Think you’re too old to learn how to play the violin? Nonsense! Take a look as Los Angeles teacher Travis H. dispels the myth and explains why taking music lessons as a later age can actually be beneficial…
The age at which a violinist begins playing is an interesting thing. Most of my violinist friends started when they were in elementary school, and just about everyone says that starting at an early age is the right thing to do.
The music bug didn’t bite me until I was 16, and even then I didn’t start playing violin until my first year of college. I had my apprehensions about starting such a tough instrument when all conventional wisdom and advice says that you can only start at a young age. But I went for it anyway, and I must say that I couldn’t be happier that I took the plunge and started playing.
These days, I am both a student and an instructor of the violin, and my experiences have actually given me an interesting perspective on adult beginners compared with child beginners. There are some distinct benefits to starting later!
A great one is that adult beginners tend to stick with it longer in the beginning; there is just a great deal more patience when starting out, and that is incredibly helpful. An unfortunate thing I have seen is children may give up on an instrument or end up disliking playing because either their parents pushed them too hard to practice or their naturally-short attention spans couldn’t tolerate sticking with it long enough to build a solid foundation. This sort of thing happens less frequently with adults.
Teaching beginning violin lessons has become my area of expertise, both privately and in the classroom, and my later start has helped me in that respect as well. I distinctly remember a great deal of how I was taught and was receptive to the approach my instructor took. I feel that has helped me in building an approach and curriculum that fits beginners and how they should learn. My early lessons are still fresh in my mind and are something that I was fortunate enough to be able to really analyze and apply later.
I suppose the message I ultimately want to get across is not a preference of when a student should start violin, but rather that you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you’re interested, no matter what your age! In the end, if you’re willing to put in the work, things can really open up when you find the right teacher.
Travis H. teaches violin and music theory lessons to students of all ages in Los Angeles, CA. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of the Redlands, and his specialties include classical, blues, folk, bluegrass and gypsy jazz styles. Learn more about Travis, or visit TakeLessons to find a music teacher near you!
Photo by Eat_Crow