The violin, like any instrument, takes time and effort to master. Violin lessons in Seattle are key for anyone looking to start the process of learning and eventually loving the violin. It has long been known to be one of the more difficult instruments to learn because of its complexity. To learn and become proficient at playing the violin, getting set up with violin teachers in Seattle is a great start, but anyone prepared to undertake this task needs to understand what they’re getting into in order to set expectations appropriately.
If you are looking to learn the violin as an adult, that’s great! It’s a misconception that you need to start young in order to master the instrument. But, you should know that learning the violin takes dedication, discipline, and a love for the instrument. It takes anywhere from 5 to 10 years to truly be great at playing the violin. However, don’t let that deter you. With violin lessons in Seattle, you’ll be playing simple songs in months as you learn the basics. We’ll also run through why the violin is a difficult instrument to learn, why it’s worth it, and how you can stay motivated to continue playing when it gets tough.
Reasons the Violin Is Difficult
A few unique aspects of the violin make it difficult to learn for both children and adults. For the reasons we’ll describe in detail below, it’s just difficult to play the correct notes or get the notes exactly right while also correctly maneuvering your bow. However, don’t be discouraged. These are simple things you should know prior to picking up a violin for the first time. They are not insurmountable. Let’s take a look at why the violin is a difficult instrument to learn.
Playing in tune is known as intonation. For a beginner of any instrument, this is a challenge. For violinists, intonation comes from having trained ears to recognize notes accurately, as well as muscle memory in your hands from playing the correct notes enough. Correct intonation can take years to develop.
On a guitar or piano, you have physical and visual cues to guide your fingers when playing. This is not so on a violin. Unlike their cousin, the guitar, violins do not have frets to indicate where you should place your fingers in order to achieve the correct note. Most, if not all, beginner violinists place tape along the fingerboard to help them find and remember the correct place to put their fingers.
More than many other instruments, the violin requires you to be a master of multitasking. Not only does your left hand have to find the correct notes on the fingerboard (without looking!), but your right hand must hold and correctly use the bow in order to produce a sound worth hearing. All this must be done while reading sheet music and being keenly aware of your conductor.
Not only does your bowing technique matter greatly to the overall sound your violin produces, but it also needs to be meticulously maintained.
Benefits of Playing the Violin
Before you return the violin you bought because you’re intimidated by the thought of spending five years of your life restringing your violin or replacing the bow hairs, let’s talk about some of the incredibly positive things that playing an instrument, particularly the violin, offers you. In the end, we believe learning the violin is completely worth it, and we think you’ll agree.
Through studies, we’ve learned that learning the violin can reduce anxiety. This benefit is not exclusive to the violin but can be felt in any instrument learned.
Improved Fine Motor Skills
Learning the violin requires the practice and precision of finger placement, bow control, and plucking strings. These actions require fine motor skills, which are developed and honed over time while learning the violin.
Improved Mental Function
Studies have also shown that if you play an instrument consistently over a long period of time (2 years or more), it has some real positive benefits for your brain. Multiple parts of your brain are activated when playing music, and it shows enhanced attention span and memory. This benefit extends into your later years, too, showing that playing the violin not only helps you now but also keeps you sharper as you age.
Lastly, improved posture is a huge benefit of playing the violin. Good posture is helpful for violinists, as it helps keep everything in line to play in tune.
Tips for Learning the Violin
Even though the violin does take years to master, violin lessons in Seattle and practice at home make it a joyful experience. We’ve put together a list of helpful tips and encouragements to keep you on track to master the violin.
Know It’s a Long Haul
Truly understanding that it will take years before you’re the violin player you’d always dreamed of being will help the rest of these steps seem more doable. Whether your goal is to join a community or church orchestra or to pursue a career as a musician, it will take a long time to join the ranks of professional violinists. Even as you improve, you’ll come to realize there are always new techniques to learn or songs to master.
If you’re not clear on it yet, it’s a long journey from starting the violin to becoming a master of your craft. It’s impossible to become an excellent violin player overnight, so have patience with yourself as you learn something new. It might seem discouraging as you fumble through the early years of learning a new instrument but stick with it.
Just like you need to be aware that learning the violin takes years, and to take it one day at a time, you need to remember to power through the tough times. Practicing every day is essential.
Find a Great Teacher
Lessons in Your Home provides so many options for learning, whether it’s in-person or virtual music lessons. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers who are well experienced, focus on each student’s individual needs, and plan their lessons accordingly.