4 year old = violin

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by miTunes75, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. miTunes75 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    My 4 year old daughter has been expressing interest in playing the violin for about a month now. I do listen to classical every once in awhile and everytime a violin starts playing, she wants me to turn it up. She has told us several times that she wants to play.

    Is she too young for this? I have been playing the piano since I was 8 - so that's ummmmm....23 years now....but... age 4???
     
  2. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #2
    By all means, encourage her, and let her try it, but look hard for a teacher that specializes with young students. If you started when you were 8, then you can use your experience as a guideline there. At that age they don't seem to have the mindset that it's too hard or difficult, something that we tend to grow into later in life. Do you have a piano that she has listened to you play?
     
  3. miTunes75 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    yes, i do. I kinda suck right now. I have been playing for all those years less 6. We moved to Nashville 7 years and couldn't bring my piano w/me. I had to give it away. My wife recently got me a piano for free. She cleaned it up, restained it, googled online how to make the keys not stick. It just needs a good tuning and it'll be perfect. However, I don't play much right now b/c I sound so bad compared to what I used to, I'm embarrassed. Thankfully, my kids are so young, they don't know the diff.

    She definately seems eager to learn.
     
  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

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    #4
    I started when I was about 5 or 6.
    Make sure the teacher can work with kids... And have her in 1/2 hour lessons at the ABSOLUTE LONGEST. Getting a four-year old to concentrate for any longer than that is a little disastrous (personal experience...)

    Music at a young age is a great idea, though! Find the right teacher, and go for it. Be sure to keep music fun, though. Don't turn it into a chore. When I was younger, it was chore-like and I hated it. When got older, I realized how nice it was and appreciated it, making it fun to play and practice.

    Small violins can be found for cheapish, what with the recent boom in China.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    It's not unheard of.

    My five year old's best friend was taking classes last year FWIW, though as far as I could tell it was his mom's idea, not his. :p

    Not the instrument I would choose to start with learning music, but why the heck not.

    Going to face something like that soon, since my 3 year old is extremely musical and loves to bang on the piano when he gets a chance. Gotta funnel that somehow.

    B
     
  6. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #6
    Let her try it out, whatever you do don't make the mistake so many parents make by forcing their kids to play musical instruments after they've decided they don't like it anymore.

    I started piano when I was 5 so that's 19 years now and I did my last music exam in 1989 so technically I've been a Grade 1 piano player for 18 years. I found teachers who were willing to teach me without making me take exams - they let me bring in CDs and helped me transcribe it to sheet so I could play along, let me make my own interpretations of music and let me choose what I wanted to play.

    Sometimes I look back on my decision to forego the classical music education as possibly a mistake as I don't have a good theoretical foundation nor much of a love of classical music but then I look at what I can do and realise that after all this time I still love to play the piano. I can read music as though I was reading a book and playing music I liked and helped to create kept me sane through the insane study of my final year at High School and throughout my science degree.

    Music and playing music is a wonderful thing but it cannot be created from nothing, you have to let a person make their own mind up as to what they want to do. Be prepared to spend some cash only to have her throw it all away and be prepared to accept her decision to do so.

    Ask other parents in the area who they recommend for a teacher - never get one from a phonebook. Once you're satisfied with a teacher you should ask them who they'd recommend you buy a violin from - second hand or rented is fine for the moment especially as you'll be using a small violin with a child at such a young age.

    But be patient and accepting, music is something that is so fickle that one wrong word at the wrong time can shatter a child's ambition forever. It happened to my sister who was brilliant on the french horn but didn't want to play in a band and was lightly ribbed by her teacher - it was all meant in fun but it just destroyed her. Made me so mad when it happened because she was so good and loved to play.

    So just let her go at her own pace. If she wants to play by all means ask around - age is no boundary to musical ability.
     
  7. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #7
    Well, I have been banging on guitars for - oh, let's see - about - let's just say 40 years as a good number, and last year I decided to learn how to bang on a piano. I found an excellent teacher who also teaches young children, and also teaches adults. She really loves the young ones, and is also quite patient with my learning. Music is a thing of love, as others have mentioned.

