Three Tips To Better Yourself In Playing The Violin

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During this pandemic, our social activities are restricted. Most are working or studying from home. So many will have excess time on hand, which is time saved from travelling to and from work (or school). Hence, many have taken up hobbies or enrichment programs to elevate themselves. These activities include baking, gardening, starting art class, learning a new language, and starting music lessons.

Of all the musical instruments available, the violin is one of the most popular ones. Primarily because many people have been exposed to it when watching the local strings ensemble or orchestra perform. There are also many well-known violinists who cater to classical and pop genre, hence broadening the appeal of this musical instrument. If you are one of the many who have decided to start violin lessons Singapore, then you must read on as I will cover three tips to better yourself in playing the violin.

According to Rita Yeo, the founder of Stradivari Strings (a violin school in Singapore which was established in 2010), any student who has nailed all of these three tips will definitely see their violin progress turbocharged.

First Tip – Ensure That You Plan Your Violin Practice Like Clockwork

The saying “practice makes perfect” applies to all things in life, not only to violin lessons. I truly subscribe to the mantra: it takes ten thousand hours of practice to be good at one task. So whenever my violin students are on the verge of giving up during weekly private violin lessons, I always share this gem with them

What do I mean by planning violin practice like clockwork? It means incorporating this activity in your daily life and have a fixed daily schedule for it. We have twenty four hours a day, eight hours are spent resting / sleeping, another eight hours are taken up by work or school. That leaves us balance eight hours of which approximately one hour to two hours are taken up by meals and transport. Of the precious six hours of free time in a day, how much time are you willing to devote to violin practice so that you can ace your weekly violin lessons for beginners?

I have a student who is retired and started adult violin lessons at age seventy three. He plans his violin practice as follow: an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon, and hour in the evening. Seven days a week. Someone with this dedication of scheduling his violin practice into daily routine will definitely progress very fast.

Second Tip – Immerse Yourself In Music

Learning music is rather similar to learning a foreign language. In order to improve, you need to immerse yourself and experience the culture and use it. Taking the analogy of language learning as a similar example. Assuming that you wish to learn the Japanese language, aside from going to your weekly Japanese language classes, you can watch Japanese movies or television series on Netflix, listen to Japanese language radio channels online, join meet up groups whereby you can practice conversing in the language and so on. Even better if you can pack up your bags and live in Tokyo or Kyoto for three months. You are forced by circumstance to converse in the language over there, and your reading and conversational Japanese will be enhanced further.

So transposing this into learning to play the violin, you can immerse yourself in music by joining a strings ensemble group for weekly practice, or start your own quartet by gathering another violinist, violist and cellist. You can also watch concerts live or online. There are many online resources like Netflix and youtube where you can view these to be inspired. You can hang around your local violin shop to meet similar like-minded violinist to expand your music social network. Listen to music all the time and correlate that to the violin. Very soon, your violin teacher will notice that your standard has improved by leaps and bounds during your violin classes.

Third Tip – Expand Your Musical Social Network

This is tied to immersing yourself in music. No man is an island, we need support from our social network in whatever that we wish to pursue. To play better on the violin, surround yourself with people of similar interest and if you can, plan practice sessions with someone who is on a higher level so you can level up.

Where to find like minded violinists to practice together? Get on your local meet up platform, see if there is already a group of musicians who meet regularly. Can’t find one? Fret not. Create your own niche group and be the leader.

You can also meet like minded people when you go to concerts. Chat with your fellow audiences during the concert break. You will be sure to find many aspiring musicians attending these concerts. Once you have a select group of like minded musician friends, you can even organize group violin classes for adults with your violin teacher.

Fourth Tip – Locate An Awesome Violin Teacher

This is a no brainer. What qualities does an awesome violin teacher Singapore have?

There must be synergy between coach and student. Typically, professional and senior teachers have the ability to interact mor effectively with the student during weekly violin lessons beginners. This is usually the case as more experiences teachers have gone through many types of students and scenario so are better prepared for any issues that happen. They are also more street smart.

Suffice to say also that an awesome violin coach must also have flawless techniques which he or she can pass on to the student. Otherwise, the student will be learning the wrong playing technique. In the event that this happens, this is situation whereby the student takes three steps forward and two steps back. What do I mean by that? Undoing the wrongs learnt in a technique is more time consuming. So ensure that you are learning under a qualified violin teacher.

I hope that you have more clarity now on how to navigate yourself with regards to putting into action, the three tips I have shared. Happy practicing!

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