There are many reasons why so many people do and why so many want to learn to play the violin, and it’s not just the beautiful music they make that’s swaying many a music lover to become a violinist.
Take a look at our reasons for picking up a fiddle and bowing a symphony:
1. Violinists have better posture
It may look easy, but holding a stringed instrument and its bow in a comfortable position actually takes a lot of practicing, and failing! To play the violin properly, you should be holding the string instrument with your core fully engaged, meaning that your abs will be tight, shoulders back and down, and you’ll be sitting upright with no shifting.
Although hard to get used to at first, this enhanced first position will become easier as time passes and could bring you a number of health benefits.
2. It will challenge you physically (and mentally!)
Aside from the above adjustment to your body positioning habits, you’ll also need to conquer the strain on your arm muscles and the ability to multi-task, as both of your hands will be doing something very different! Try rubbing your tummy with one hand whilst patting your head with the other, and you’ll see how hard it is to do both at once!
As well as having active, engaged arm muscles, other muscle groups you’ll use are the neck, shoulders, back and abs, making it a very good upper body workout. Not to mention, of course, the brain workout you will be doing too!
You may also find it challenging on your hand and wrist to spread your fingers across the strings at the angle which you hold your violin. Violin fingering is one of the hardest types of placement you’ll have to experience as a musician.
3. It is a nice small instrument
Being the smallest in the string family, a violin is a great choice for a petite person or someone that isn’t keen on carrying a hefty case around with them. It is easy to transport, so great if you are a traveling performer, and it means you can take your instrument of choice with you wherever you go to fit in some practice.
The violin is a nice small instrument making it very portable. Photo credit: navema on Visualhunt.com
You can set up your own little violin concerto on the bus, train, underground tube or airplane if you so wish!
You must remember to have your violin tuner with you at all times as you don’t want to play on an ill tuned instrument and risk being told you sound scratchy!
4. It’s a stunning piece of musical equipment
Not only does the violin make up a huge part of an orchestra, with many solos being played by violinists during ensembles and concerts, it’s also a very versatile instrument. With violin, you aren’t just limited to classical music making, you can play classical jazz or even use an electric violin for a more edgy sound.
Modern music genres often introduce the sound of a violin solo, even in the rap and hip hop genres, because it makes a great accompaniment to all other music.
5. It’s rewarding
Playing the violin is not easy, which makes beginning violin and becoming accomplished all the more rewarding. Admittedly, it will take time for you to master the instrument correctly and to sound practiced, but once you have nailed it you can be so proud of your achievement.
The violin, as opposed to other instruments, requires a huge amount of precision and skill so you must have lots of motivation and self-discipline.
6. It’s a graceful instrument
As a male or female musician, no one wants to be described as ‘clumpy’. Thankfully, the violin is one of the most gracious instruments you can play and will make you look elegant to all of your spectators.
Violin players, even buskers with violins, manage to make the piece look and sound dazzling, and this is because of the sleek appearance and smooth sound of their violins.
Violin lessons take different shapes depending on what you are looking for and what your circumstances are.
Children, for example, love making music but, as toddlers, they rarely get a chance to play around with string instruments unless their parents pay for them to attend private lessons studying music theory for little ones. But this is quite a commitment when you don’t know if your little star will want to continue with it past those early years!
Furthermore, those with learning disabilities have a much harder time finding suitable classes or a music teacher that can cope with their additional needs. But, with talent and creativity brimming below the surface, why should their ability to express themselves through music be stifled simply because of the logistics of classes?
Not everyone has the opportunity to receive 121 tuition, so some great classically trained violin tutors have come up with some amazing ways to make sure that music, like the violin, is accessible to everyone in the community and not just there for the majority to benefit from.
Baby And Toddler Violin Lessons
While there are undoubtedly many more orchestral classes adapted for youngsters, StringBabies® (including cellobabies®, violababies® & violinbabies®) is just one national accredited association dedicated to teaching young children how to play string instruments outside of music school, taking them from beginners to talented rising stars.
