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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Teachers,

I've been a private instructor for many years. It seems that back in the 80's and 90's, most of my students were school age kids, with an occasional adult. These days, I've still got a lot of kids, but it seems like there are more adults than ever that are taking lessons. Are you long-term teachers experiencing the same thing?

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Lessons and Books
Lesson Series:
Making Sense of Jazz Improvisation
Introduction to the Blues
The Arpeggio Circle
Through the Keys
and more...
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
Rhythm Changes Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrT0Xw_y9d0
Rhythm Changes Lesson:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMOW7QAfpwo
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Yes, but I think that is just because of the Internet. 10 years ago I had all kids. Word was spread by students and parents. Now I have a bunch of adult students but most of them find me on the Internet. I think that word is spreading in a different way now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
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781 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking also that it might be partially because there are a lot of adults that didn't get the chance to play as kids, or maybe played in high school then decided to take it up again as adults. But, you are right, Steve, many of them are finding me through the internet too. There also seems to be a decent referral system through the seniors community bands- at least here in the atlanta area.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Lessons and Books
Lesson Series:
Making Sense of Jazz Improvisation
Introduction to the Blues
The Arpeggio Circle
Through the Keys
and more...
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
Rhythm Changes Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrT0Xw_y9d0
Rhythm Changes Lesson:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMOW7QAfpwo
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
 

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I have an adult student. She just decided to come back to playing. Kudos to her!!
 

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I'm an adult student that never played as a child because it wasn't offered in the schools that I attended. I'm retired and signed up with a local music school but that type of classroom environment didn't work for me. I found a local teacher on the net that understands how adults learn vs how children learn. So far it's working out better then I expected. One point I would like to make for you teachers that have web pages is you need to try and get the search engines to list your pages within the first few pages of a search (not an easy task). I had to scroll thru at least 40 screens before I located my current teacher's web page but then again I was on a mission.

Diskman50
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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Most of my students are working adults who decided to pick up the horn again after years.
 

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I'm an adult who decided to pick up the horn again after a decade. Why did I do it? Because I was looking for a hobby and figured I'd start playing the sax again. And I do not regret having made that decision at all.
Guess I would've been very hesitant if I was an adult who had never played the sax before.
 

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Hey Teachers,

I've been a private instructor for many years. It seems that back in the 80's and 90's, most of my students were school age kids, with an occasional adult. These days, I've still got a lot of kids, but it seems like there are more adults than ever that are taking lessons. Are you long-term teachers experiencing the same thing?

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Lessons and Books
Lesson Series:
Making Sense of Jazz Improvisation
Introduction to the Blues
The Arpeggio Circle
Through the Keys
and more...
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
Rhythm Changes Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrT0Xw_y9d0
Rhythm Changes Lesson:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMOW7QAfpwo
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
I am one of those adult students. I have been back playing for around 10 years. I never could afford a private teacher in high school so when I started back up, I promised myself that I was going to learn to really play the saxophone this time and I wanted private lessons. My first teacher (at a music store) I quickly outgrew. My second teacher (on a referral from a community band) was an older gentleman, former high school band director who used to play in a burlesque pit band (great stories). He was the one who gave me my sound. After a few years, I was ready to move on because I wanted more theory and to learn jazz improv. I found an older jazz guy (referral from my step father's McDonalds coffee club) and am on my way learning how to improvise. He has many high school students but is very busy getting them ready for state contests and auditioning for college. I am one of only two adult students that he has and he tells me how much he enjoys imparting all of the jazz knowledge he has learned over the years (more great stories)

If you are a music teacher that does not have adult students, I can say that what the adult student brings to the table is that we enjoy the journey a lot more.

Ron M
 

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I was thinking also that it might be partially because there are a lot of adults that didn't get the chance to play as kids, or maybe played in high school then decided to take it up again as adults. But, you are right, Steve, many of them are finding me through the internet too. There also seems to be a decent referral system through the seniors community bands- at least here in the atlanta area.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Lessons and Books
Lesson Series:
Making Sense of Jazz Improvisation
Introduction to the Blues
The Arpeggio Circle
Through the Keys
and more...
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
Rhythm Changes Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrT0Xw_y9d0
Rhythm Changes Lesson:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMOW7QAfpwo
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
I havent got to the lessons yet but thats me. i played in high school and a little in college but after graduating engineering school i just didnt have time. Now, getting closer to retirement i want to have the fun back.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Well,when I started my site I was thinking the average member on my site would be high school and college kids. The truth is that 90% of my membership is adult men 50+. I've had a bunch that are 60-80 that don't even know what a mp3 or pdf is but they want to play the sax. Many of these guys played when they were younger and gave it up after high school.
 

