How to help your beginner young child to succeed in the Violin?
By Elaine Khong, Sept 2021
Supporting your child throughout their development can be one of the most important ways of enabling their musical success. Parents play a huge role in their child’s success and part of Your involvement helps to enhance the chances of your child sticking with the instrument and realizing success.
1)The size of the violin matters.
Getting the best sizing for a violin correct is important for making sure your child has a comfortable grip, arm extension and motion. Sometimes it’s easy to think they’ll grow into it but an oversized violin can actually damage a child physically as well as musically. Posture, poise and physical comfort are very significant parts of being successful with a violin.
A violin that is too big impacts the curvature of the left arm, making it wider, and the placement of the left fingers, making them unnaturally far apart. This completely throws off the mechanics of playing the instrument. Hence a bigger violin will make their initial stage of finding ease in their posture even harder, they have to overcome the size of the violin, among all the other technical challenges.
Sometimes parents think that since it's only 6 to 9 months before the child needs to change to a bigger size violin, they might just as well hop right onto the bigger size immediately. As a beginner, the child has to overcome quite a few hurdles before the first music comes. The hurdles include: getting used to holding the violin, finding comfort in holding the violin bow, getting the right posture.
2) Choosing a suitable teacher
The best performer may or may not be the best teacher and vice versa. Performance and teaching are very different skills. Choose a competent teacher that can relate and engage your child, it’s amazing how a student and teacher with the right chemistry can achieve wonderful results together. An experienced teacher will also be able to recommend the materials that are suitable for your child learning journey at the any stage.
3) Give praise for sticking to a practice routine.
Establish a practice routine and stick to it. When kids are starting out, communicate the importance of setting a practise routine during the week to prepare for the next lesson. Even if it is just twice a week of 20 mins for young kids, set the weekly routine and encourage your child to have the discipline to stick to it. Praise your child for putting in good effort in their practice. Focus less on the results, give praise for effort.
Violin lessons will be most successful when your child is practicing what they have learnt during the week and coming to the class prepared. If there is no practice outside of the lesson, a weekly lesson will not be able to do much to see the progress we want. The teacher has to review the previous lesson, keep staying on the same exercises and songs, the progress will be hindered, motivation may waned off, and finally the child’s interest may slide.
4) Stay engaged and involved
Show you value their music by being part of their learning journey. Be present when possible for their music lessons. Show interest in the songs that they are learning, listen to the various versions of songs on YouTube, share their joy when progress is made, inspire them not to give up when the going is tough. Keep in close contact with the teacher with regards to what is done in each lesson and what practice is needed for that week.