Friday, September 11, 2009

Help me

Because DD has decided that THIS is the instrument she wants to learn to play.

The violin.

Shoot me now. Please?


This is Me said...

LoL - I think my parents shared your sentiment. I had violin lessons for eight years when I was younger. It is not a difficult instrument to learn to play. To play well, however, is a different story. I wish her the best of luck - and you need ear muffs!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Would you prefer drums?

ER's Mom said...

Actually, yes.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I couldn't handle drums.

But then again, I failed guitar.

I learned how to play my stereo, and later graduated to Walkman and iPod.

That is the extent of my musical talent, and I have no interest in expanding it.

ER's Mom said...

I considering being a music major in college, but decided against it. I am an excellent pianist and can play trumpet passably. Taught myself organ, french horn, flute, and sax.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

That's quite impressive.

ER's Mom said...

Aren't you supposed to be working?

This is my supposed day off, although I've done a delivery and a tubal ligation already today.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I sit at my desk all day facing patients, with my charts on computer. This is what I do. I see patients and in the cracks have email conversations going on with my staff and friends.

stoptheviolins said...

Stop the violins!

If it helps any, for about the first year I played it sounded like a door I'm a professional violinist. (I hope I sound better now but sometimes I wonder...)

WarmSocks said...

It's more economical to buy a beginner instrument off of ebay than to rent one from a music shop. Only get a better quality instrument after the teacher says that the student's playing ability requires a better quality instrument.

We own almost every size violin made. Four of my children play.

Choosing the right teacher makes all the difference in the world. You get what you pay for, and if you pay the teacher nothing (as happens with school orchestras) your child can end up hating music. At least do private lessons long enough for the child to learn the proper way to hold the bow and violin.

stoptheviolins said...

Getting your kid a good quality instrument is important to start. Those violins on ebay are sh**. They break easily and will need to be fixed often. And they sound terrible. Ask her teacher for recommendations on where/ what kind.

Jedi Meg said...

I am a violist, have been for 14 years (with a 4 year break during college). Be glad it's not an oboe. Those sound like dying ducks while wetting the reed. I know this way too well...

WarmSocks said...

We got our first ebay violins 8 years ago and have passed them down from one child to the next. Only one has ever needed any work (on that one, they sent a full-size bridge on a 1/2 size violin; I phoned and asked if they could send a smaller bridge, or if they wanted me to ship the instrument back - we had the right size bridge within a few days).

Our teacher (a professional violinist who plays in the symphony) recommended the inexpensive ebay instruments to start out. Guess it depends on individual teacher's preference, so definitely talk to the teacher. Once kids are capable of sounding ok, then it's worth going to a violin shop for a quality instrument (which is not what you'd be renting from a typical music store). My $.02

ER's Mom said...

Ohh, I forgot about the oboe. In my high school band, we had 2 and they were never in tune with one another it seemed.

How do you get 100 oboes in tune with one another?
One plays and the others don't.


Thanks for the violinists with their options and options. I actually hasn't even thought of E-bay for it.

DD has been bugging me for months now. We just got the note from school on the orchestra forming. And the info on renting...$20/month with $10 of that going for credit towards purchase if we go that route.

I've had her in piano for the last two years, so she should have a solid background in reading music and such.

My cousin the music major is strongly for her joining orchestra.

WarmSocks said...

Sorry, one last comment. If you want better than beginner-quality, try For an even better deal, phone them and ask about used instruments

Hey, You said...

Violin is an expensive hobby, but not as expensive as cello.

Suggest you get her a second violin to practice on at home. Get an electric violin, with headphones instead of an amp. It will make for a more peaceful home.

Ditto if she switches to drums.

Cathy Lane RPh said...

My kid started violin early for ear training. It turned out he had absolute pitch which can be learned.

We're not snobs! Over the years he's played various kinds and quality of violins, and the 'prettiest' to my untrained ear was a Skylark from China.

We bought student violins from Southwest Strings, Sharma, and the Skylark from a local antiques dealer. The only bad deal on a violin, was one disliked because of difficulty eliciting beautiful. His scoundrel instructor said he got it from Romania though the paper inside could very well have been fake! (The instructor was a gypsy violinist and quite used to putting a lot of work into playing an instrument, but the violin was such a disappointment because of the physical work required due to its 'stiffness' and that my son couldn't just pick it up and have music come out as easily as he'd expected.)

When he soloed with the city symphony orchestra, he borrowed a beautiful 3/4 size from the owner of a violin shop, who said he could play it for as long as he wanted. (Later, he irritated his teacher using it in auditions.)

The last and best full size was purchased in a shop deal arranged by a teacher who is a 1st in major symphony. By this time, continued lessons were more for disciplinary measures and opening up any possible opportunities in playing with other young 'virtuosos' as the ear training had paid off.

In high school, he kept one at school (sometimes rented from the school), and the others at home to avoid 'losing' or damaging in transport. (By 'others'. I mean mine and the different sizes I'd purchased. When kids start Suzuki. parents 'learn' along so they can help encourage 'playing' [or practice]. When I could no longer keep up with my kid, the violin was passed it along to a friend's kid to learn in a school orchestra program.)

This anecdote outlines a different situation than yours. Te gist is a.) get the kid interested and motivated to practice and play by hook or crook -i.e. whether start at an early age like to to make a game of it [so they 'learn' something any way you look at it], and b.) buy, loan, or borrow an instrument that can 'sound' good, within a short while of learning some of the fundamentals --pegs turn reliably, back not warped and wood of a quality that expands properly, etc.; doesn't have to be expensive! Heck, there's a YouTube video of a Chinese man playing 'Bumblebee' in a pipa (two-stringed) solo with a major symphony.

I tended to stay away from the 'electric' instruments until no longer pursued making music--but it seems a good strategy for working out a fingering silently at 4 AM. We lived in a small city suburb and when out walking the dog, we can hear kids practicing in the evening. (On the other hand, when I worked night shift, it was nerve-wracking in the evenings after school to hear the kthunk, kthunk, boppp, of the child next door and his basketball.)

Good luck! It might be time to purchase some good quality violin solo CDs, so the kid has something to hear for. Pearlman has one featuring music played in childhood solos.

If it helps any, although I had very little musicality, I loved the sound of clarinets when I was a kid. My folks purchased one for 75$ so could participate in the school music program for 7 yrs. I read notes and pressed the correct keys in a timely manner, as well had well-developed embouchure, but major value of that education was 'an appreciation'.

My investment in teaching my kid was the true music education for me--learned much of the history, 'sound' of each classical period, as well as tonality and pitch. I still love clarinets, but have really developed an appreciation for a fine string orchestra, as well as other instrumentation.

When my son practiced there wasn't any screeching or wrong notes, nor discord, but repeating scales-- which is necessary--and etudes for fingering practice, can be a tad nerve-wracking, but how I'd love to hear it again.

Wendy said...

I realize I'm really late to comment, but I will anyway.

It could be worse- My daughter decided she wants to play the upright bass. That thing is significantly taller than I am. It involves renting TWO instruments- one to keep at home and one to keep at school.

It's totally awesome.