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Should I stop dd's violin lessons

(22 Posts)
Didiplanthis Sat 28-Jan-17 19:46:36

OK. This Is a tough one one for me. My dd is seven and has been playing violin for 18 months. Initially she made good progress and we moved from group to individual lessons as she was the only one that practiced every day so was progressing quicker. However 18 months in we really don't seem to be getting very far. I don't know if I'm expecting too much. She has just introduced 4th finger and is most of the way through fiddle time joggers. I know it's not about exams but we seem way off grade 1 still. She practices every day and seems to enjoy it. If I suggest stopping or maybe trying a different instrument she gets upset. But by nature she never gives up on anything ever and I suspect this may be the issue rather than a love of violin. There are no other teachers we can try as we live very rurally and can't get to anywhere. I know group playing would help but again we cant get to what's on offer without stopping swimming which has to come first as a life skill. I got so much happiness from music as a child ( not strings though ! ) and she does seem to enjoy it but I just wonder if another instrument might be better although she's doesn't want to. Am happy to be told to not worry if she's enjoying it but no one I know in RL is interested in music to chat things over with. Her violin teacher just says oh she's doing fine but then I am paying her so not sure if this is genuine !

user1484226561 Sat 28-Jan-17 19:50:22

she is 18 month in and would be starting from scratch with another instrument. She is happy and committed, the speed that you improve at is no indicator of how good you eventually get, let her enjoy it.

unweavedrainbow Sat 28-Jan-17 20:06:04

Just a point, if she's most of the way through Fiddle Time Joggers then she's not that far off the Grade 1 pieces. Some of the Grade 1 pieces for the 2016-19 syllabus are actually from Fiddle Time Runners (the next book along). Once she's happy with 4th finger she's basically there. Plus at 7 she's very young still-strings are hard!

Wafflenose Sat 28-Jan-17 20:23:09

If she loves it and is committed, don't stop! The teacher is right - she is doing fine. I know other DCs who've been playing for the same amount of time and are nowhere near as far along. 3 years to Grade 1 is not uncommon with tiny ones and strings.

Stuffedshirt Sat 28-Jan-17 20:27:25

My son plays violin and is up to grade 7. It's a really difficult instrument to play and it takes forever for it to start sounding good. It sounds to me like your daughter is doing very well indeed and she's committed.

I definitely wouldn't stop her lessons, especially as she's practising every day. My son has also started piano and is up to grade 5. I'm absolutely certain that his music lessons have enhanced his learning in every respect.

Good luck to your daughter, give her loads of praise and encouragement for doing so well with a really difficult instrument.

catkind Sat 28-Jan-17 20:35:03

Are you getting her music lessons because you think she's going to be the next Vanessa Mae, or for fun? Cos it sounds like she's having fun, and practicing too - brilliant. She's certainly not a completely beginner if she's using all fingers, and can she read music too? Starting violin is hard, so many different components to put together.

elsiemarleysellsthebarley Sat 28-Jan-17 20:44:23

Getting towards end of joggers in 18 months is good progress for a 7 yr old. Much better than being skipped ahead, without getting a good technical foundation, which I see all to often. I'd be looking around for junior string orchestras locally - once kids have a social reason to play they tend to flourish. Many you can start from about that level. If she enjoys it and practices it seems strange to stop!

fruitpastille Sat 28-Jan-17 20:48:26

I know a very talented violinist who told me he took quite a while (can't remember but longer than your DD) to get to grade 1. I think you should definitely continue - daily practise is much more than must kids do and the fact she enjoys it is the main thing.

NoMoreAngstPls Sat 28-Jan-17 20:50:48

Why on earth would you suggest to her that she should stop?
18m to grade 1 standard is good IME.

My DD took 2y to grade 1, and another year to grade 2 *didn't start with 4th finger until after grade 1.

Orchestra would be a great idea.

Didiplanthis Sat 28-Jan-17 21:00:01

OK. That all sounds good - thank you so much ! I didn't really have anyone to ask for an opinion. I was a wind player and started later and I really do appreciate how much easier it was than violin. I only want her to have fun and enjoy it, not be the next vanessa mae, honestly. Just wasnt sure if I should have been redirecting her to another instrument for her to get more out if it but it sounds like she's doing OK. She is quite driven even at 7 so would never quit off here own back. I had very pushy parents who made me feel nothing I did was good enough ( inc grade 8 at 14 ! ) so I really won't be pushing her - I tell her she's doing great but needed to get a feel for doing the right thing for outside sources. I'd rather she didn't do exams at all after my experiences but she loves an exam/badge/test !!

Fleurdelise Sat 28-Jan-17 22:34:14

Didi come to the musicians thread, you'll get lots of support.

