music lessons have ruined music for me

9 Oct

I highly regret signing myself up for voice lessons at Guitar Center. I try to avoid confrontation, but maybe it’s time I talk to the manager there.

I’ve had a spew of terrible music teachers, but this has been the worst. I’ve never felt more degraded and worthless as a musician and I’ve been doing music for 21 years.

The first lesson was a half hour long, mostly introductions and I told the instructor of my music background and goals. I’ve been doing this for a long time. All I want is a better, more focused and controlled voice.

The second lesson was an hour long and I thought I could learn more in an hour lesson. But no. The instructor kept going on and on about some other country student he teaches. When I looked at the clock, 5 minutes had passed by. I played a few songs, including “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce and I was being asked about the lyrics. He asked me what the lyrics mean and I gave him my interpretation. After I told him, he seemed to be looking for a specific answer. I told him nobody knows what the song really means except for the songwriter who wrote it. What a waste of time. I also told him I’ve read and studied lyrics A LOT. Then we went onto some random sight singing exercise from the Guitar Center lesson book, which I don’t even care about.

The third lesson was a half hour long again and I thought maybe it will be ok this time. A second or a third chance? Again, no. I hadn’t had a chance to practice at all this past week, but I did do the reading from the Guitar Center lesson book. He talked somewhat about the book, then went on to explain how he went to some concert and the singer was terrible. Then we did this yoga/imagining there’s a light/breathing exercise. I don’t know how it’s going to help, but singing isn’t magic in that aspect. I sang “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce again. The instructor keeps telling me I should sing differently from the artist who wrote the song, but when I try to sing it in the same rhythm as a cover of “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)”, he says I’m doing it wrong and I need to sing it like the artist. He then asks me to identify the verse and chorus in the song. Again, what a time waster. I am more than capable of reading from sheet music, but my brain doesn’t think of labeling the verse and chorus in sheet music form. I know the difference between a verse and chorus, thank you. I’ve been writing songs for the past few years and I have a self-published and self-released song on iTunes, Amazon, etc. which I am proud of.

Overall, I’ve never had a more negative experience. This has been all talk and hardly any singing. If I wanted someone to talk to, I would have seen a psychologist instead. I’ve spent way too much money at Guitar Center. I’ve purchased almost all my gear at Guitar Center since I got my first guitar 10 years ago. I was a fan. But here’s my middle finger. I am done.

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