Getting My Children to Ask for Violin Lessons
The violin is my favorite instrument. Even Albert Einstein agreed: "A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy." Convincing my children of that, however, isn't the easiest task...especially when drum sets sound their siren call from their earliest age. Find out below what I have done and continue to do to lull my children into sharing my love of this stringed instrument.
Why You Should Play the Violin
1) The violin is easy to learn and easy to carry.
2) The violin is versatile. You can play fiddle music, classical, country, bluegrass, rock, and more. You can easily play solo, duets, trios, and other ensembles.
3) The violin has been around for centuries, so it's easy to find lots of great violin music pieces.
4) Learning to play the violin (or most other instruments) increases your intelligence.
Do you have a child or grandchild who plays the violin?
Delightful Violin Picture Books
Reading books that feature violins will excite children about the possibility of playing it.
This cute picture book follows a young girl as she works hard practicing Vivaldi's "Winter" on her violin. It includes the values of working hard and includes a bit of wishing-upon-a-star magic.
Frederico, the Mouse Violinist by Mayra Calvani is an adorable picture book about a mouse who desperately wants to play the violin. Antonio Stradivari helps the mouse's dream become a reality. I loved that this book includes biographical information about Antonio Stradivari in a manner that is appealing to young children. Irving the Frog and His Violin by Michelle Zwirn is a delightful picture book about a frog who plays to violin. As he does what he loves, he inspires other animals in the forest. This teaches great values and life lessons -- and it is centered around playing the violin! Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books) by Lloyd Moss is a fun counting book that usually becomes a favorite bedtime reading book when my children are 18 months -- and their love of the book continues from there. It goes through various instruments and has delightful and appealing illustrations.
Tips for Starting Out
1) Don't get a cheap violin. We made that mistake. The pegs wouldn't hold the strings well, so it was always getting out of tune. If you're not positive that your child will stick with the instrument, rent one for a few months first before making the investment.
2) Violins come in different sizes. Make sure you get the right size for your child so that s/he can reach the strings while holding the violin in the correct position. When my oldest son was 6, he started on a 1/2 size violin. A couple years later he needed a 3/4 size violin, which he still uses at age 10.
3) It takes a few months to not sound squeaky. That's normal.
4) If you have a very young child, put different colored small stickers under each of the strings at the correct finger positioning to help your child more easily differentiate the strings and to learn the positions. You can also tell them to keep the bow and violin in a T or plus sign.
5) You'll need rosin to keep your bow in good condition. Ask your teacher or salesperson to get an idea of how frequently you should rosin your bow.
Wonderful Violin Music
If your children hear violin music being played around the house and in the car, they may want to try out the same songs on their own violins. My oldest son is usually more inspired to practice after attending a violin concert or hearing a phenomenal violin performance on CD. The Art of Fugue for String Quartet is considered to be Bach's last great work. It is a delight to the ear and so inspiring to any violin student! For children who would prefer something a bit more modern on the strings, Lindsey Stirling is a wonderful pick! She is a modern, young violinist who is quite gifted and energetic. Also look for her music videos on YouTube as they are fun to watch! They are great for inspiring children to become violinists!
Inspiring Volin Performances on YouTube - If you can't make it to a live violin concert, make use of YouTube video clips.
Andre Rieu & 3 year old violinist, Akim Camara
Julia Fischer - Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor
Elements - Lindsey Stirling
Our Favorite Violin Lesson Books
This is the book my children start with when learning violin. It includes a CD to help them learn the correct notes and speed. It includes a variety of genres of music. * If you would prefer to stick with only classical music, Suzuki Violin School: Violin Part, Vol. 1 by Alfred Music is probably the best option. We use the Suzuki book after completing this book.
Free Lessons for Beginners on YouTube - He offers many more free lessons. These are just the first few.
Violin Lesson #2: Holding the Bow (bow hold)
Violin Lesson #3: Holding the Bow (bow hold)
Violin Lesson #4:The Hold and Finger Placement
Violin Lesson #5:The Hold and Finger Placement
The difference between a violin and a fiddle?
The price you paid for it.
(Actually, there is no difference. They are the same instrument.)
What's Your Favorite String Instrument?
© 2013 Shannon