    Good luck with her - I don't think it would be hard to find someone in Nashville! Take a look north and wave hello to Kentucky for me - that's where I was born and raised. Haven't been back that way for quite a while now.
     
  8. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

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    #8
    does she even need a teacher?

    Maybe you could sit down on the piano and her with the violin (bought cheap). great parent/daughter time. If she still wants to learn start paying for lessons. But not longer than 30 minutes max. As a child i had 15 minute lessons. Music never worked for me more of a sports guy. but start slowly and tell her that it takes time to get good.
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #9
    Definitely.

    Getting a good teacher will give her a good grounding in the skills and correct technique that will make further learning easier. Unless the OP is an accomplished violin player himself there's no way home-schooling a kid in violin is going to be better than learning from a proper music teacher.

    Same thing with skiing to go a bit off-topic. Get your kids lessons folks, keeps people in jobs and they'll get the right basics to make anything further on down easier.
     
  10. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Start your child now. I started violin at maybe 3-ish... though as the son of an accomplished violinist/conductor and having perfect pitch I had a bit of a leg up.
     
  11. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

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    #11
    My point is would she have more fun with her parents there along for the ride.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #12
    So I'm the only person who read the thread title as "4 year old = virgin"? At first, I thought "Damn well better be!"


    Um....anyway, start your daughter off with a violin. She may like the sound of violins, but she may not like it. Get her a teacher so that she doesn't spend the first 17 hours and 47 minutes fooling around with it and losing interest since she's not getting anywhere or playing like the pros. If she feels a sense of accomplishment because she played even ONE note right, she'll probably be encouraged by her own progress and want to learn more.

    You can help her too. Just play a note on the piano and ask her to play it on her violin.
     
  13. groovebuster macrumors 65816

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    #13
    All kids have perfect pitch at that age. They lose it more and more when it is not trained. So don't feel too special about it.

    groovebuster
     
  14. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    #14
    I can't be the only person who just looked at this thread through sheer confusion. "Four year old equals violin, what the hell?"

    Me = bass guitar?

    Anyway, lessons would be good, as everyone else said.
     
  15. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #15
    I still do.
    kthxbye :)


    Actually, I find the NEED to point out that finding an absolutely excellent teacher is paramount to her success. Find a teacher who is not only good with kids but makes it fun and goes at their pace. I had one for years, but when she retired and moved away, I was stuck with a nice, but uninspiring teacher who would not teach me at my pace. I got bored out of my mind playing song after song but not learning any good songs or advanced techniques I was more than ready for! I quit the violin at the age of around 11 because I wasn't being challenged.

    Ensure this teacher is willing to continue challenging your child constantly! It is the only way to make sure that she reaches her full potential.

    If I had been challenged and taught properly, I would likely have continued to play, possibly also taken up the Viola as my father had also done, and I'd probably be one of my school's top musicians. I could have learned many pieces of music that would be beautiful, complex works of art, yet I never got the chance. It just wasn't worth my time when I could look at it, hear it twice tops, play through it looking at the music once, maybe twice, and by the third play through at the outside end I would have it essentially down pat. If I ever made any major mistakes, it was because I didn't have a chance of focusing on the music I was playing, I was so bored. I'd get drawn to the books in the library around us and start reading titles and forget the violin.
     
  16. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Ditto. Same experiences all the way around. Katie hit the nail on the head.
     
  17. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Find a teacher who does the Suzuki method. This is aimed at very young children and teaches them music the same way they learn speech. My parents started me on Suzuki violin at age 3 (I don't play the violin anymore but have always stuck with music).
     
  18. devilot Moderator emeritus

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    #18
    Sorry I disagree as far as the Suzuki method goes. :eek:
     
  19. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #19
    A teacher is absolutely essential. Parent/daughter time can be taken care of by following along what she learns on violin (parents attending lessons is usually mandatory at that age) and reinforcing it at home. That doesn't mean the two of you can't play around musically together, but a teacher is essential.

