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Violin starting age.....


Angela
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I have had several people ask me lately what the optimum age for starting to play the violin is. I never know what to say. I don't really consider myself a good example, because I started at age three and I'm sure that I really didn't learn much the first few years. Can anyone give me an answer?

Thanks,

Angela

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Don't know what the optimum age is Angela, but I was 44 when I started (2 years ago), and I know there are some things I will never be able to do because my muscles etc are already set. So even if you feel you didn't progress much early on, I bet your fingers were gaining flexibility as your body developed.

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: I have had several people ask me lately what the optimum age for starting to play the violin is. I never know what to say. I don't really consider myself a good example, because I started at age three and I'm sure that I really didn't learn much the first few years. Can anyone give me an answer?

: Thanks,

: Angela

I wouldn't know that much about it. I started at 14, I'm doing alright I think and I was making a lot more progress than younger begginers, but I think that it aught assuredly to be before 14, It seems all the really famous soloists started when they were 4 or 5, but I'd say 10 would still be a great age. As I said I wouldn't know very well, but it's just my guess.

Jon

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It isn't really about how much you learn in the first few years that matters when you start at age 3. It's about never remembering a time you didn't play as you grow older. I think the idea of starting kids this young is a good one in that way that it just becomes a natural part of their life.

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I have two boys that play. My older son (now 16) plays with the local youth symphony and studies with a major symphony player. Both boys started when they were 8. Before that I don't think either one had the attention span or patience to learn well. I believe boy's and girl's maturity levels differ at young ages. Often times girls are more mature at the younger ages. I being a male violinist merely mention this as an observation. I am sure there are many opinions. Eight years old worked well for my 2 sons and they have both passed many who started earlier.

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I guess that's true. I would never give up the violin because it's a part of my daily routine, and now that I've gotten over the concept that it was all my parents' idea to play, I really love it. But the reason why I kind of regret starting so early is that I always resented having to go to lessons and practicing because it wasn't my own choice.

Angela

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: It isn't really about how much you learn in the first few years that matters when you start at age 3. It's about never remembering a time you didn't play as you grow older. I think the idea of starting kids this young is a good one in that way that it just becomes a natural part of their life.

Good point. That line about not remembering a time when you didn't play hits it on the nose. If you start when you are really little, then playing an instrument can help form the way the brain develops--pitch, rhythm, an inner sense of musicality and expression. Also, certain physiological advantages may also be imparted, such as quick fingers and a smooth bow arm. Although not a lot of playing skills may be learned, music being an inherent part of one's person is imbued.

PC

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:But the reason why I kind of regret starting so early is that I always resented having to go to lessons and practicing because it wasn't my own choice.

I'm sure this kind of thing causes lots of kids to be resentful - but keep in mind that it's not just the musical skills you were learning. It's the life-skill of not avoiding things just because they weren't your own choice. Isn't that one thing we all had to learn when we were growing up? just like eating those lima beans and taking baths... Perhaps this is why your parents had you continue with it... part of a parent's responsibility is to help their kids learn healthy attitudes.

Another way of looking at it (I should have said this first) is that maybe your parents just wanted you to start experiencing music, rather than waiting until you exibited some, possibly vague, interest. Some kids don't know if they like something until they've tried it. I was the same way about sports; it's like when I was in the primary grades, sports were just kind of "there" and I had no particular interest, but would have enjoyed it had I been "put" into one. However, by the time I was old enough to express an interest in joining a team sport, all the kids my age had been doing it for three or four years, so I was way behind.

Hope this makes sense!

Thanks

Laurel

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