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The majority of my students (80%) are adults.

In the 90's I had more school age students but I was teaching in a music school.
 

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As an adult student I was looking for an instrument that was easy to play and I was told the alto is the easiest woodwind to play. Just started my 2nd year of lessons. I also play diatonic and chromatic harmonica. Must be that "reed" sequencing in my DNA nucleotide.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
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Discussion Starter #13
Well,when I started my site I was thinking the average member on my site would be high school and college kids. The truth is that 90% of my membership is adult men 50+. I've had a bunch that are 60-80 that don't even know what a mp3 or pdf is but they want to play the sax. Many of these guys played when they were younger and gave it up after high school.
That's exactly the scenario I've experienced. Almost all of my online students and podcast customers are adult men my age or older (I'm 49). I'm running into more adults in my private studio as well- still lot's of kids through band director referral, but lot's of adults that either played as kids or always wanted to. I think this is fantastic. Not only do they learn how to play, but they also turn into supporters of the arts by attending concerts and purchasing CD's, etc.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Lessons and Books
New Lesson: Shaping the Blues Scale
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
Podcast Samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
Rhythm Changes Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrT0Xw_y9d0
 

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it could also be because of lack of funding in schools for the arts. the reason i say that, even though it's probably a round about reason, is because if you think about it, if kids aren't being exposed to music at early ages, more than likely they won't pursue it until they become older and are exposed or unless a parent pushes for it.

edit: i read diskman's response, that's one instance where the lack of funding theory holds true...
 

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I recently had in incident where a Father and a Daughter wanted to take lessons together. The Daughter lost interest, but the Father is sticking with it.

Music just like every other hobby requires funding. When I was in school, the school supplied the instruments. Most parents are just not willing to put up the cash.

FYI, the Father found me on a Flute board online as well. It seems that the local flute teachers will not take adult students. Go figure!

Phineas
 

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Maybe if they start getting hungry enough the smart ones will...
seems to me guys in their 50s are going to be much more able to afford lessons than a young parent with two or three kids in school. If I were teacher I'd welcome the older guy with the $$$.
 

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The JazzSchool in Berkeley survives on middle aged and retired students.
So that's where I'm going to go when I reach my middle-age crisis...instead of buying that convertible...or when I win the lottery. There are instances where I've thought about not taking sax lessons anymore because I'd be saving some money every month. But then I realize that I'd probably spend that money on something else. The other thing is that as an adult with a job, I can afford to buy me any sax equipment and accesories and that kind of keeps things interesting.
 

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Quote Originally Posted by PhineasC View Post
It seems that the local flute teachers will not take adult students. Go figure!

Maybe if they start getting hungry enough the smart ones will...
This is a case of "art" being an excuse for "I will only teach one way." The flute, like the violin, has a long history - so you must adapt to the instrument much more than with sax or even clarinet, because its form has been fixed for much longer. There are a few helps the teacher can give to students, but nothing radical - the form of the instrument suggests a tradition which is taken even more seriously with the years.

A lot of the fundamentals are 100% training and 0% education. They train your muscles and your ear, but your mind can't help. It must concentrate, but it can't refine or help the process until a link is made between the muscles and the mind - at the speed the muscles learn, which is always slow. So the mind has to constantly be told to sit down and shut up. To an adult mind, especially one that's used to education and not training, this can be incredibly frustrating.

So unless the student is young and moldable - or the teacher is highly educated, not just trained in the tradition, however well trained - the student won't want to keep at those exercises and build solid technique. The educated teacher can reach the adult student, but only at some cost to the purity of the teaching tradition.

I had a fantastic teacher as a flute newbie at age 38 - a diverse woman with a career in banking AND an Alexander certificate in addition to her performance degrees. She was a communicator mentally, physically, and musically! I still go back in my mind to our lessons when I play. It's starting to pay off...;)

...

One final thought: We have to do something to keep music a viable option for the critical 18-40 group. You know, the ones who are supposed to be totally job and family tracked? Music could be a vital and joyous part of building a life - I'm here to tell you it was for me. (caveat: no family, and I work for myself)

And this generation is going to have a particularly long hard slog in front of it. They will HAVE to have something more to balance out life than sitting back and consuming food/drink/media. Heck, miners played and sang in the evenings once, and how many people have lives as tough as miners?
 
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