Monday, June 16, 2008

An adventurous part of my life has come to a close.

I am no longer Marilyn Monroe's violin teacher.

About a month ago I was contacted by a very nice, well-intentioned mother who thought her two year old (Marilyn Monroe) might be ready to start violin lessons. She even had her own 1/32 violin. After three lessons, though, I think her mom finally realized what I had known all along. Two year olds are not physically or mentally ready for formal half hour music lessons. I tried to make them as informal as I could and get on her level, but to no avail. So for three weeks I spent a half hour watching Monroe jump on the couch, pull the cat's tail, roll around on the floor, and throw her violin across the room while her mom, poor thing, tried to get her to cooperate, and was even brave enough to start learning the violin herself so she could work with her at home. I hope that she can maintain her daughter's interest in the violin (that she was claimed to have at home), but I think listening to good fiddle/classical music and perhaps playing around on her toy-sized violin is more than enough for that age. So what is the best age to start violin? I usually recommend sometime around five years old. When most kids are learning to read, stay somewhat focused for half an hour, and are not wearing diapers anymore. I might even suggest taking piano for a year to learn music so they don't have to learn music AND all the tricky basic violin techniques at the same time. But that's just my opinion. Perhaps there are two year olds out there who are already virtuosos.


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