August 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm #4340
- Contribution Score 567
There are a lot of reasons why students quit violin. Learn some common ways from my perspective as a teacher.August 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm #4345
- Contribution Score 60
How about the violin is simply just too difficult! 😉February 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm #12617
Yes, the violin is a difficult instrument to learn, however, as Michael said…it’s not a race. It all takes time. You have to lay a foundation first. Baby steps and consistency are key! I began on a cheap violin with tapes to mark the notes while I learned the basics. Now, 13 months later, I’m upgrading to a more expensive instrument (still trying it out), better bow, and NO tapes to guide me. My experience level is somewhere between beginner and intermediate, but I feel I’ve progressed immensely because I’m playing without the aid of tapes on my violin. It’s been a huge confidence lifter and motivator for me. Another thing I focused on was “regular” practice sessions. I practiced 5 days a week, sometimes it was only 10-15 minutes and sometimes it was 30 or more, but did SOMETHING just about every day…even if it was just tuning it and playing open strings with lots of bow. Since I’ve upgraded, my motivation to play has increased tremendously and now I’m practicing 30-45 minutes per day, 4-5 times a week. I followed Michael’s advice from another video and have incorporated more scales and etudes into my practice routine. Since I don’t have the tapes on the new violin, the scales have proven very beneficial to my ear training and muscle memory. Baby steps!March 5, 2016 at 4:02 am #13799
I quit as a teenager when an orchestra director was inappropriate with me in the practice rooms and I later learned also with others. Trying to put his arm around me and whispers in my ear way too close. Never told my parents but my body language and not being receptive told him. I was too young to know how to voice my discomfort. Also the pressure from my parents prevented me from enjoying my playing even though I was one of the top two violinists in the orchestra. Always wanted to play piano and have so enjoyed learning over the past four years that I wanted to go back to violin as well. What I learned as a child on violin helped with the piano over 40 years later! My violins were stolen so I hope to win one since my finances are very limited. I believe that with practice I can return to my previous level of playing and maybe progress.March 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm #13814
- Contribution Score 8
Violin is incredible difficult and frustrating but rewarding. My reason for my love hate relationship is that the violin hears everything. If I am nervous or tired or stressed you can hear it all in the violin sound. It lays you pretty bare and that can be hard for some people to take. I kind of consider it a challenge to overcome in that way.March 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm #13816
- Contribution Score 325
Michael, these points are so true! I always tell music students, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” Yes, playing the violin is a commitment. Violins are expensive to buy and to rent. Violin lesson fees add up. These financial expenses are not worth it, if you are not willing to put the time in to practice. I can also add that teens, kids who haven’t graduated high school yet, and adult players who are mostly self taught, it is very often a daunting prospect to practice everyday when it feels like you are aimless in your practice. So practicing right and practicing is really needed to set up a cycle of motivation.
The cycle of motivation
Practicing – If you’re doing this every day and setting goals, you will have a more satisfying experience. Get with your teacher about exactly what you should be doing in your practice during the week. Use a notebook so you can remember what you need to work on. Make charts to keep track of what you’re working on and what you need to do.
Success – If you have good practice habits, you will see success pretty quickly. You set reasonable goals and can achieve them with effective work. You’re not competing with anyone else, but you may be inspired by other players. Playing in groups, youth symphony, etc adds a fun, social element that can keep you active.
Motivation – When you taste success, you become naturally motivated to practice. This starts the cycle over again!
Playing violin is like mountain climbing. When you are working toward a goal, you are climbing the mountain. You are sweating, struggling, determined, looking ahead and sometimes getting mad, thinking of giving up, complaining. But keep positive thoughts and press on. Up there is a plateau! When you reach a plateau, you’ll KNOW it! You can relax a little, sit back and contemplate what your practice was like when you first started to climb. Look how far you have come! Pretty soon, though, it’s time to start climbing again for higher ground and the work begins again. Just remember, there’s a beautiful plateau ahead, but you must earn it, or its not worth much!
March 17, 2016 at 10:34 am #14197
- Contribution Score 8
The reply button is not working for me but what kind of violin did you upgrade to Christie?
I haven’t picked up my violin in so many months… I just saw a video of Michael playing canon in D and wow. I love that piece and I have the urge to see how my violin is doing… And play it.March 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm #14200
You’re right. The REPLY button does not work. It takes you to another page. Hmmm…
Anyway, to answer your question… I upgrade to the Viviano Vitale and I absolutely love it. I started on a $50 no-name that I found on eBay. It served its purpose, but after playing the Vitale, I’m more enthusiastic about playing and I spend more quality time practicing. The Vitale is “easy to play” and sounds amazing. Pick up your violin. Go after the Canon in D piece!April 14, 2016 at 4:46 am #14890
- Contribution Score 66
I quit for a while because of work, school, other interests, etc, but mainly because I had finished learning all of the Suzuki Method pieces with my instructor. I was a little disappointed and started taking lessons at the Conservatory of Music. There was a marked difference in teaching styles between the two schools and I eventually lost interest. Fortunately for me, I started playing again a few years ago and have gained a lot of the fine technical skill I had as a teenager. If I hadn’t quit, I wouldn’t know that playing an instrument takes practice and it is a skill that takes dedication and time. My hope is that people that have quit violin will pick up where they left off and play again. I get a lot of pleasure from playing and it’s like belonging to a special club: I’m a violinist.April 14, 2016 at 1:20 pm #14898
You’re absolutely right. I started out teaching myself, took a break (for school), then found a private tutor. Two years later, I’ve made tremendous progress and YES, it takes practices, lots of practice, and dedication. I like that… we belong to a special club… I’m a violinist too!April 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm #15013
I’m realizing that I did not like much of the music included in traditional violin instructional programs. I need to understand what skills are targeted in order to motivate practicing tunes that I dislike, and alternate pleasure playing with skill practice.August 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm #17868
I think Michael’s point about getting overwhelmed may also be related to reasons I quit. I didn’t see progress toward making a better sound and didn’t understand the reasons (was never told) for some of what my teacher suggested at the end. I had a good sound but nowhere near what I aimed for. I needed a good shoulder rest but was afraid to ask for my parents to spend the money and my teacher never suggested it. I couldn’t understand how to relax and didn’t know the shoulder rest was an issue. My siblings were allowed to tease me when I practiced with no consequences to them. I didn’t have access to music that I enjoyed playing for fun. It became all about others’ desires and I lost touch with what I wanted. Anybody else remember having to carry your violin around school all day and back and forth to home and being teased about it? Too many big and little things and I just snapped! I wish I hadn’t, but couldn’t see any alternative at the time.
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