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Practice What You Teach While You Teach It

The catch 22 of teaching an instrument is that often times you will be too tired to play at the end of the day simply because you've been playing said instrument all day with your students. This presents a bit of a problem in the area of self-improvement.

I haven't had a violin lesson in over 10 years. I switched to viola and it became my primary instrument through high school and college. I realized that if I wanted to continue to grow as a violin teacher, I was going to have to find a teacher for myself; just to keep my playing in check.

After much searching, I found a teacher who could take me on a monthly basis. This was perfect since I'm pretty sure weekly lessons would have been the last straw that broke the camel's back. We had our first lesson a few weeks ago and she was simply excellent to work with.

One thing my new teacher was extremely helpful with was giving me technique to work on WHILE I play with my students. I realized then that I really undervalued all that time I spend playing in lessons. Every time I play Twinkle with them I could be working on my own bow hold or string crossings at the same time.

While this is not nearly as ideal as practicing on my own, I figure it's way better than nothing at all. Instead of compartmentalizing my practicing into a separate task, I just inject it into my regular working day.

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