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Asking How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin Is The Wrong Question!
Believe it or not, but asking how long does it take to learn the violin is the wrong question. It is the wrong question because it cannot be answered without knowing what your exact goals are. How long does it take to be able to join a community band, to stop squeaking, to solo, and other such questions are much better. The truth is that your progress will be determined by many factors.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin? Considerable Factors
The main factors will be your understanding of what you are doing, the quality of your practice sessions, and your natural ability. One awesome thing about learning the violin is that you will see plenty of progress week after week during your first year, and this will keep you motivated.
There Is An Ideal Age For Future Professional Violinist To Begin (It Has NOTHING To Do With You)
One thing that so many people worry about is their age. People want to know if it is too late to start once they are in their teens, when they are young adults, middle age, or even when they are seniors. Do you want to know the truth? It is never too late to start enjoying the journey of learning how to play violin.
Now, if you want to become the next soloist of a popular orchestra, then the best time to start was when you were very young. The average professional violinist started before the age of 5. I’m doubtful that is your goal. Most people just want to make music, then play with others, and it is never too late to have that as a goal.
There are so many benefits to learning a musical instrument beyond reaching for the heights of rocket finger solos and a silky smooth tone. Am I too old to learn violin? The answer is likely, no! If you can hold a violin and bow, if you can press the strings down, then you can begin learning.
The Top Question That You Must Ask Yourself
What do you want to achieve? This is the question that you must ask yourself. Knowing why you are learning violin will set you up for success because it will give you a goal to work towards. Many adult learners have found that simply starting out because they wanted to play a specific song they loved was enough to push them through.
Others just want a hobby, something to do, and that is enough for them. Other people want to join a community string group, and that is perfectly fine. The most important thing to know is what you are in it for. One good thing is that there really aren’t any bad answers to that question.
Should You Take A DIY Approach To Learning Violin?
With the Internet, there is no shortage of websites and material that will help you learn on your own. Many late learners choose this route because it is the least intimidating. Many people are also self-starters and just want to give it a-go.
The DIY approach is perfectly fine, and it is possible to gain a lot of skill this way, but there are some roadblocks that you need to know. With violin, technique is everything. The technique will determine your tonal quality, it will determine if you use the right ergonomics to avoid injury. Injury is something that you must be aware of because poor technique can lead to strain, pain and it will slow your progress.
Even if you are going about things and learning on your own, it is still wise to consult with an instructor on your posture, how you hold the violin, and maybe one every few months have them take a look at your technique. This hybrid approach is the best way to learn the violin on your own.
The Value of Using A Violin Instructor
Practice is NOT enough, proper practice is what you seek in music. As my instructor used to say, “practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” The quality of how you practice will determine your progress or lack thereof. This is why starting out with an instructor has advantages that the DIY approach does not. With an instructor, from day one you will have a proven curriculum to follow that is time tested. Your instructor will be able to watch and listen to you play, and make the corrections that are specific to you. Your instructor will be mindful of your bow and finger technique to ensure a healthy approach that produces a good tone. A good instructor will teach you how to practice to get the results that you seek.
Best Practices For Learning Violin
I am of the mindset that there are best practices for everything, and learning violin is no different. Here’s a list of best practices that will help you.
Step 1 :
Listen to as much violin music as possible because it will train your ear, and inspire you.
Step 2 :
Listen to music samples that are at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level as well as professionals because this will give you examples of what you can achieve.
Step 3 :
When you buy a violin make sure that it is set up by a professional. An expensive violin with an improper setup will not sound as good as a properly set up less expensive violin. Proper bridge location, proper bridge height, intonating each string are very important to having a violin that will not only sound great, but that will be easy to play.
Step 4 :
Masters are created in the beginning. Not to get too philosophical, but cherish the beginning stages of learning because building a strong foundation will serve you as you progress to the later stages of intermediate and advanced violin. Enjoy the process.
Step 5 :
Spend time learning how to read music and download a music reading app that will help you master this skill.
Step 6 :
Study ear training and improve your relative pitch via learning intervals and modes.
Step 7 :
Make practicing violin a part of your lifestyle, similar to how people make exercise a part of their lifestyle. This makes it something that naturally happens several times a week, if not everyday.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin: FAQs
Q: What Type of Violin Should I Buy?
It is well known that it is better to start on a decent violin than the cheapest one that you can find. This does not mean that you must spend a ton of money, but that you must learn the better choices for a new player and have it set up properly.
Q: How Often Should I Practice?
Everyday for at least 20 minutes is enough for most casual players to see progress. It is better to play a little bit everyday vs playing a few long sessions a week with a lot of time between practices. You might find that if you enjoy playing that you will want to do it more and more.
Q: How Important Is Technique?
We have touched on this, but we will do so again. Technique is one of the most important things when learning the violin. Improper technique can destroy your sound, your dexterity and it can harm you physically. Learning proper technique is one of the most important things. As a new player, make proper technique a priority.
Q: Can I Learn From The Internet?
Yes. You can learn from the Internet and there are many sources to do so. It is best to find a single program that is well structured. If you can, every so often see an instructor in person, or even over video chat, and have them take a look at your technique to ensure that you are on the right track.
When Can I Join A Playing Group? This will depend on your local area. Some local playing groups accept players at all levels, and others are looking for intermediate and higher. As an adult learner, it might be a bit more difficult to find groups that accept new players, but once you get to the intermediate level your opportunities will increase. Use this as motivation to keep practicing and making progress.