    No, that's not true. Some children of that age can't match pitch to save their lives. :p Doesn't mean they won't develop a good ear later, though. And perfect pitch doesn't necessarily have anything to do with musical aptitude.

    I agree, a good Suzuki teacher is great with kids all the way down to 3 yrs of age. But be sure to ask around, hear what parents who have kids with the specific teacher you're interested in, have to say about him/her. And be prepared - Suzuki method means LOTS of parental involvement.
     
  20. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

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    #20
    I completely agree.
    Suzuki doesn't emphasize scales and rhythm as much as is needed, IMO.
    My teacher had me listen, then pluck the piece, then play it with the bow. While that worked for the first few songs (twinkle, lightly row), I specifically remember hating having to do that.
    Looking back on it, learning little pieces was nice, but WOW that method needs some technique-refining etudes. Give me a Kreutzer book! :)
     
  21. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #21
    *quivers with fear* :eek:

    J/k. Sort of. Well, I think Suzuki is a really shallow way to learn music. It's harder at first to learn without it, but it's crucial to build up a strong foundation in reading music, counting, rhythm, theory, etc. all of that, which I feel is NOT taught much by Suzuki. That's much more of learn by imitation.

    Same goes for tape on the fingerboard. No. Don't do it. :p
     
  22. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

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    #22
    oh... I so hear you! While tapes on the violin are helpful for the first month or so, developing an ear to tell if you're out of tune, rather than looking at tape is so important. Then, going to the right pitch using either muscle memory or the ear to fix it.

    And quite frankly, when I went anywhere with mine, when my teacher still demanded I have tapes, I was embarrassed about them. :eek:
     
  23. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #23
    It sounds like you didn't have a particularly good Suzuki teacher. Like all teachers, they vary a lot. A good one will emphasize solid technique building along the way without the child even realizing that's what's happening. So I'll qualify what I said in my last post - - don't just ask the other parents that have kids with a specific teacher, ask parents that are musicians what they think about the teacher. And really, that goes for any type of teacher, Suzuki or otherwise. And if the OP's saw his/her child standing out as being more concentrated than the others in the group, I think I'd rethink a Suzuki teacher pretty fast anyway, even a good one. Wouldn't want the little one to get bored while the others tried to eat their bows. :p

    Personally, I'd find a traditional teacher for my child, but Suzuki can be a good option with such young kids as the OP's, because a good Suzuki environment also includes a lot of group work that most small kids seem to enjoy. When I started violin, at six, this would've driven me crazy - I had really good traditional teachers from day one - one was even a student of Ševčík (REALLY traditional :eek: ) - but I've seen how a lot of kids need the peer group thing to stay interested during all the ups and downs. And for parents who aren't musicians, it can be a good option because it helps the parents learn along side the kids - - they can help and motivate the kids at home.

    Don't think I'd give Kreutzer to a 4-yr-old. :p But I agree that good technique is necessary from the beginning; otherwise, there'll just be frustrating bad habits to undo later.
     
  24. 21stcenturykid macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Definately get a teacher...correct technique is a must really you can only get to a certain stage with certain techniques, techniques are hard to learn from a book expecially at four. My Mum teaches violin for the local music service in primary schools so 4-11yr olds and well to any age really and she would testify to the previous comment and the next... Short lessons also help your child to stay focused. If your not allowed to sit in on a lesson encourage her to play for you what she has learnt when she gets home so while it is still fresh in her mind she can show you what she has done and also ask the teacher to write down some targets for her over the time between lessons so that you can be involved and encourage her to play in front of people. I think most musicians get the most joy from their music when playing in front of people. I know i do!:D

    Make sure you get a 1/4 size violin also...thats kind of obvious i imagine though.

    You could maybe try and do some listening excersises when she gets more into it aswel to fine tune her ear better.
     
  25. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #25
    My university has a music program for young children. A parent takes lessons for a month, then the child and parent go to group lessons, then also a private session. Lots of 3.5-4 year olds do it, and they seem to have a good time. It is a bit of committment on the parent, but seems to pay off. Maybe such classes are all around, you should look into it.
     

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