Many youngsters don’t get the opportunity to touch a string instrument until later in their education. Photo credit: juhansonin on Visual hunt
Did you know that some of the best violin players in the world are children? Check out this video of a two-year-old performing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! She may not be the best example of mastery just yet but if she can play this at just two, imagine what she could be capable of a few years down the line!
Having been founded more than a decade ago by Kay Tucker, children as young as three all over the country have the chance to pick up an instrument that may not normally have encountered until they were much older, possibly in their teens at secondary school, and have the advantage of learning to love music played through the either the violin, cello, or viola.
With partnerships all across Great Britain, string classes are available in Surrey, Devon, Cambridgeshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Middlesex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Kent, Mid Lothian, West Sussex, South Glamorgan, London, Cornwall, Aberdeenshire, Leicestershire and more. So, wherever you are, your child is within reaching distance of an amazing and relaxed musical experience.
One of the biggest benefits of such music lessons with qualified instructors is that the outstanding violin tuition acts as a model on a national scale for early years music provision, raising the chances of young children learning music and how to play instruments to a high level.
Another is the fact that an independent music school or class such as this understands their pupils and the best ways of teaching music to them. Many of the leaders will not only be a professional musician, but they’ll also have a qualification in pedagogy and working with students of all ages.
All the while a happy environment, kids are taught to play and respect their chosen instrument as well as how to read music with a good violin teacher, which will make their journey in music much easier as they progress through school, taking away that barrier that so often comes in the way of pupils achieving excellence in this field. In addition, the players are encouraged to compose their own melodies, feeding their creativity and once more advancing their knowledge and skill.
Some children in the association learn to read music before they can even read, but every child develops a better understanding of sheet music!
Most children who partake in the invaluable lessons remain students for between one and three years, depending on the pace at which they learn and how much they or their parents wish for them to gain from the instructional experience.
How To Learn The Violin With Autism
Caring for and teaching a child who has Autism can be quite challenging for parents and teachers alike; a lot of extra attention, time and patience is required in many cases. However, this does not have to mean that your child must have less opportunities in life, nor should it hold them back from doing something they love.
Autism and music classes go well together.
Researchers have found that people with Autism often struggle to interpret their experiences within context so, when faced with a context-less situation, they can often visualise things that aren’t normally associated with those objects, feelings or noises.
Children, in particular those on the autistic scale, respond to the creative arts differently to others and find may find solace in this type of expression. Photo credit: apgroner on Visualhunt.com / CC BY
The right hemisphere of the brain, the ‘creative’ part, is generally impaired for individuals with Autism, while the left side, the ‘logical’ part, functions normally, or more advanced than usual in some cases. This means that those with Autism simply think differently to those without the disorder, and show uniques responses to situations compared to a neurotypical individual.
Autistic children will, therefore, display an original connection to the creative world, such as music, and can often take comfort in the ability to use music as a form of expression.
The Richmond Music Trust, based in London, offers pupils a range of high-quality musical experiences through instrumental tuition delivered at schools or music centres. The association also arranges a wide range of ensembles, working closely with schools in and out of the area to provide a Wider Opportunities programme, allowing people to get involved with music who might not have otherwise had this opportunity at a music learning process.
As part of their Music Therapy commitments, offered privately on a regular or on an outreach basis, the association delivers an effective form of therapeutic support for people with learning disabilities, giving them the chance to get involved in an inspiring music lesson.
It is their belief that:
“Music therapy is particularly valuable for people with learning disabilities as it provides those who have difficulty expressing themselves and forming relationships with a means through which to engage in close interpersonal contact. The innate joy in musical interaction enables the therapist to strengthen the part of the client that is able and functioning, thus encouraging the development of existing or dormant abilities and strengths.
Music therapy can reach clients who are withdrawn by promoting supportive relationships where clients can be accepted for who they are. This emotional support can help a client live with his/her disability and its associated challenges. Music therapy is an empowering experience for clients. It encourages meaningful communication and a positive sense of self.”
Either one to one or small group classes can be organised for both children and adults taking place throughout the week at various locations.
We hope that this post has opened your eyes to the vast opportunities available for learning to play the violin and for progression through an association. Absolutely anybody can master the violin with the right kind of encouragement and tuition!