You or your child has decided to learn to play the violin, and that is fantastic! So now what? We are here to guide you in this amazing journey, so here are 6 things a violin student must do before starting violin lessons in Houston.
Get an instrument
The two most common ways are to purchase a used instrument or rent an instrument from a local violin shop. Here is the breakdown of these options.
When purchasing a used violin, the pro in this scenario is that it is yours to keep. The cons can be numerous, so please be careful. There are different sizes, and the needs from person to person can vary greatly, especially in children. There is also the quality to consider, so if you do not have experience in this area, this may not be the route to go.
When renting an instrument from a local violin shop, there are many pros. One, the quality is already assessed and addressed by a professional. Two, if renting for your child, as they grow you can switch out the sizes at no expense. Three, some of the accessories are usually included. And four, there is generally a credit that you build up that goes toward an instrument purchased when they are on their full grown size. The cons are that you have a monthly rental fee for the violin.
Get the accessories
They will need a music stand, which will be used to hold their music at reading level while they play their instrument. There is also a microfiber cleaning cloth and rosin that will be needed. If renting, these are both generally included. A shoulder rest is also something that is usually needed. This helps with stabilizing the violin when playing it. Get help before purchasing this, as the size of the shoulder rest is dependent on the size of the violin.
While a music book will usually be a necessity, wait for your violin teacher in Houston to address this while age and ability can play a factor.
Find a practice spot
This should usually be a quiet space for practicing. If it is for your child, you might want to observe them, which is completely understandable and fine. Just make sure it is somewhere where they can focus on the task at hand and have no, or at least very little, distractions if possible. Why is this important? This helps to subconsciously associate the space with practicing, which establishes a routine and learning space.
Be prepared to spend time consistently for practicing
Most teachers will recommend to practice daily if at all possible. Does this mean an hour or longer each time, no it does not. The time spent can vary depending on age and circumstance. If daily practicing is not possible, set out a reasonable schedule to get the most out of your time. Something to remember is that something is better than nothing, so even ten minutes a day is beneficial. Your teacher can help out in this area, so do not be shy to ask for recommendations.
Set reasonable expectations
If you expect to sound like a professional soon after starting violin lessons that you have heard on a movie, internet, social media, or even on the street, you will most likely be disappointed and loose interest. Any instrument takes a lot of time and effort to play well, but this is especially true for the violin. Setting reasonable expectations helps you to stay patient and humble throughout the process. Remember, we were all beginners at one time, so your teacher understands this and you should also.
There are a number of apps to be considered when starting violin lessons, and here are some of them.
Music apps to download include a tuner, which helps to tune the instrument and play with accurate pitch. There is also a metronome app to consider, which helps to keep a steady beat. Sometimes, a Bluetooth speaker or something with a louder volume might be needed to hear over the instrument when playing. Again, your teacher can help out in this area with suggestions.
There are also a number of game apps that are great for educational purposes. Ones to consider are Music With Grandma, Treble Cat, Kahoot, Staff Wars, Lasido, and Name The Note. There are others to consider as their level of playing progresses, too.
When you or your child is ready to learn the violin, we are here to help out. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. However, our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more.
By Rachel Barron