Introducing the Violin to a Young Child: How to Hold the Violin
Now that we’ve talked about setting aside one hour a day to play “the violin game” with your child, you may be wondering why this requires so much time. This is because playing the violin involves many specific movements that may be difficult without support. With your help, your child will learn to hold the violin properly so that they can play with ease.
The first step is to learn how to hold the violin between the left shoulder and neck. Help your child hold their instrument by providing support with your hands and make any gentle corrections. When they can hold their violin for 10 seconds without your support or any hands, celebrate this accomplishment! Let your child take pride in holding their instrument all by themselves!
Practicing should become a habit and done every day. Teach your child to open their violin case every day, almost like feeding a pet. Treat their instrument like a friend they should miss, feeling sad if they are kept locked in its case! When they open their case, encourage your child to greet their violin with an enthusiastic “good morning!” and help them tuck it back in, saying “good night!” when they are done.
Remember, these are not natural behaviors that kids will pick up on their own. Be an active part of helping your child get comfortable with their instrument!
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)