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Is 5 years too young for VIOLIN classes?

(30 Posts)
StarryStarryNight Fri 20-Jul-07 13:24:20

I never played the violin myself so I am not sure what is the best age to start. I had one hour music lessons as part of the curriculum per week, through primary and secondary. In addition I had private recorder tuition and during secondary Church Organ tuition.

I have never been pushing my son towards music, but wheareas his peers play football, he is interested in song and dance, and is now begging for violin lessons. Not sure if he realizes what this entails (and neither do I), or if it is only because another friend in his class is on the waiting list for music tuition. He is quite young (April born), and sometimes unable to sit still, and gets frustrated if there is something he can't do. Despite this, his reception teacher says he is academically brilliant, so must been able to sit still and learn to some degree!

So violin lessons for a five year old, any opinions?

harpsichordcuddler Fri 20-Jul-07 13:25:39

can he read fluently?
can he start to read music?

FirenzeandZooey Fri 20-Jul-07 13:28:08

I have read that starting instrumental tuition too early is the main reason for children being put off music

and that the violin is the hardest instrument of all to play

however if he is keen it would seem like a good time to get him going on something

maybe the guitar?

Pamina Fri 20-Jul-07 13:30:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tortoiseSHELL Fri 20-Jul-07 13:31:10

5 is fine - ds1 started at just turned 5. The key thing is to make sure they practise!!!

StarryStarryNight Fri 20-Jul-07 13:33:26

No, he cant read fluently, he can read his Oxford Reading Tree books well, is on stage 4. He recognises letters, his teacher says he is good with his phonics, and makes excellent progress in listening to words and attempting to spell them, with fairly good success. But introducing reading music now, to be honest, I am not sure how well this will go! But I seem to doubt him and his abilities more than I should, as I just got his folder of school work handed out yesterday and I am pleasently surprised by his writing and also his mathematic skills in adding and subtracting. He is fantastic with reading lego instructions, lol, and builds exoforce for agegroup 7-14 without any help. Yet, everytime me and him do homework he kick up a fuss and say he doesnt understand, but it seems he can do it perfectly well in school, everthing has comments saying Excellent, and Well Done, etc.

Do you think I better wait till he is a more fluent reader? Should I maybe buy him a recorder and see if I can teach him some over summer?

StarryStarryNight Fri 20-Jul-07 13:37:10

If the violin is so hard, maybe piano? I say piano, rather than guitar, because it seems like such a good instrument as a first instrument as you can hear the notes clearly see the relevance between the music on the sheet and the music you produce. I dont know how it is, but when I read music I also hear it in my head. Sorry I am making a mess of trying to explain this.

FirenzeandZooey Fri 20-Jul-07 13:37:46

this was the book I read. It was very interesting and I am sure vetoed violins for virtually every child this young.

StarryStarryNight Fri 20-Jul-07 13:41:55

Firenze, thanks for that, I had a look at the link and might actually order it.
Can you remember what they said about piano?
I am a little late, as the forms should be handed in today....

Yorkiegirl Fri 20-Jul-07 13:44:16

Message withdrawn

tortoiseSHELL Fri 20-Jul-07 13:44:59

Sorry had to write a very quick reply. I think violins are fantastic for children this age as the violin comes in a child size, and ds1 has come on really quickly - he loves it. I think piano shouldn't be started before 7 - I've had a few pupils before this age who all found it difficult. Having said that, ds1 BEGGED to be allowed to start when still 5 so eventually I gave in and agreed to teach him - because he is so keen he works really hard at it and is getting on well, but if they're not that keen it can be torturous.

Which is easier? Difficult to say - violin co-ordinates the bow and the fingers, but piano has 2 lines of music to read, so difficulties for each. Recorder is an excellent choice to start with, and can help with other woodwind instruments, and definitely with reading music. Also, you can teach them yourself, so it's not such an 'investment', both financially and emotionally - I think there's nothing worse for a child's musical confidence than to start an instrument too early and give up because it's not going well, when a year later could have made all the difference.

cazzybabs Fri 20-Jul-07 13:47:58

We are thinking about voilin lessons for dd. What is the going the rate nowdays for lessons?

DrNortherner Fri 20-Jul-07 13:56:02

I started violin at 6 and pl;ayed till I was 16. Think 5 should eb OK.

StarryStarryNight Fri 20-Jul-07 14:59:02

I think I shall not hand in the form just yet, nothing is going to change on the waiting list over summer. I shall buy a recorder and have a little fun filled home tuition to start with.

Thanks for replies!

mimsum Fri 20-Jul-07 15:10:33

I started at 4 on a 1/16th size violin - it was fine as I didn't realise what an awful noise I was making at first - I was just pleased to be making any noise at all and by the time I cared, I was sounding ok ... I learned to read music at around the same time as learning to read words - can't really remember a time when I couldn't read either so not being able to read doesn't really matter. I carried on for years and years, going to junior music college on Saturdays, doing grade 8 early (with distinction ;-) ) so starting early didn't do me any harm

Ceolas Fri 20-Jul-07 15:14:05

My 2 DDs learn by the Suzuki method and started around 5 (this is late with Suzuki!). DD1 started on a 10th size and DD2 on a 16th. They both enjoy it and have progressed well. DD1 has been playing 2 years and makes a lovely sound. DD2 is getting there...

StarryStarryNight Fri 20-Jul-07 16:15:59

Well he is back home from school now, and he is adamant it is violin he wants to play.
He showed me how a violin looks like on a toy guitar and using pencil bow, and drew one for me too. Currently listening to Grieg Peer Gynt and he is distinguishing the sound of the violin to me, so I guess it is not just a whim??

Good to know it is possible to learn early, and without knowing to read properly!

Lilymaid Fri 20-Jul-07 16:19:41

[[ http://www.britishsuzuki.org.uk/ Suzuki]] method or similar would be best at his age.

Lilymaid Fri 20-Jul-07 16:20:27

Suzuki
and this time the link is here

Enid Fri 20-Jul-07 16:21:46

dd2 is starting next term she will be almost 5

apparently the violin IS a good one to start with although it takes a long time to get a decent tune out of it

they make weeny ones for a start (unlike piano)

Enid Fri 20-Jul-07 16:22:56

she also identifies the violin in classical music and has been going on and on about it for ages

marialuisa Fri 20-Jul-07 18:36:07

DD started at age 5 (nearly 6) in Jan and is down to take her grade 1 in november. It's definitely hard work at first, no instant satisfaction in the way there is with the piano, but she's managed fine. We did make sure she understood the need for practice before we committed to lessons. She will be starting harp lessons in Septemebr at her request.

harpsichordcuddler Fri 20-Jul-07 18:39:10

god don't bother with that Suzuki crapola
imho

lailasmum Fri 20-Jul-07 18:47:12

I played violin as a child , think I was about 7 when I started, I had already played the recorder and I think I could basically read music a bit. It takes ages to get anything nice sounding out of it. I do remember painful finger tips in the beginning. I carried on till I was about 14 but gave up as soon as I was no longer forced to do it by my parents as I hated my teacher, I now wish I had kept it up but wish some one had listened to me and found me another teacher who inspired me rather than just bored me.

SparklePrincess Fri 20-Jul-07 20:59:53

I think that for most 5 year olds this would be a huge waste of money.

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