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Violin practice

(10 Posts)
PinotAndPlaydough Thu 17-Jan-19 20:30:50

My daughter (7) has been learning violin for a few months now. I’m just wondering if she’s doing enough practice. She generally practices each piece her teacher has set once a day. Sometimes she’s done in 5 minutes. Her teacher seems pleased with her progress but I’m wondering if I should start encouraging her to do a bit more?

actiongirl1978 Thu 17-Jan-19 20:39:22

It depends what you want her to achieve. My daughter simply enjoys playing. She occasionally practices, I don't care if she doesn't. Her lessons are for her enjoyment, not to achieve 'grades' though she does take exams.

I am far from tiger mother grin

PinotAndPlaydough Thu 17-Jan-19 22:05:36

Bit like you, she does it because she loves it. I don’t even think she knows there are exams you can take. Maybe I should just leave her to it but part of me feels like if she enjoys it so much and wants to progress (she’s spoken about join an orchestra) that I should maybe encourage a bit more than 5 minutes a day.

claraschu Thu 17-Jan-19 22:32:03

Doing a little bit every day is wonderful. It is almost impossible to enjoy a string instrument if you don't practice regularly- it becomes frustrating and not much fun quite quickly. The practice can be very short though when a child is starting out!

OP what you are doing sounds great. Exams are completely unnecessary, and often counter productive, I think. Most professional musicians didn't ever do them.

If you take your child to her lessons, you can ask the teacher to tell you in the last 2 minutes if there are a couple of things your child could use help remembering that week (perhaps hints about holding the instrument and bow). In practice sessions, you can try to get your child to pick out one tricky spot in each piece and do it 3 times, with each time better than the one before. Sometimes kids just like to play through their piece, but it can be really helpful to pick one thing at a time to fix.

PinotAndPlaydough Fri 18-Jan-19 15:01:58

Her teacher is brilliant, she comes to us and feeds back to me every week and leaves little notes on my daughters music stand to remind her of things like posture and what’s he needs to work on. I think we will just carry on as we are

Miane Fri 18-Jan-19 15:04:10

At 7 yo 5 minutes every day is perfect.

GaraMedouar Fri 18-Jan-19 15:07:24

That sound fine. Little and often. My DD is 7 and plays violin. She practices a couple of times a week, for about 20 mins each practise (scales, and one or 2 pieces). She can't practise anymore days as she has other activities. One day a week of course she has her lesson too. She is progressing slowly.

TaggieOHara Fri 18-Jan-19 18:50:45

At this stage, my DS2 did 5 minutes a day as well. Starting the violin is tough physically, and it is better to do 5 minutes with good posture and technique, than 15 minutes of gradual decline. It sounds like she is doing brilliantly. clara’s tip about adding in a few iterations of tricky bits is very good.

If you want to do extra, you could think about listening to some music with her or going to the first half of a concert.

catkind Sun 20-Jan-19 18:00:04

Playing every day is a brilliant start, however little. Talking to music teachers I know they love having kids that practice regularly and shockingly few do.

A little further down the line and I've added "make something better" to the initial requirement of getting the instrument out of its case. Which sounds a bit like Clara's suggestion too. The other thing I keep saying to them is if something goes wrong, do it right 3 times before moving on.

And do look around for what string groups there are in your area. Sooner than you think, maybe even now. Where I live they can join an "orchestra" even just playing open strings. I had no idea so DD didn't join till the next step up, but the beginner group look like they have lots of fun.

Ilikecurrybest Sun 20-Jan-19 18:06:52

10 minutes a day 5 times a week is good for a beginner and is enough to develop the physical skills and coordination necessary at the beginning stages. Maybe try out a practise chart or some games to help keep her going (ask her teacher for any suggestions)

I'd second the poster who suggested joining a beginners orchestra in your area it's much more fun if you have a practise once a week with other children and concerts to play in.

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