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Y1 dd has come home with a letter about violin tuition

(20 Posts)
stuckinthehouse Wed 17-May-17 19:33:12

I'm in two minds about it.

Pros:
- She loves music and would really like to do it.
- I learned instruments as a child, enjoyed it and benefited massively from it.
- Good opportunity to start young? Presumably it would be from Y2.
- I think she would be good at music as she has a mathematical mind.

Cons:
- Cost. She already does swimming and dance. She wouldn't want to stop the dance (plus she's very good at it and progressing) and we wouldn't want her to stop swimming (she's not great at swimming so all the more reason to continue). We couldn't afford music tuition on top of both of these.
- Is it too young? Perhaps better to start in a couple of years?
- It's the violin angry Why not something nice like the flute or the keyboard?

What are people's opinions? I haven't really thought this through before today. I really would love her to have the opportunity as I did but not sure if it would be worth it right now.

ParadiseCity Wed 17-May-17 19:35:53

I'm not at all musical. DD has been learning guitar for about 2 years (So since she was 8) and I would recommend it as a parent because it's never painful to listen to even if she doesn't get the right note. I am not sure the same would apply to violin....

She tried to teach me and it's really fecking difficult so I would say much easier to learn as a child.

ParadiseCity Wed 17-May-17 19:37:12

PS like your daughter DD has a 'main' hobby and at that age did swimming lessons to. I only agreed to guitar because it's done at school so not another place to ferry her to.

cingolimama Wed 17-May-17 19:50:12

Violin is a great instrument to learn, but one of the most difficult. The great thing about learning a string instrument is that it trains your ear like nothing else. Is your DD keen on that specific instrument?

I'm a huge believer in music education - to the extent that I don't see it as an "extra", but as a core subject. There are so many benefits: children learn how to concentrate (a skill these days in short supply), how to work hard over a long period of time, how to literally play well with others, etc.

Also, it's a great age to start.

My only reservation is that it's very very difficult (but not impossible) to learn violin in a group lesson, as there's so much going on (left hand, left fingering, left arm, right hand bow hold, right hand bow technique etc) that progress can be slow.

se22mother Wed 17-May-17 19:58:16

Violin is a great instrument but they have to be keen as initially it is really tough. Agree with op that music is a core subject. The discipline and perseverance required will reap rewards across the board at school.

se22mother Wed 17-May-17 19:58:28

Pp

GrassWillBeGreener Wed 17-May-17 20:06:03

It's a great age to learn. Tricky how to balance their time up - but short frequent practice (eg 10 minutes before breakfast or before leaving for school) is more effective than trying to fit more in.

Have you seen older children in the school playing, how are they taught and what do the results look like? If the teaching in the school is producing effective results then grab the opportunity with both hands regardless of difficulty fitting it in!

Dabisadancemove Wed 17-May-17 20:10:56

Both of my DD's started violin lessons at school in Y1. The first year is a bit of an uphill struggle to be honest....progress can be slow and getting them to practice is a ball ache. But DD1 is about to take her ABRSM Grade 3 exam this summer (she is in Y4). I am in awe of her playing and she wouldn't be without her violin now. It's not for the faint hearted but if they persevere the benefits are well worth it.

SmilingButClueless Wed 17-May-17 20:17:04

I was offered violin lessons at that age and was absolutely desperate to learn. My mother wouldn't let me. Not to do with cost, she just didn't think it was a good use of time.

So the next year I didn't ask permission or listen properly before sticking up my hand when the teacher offered string instrument lessons.

The lesson my parents learned was that a violin is cheaper and more portable than a cello they only had themselves to blame

Being serious, she is a good age to start learning and it's a good discipline. If you can afford it, I'd let her start.

Didiplanthis Wed 17-May-17 22:42:23

My dd started violin in yr1. Is now yr 2. It's been hard work but she is dedicated and practices. It is slow progress but its never been painful to listen to and i am musical. Her brother is starting in september too !! She also dances alot. I think it's helped her understanding of rhythm for dance.

Fleurdelise Wed 17-May-17 23:31:16

If you're not prepared to encourage and support practice don't do it as you'll waste your money, the lesson doesn't "teach" your child as such if you compare to swimming lessons for example, all the progress happens at home during practice time. So while at swimming/dance/gymnastics the learning happens during lesson with music 80-90% of the actual learning happens at home.

But you probably know that already.

I agree with pp in this house music is a core subject.

SomeOtherFuckers Wed 17-May-17 23:34:13

Violin is beautiful .. I always wanted the drums and resented the flute

Ojoj1974 Wed 17-May-17 23:35:12

Go for it. Music is so important to a child's development.
My DD started the piano in nursery (aged 41/2) the violin in yr 1 aged 6 and the double bass on yr 3 aged 9. Playing these instruments has given her so many opportunities.

