My four-year-old daughter has wanted to play the violin for nearly two years now. I am a rusty pianist and my husband is an active drummer, so the violin is a different choice for our household. I think her interest in violin stems from listening to a Classical Kids Vivaldi CD many times as a toddler. She also had a wonderful experience trying out the violin last year at an Oregon Symphony Storytime with the guidance of a volunteer (video above).
This last week my daughter started violin lessons. The Suzuki method her instructor uses is oriented towards young children. In fact, her instructor started lessons at age three at the same community music center where my daughter now attends.
The first lesson focused on learning to hold the bow properly and learning its parts, but the instructor made this far more exciting than it might sound.
She drew an X on my daughter's middle finger to mark where it should cover the grip, and the smiley face dubbed "Mr. Bumpy Bump" on her thumb is a reminder to keep the thumb bent and oriented correctly.
It's only been a few days since the first lesson, but my daughter cannot stop trying to play her violin. She takes it out of its case at least six times a day. I'm hoping she never stops loving to play even though there will be times when she may not want to practice.
Learning to play an instrument is similar to learning another language. To become fluent, you need to be around people who model using it and you must have a consistent desire or motivation to continue to learn.
How do you feel about beginning music lessons at an early age? Would you wait until your child showed an interest in an instrument of their own choosing, or will you choose the instrument? If you took lessons, do you still play?