Violin lessons teach all kinds of important skills beyond playing an instrument. Playing violin requires coordination, strong fine motor skills, careful listening, attention to detail, focus, resilience, and determination. There is no one specific age at which it is too early to start violin lessons in D.C. as long as the student, parents, and violin teacher have clear expectations about how to work together to hone all of these skills and qualities in a student. While some of these skills and qualities might be inherent in a young beginner violin student, others may need tending to.
There, definitely, are advantages to learning music at a young age. Here’s a list of specific skills and qualities to look for in your child and suggestions to improve their readiness for lessons.
Coordination and Fine Motor Skills
There is a certain level of fine motor skill involved in violin playing in order to hold the violin and the bow correctly and press down the correct notes with each finger. This can be a challenge for the very young students, so teachers often use games that involve tapping their fingers, clapping their hands, and stomping their feet to work on coordination, rhythm, or independent use of fingers or hands.
Parents can contribute to this training by helping their children to clap or tap along to music at home. Additionally, activities like drawing, writing, and coloring hone the fine motor skills required for violin lesson.
Focus and Attention to Detail
Often the most important factor in determining a student’s readiness for violin lessons is their attention span and focus. Violin lessons are most often 30 minutes once a week for beginners and students may be asked to commit to practicing anywhere from 10-30 minutes a day, depending on their age and ability.
Unlike other activities they might encounter at that age, violin lessons require very active participation and focus for the duration of the lesson or practice session. Parents can help structure practice time so that students have a period of focus followed by a break or a change in activity. Also, reading music is very similar to reading words, so if a violin student is working on reading words either with help or independently, they have likely developed the right focus to apply to violin lessons.
For students at any age, a commitment to daily, quality practice is essential. Without committing to practicing frequently and efficiently, any time and effort put into lessons becomes fruitless. For very young students, practicing will likely require parental involvement.
These younger students may need the parent to understand a little basic violin technique and music reading so that good habits can be reinforced in the practice time at home. When parents supervise all or part of their child’s practice, it also helps the student to improve their discipline and focus. Parents can schedule a practice session at the same time and in the same part of the home each day in order to help establish a routine.
Determination, Patience, and Resilience
When beginning instruction, students should be aware that though violin lessons will often be fun and exciting, there will inevitably be times when the child does not improve as rapidly or as easily as they want to. Many skills on the violin take years to master, so patience and determination are essential. Outside of lessons, playing sports and games can go a long way in teaching a child about resilience after disappointment and about daily commitment to a lifelong skill.
If you’re interested in getting your child started with violin lessons, we can provide you with a highly-qualified teacher who can meet your child’s individual needs as a new music student! 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 Emily Doveala