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Non-muscians' perception of playing an instrument


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#16 elemimele

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:52

10 is a silly number of lessons to gift. That's plain daft. What people need is an opportunity to find out if it's for them. Not even a lesson, as such. There are many people who need a fairy godmother, not in the sense of someone to wave a wand and make them able to play an instrument, but in the sense of someone who can appear in their life and say "actually, if you really want to, you can hold a flute. It's not something reserved only for girls in independent fee-paying schools. Anyone can buy the ones in the music shop window. You too can find a teacher who will show you how to play it, though it will be a gradual learning process taking a long time."

 

A (real) fairy godmother cannot give the gift of being able to play, but they can give the gift of realisation that the door is not closed. It is up to the recipient to walk through the door, and keep walking...  and because you cannot guarantee they will like what they find when they go through the door, the right number of sessions to gift is One.

 

And not every teacher is going to want to offer this. It's different to teaching.


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#17 funkiepiano

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 17:53

I offer gifted lessons and have had a few takers over the years - some have stayed, and some haven’t. One paid for 10 lessons and has never used them - I’m not complaining, the money was nice! :)
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#18 Saxwarbler

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 14:49

Does anybody else think there's a very strong case for educating everyone much better about what it takes to be a musician?!

Yes and no. The music lover in me says that everyone should be taught to reap the benefits of learning to make it. However, like so much in life, it's just sort of 'there' for a lot of people and they never think any further about becoming proficient in it. People paddle in the sea, for instance, without any desire to learn to swim. They admire art but have no interest in picking up a paintbrush and producing any; some will even 'ooh' and 'aah' at a nice sports car but never think about learning to drive one. And if they don't have any interest in 'doing' then why should they have the faintest idea how long it's going to take little (or even big) Johnny to perfect the skill?

Maybe true music lovers are just drawn to one another subconsciously and so they just tune out the idea that someone could be 'not interested' in the subject to the point of not knowing what it involves.


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#19 thara96

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 10:07

Good point Saxwarbler. 


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#20 SparkysMagicPiano

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 22:48

 

Does anybody else think there's a very strong case for educating everyone much better about what it takes to be a musician?!

 

... And if they don't have any interest in 'doing' then why should they have the faintest idea how long it's going to take little (or even big) Johnny to perfect the skill?

 

 

I can see what you're saying, but doesn't the population's understanding of music and the challenges of learning an instrument affect muscians and music teachers in terms of how they're valued by society and rewarded financially? Two examples:

  • My piano teacher's hourly rate is c. £40 whereas I know of a 'life-skills' coach who charges £75 per 50 minutes. I am certain the piano teacher has many more years of 'study', experience and the rarer talent.
  • My sister is occasionally invited to perform a concerto with an amateur orchestra and typically spends c. 18 months practising very hard for it. Once, when the subject of her fee came up, she admitted that most of it went on the dress she bought for the performance!

I don't think there is anything like sufficient financial reward for the talent and hard work it takes to be a musician - and the lack of understanding by the general non-music-playing public doesn't help that situation.


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#21 elemimele

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 07:26

oh, that's economics that is, and modern economics doesn't seem very fair. I don't think many people who go to amateur musical events are aware that generally the performers are more out of pocket than the audience. But nor do many people realise that if someone publishes medical research about a novel antibiotic, they aren't paid for their published work - it's more likely their employer will be obliged to pay to publish it. Meanwhile no one has come up with a way to run super-star industries in a way that ensures star pay matches star quality. Top actors and footballers are undoubtedly super-talented, but are they really several orders of magnitude more talented than their mid-range colleagues? And ultimately, why is the bloke who cleans the loos regarded as so much less financially worthy? OK, he didn't need a degree to do it, but if no one does the job, things get pretty yucky. It's really weird; we don't even pay teachers well, and everyone ought to know what's involved in that (but they don't; people assume it's something you can just do).

Saxwarbler's got a point; there's no reason why everyone should have to do music, and it's unreasonable to expect the non-musical to take any great interest in how difficult it is to play the trumpet. But I do think everyone should be exposed to music, get the opportunity to make music, so they can find out for themselves whether it's for them. It's like teaching art, French, or any other subject in school. I also think that instrumental music is something that many people, even if they could derive much pleasure from it, don't get a chance to explore, because it's so expensive, and so many instruments are attached to social layers to which they don't belong. That's sad, and needs improvement. 


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#22 Saxwarbler

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 12:21

I don't think there is anything like sufficient financial reward for the talent and hard work it takes to be a musician - and the lack of understanding by the general non-music-playing public doesn't help that situation.

The same could be said of any profession that has an 'amateur' element. Sportsmen, dancers, actors, drivers etc. whom we've all criticised and watched but only those of us who've really been interested in those activities and maybe tried them will have an appreciation of how 'non-easy' they are to learn at even a basic level.

 

... But I do think everyone should be exposed to music, get the opportunity to make music, so they can find out for themselves whether it's for them. It's like teaching art, French, or any other subject in school. I also think that instrumental music is something that many people, even if they could derive much pleasure from it, don't get a chance to explore, because it's so expensive, and so many instruments are attached to social layers to which they don't belong. That's sad, and needs improvement. 

Now that I do agree with and I guess everyone who has a passion for anything will want others to have the opportunity to experience it, even if it only confirms that it's not for them after all. I have great difficulty grasping the concept of anyone not appreciating some form of music, but such people are out there. I've met a couple. And when they hint at how easy it is to play the piano or the saxophone, I'm happy to gently put them right. And I guess it's testament to an accomplished musician that they make it sound so easy that 'anyone can do it' ... and our little discussion begins all over again. :wacko:


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#23 BabyGrand

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 13:25

I was just thinking that it's been a while since I've had a request for "Birthday/Christmas present" lessons, and then I've had two enquiries about it in the last two days!   :rolleyes:


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