Suggestions for 2 y/o violin


Sonya Post said: Nov 8, 2012
2 posts

We just started my 26 month old on lessons a month ago. I was thinking of holding off until he was 3, but he started picking up things like a linguine box and calling it his violin and using a straw or stick as a bow. We found and old beat-up 1/32 violin and gave it to him—he started sleeping with it. After 8 weeks, we decided to cave and get lessons.

We are currently doing 45 minutes lessons. About 20 of that is with my son, the rest is for mom. We are working on standing. He’s pretty much got that down. We are also working on rhythm patterns, he has the first 3 down fairly well. The bow hold—not so much.

We currently split up our home sessions into 3-4 five to ten minute slots throughout the day. He thinks we are just playing games and having fun. I quit as soon as I think he is about to lose interest I don’t wait until he is tired of it as I don’t want this to become a chore.

I’ve read through some of the posts on practicing but I’m not sure how we should be doing this. I’m not getting clear instructions from his teacher. I will be better at that starting tomorrow’s lesson. What I’d like to know is what we should be doing. I am not a music person nor do I play an instrument and I can’t sing.

Right now all of our music instruction consists of:

  1. Music Theory/Ear Training— 15 minutes a day
    He can name all notes middle “c” to high “d” and play them on the keyboard using one finger at a time. He has relative pitch for most of those notes. He can name 7 chords when he see’s them on the staff and name them about 70% of the time when he hears them. We are just starting to work on rhythm “ta ta ti ti ta etc.”.

  2. Music Appreciation—2 hours a day or more
    He has been able to name all the instruments of the orchestra since he was 18 months old. He can name them by sight, written word and by sound. He can name instruments in a class as well—such as violin, viola, oboe, English horn, oboe d’more. etc. He has favorite composers—right now it is Dvorak. And he also has favorite conductors—currently Dudamel is fascinating. We listen to a lot of pieces and we watch way too many youtube videos.

  3. Violin practice—15-30 minutes
    We are doing this pretty haphazardly. This is where I’m not happy. I don’t have a plan—it’s kind of like we are just playing at this practice thing. We might practice bow hold or foot position, or taka taka stop stop etc. But there really isn’t a direction to it. I’m not sure if I’m making sense.

Music theory is taught as a game and it’s fun but there is a clear progression and I know we are moving forward every day. I think his progress is great for his age. I have a checklist of what I want to do and it gets done and he’s finished way, way, way before he loses interest. Anyway, I guess I am looking for suggestions on things I can do with him, but also, what we should be doing and how should we approach it.

Paula Bird said: Nov 12, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
404 posts

I dont know that you have to do anything more than this. It sounds just perfect. You are covering everything that is necessary to progress in lessons, and you are doing it in a relaxed, fun way. You are changing up the activities frequently and approaching them in times when your child has focus and interest. Sounds great.

Every few months, of course, you’ll have to revisit everything, as your child will developmental be in a different place. Things will need change-up to keep up.

Talk to your teacher so that you understand clearly the path that you are on and the ultimate destination (and the waypoints along the way). Then keep up the creativity you’ve shown so far and come up with ways to get there, along with the suggestions and instructions your child’s teacher gives.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio (blog) (podcast)

Sonya Post said: Nov 12, 2012
2 posts

Thank you for responding. I actually went to our lesson better prepared to ask questions. And she explained what her next goal is—getting a real violin—and she explained what my son needs to be able to do to get to that point. So, that was helpful. I now have a plan know where we are going—that always seems to solve many issues.

She thought he was doing well and that I understood the process. Perhaps she explained and I didn’t catch on the first time around.

Thank you again.

Phankao said: Nov 2, 2013
 128 posts

So he got his violin already, I presume? ;D

Deirdre Motherway said: Nov 12, 2013
 Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
5 posts

My little boy started at 3, we gradually built up violin practise time as he progressed, starting with 5 mins and going from there. I also gauged it on his moods, how tired he was etc. In addition to the violin practise we would play other games in the car while listening to the CD, name that tune, clap the rhythm etc. He never saw these as practise. He’s 5 now and could easily play for half an hour but sometimes a really focused 15 mins is more useful then playing non stop for 30mins. Depends what we’re working on or working towards.

Phankao said: Nov 17, 2013
 128 posts

You’re doing a great Job, Deirdre!

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