We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Ever since your child saw the fantastic fiddler at the state fair – or maybe it was the string section at a children's concert that caught his ear – he's been playing a pretty mean air violin. Should you put a real instrument into those busy hands? Because string instruments come in sizes just right for little fiddlers, it's definitely an option worth playing with.
Why are string instruments a good choice for my child?
- They come in smaller sizes. Because violins, violas, and cello all come in smaller sizes – a child of 6 or 7 might start on a violin, for instance, that is a quarter or half the size of a regular-sized violin – they're manageable instruments for young children. Their size also makes them easy to transport from home and school.
- Strings are a social instrument. Because many children go on to play in school or community orchestras, playing a string instrument offers opportunities for social interaction. By starting lessons now, your child may be ready in a few years to join a group.
What are the downsides to learning a string instrument?
- Making music will take some time. Unlike a piano, where you strike a key and produce a pleasant note, with a string instrument a child must learn how to position his fingers and draw the bow correctly before he can create a sound – a sound that you want to hear, anyway. Encourage your child to stick with it. Though it may be frustrating at times, practice and perseverance will help him achieve a truly noteworthy goal – beautiful music.
What's a good age to start?
Most children start traditional lessons when they're between the ages of 6 and 8 (though children as young as 3 can start Suzuki lessons). Because strings come in small sizes, a child's physical size is not an issue, as it might be with a big instrument like a trumpet. Also, by this age children have started reading; many teachers believe children should have some basic reading skills before starting music lessons. Perhaps most important, children's attention spans are long enough to concentrate in class and practice for ten to 30 minutes at a time.
What will it cost?
Before purchasing a string instrument, consider that many children won't move to a full-sized violin until about 7th grade, so a rent-to-own program makes a lot more money sense. Otherwise, you may end up buying two or three different-sized violins, depending on the size of your child when he starts playing. Look for programs at music stores that allow you to apply all the rental money paid on the smaller instruments toward the purchase of the full-size instrument. Dealers generally discount the manufacturer's recommended list price.
When it comes to the cost of the actual lessons, there are no national standards. But you'll probably pay more in major metropolitan areas than in smaller cities.