute to a site I enjoy very much.

Last edited by Stubbie; 04/06/14 06:46 PM. Reason: fixed smiley

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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257814
04/06/14 06:27 PM
04/06/14 06:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
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malkin Offline
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I like the QOTW idea!


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257818
04/06/14 06:33 PM
04/06/14 06:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 279
Midwest US
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So much to catch up and learn, so little time! Definitely every week, 90 minutes, since I started with this teacher 2 years ago. We schedule additional lessons for the weeks when the music school has breaks (spring break, winter holidays, etc.).

I'm not yet at a point where I feel safe on my own and convinced I'm not going to reinforce bad habits by skipping a week. But I think it depends on each person's goals, as to whether weekly lessons are needed or whether you feel comfortable taking a break from lessons.

Also, this schedule forces me to really focus on the technique stuff, which is less fun, since I know that first half hour of technique is going to set the tone for the rest of the lesson.

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2257892
04/06/14 09:27 PM
04/06/14 09:27 PM
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I don't have lessons over the semester breaks and have "went it alone" through two six week Summer breaks since starting. During these breaks I set goals of finishing a piece and presenting it perfect on the return lesson. Both times I have failed miserably.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: earlofmar] #2258002
04/07/14 05:15 AM
04/07/14 05:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 131
UK
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When I finally had my piano I was searching for a teacher because I was a total beginner. But unfortunately I have no connection to the music world at all and therefore I had "to pick" the teacher myself (without recommendation) and unfortunately I "picked wrongly" every time I tried - and I tried so very hard...
In piano teaching had just about everything from an alcoholic (at one point I had to hold her with my left hand to stop her from falling down, whilst I tried to continue playing on the piano with my right hand...) and this moment made me realize there was no future to learn anything from her, she obviously had too many problems to sort out first... I also had students as teachers but unfortunately they were not overly serious to teach me because it was only a "job" for them whilst they studied... and then I had a teacher who talked about himself all the time...needless to say I learnt nothing at all... one particular teacher even had a 22nd century computer- laboratorium on the first floor where she experimented with the tones of her pianos and that was a real shocker because it made me wonder whether she was really playing on her CD's or whether it was all "done up artificially on the computer"... and her friend who lived with her was a computer specialist/computer whizzard...
...After recovering from these off-putting experiences I took a long break and after feeling I had recovered enough from these experiences and terrible shocks (until these experiences I always believed music was sacrosanct and I was not aware that for some pianists it is "only a job"), I searched for self-learn-piano books and started myself to study and learn on my own. My "tool" is, that I record my own playing on a CD and then criticize how I play and which mistakes I make... and then I delete the CD again and continue to learn better and record again etc... my most important values are my tonality and to make sure that I "let my piano breath" whilst I play. I still make many mistakes but at least it is great fun now and I enjoy it very much and I am learning a lot... My terrible teacher-experiences have finally gone, where they really belong: into complete insignificance...
My only regret is that I had no connection to the music world and never had a chance to be taught about a recommendable piano teacher who is a real enthusiastic positive piano teacher, because I imagine that learning myself on my own is harder... but there again, as an adult beginner learning in my spare time, to learn myself is perhaps the only option anyway...

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Sam S] #2258030
04/07/14 06:59 AM
04/07/14 06:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,763
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline

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Originally Posted by Sam S
My teacher takes a break in June, July, and part of August. Roughly corresponds to the summer vacation for the school kids here in Georgia, USA. But I keep working during that time, on my own.

Sam


Forgot to mention that I have been going to Summerkeys, an adult music camp, for the last 3 years in June or July. Will be going again this year in early July. Its a great way to improve over the summer since it takes a lot of preparation (at least for me). And its a neat vacation on the coast of Maine.

Sam

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2258114
04/07/14 11:08 AM
04/07/14 11:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,302
Scottsdale, AZ
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FarmGirl Offline

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Take lessons every week. No time off except for sickness and my business travel. I'm very lucky to have a teacher who also have crazy schedule. Sometimes I have lessons at 10pm weekend etc. I used to have a teacher who had full schedule with kids and the only time I could come was during lunch break. It did not work out.


