I started learning Indian classical violin a couple of years ago. There is a lot of rigor in getting things right with my instructor, and sometimes I feel I'm plateaued and not making progress.

Particularly, I'm learning to produce deflections at various speeds (4 notes per beat) and it is really hard to understand the difference between last time I played the same note sheet and this time, and evaluate where I go wrong. Every time, it is a completely different aspect, each time.

However, I started learning to sing along with it (taking classes), and I made a lot more progress in terms of notes, raagas and melodies I can sing, including varnams and krithis.

Can anyone relate to this, or tell me how to approach improving my skills and keep motivated? My instructor keeps telling me that this aspect takes a long time, (couple of years), and this will fall in place. I just don't see how though.

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    Reaching and then moving past plateaus has been, and continues to be, part of the learning process for me on all the instruments i play. Commented May 20, 2016 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


Your instructor is correct that improving your skills is a long term process and happens over years of study. However, you should also be able to see improvement from week to week and even from day to day if you are practicing effectively. Here are some suggestions:

1) As your instructor to be clear about what he/she sees improvement on from week to week. This can be very motivating for you!

2) When practicing, be clear about what specific goals you have each day. Make sure these goals are measurable (ex. playing farther without making a mistake, playing at a faster tempo (use a metronome), etc.) If your goals are not measurable they will be harder to see. It does not mean you aren't making progress, but you may not feel like you are. Writing down what your goals are and how you are progressing with them can also help you see where your progress is and help you stay motivated.


I’m learning Indian classical violin and I relate to the issues you have mentioned . One of the things that helped me is to keep practising the basic lessons everyday, no matter what lesson I am in currently. I also set goals for myself for each 15 day period and record myself to see the differences. Also, if I know I get stuck on a particular deflection, I play it repeatedly until I get it. That has been helpful in perfecting the song when it I play the composition fully. Hope this helps.

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