Common Myths about Violin Lessons
January 2, 2018
Myths about violin lessons are so ingrained in certain cultures that it is challenging to overcome them, even after you move out of the country. In Singapore, music instructors often take time away from teaching their students during the first few lessons to answer questions from parents. Asking questions is something every parent should do, but maybe some of your concerns are misguided. Here are some of the most common confusions parents have about their child’s violin classes in Singapore:
My child needs to understand music theory before they can learn to play the violin.
While understanding music theory is beneficial to students, it is not necessary to know any music theory before starting violin lessons. Private lessons are all about learning music, and that includes teaching students how to read music, which notes belong in each scale, and how to play in-tune. Your child will learn about music theory in violin lessons, and how it directly affects their instrument.
It is better to wait until my child is older before they start learning violin.
Teachers in Singapore are professional and realise that teaching younger children a complicated instrument like the violin requires a different approach than teaching older students. If your child is interested in learning music, then they are ready to start taking violin lessons. If you are excited to introduce music in your child’s life, lessons can begin as soon as your child has the ability to focus long enough to sit through a lesson, which typically last 30 to 45 minutes.
It is better for my child to practise for a long time so they can learn quickly.
Short bursts of high-quality practice are much more beneficial to your child’s development than longer periods of practice where they are giving low-effort. Brief interactions can keep the violin fun and enjoyable for your child to play, and repetitions will help their brains process the new material. It is quite common for children to become mentally fatigued after about fifteen minutes of focusing on their instrument, and that is okay. Even if they practise for ten minutes with high-energy, that is still beneficial to their progress. When you set the expectation that practice is going to be 30 minutes or an hour, it can become daunting and feel laborious. It is more important to keep them interested in playing a little bit each day.
If my child takes a day off, they will have to practise more intensely to compensate.
The violin is more about consistency than anything else. It takes time to mature on an instrument, and your child will learn about what it means to have dedication. Their development on the violin is like a young sapling that barely has any leaves. As you give it water and sunlight, you shouldn’t expect to see it grow overnight. You must nurture their education and be tolerant of their progress, but don’t let them go too long without playing their violin. You still want them to be prepared for their next lesson.
The song should be practised from start to finish.
If your child only practises from the beginning of the song, chances are they will have the introduction of the tune very well rehearsed, but as soon as they get to a section that they don’t know, the song falls apart. It is a good idea for them to start on sections that are unfamiliar, and work through the hardest parts before stitching the whole piece together. The song can be learned in parts, and doing so will help your child stay engaged in their lessons.