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Learning Music isn’t a Linear Process

January 2nd, 2023 by Katherine Moller

Happy new year! Are you the kind of person who makes resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you like to set goals? I love revisiting last year and figuring out where I want to go this year!

With this thought of starting over, I wanted to talk about an e-mail that I get periodically from students talking about getting over illness, recovering from injury, having computer issues, etc. They tell me about how they have “lost time” in their learning process, and are going to have to start over.

Here is what I want you to know. Learning an instrument is not a linear process. It is not the kind of thing where you learn a skill, get to check it off, and never have to work on it again. I am constantly revisiting scales, techniques, and pieces.

I think that sometimes when students write to me to say that they are going back and starting from the beginning of one of my courses again that they feel like they have somehow failed. The thing is, the second time around, you are not starting from the same point. “Starting over” and revising old material is actually a really smart move!

I like to think of learning an instrument as being more of a spiral. Yes, you continue to come back to scales, techniques, and the same pieces, but each time you do, you have continued to move higher on the spiral. Each time, you gain new insight and improve in a different way.

So, I encourage you to go back and revisit older material that you may feel like you didn’t succeed with as well as you would have liked the first time. I encourage you to revisit material that you feel good about too, and see what new insights are available to you!

Happy Fiddling!

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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.''