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Linda’s Learning Lessons

7th October 2019

Linda is a sales specialist at Dawkes, and has been learning the flute for two years. Despite her background as a singer, taking on the flute was a whole new venture! In Linda’s Learning Lessons, she’ll discuss what she’s taken away from learning an instrument as an adult.

Finding The Right Teacher

When I first wanted to have singing lessons, my first teacher (admittedly, didn’t last very long as I only had 3 lessons with her!) was not right for me. She insisted on the idea that I wouldn’t be a very strong lead and would mostly be suited to choral or backing singing…  well, I wasn’t having that at all! So I found another one. Thinking back now, she was classically trained and my heart was into musical theatre and jazz, so she wasn’t right at all – but I was only 13, at the time.
This taught me that I needed to find a teacher who would support the style of music I liked. Since then, I’ve had over 10 singing teachers in 30 years. Each of them provided me with different tips, techniques and learning tools that have all been of great benefit.

Learning an instrument as an adult, however, is a different experience.  The flute has transformed my life in so many unexpected but truly delightful ways. Although it wasn’t without frustrating moments, particularly as I couldn’t really read music at all.

“Learning as an adult is different to learning as a child”

Linda’s Learning Style

In my experience, I respond better to a more direct teacher who is a task master. One who I can go to and say “I want to learn this!” or “I’m having trouble with this, how can I work through it?”
I’m pleased to have found the right teacher for me within the My Music programme here at Dawkes. Already I’ve worked through Grade 1 and 3 within 2 years. Becka, my teacher, suggested I go for Grade 2 (with 2 months notice!) but I decided I would start with Grade 1 to get a feel for the exam format to see if it was right for me. I’ve never been a fan of exams (I get a little anxious!) but it was nice to have set a goal and achieved it.

“Consider your own style of learning to enable choosing the right teacher for you”

You’ll want someone you can relate to, who is similar in personality and one who is enthusiastic about your learning – it’s about YOU!  And you’re paying for the lessons; investing in your musical journey. You never know until you ask – see if you can have a free lesson to start to see if you gel (some experienced teachers may not appeal to this request). Within the My Music programme, Dawkes offer a free taster lesson to ensure that one is matched with the right teacher.

The right teacher will be the one you look forward to going to have a lesson with!

Learning with a teacher is important, as they will ensure you develop a good, solid technique. Not only is this beneficial for learning repertoire, but it ensures you practice the instrument in a healthy, comfortable way. Even if you can only get to a teacher once a month, it’s recommended to do so. It also means you have a second opinion on how your playing is developing!

My Music – Lessons for Adults

My Music at Dawkes is a scheme for adult learners, and has been running since 2012.
‘Our aim is to create a friendly, unintimadating and fun environment for adults to learn a musical instrument. We teach a range of pupils from beginners to advanced, and whether you are picking up a saxophone for the first time or a virtuoso flute player, we can certainly help!’
Get in touch via email, info@mymusic.org.uk, or phone us on 01628 630800 for more information and to book your free taster lesson.