Saturday, November 10, 2012

Adventures in Adult Ed

My ballet and violin classes have recently gotten delayed (not on my part) for different valid reasons.  Part of the frustration I'm feeling stems from not wanting the momentum to wane as well as the difficulty I encountered with even finding lesson opportunities in the first place.

Most schools cater to kids and for good reason.  To become proficient in something like music, sport or dance usually requires an early start for developmental reasons.  Those larger sized classes are often the bread and butter of the schools. 

So when an adult calls or emails looking for availability, the times offered (if there are teachers with openings) are understandably what is left after the core classes are taken in consideration.  Looking for lessons during the day is even more challenging as instructors often have "day jobs" too. 

Some schools don't taking adult learners seriously.  One place actually told me it would be OK to show up to a ballet class in yoga pants...Huh?  Maybe they get their share of "mid life" crisis people who just want to have fun and are tired of it.  Try finding a violin teacher willing to teach an adult beginner and you'll see what I mean.  I had to pass an "interview".

Nabbing a good learning spot has become a big deal.  The reason I haven't continued my ballroom lessons was because I lost my lesson slot when I broke my wrist learning how to figure skate 5 years ago.  That's why I was so stunned and excited when my recent dance opportunities came about and why I was tempted (still am) to do both.

I favour private lessons because you learn faster and more.  The costs are often double or triple.  It's not because I'm a snob when it comes to group classes.  It's just that group lessons times are usually in the evenings and I'm too tired and hungry on work nights.

Now that D and I are doing art one evening as well, there are limited other nights available when you add in us heading up north on a week night.  Also, we look forward to and enjoy our unhurried dinners, after dinner walks and evenings together. 

I get that my requirements aren't the easiest to accommodate either.  When it does work out, I'm uber anxious to get going, making any deviations feel that much more difficult. 


  1. I'm shocked that teachers don't want adult students! I loved adult students when I was teaching piano. A lot of kids get taken to music lessons and don't really want to be there, hence getting them to practice is like pulling teeth. All the adults I taught were motivated and interested, and hence made excellent progress. I hope you are able to find qualified folks who are willing to meet your needs!

  2. Maybe in my area, there aren't a whole lot of us? This is one of very rare times when I miss living in a large city. There was always more than enough choice and schools would have teachers that "specialized" in areas. When I taught, students were matched to the teacher based on their goals and personality.

    I think I have found good teachers within a reasonable driving distance. After my first ballet class, I felt like my hips sockets had come unhinged so I was appropriately challenged...working on splits!

    Just want to be taken seriously and held to the same standard as the other students, that's all. And leave it up to me to get there or not. Don't want to pay all this money to get a watered down version of the art just because I'm older.