Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dunshire Bagpipe Forum 9/14/05

Lessons ... yes or no? (I was paying a lot for lessons and wasn't happy with what I was getting)

I have been taking lessons going on two years now and have been on the pipes a little over a year. When I started there was no question in my mind as to the need for taking lessons. They were worth the cost to learn this wonderful instrument. I have made fairly good progress, but for the past several months I don't feel like I have learned a whole lot during my lessons. My instructor has spent no time teaching me about tuning or the care of my instrument. I have learned most of that from these forums. I have learned several tunes on my own, and have even done my own arrangement of a religious tune and no one has run away when I have played it for an audience (very informal performance). I make my own PC reeds (which surprised and impressed my instructor) and I recently had my first formal performance at my son's wedding - it went very well.Of course, I'm a long way from being the piper I would like to be, but maybe it is just time and practice.The cost of lessons just increased by 20% this year, and I am beginning to feel like I could get just as much out of joining a band (motivation to keep practicing) and taking the money I save on lessons to attend one of the excellent summer schools offered either here or abroad. In looking over the curriculm of some of these programs, I think I might learn more in a week of a summer program than I'd learn in forty five 1/2 lessons a year.Any thoughts on when it is appropriate to quit taking lessons.

Note: I finally did quit lessons and have just been practicing with the band. I haven't regreted the decision and have been improving without paying so much. I would still like lessons from time to time, but I have found a way to do that online.

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