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Thread: mandolin teachers

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    Default mandolin teachers

    I would love to hear from anyone about their experience with their mandolin teachers.
    I admit I am a poor student and wouldn't wish myself on any teacher!
    I studied Sociology of Education at New York University. Before I took this class I had thought of becoming a teacher. But I found out that there is more to "education" than just teaching and learning. I could never be a teacher knowing what I know. I sympathize greatly with teachers and students. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
    If you had a bad experience don't tell me the teacher's name. But tell me the teacher's name if it went well!
    David Herman

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Jon Hall, Nacogdoches, TX. Also, Gerald Jones, Garland, TX, as long as you're not a beginner or have natural ability. It really depends on what you're looking for, though. My regular teacher is a professional violinist, with advanced degrees in music education. She is HUGE on technique, and I'm thankful to be learning from her; however, she can't teach me the aspects of mandolin that differ from violin.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Hello-
    I’ve been talking zoom lessons at the Jalopy Music school in Brooklyn. It’s a good local resource and my teacher is great. Happy to discuss offline.

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    I've taken mandolin lessons for about 3 years from Kip Snow at Counterpoint Music in Mocksville, NC. He is an excellent instructor and provides a laid-back, positive atmosphere. He is a performing musician as well with many years of touring experience and teaches mandolin, banjo and guitar (I took 3 years of guitar instruction from him as well). Some of his students have gone on to become members of recognized bluegrass bands. I recommend him highly.

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Also: mention what the cost was. I have paid from $5 a half hour to $150 for 2 hours! The teacher's fee is one of the most important issues in education. And if the fee was paid by you, or someone else, say a family member. I found often that I would get what I wanted by threatening to leave. The money matters!
    David Herman

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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    I started my journey 25years ago, took a few lessons at a local music store, been so long ago that I forgot the fee. I showed up with my lesson book, he had me play this lesson and practice that lesson, total waste of time and money, I gave them up after a few lessons and layed out my own plan from internet info...no regrets.
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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by domradave View Post
    I would love to hear from anyone about their experience with their mandolin teachers.
    What kind of music are you chasing?
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    I play in a mandolin and guitar orchestra. Also played domra in a balalaika orchestra. Never had a domra lesson.
    Waiting the arrival of a great mandolin. F5. When it comes may seek out a bluegrass mandolin teacher.
    David Herman

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by domradave View Post
    Also played domra in a balalaika orchestra. .
    Cool - which size of domra do you play?

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    IMHO, based on my experiences as both a student and a teacher, teaching is an art. A good teacher does not have a one size fits all method. He or she strives to understand how each student learns best. The teacher then teaches to that learning style. Each student/ teacher interaction is different - just as all mandolins are different. A student should be able to leave a lesson with a clear understanding of what she/he gained from the lesson. This understanding should be way more than a vague idea that "I just need to practice more." The teacher/student relationship should involve constant reassessment of goals and achievements - a dynamic learning process. If the student cannot articulate what he is truly learning; what her/his understanding of the music is; and what his technique development is etc, then IMHO there is a failure in the learning process. Music lessons are expensive investments of time and energy and should be assessed carefully. There are great, great teachers out there and some not so great - I think you will recognize one when you find him or her. These comments only reflect my experience. We are all different, but I suspect at one time or another we have all had a teacher (whether in music or not) that we knew was just outstanding. If so, remind yourself about why that teacher seemed so good.

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    If you are looking for a bluegrass instructor I can highly recommend Keith Yoder of Maryville, Tennessee. He is a multi instrumentalist and focuses on how to play well with others and on developing your own voice on the instrument. He has been a part of the Kaufmann Kamp staff for many years coordinating and running their jams and open mics. He does Skype and Zoom lessons as well as teaching at camps throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is particularly good at focusing on your strengths and weaknesses and at showing approaches to improve your ear and develop improvisational skills. I am not certain of his current rates. Feel free to pm me for contact information.

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Prima. It was made for me by the late Milton Cherin who was an engineer for Columbia Records and who won a Grammy. Milton built balalaikas and domras in his apartment until the neighbors complained about one of the machines he used. Milton sculpted and was an excellent classical guitarist.
    David Herman

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    My first teacher, besides renting a Gibson "A" mandolin to me, started me off with the Mel Bay Mandolin Method and the Pleyel duets. I have always regretted starting this way. I think a better way would have been to just pick up the instrument and explore it. Discuss how to hold the pick and how to fret the strings and not be afraid of playing in the higher positions. I like the Mel Bay method and the Pleyel but I think that reading should come later. I always think we would never have had Mark O'Connor if he had continued his guitar lessons with his teacher who taught him with reading music. I am not sure how much Mark reads music today. But when he gave up on reading he found himself and became a prodigy!
    David Herman

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by domradave View Post
    I always think we would never have had Mark O'Connor if he had continued his guitar lessons with his teacher who taught him with reading music. I am not sure how much Mark reads music today. But when he gave up on reading he found himself and became a prodigy!
    Interesting theory, although I doubt that is how it works. Mark was always a prodigy and we would have found out that regardless if he learned how to read music. I would be very surprised if he does not have that ability at all these days since he has composed many orchestral pieces and has written stringed instrument method books. However, you may be correct and in that case, I will stand corrected.

    BTW he came to IIRC the first Ashokan Western Week and I took all the classes he taught. This was back in the 1980s. I doubt he used any notation but that does not mean he couldn't read. After all it was a fiddle class.
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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    It is funny the number of good mandolin players we turned down In the Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra because they couldn't read music. They all played better than me! We offered to teach them how to read but it meant sitting in the 2nd section. I read somewhere that the great guitarist Eddie Lang did not read but still played studio gigs because once he heard anything he could play it!
    David Herman

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Here is a true story. I took piano lessons with a guy for two months before I found out he did not play the piano. One day I asked him to play a piece I liked and he wouldn't do it. I insisted and that is when he told me he did not play. Since then I always ask the teacher to play something at the first lesson.
    David Herman

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by domradave View Post
    Here is a true story. I took piano lessons with a guy for two months before I found out he did not play the piano. One day I asked him to play a piece I liked and he wouldn't do it. I insisted and that is when he told me he did not play. Since then I always ask the teacher to play something at the first lesson.
    Here's the obverse of that story, sort of. My older daughter took lessons from early on from a respected school in the next town. Her teachers were all Juilliard students, very well trained and certainly knew their way around a piano keyboard. However at some point we discovered that my daughter could not actually read music. She had an excellent ear and learned everything that way and memorized. We then took her to another teacher who did teach her not only to play but also to read music.
    Jim

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    When I lived in New York City I took mandolin lessons with Arthur Cremin of the New York Schools of Music, which at one time, had over 15 schools in the New York City area! It was said that every band in the 1940's had at least one member who went to the New York Schools of Music. Arthur was in his 80s when I knew him. He was the father of Lawrence Cremin, the American education historian, and head of Columbia's Teachers College. I asked Arthur how he was going to teach me and he said the way they learn mandolin in Rome. It was all violin books until he brought in Christofaro!
    David Herman

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Here are some teacher-student success stories.
    David Grisman-Andy Statman, Jethro Burns-Don Stiernberg, Hugo D'Alton-Alison Stephens.
    In all 3 cases the students did some things that surpassed what they were taught. I think Andy is more technically gifted than David. Listening to Don I ask myself did Jethro teach him that? And Ali recorded pieces that were not in D'Alton's repertoire.
    Finding a great teacher has a lot to do with luck!
    David Herman

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    Default Re: mandolin teachers

    Great stories Dave.

    (sorry, can't contribute - never had a teacher)
    Bren

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