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So my 3 year old has a cellist's physique, does he?

(16 Posts)
babyfedleaning Tue 03-Jun-14 20:49:14

I was informed this by a new acquaintance at the weekend who then spent a full half hour extolling the virtues of starting offspring early on the route to learning a musical instrument and how we should start DS1 on the cello asap. Susuki style if possible (he is a violinist of admittedly some talent and learnt through this method so I assume he knows what he is talking about). DH and I had been thinking of getting a second hand piano at some point, but given we were both forced into playing instruments we hated and couldn't get a decent noise out of for a considerable period of time (trumpet and violin), we were both agreed on the fact we didn't want to force DS1 into playing something he didn't want to learn. Neither of us continued beyond our early teens and we both sold our instruments as soon as we could!) I thought piano lessons in the future might offer a good grounding for musical theory if our children felt inclined, and could lead on to learning other instruments, but I am now wondering whether we are being narrow minded or even naive. Indeed are we missing some sort of trick and should DS1, aged 3, be commencing group cello lesson in the near future?

SueDNim Tue 03-Jun-14 20:53:07

Can you imagine a trying to teach a group of 3 year olds to play the cello? DD is 3 and goes to lovely group music lessons. The do some singing, some percussion, see a wide variety of instruments and do some moving to music. It seems great for her age. I'd be really interested to hear about teaching 3 year olds single instruments, if it works.

AlpacaLypse Tue 03-Jun-14 20:53:19

grin no way!

Three year olds should be getting muddy, painty and generally grubby, not practising music.

I appreciate the Suziki method seems to have nurtured some amazing talents, however I'd rather wait a little longer and let the child have a little more choice.

Wafflenose Tue 03-Jun-14 21:41:03

Let him choose! My six year old has just started the cello (her choice) and it's young enough (and hard enough!) for her.

I know millions swear by Suzuki, and it really does work for some. I personally don't like the way the system assumes the child can't do certain things, which often they can, but I appreciate that this is a controversial opinion. I am also perhaps biased as a non-Suzuki woodwind teacher.

JulieMichelleRobinson Tue 03-Jun-14 23:22:26

I teach piano to 3yos, but what I really teach is "hey, there's this cool thing that makes noise, look, we can do this sort of noise and make some patterns." They're exploring music using the piano as a vehicle, not "learning the piano" in a traditional way. But unlike with Suzuki, they are actually developing music-reading skills from day one (this is Thumbelina the elephant, when we see her we play the piano with our thumb... we play this one first, then the next one...)

Suzuki works... but it would drive me insane to be a Suzuki teacher (or parent). I just pick out ideas that I like and use them.

Hakluyt Tue 03-Jun-14 23:28:07

Th problem with Suzuki as I understand it is that they have to learn "proper" music later....which seems bonkers.

Wafflenose Wed 04-Jun-14 08:11:16

I don't like Suzuki's assumption that the child can't read music (I taught one of my DCs at 3 years, and one at 4!), hold a bow, use a proper instrument at first, and various other things. My friend has 3 DCs who went through Suzuki violin for years and years, and she said there are lots of things it assumes you can't do. Might depend on the practitioner, of course.

JulieMichelleRobinson Wed 04-Jun-14 14:42:50

I don't see the point in running around with a box for a year. If your child isn't ready for a real instrument, save your money or do a kindermusic group.

FWIW, Wafflenose, I'm 30 years old and a violin teacher, and I still can't hold the bow properly for more than 2min. It's harder than you think ;-) But I have the children at 4yo learning to read music with no problems, although of course it means that they can't play really hard stuff straight away. With violin, we tend to learn by ear a lot more to begin with, because it's hard enough trying to play it in tune without reading notes as well (I refuse to use sticky stripes after I had a 19yo transfer student come to me still with stripes on his fiddle...). It's also harder to make the association with where notes are.

Wafflenose Wed 04-Jun-14 15:39:51

My bow hold is probably awful... I took up viola for fun at 15, did Grade 4 just before I left school, and never played it again. I did Grade 4 violin in my 20s... then broke my elbow and haven't played since. Now DD's cello teacher is trying to teach me the cello bow hold so that I can help her... only it's totally different!

JulieMichelleRobinson Wed 04-Jun-14 17:09:40

Only real difference is pinky, because you don't have to balance the bow with it. Now, viola da gamba is another matter.... mwahahahahaha!!!!

(No, I don't have one. At the moment. Played a bit at uni).

Cello acquired last week (very cheap one). We'll see how that goes!

DeWee Wed 04-Jun-14 17:10:34

Surely physique is only part of it? Someone was telling me the other day that she was picked out on her physique for a particular sport. She did all the coaching, everything they said, and never excelled in it.
I would have thought that "right" physique for cello would be less important than for a sport.

lljkk Wed 04-Jun-14 17:25:44

What is a Celloist physique?
DS looks a lot like a garden gnome/rugby player (and he is a talented runner), but is rather unsuited emotionally to either role.

babyfedleaning Wed 04-Jun-14 20:10:44

That's what I'd like to know lljkk. He is broad shouldered with a long back and short legs. I assume his arms are standard length. Does anyone know if this is a term that is actually used?!

goonIcantakeit Wed 04-Jun-14 21:19:50

I'm sure it was well-meant but welcome to the world of people with strong narrow agendas!

SanityClause Wed 04-Jun-14 21:26:08

I know cellists of all different shapes and sizes, including one woman who is so small she has a special 7/8ths cello, as she will always be too small for a full size (music graduate).

I started DD2 playing the violin at 3. Funnily enough, because the teacher at her preschool music group said she had a natural posture for a violinist. In retrospect, she was too young, but others may be better able to cope at that age. She still plays, though, at 13, and still loves it.

grassroots Tue 24-Jun-14 09:26:02

DS started at 4. He is by no means 'a natural' but he does really enjoy it. He has made slow, steady progress. He also enjoys jumping in muddy puddles and running around like a loon! Whatever method of learning you choose, I would say the teacher is the most important thing at this stage - you need someone who is going to keep it fun and enjoyable, and is used to teaching tines.

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