I agree with the pp, as long as she is practising I wouldn't suggest giving up, maybe look into efficient practice with her teacher (if you join the thread I am sure you'll get more suggestions about this) but why giving up?

Strings are hard form what I have heard, DD is learning piano and took 18 months to grade 1 but then skipped to grade 3 in 1 year and now to grade 5 after another year and a term after grade 3. I think she progressed faster because she had a great foundation initially and took her time to assimilate all the initial skills.

teacher54321 Sat 28-Jan-17 22:39:38

Music teacher here-i'm a woodwind and piano player myself but did grade 1 and 2 violin as as an adult and it's really hard! If she's practising every day and enjoys it then please don't cancel the lessons smile She's still so little and IME the piano and string instruments take much longer to master than other families of instruments. I was a case in point-I got from grade 1 to 8 flute in 7 years and it took 14 years to get from grade 1 to 8 piano... I am obviously biased as I am a music teacher but grades are not the be all and end all. She's making progress and is enjoying it, that's the holy grail for extra curricular activities in my eyes smile

onlymusic Sun 29-Jan-17 18:36:15

It sounds like she is absolutely on track with her violin and I would not stop lessons. Grade 1 takes ages to master and perhaps teacher just want to make sure that she is confident with her basics. Many children don't even start it till 7. Your dd sounds like a dedicated child and I am sure it will not take long for her to succeed.

onlymusic Sun 29-Jan-17 18:37:36

My dd is learning violin too and though she seem to progress relatively quickly it took her more than 18 months to do grade 1.

YokoUhOh Sun 29-Jan-17 18:42:12

I didn't stsrt violin until 9 and ended up playing a concerto with the local youth orchestra! It's just a hard instrument, perhaps the hardest, and a poor technique is hard to iron out which is why teachers take it slowly. Well done to your DD.

musicalprof Sun 29-Jan-17 18:50:51

I agree with other posters - let her keep going.

You've mentioned your own pushy parents; what message do you think it will give her if you encourage her to swap instrument in spite of the fact that she practises every day & says herself that she is enjoying it...?

Didiplanthis Mon 30-Jan-17 17:49:35

Sorry. I may not have been clear. I'm not encouraging her to give up. I was just looking for advice from people who know a lot more than me ! I didn't want her to be struggling and me not know it - she wouldnt admit it and I don't get much feed back from her teacher. If this is standard progression there is obviously no issue. I only want her to be enjoying it and to give her options - she doesn't know there are other options, no one else she knows plays anything. I thought this part of the forum was good for advice from people with experience.

catkind Mon 30-Jan-17 18:32:48

No worries Didi, can understand why you're asking if you're not getting feedback, just wanting to reassure you it sounds like she's doing just fine. To be honest the fact she's enjoying it and practicing every day is probably a better indicator of how she'll get on longer term than where she is in terms of exams at this stage.

Tell you what, why don't you video her playing now, then do the same in 6 months. Sometimes it's easy to miss progress when you see it day by day!

onlymusic Mon 30-Jan-17 20:36:54

I agree with catkind. Her perseverance is more important than grades at this stage. But her progress sounds in line with what I would expect.

neweymcnewname Mon 30-Jan-17 20:47:38

Another vote for letti g her continue here, because diverting her because her progress doesn't seem fast would give her a really unfortunate message, that if you aren't brilliant at something, you shouldn't be allowed to do it, and possibly you should give up for yourself, before someone tells you you're not good enough.
At school she'll encounter work which will challenge her at some stage, and her determination to keep going will be a real strength; so don't undermine this great character trait by giving that message.
(My kids were the opposite, hopping from one instrument to the next, and we had a guitar teacher who worked his way through classical, steel string and electric guitar with my DD, all in 2 years (with me buying new instruments every time!). I wish mine had been so determined at one thing!).

thisisillyria Mon 30-Jan-17 20:56:30

Both my DDs started playing the violin when they were 8. One took her grade 1 when she was 11, the other when she was 12, and they'd both passed grade 6 by the time they were 16. If your daughter is practising and enjoying what she is doing, then it's worth sticking with. Both my girls also learnt to play the flute, and progressed far more quickly with that. Stringed instruments are hard to learn, and take time to sound good. Practice is key, and as long as that's still fun, she'll make progress.

Didiplanthis Mon 30-Jan-17 21:45:39

Thanks. Yes I get what you are saying about the wrong message by changing - I hadnt really thought of it like that as I was coming at it from a ' might enjoy something else more ' direction but can see why it might not seem like that now. She is a total grafter and works really hard at everything she does, she's dyslexic and probably dyspraxic ( we didn't know this when she started violin - again in hindsight not the best choice ) so is used to over coming challenges and having to work hard to achieve so this will stand her in good stead. I guess I wanted to make something easier for her by thinking about changing but she doesn't need me to do that and I'll continue to encourage her violin !

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