Quite some time ago, Jan wrote this up for folks asking about private lessons. She’s since replaced it with this, and she’s letting me recycle her old copy. I’ve always really liked her answers. Just like her classes & workshops, clear and to the point.
Private Lessons for Tai Chi and Qigong Students
with Jan Parker
Here are some frequently asked questions – and my answers…
Why should I take private lessons?
Participation in group classes is a good way to learn the basic choreography of a form and the fundamentals of Tai Chi or Qigong. But if our group-class schedule doesn’t match yours, private lessons allow you to study at your convenience. And if you are unable to commit to on-going classes of progressive group study, private lessons keep you current with the year’s coursework. Possibly your pace of learning or style of learning is better suited to individual lessons. Or if the standard content of the group lessons is not what you prefer to study at that time, then private lessons can be the way to meet your personal preferences.
Private lessons help you develop greater understanding of many aspects of study. Ultimately, private lessons are essential for those who wish to advance to higher levels.
Am I ready to take a private lesson?
Individualized instruction is recommended for all students of all levels, at various points during your studies, including beginners. You can get help with learning moves and suggestions for improved personal practice. The longer you have studied, the better benefit to you from a private lesson. For more experienced students, private lessons are particularly appropriate. A personalized lesson with a perceptive teacher is one of the best ways to accelerate your learning progress, whatever your level.
What can I expect during a private lesson?
Each lesson is an individualized exchange between you and the instructor. The lessons provide an opportunity for you to clarify a few movements or entire sections of the routine; to request specific personal feedback about movements or principles; and to inquire about other areas or studies that are of particular interest to you. You also may begin to study any routine or weapon privately rather than in a group.
The instructor addresses your questions and concerns; provides specific or general information about postures, movements, principles, form or theory; gives corrections; introduces suggestions for further work; helps with deeper understanding concepts of internal development; explains applications or techniques. Private lessons are intended to make you more comfortable with where you are now and to prepare you for advanced study.
How do I prepare for a private lesson?
You might have some ideas for the content of your lesson, either specific or general. It’s helpful if you mention these when you make the appointment, but not necessary, and you can change your request at any time. The instructor can help you determine the content. The lesson begins and ends on time.
Can I combine private lessons and group classes?
Students in group classes may add a private lesson to your studies as often as you wish. It’s recommended that you take one private lesson every other month in your study.
How can I schedule a private lesson?
You can schedule a single lesson or a series of lessons, followed with regular or occasional sessions. Day and time may be arranged as mutually convenient to student and instructor. Make an appointment for your personal session by phone, e-mail, or in person.