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Violin lessons for young adult with communication problems

(13 Posts)
Rollerbird Thu 09-Feb-17 16:06:38

What should we look for and tell or ask a teacher?
Dd is 22 and has an acquired brain injury for the last 2 years.
She's keen to learn violin and has asked me to find a teacher.
She has problems expressing herself sometimes and can no longer read - but can recognise some words (used to be at university). Reading music i would consider unlikely. She has still got her intelligence. But she tires very easily and gets confused and other Bits and bobs.
Any suggestions where to start?

INeedNewShoes Thu 09-Feb-17 16:13:12

Music is brilliant for those who have trouble expressing themselves verbally. Its a truly universal language.

Many teachers (especially 'classically trained') won't be comfortable teaching without the music-reading element. What types of music is your DD interested in playing?

Folk music would be a brilliant place to start just because of the lack of printed music in that genre (folk music is traditionally passed on by ear) so a folk fiddle player wouldn't be fazed by the lack of reading.

Another approach would be to ask around locally for a violin teacher who is happy to teach potentially without using printed music.

Whereabouts are you?

Rollerbird Thu 09-Feb-17 16:22:17

North West
Merseyside /lancashire (Sefton Council area )

Rollerbird Thu 09-Feb-17 16:24:40

(i asked her what type of music - she just wants to be able to have something to pick up and play a tune - i would think simple music shes heard of, or folk type stuff would be good.

INeedNewShoes Thu 09-Feb-17 16:33:13

I can't help with any specific recommendations as I don't know of anyone/organisations in your area, but if you don't get any more useful responses on here it could be worth searching on and reading teacher profiles. Anyone who professes to teach jazz or folk should be comfortable with the 'by ear' approach to learning. It might be a case of emailing a few teachers in your area and seeing what response you get. The music world is quite a small one so even if you email teachers who aren't right, they may well recommend another good teacher for you.

Another approach could be to phone your nearest university with a music department and speak to the music secretary. They should know all the music students really well and may be able to recommend someone who would be a good teacher for your DD.

Another avenue possibly worth exploring is contacting Nordoff Robbins, the Music Therapy organisation. As well as working with children, they do also work with young adults and they may be able to point you in the right direction for finding a teacher who will have some experience of working with students who face some communication difficulties.

onlymusic Thu 09-Feb-17 16:49:01

If sight reading is a problem, may be it worth trying Suzuki teacher? Traditionally they teach without reading notes.....

INeedNewShoes Thu 09-Feb-17 17:08:08

I pondered Suzuki too but a big part of the method is starting children off learning when they're little more than toddlers, and there's a whole malarky of not actually holding a violin until you've observed older children having lessons (for up to a year!). I think this approach would be frustrating for an adult and I think teachers are either fully fledged Suzuki or not at all so might not teach individuals away from the whole scheme.

(I consider it to be a bit like a cult wink)

Socksey Mon 13-Feb-17 15:28:06

Best thing is probably to talk to ta few local teachers... you might be surprised as to how helpful they are....
Does the injury also affect her coordination? She might like to start with another instrument and progress to violin... maybe piano or a keyboard...
Many traditional (Irish etc) violinists couldn't read music and if she can pick it up by ear it won't make a big difference.... especially if it's something to do as a hobby....

Ferguson Mon 13-Feb-17 20:11:40

I was going to suggest Keyboard as a way to get started. A good Keyboard, will have about 500 sounds, including many Violin, Cello, Guitar sounds, that are often 'sampled' from the real instrument. Good headphones or hi-fi system will reproduce orchestral sounds with a reasonable degree of accuracy:

IndigoSister Mon 13-Feb-17 20:13:25

Try Special Virtuso, they would hopefully be able to recommend someone

Rollerbird Tue 21-Feb-17 09:52:04

We have arranged a consultation/lesson for friday!
The lady works in schools, is in a folk group, involved in county young peoples strings ensemble.
She sounds good. (fingers crossed they can work something out together!)

Rollerbird Fri 24-Feb-17 14:11:07

Ive had report back over the phone that she enjoyed it and is going in 2 weeks again
Was given some exercises to do
And was lent a violin

INeedNewShoes Fri 24-Feb-17 14:47:01

This is great news OP smile

Sometimes people find the initial stages of learning frustrating as it can take a few weeks to be in a position to play a tune but if she sticks with it the rewards will soon come!

I hope it all continues to go well.

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