BackforGood Wed 17-May-17 23:36:44

I think she's very young to be starting.
I'd give it another couple of years, and see if she really wants a particular instrument to learn which will hopefully be something less painful to listen to than a beginner on a violin and she's a bit older to understand the commitment of doing all three things, and has a bit more stamina.
She certainly won't miss out by starting at 7 or 8 or 9.

MyWhatICallNameChange Wed 17-May-17 23:47:34

My DTs started learning the violin when they were in year 2. I'm not at all musical so have had no idea how to help them other than telling them to practice what their music teacher has written.

They are year 8 now and one has chosen to do music GCSE, the other put it as a reserve subject. They both play in an ensemble and the school strings group, take part in concerts etc. It's not just about the music, it's about the social stuff too and the confidence to perform in public. It's been brilliant for them.

For some reason they don't do the ABRSM grades, they do stages, but I don't know how they compare so can't tell you he well they're doing. They can make recognisable tunes anyway! grin

Minimusiciansmama Thu 18-May-17 02:51:05

I don't think it is too early at all. And I agree with other people that I personally see music as a core skill that helps so many areas of their lives. Including and especially dance. It emphasises their ability to find the pulse in a piece, listen to the heart of music. Good dancers are often good musicians because they can feel the pieces inside them and have the coordination for hands doing different things and such.
My daughter started piano in FY and clarinet in y1. At the time she was doing dance and swimming still. She finished swimming in y2 when she'd done all the pre-competitive grades and I have to admit it was good to lose that expense. Her music lessons are private rather than school lessons and are one of the biggest expenses in our life. But they're one I have made many other budget sacrifices to carry on paying for.
My daughter understood waltz time long before she came across it in ballet, she knew about adagios and allegros, about finding the time signature etc. Music taught her fractions. Because she started fairly young, practice is now something that is simply part of the routine.
As others have said, you need to be on board with it as something you're committing to as well because your support during her practice will make a big difference. When she first starts, 10 minutes a day will be fine. My little one absolutely loves her music and it is now a huge part of our lives. She practises for a significant chunk of the day and does bands, workshops, goes to all sorts of concerts. But the size of the commitment it is depends on what you both want. Though the size of both of your commitment also will determine the progress.

Specifically with violin, the others are spot on that early progress can be slower than some instruments but it's so worth getting a good fundamental technique and doing it properly. It's a very beautiful instrument.

In terms of your ability, i wasn't very musical when she started, but I learnt as she did and ended up taking piano lessons myself & it was such a good decision. I started for her and carried on for me. Because of her love of music, weve had experiences I would never have dreamed of and she's got opportunities ahead of her that are so exciting.

In case you haven't gathered..... I would hugely encourage you to go for it xxx

Broken11Girl Thu 18-May-17 03:00:53

Go for it! Tbh I'd give up swimming as long as she can swim ie transport herself, say, a length or two. Music is a life skill too. As pp said, it will help her dance and vice versa. I played clarinet, guitar and piano, loved it and am relearning now. Good luck to her.

Fleurdelise Thu 18-May-17 08:26:36

I don't think it is too early, dd started piano a week after she turned 6 and progressed really fast then started clarinet at 8 and the progress is even quicker as she can read music (grade 3 clarinet a year later).

The problem I see around me happening the most is lack of support from parents and slow progress due to no practice which generally takes the motivation out and makes the dc believe they aren't good at it.

We've instated a daily routine practice since she started piano and now dd will do around an hour and a half every day but initially 10-15 min is enough. Dd loves her music, the achievements, playing in a band with clarinet, taking part in festivals with piano and doing her exams besides wider repertoire discovery.

It is an expensive activity (only this month we had to pay £110 for her grade 5 exam and grade 3 clarinet on top of her private lessons and band) but worth every penny of it.

Wafflenose Thu 18-May-17 09:25:42

Let her have a go if she wants to and you can afford it. Now (or next term) would be very much the usual time to start violin, although you can do so at any age - I know some children who started at late 2! I don't think 6/7 is especially early.

SunsetBoulevard Fri 19-May-17 14:08:41

MY DS started violin at school at 4 and then switched to cello at 6 after seeing it played in a concert. Absolutely the best thing we ever did was to pay for those music lessons. He is now grade 4 level (yr4 age 9), plays in three orchestras and absolutely lives for his music. The social side of it is great and the benefits in terms of brain function, concentration skills, team work, etc... are scientifically proven. The earlier they start (within reason!) the easier it is for them to pick up reading music and as a non-musical parent I have learned a huge amount along the way. It does undoubtedly take a lot of commitment from the parent to make sure practice is done etc.. but well worth it.

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