Introducing the Violin to a Young Child: How and When to Begin?!
Young children are fascinating! It’s no wonder that parents are so amazed by their curiosity and everyday movements. Like sponges, they constantly soak in the world around them. You spend every day talking to your babies to help them learn, so why not add sound and rhythm to the mix! “Will my son like playing the violin?” “Will my daughter be talented?” For now, don’t worry about that. Your job is to encourage and support your child to love music!
When you were a toddler, can you remember the one thing that could guarantee smiles and laughter? Something that made you so happy that you’d put all of your energy and focus into? But a toddler’s world revolves around Mom and Dad and playing with whatever they can get their hands on, so what could I be talking about?
But that’s exactly it! You might ask, “How old should my child be to start learning to play the violin?” My answer: however old your child is when playtime with Mom and Dad is the most important thing in the world!
So what does this mean? What do games with Mom and Dad have anything to do with the violin? Learning to play the violin should be like playing a fun game! Introduce “the violin game” by setting aside one hour of playtime everyday. Soon you will want to hear, “Mommy, let’s play the violin game!”
Encouraging your child to see playing the instrument as a fun activity instead of pressuring them to practice, at a time where playing games is a priority, will set the stage for enthusiasm for playing the violin!
As children grow up so fast, take advantage of the years when you are their world, when all they want to do is play with you. Be their loving, supportive partner-in-crime and play the violin together!
Akiko Hirose Silver
Akiko is a Juilliard trained violinist, founder and artistic director of the Chamber Music Institute (CMI) est. 2008, and a private violin teacher in Darien, CT. Her true passion is educating and mentoring young musicians.
(Translated by T.S. Bluehen)