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Have You Made it Past Stage 2?

July 12th, 2022 by Katherine Moller

Did you know that there are several stages to learning something new? This can be with driving a car, starting a new job, or learning an instrument. The process of learning is a constant work in progress and that progress has quite a few steps before you get to where you want to be, feeling successful with your playing. 

Stage 1: Making Errors Without Understanding

First of all, you don’t know anything.  You don’t know that you are doing it wrong (whatever it may be), and you don’t know what help you need.  An example of this in the violin world is that you don’t know that you are playing out of tune.  When students start playing violin, often they think that using the right finger is enough, but if your finger is even a tiny bit off position, the note is out of tune!

Stage 2: Practice Makes Progress

After a while, you get to a point where you know that something is wrong, but you don’t know how to fix it.  In our violin example, you know that you are playing out of tune, but you don’t know what it is that you need to do to fix it!

Stage 3: Grasping the Concepts

Sometime later, you get to a point where you know what is wrong, and you know what to do about it.  Back to our violin, in this case, you know when you are too high or too low, and you know what to do to get back in tune.

Stage 4: Now In Tune!

Finally, you know how to do it without the issue (although, honestly I think tuning is a lifelong project!)

When I teach students, I find that there is a lot of frustration when you get to stage 2, knowing that there is something wrong, but not knowing what to do about it!  This is something that I work on with my students in both private and group lessons.  It is important for you to be able to work on problem-solving for yourself and figuring out what is wrong.  You can’t fix an area of concern until you know what it is that is the issue, and I won’t always be there to help you!

Please know that there is nothing wrong with whichever stage you are in!  We all go through all of them!

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''Celtic fiddle with a classical twist:
the heart and soul of a fiddler, the artistry and finesse of a classical violinist.''