Tips for practicing violin
Should your child be practicing the violin? Few musical instruments are as gratifying as it! Its sound is as beautiful as it gets! However, the path of learning to play the violin is long, and sometimes it may get really hard, especially if you start playing it once you are no longer a young child. This is one of the reasons to sign up your children for violin lessons: not only because this instrument offers so many advantages, but also because now it is the best possible time to learn it.
Reasons to play the
According to a 2014 research published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, playing the violin has many advantages for your child’s cerebral development as well as their mental health. A team directed by professor Hudziak, from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, discovered that music plays a larger role than expected when it comes to sustaining psychological health. Thus, for a child, playing the violin may even be more effective in keeping depression, anxiety, aggression and other behavior problems than taking medication.
We have already discussed the many benefits music has for anyone, not only children. Practicing violin helps the brain remain active and improves its functions, such as work memory, attention, and stress reduction. Playing the violin is an excellent way of chilling out and relaxing! Plus, a child who practices violin improves his or her social skills, as it becomes a conversational topic, increases their self-esteem, and self-sufficiency.
Before buying their
If this is the first time your child will be
practicing violin, and there is no one in the family from whom they can borrow
an instrument, you will run to the music store and buy one for them, right?
Actually, you may consider renting a violin for a young child! Some music
instructors recommend not investing in a new violin until your child stops
growing so fast. Otherwise, you will have to change the instrument for a bigger
one every year or so.
In case you still want to buy them a new violin, there is no need to spend an excessive amount of money on their first instrument. However, like most musical instruments, the price directly reflects the violin’s quality. Even a beginner’s violin may cost a few hundred bucks. Please keep in mind the violin you buy should include a bow, a case, and strings.
How should you choose the size? Easy: take your kid to the store with you and measure the length of her left arm: when holding the violin in the appropriate position for playing it, your child’s arm should be straight and her fingers should be near the top of the fingerboard. Anyway, the clerk will be happy to assist you with your purchase.
Hold that bow!
When they first begin practicing violin, make
sure your child puts all of their attention in the hand that holds the bow
(their right hand, unless they are playing a specially designed violin for the left-handed).
Their hand should be relaxed and loose, and somehow curvy, as holding a small
ball. Their palm should not close or rest on the bow, as this diminishes the
control over the movements. At first, they may seem uncomfortable, but once
they get to practice it will come natural.
Before even attempting digitations, children should gain confidence by playing open strings. Violins have four strings that can be played without putting any finger down: G3, D4, A4, and E5. There are many little tunes and songs the child can begin playing with these four notes. They should focus on learning to play one string at the time without accidentally touching the others, developing the necessary control they will need later on in their violin practice. That is why the first part of their learning process should be focused on achieving a sense of the rhythm and identifying each string for its particular sound.
should be a daily task
First, since the violin is one of the most
difficult musical instruments, it is important that your child gets to practice
a little every day, and not constrain their practice to the weekly music
lessons. However, if you push your child too much, they will get frustrated and
soon they’ll want to quit. That is why at first the practice should be short,
for about 15-20 minutes. As they get better, the practice should extend until
they reach an hour a day or so. Keep in mind professional violinists may play
their instrument 3 or more hours a day! In any case, anyone who wants to play
the violin should practice as much as they can and don’t stop when things get
Second, the practice should be slow at first.
Time will make easier for your child to remember where to put their little
fingers and develop a rhythm.
Third, even when certain people can learn to play the violin by themselves, with tutorials, there is no doubt your child will learn faster and better with a professional violin instructor. Make sure your kid takes music lessons at least once a week with someone they feel comfortable around. This will provide priceless feedback to their efforts!
Last but not least, show the child how to wipe the violin after every practice to keep it on appropriate conditions.
Can an adult learn how
to play the violin?
Even though adults lack brain plasticity (that innate ability to learn new stuff really good, really fast children have), with enough practice and perseverance, anyone can still learn to play the violin very decently! For example, check out this Norwegian Youtuber, Violin Noobie, who began practicing violin at 24. It’s been some years since then, and she can now perform beautiful classical pieces, as well as renowned soundtracks!
If you want to play the violin, you certainly
can! Of course, it may take longer and never come as naturally as if you were a
kid, but never let anyone discourage you from doing something you really love.