Enrolling your child in beginner violin lessons
The violin is arguably one of the most difficult instruments to learn, but it is also one of the most rewarding. Played as either a classical violin or a fiddle, the violin is capable of incredible variety and sounds great on its own or as part of an ensemble.
Like any other musical instrument, learning to play the violin has many benefits -- improved concentration, better hand-eye coordination, increased dexterity, enhanced school performance, and more self-esteem. Some experts argue that because the violin is so difficult to learn, these benefits, especially the bolstered self-esteem and sense of accomplishment, are even greater.
Learning a musical instrument tends to be easier in childhood than adulthood, and the benefits are certainly more apparent while the brain is still developing and children are still in school. If your little one has expressed an interest in the violin, get him or her started with beginner violin lessons.
Violin Lessons for Kids
Although exposure to music can start in the womb, children need to have a certain amount of dexterity and coordination before music lessons make sense. Generally, school-aged children (4 or 5 years old) are sufficiently developed, although some may be able to start as young as 3 and others may not be ready until age 6 or 7, or even later.
Oddly enough, even though the violin is one of the more difficult instruments to learn, violin lessons are actually better to start with than, say, guitar lessons. The violin is easier to hold with small hands and requires less fine motor control. Even if your child eventually wants to take up the guitar, or another instrument like the drums, starting with violin lessons provides the groundwork they will need, and studies show that children who start with violin or piano lessons have an easier time transitioning to other instruments.
Choosing a Violin Teacher
There is no certification for violin teachers (or teachers of any other musical instrument) -- they are usually just people who have years of experience playing the instrument, as well as a knowledge of music theory and a passion for teaching. Some may have attended a music institute, from which they earned a certificate, and some may also have a music education degree, but in the end, all you should really be looking for is someone who knows the instrument and with whom your child is comfortable.
Of course, even the best teacher can't help your child improve if he or she doesn't practice violin regularly. Early on, you'll likely hate practice as much as your child does -- a poorly played violin sounds as bad as a well-played one does good. However, regular practice (20 to 30 minutes daily) is essential to progress, and the more your child practices, the faster he or she will improve.