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2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Kristina1] #2258238
04/07/14 02:27 PM
04/07/14 02:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,059
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wouter79 Offline
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Originally Posted by Kristina1

When I finally had my piano I was searching for a teacher because I was a total beginner. But unfortunately I have no connection to the music world at all and therefore I had "to pick" the teacher myself (without recommendation) and unfortunately I "picked wrongly" every time I tried - and I tried so very hard...
In piano teaching had just about everything from an alcoholic (at one point I had to hold her with my left hand to stop her from falling down, whilst I tried to continue playing on the piano with my right hand...) and this moment made me realize there was no future to learn anything from her, she obviously had too many problems to sort out first... I also had students as teachers but unfortunately they were not overly serious to teach me because it was only a "job" for them whilst they studied... and then I had a teacher who talked about himself all the time...needless to say I learnt nothing at all... one particular teacher even had a 22nd century computer- laboratorium on the first floor where she experimented with the tones of her pianos and that was a real shocker because it made me wonder whether she was really playing on her CD's or whether it was all "done up artificially on the computer"... and her friend who lived with her was a computer specialist/computer whizzard...
...After recovering from these off-putting experiences I took a long break and after feeling I had recovered enough from these experiences and terrible shocks (until these experiences I always believed music was sacrosanct and I was not aware that for some pianists it is "only a job"), I searched for self-learn-piano books and started myself to study and learn on my own. My "tool" is, that I record my own playing on a CD and then criticize how I play and which mistakes I make... and then I delete the CD again and continue to learn better and record again etc... my most important values are my tonality and to make sure that I "let my piano breath" whilst I play. I still make many mistakes but at least it is great fun now and I enjoy it very much and I am learning a lot... My terrible teacher-experiences have finally gone, where they really belong: into complete insignificance...
My only regret is that I had no connection to the music world and never had a chance to be taught about a recommendable piano teacher who is a real enthusiastic positive piano teacher, because I imagine that learning myself on my own is harder... but there again, as an adult beginner learning in my spare time, to learn myself is perhaps the only option anyway...



LOL at least you are collecting material for a movie or book smile My lessons are a lot less exciting !


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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Sam S] #2258299
04/07/14 04:41 PM
04/07/14 04:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
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rnaple Offline

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Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted by Sam S
... I have been going to Summerkeys, an adult music camp, for the last 3 years in June or July....


Knowing my luck. I'd get lost and end up in Camp Krusty.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: mr_super-hunky] #2258460
04/08/14 12:05 AM
04/08/14 12:05 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
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Originally Posted by Mr Super-Hunky
I'm self taught, but then again, I never taught myself anything. Anyway, since I'm self taught, that makes me the teacher. As the teacher, I've decided to give my students [that being myself], a break for the summer. So I really don't get taught anything during the summer months. Then again, I don't get taught anything the rest of the year either.

Hmmm, now I'm confused.

Piano is hard!

Maybe I should just teach myself instead. That would probably be much easier but I'm not sure if I could afford it.

I'll start saving today.


laugh


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2258490
04/08/14 02:23 AM
04/08/14 02:23 AM
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Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: Stubbie] #2258505
04/08/14 03:46 AM
04/08/14 03:46 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 35
Philippines
Gi Dy Offline
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Gi Dy  Offline
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Posts: 35
Philippines
never had

Re: QOTW: Do you have a piano lesson/self-taught "off-season?" [Re: jotur] #2258657
04/08/14 11:24 AM
04/08/14 11:24 AM
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,019
Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted by jotur
Maybe, for those of you who don't have lessons all year around but wish you did, we should revive that self-teaching support thread, or maybe use the FOYD thread, or even start a new one - Orphaned Piano Students or something.


Funny thing: the FOYD thread was actually born as a kind of "orphaned piano students" thread this past summer. The idea came from a frustration I shared with Cheryl at that particular moment: we were both on our respective summer breaks, and realised more or less at the same time that no lessons means less progress, because you don't have to force yourself to have "something presentable" each and every week! And so, I started that thread as a kind of "commitment device" for myself.

Then I got the crazy idea of going back to school in the Fall, and I kind of lost track of the FOYD thing. But I'm glad others have found a useful purpose for it!


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