Rules about box violin???

Sarah Marie Ward said: Feb 4, 2014
Sarah Marie WardViolin
Apo, AE
2 posts

Hi, I’ve never posted anything on here before but this morning I thought I need to ask the Suzuki forum about having rules with a box violin. I just gave my 2 year old nephew a box violin for his birthday. He lives in the same house as I do and has become very interested in my violin. The smallest violin I own is an 1/8th size and is just huge on him. So I decided instead of spending $200 on a 1/32nd size I would just spend $10 and get a little box violin for him for his birthday. Anyway, I was just wondering, should I let him just walk around with it and explore it at will or should it be only for specific times when we “practice” violin. I guess I just wanted to make sure that it isn’t a bad thing for him to be allowed to just play with it like he does with his other toys. I was a proud violinist Aunt when this morning, that’s the first thing he mentioned when he woke up was his new violin =) Thanks!

Sarah Winn

Laura said: Feb 10, 2014
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Palm City, FL
105 posts

I think it’s great you gave him a box violin. And Yes, I would teach him to treat it the same way your would want him to treat a real violin. I start my students on actual instruments for this very reason. If they learn that the violin is a toy from the start it will be hard to transition to respecting an actual violin when the time comes.

Sarah Marie Ward said: Feb 11, 2014
Sarah Marie WardViolin
Apo, AE
2 posts

Thanks Laura! I decided to do just that, we have had a few times of maybe 5 minute lessons and he still enjoys it very much and he has been learning boundaries with the “box” instrument. And I like your perspective on starting students with a real violin right away, that’s something to think about… It’s my opinion that if we give high expectations with a child they more often than not surprise us with going beyond those expectations; such as with the way we treat an instrument. So I can see the way a young child may perceive getting a box violin (when they know what a “real” violin is) is that I’m saying “I don’t trust you to care for a “real” violin.” Whereas, starting them off on a real instrument may empower them, if it is explained that it must be treated with care. Though earning the trust may be a good building of character, so I can see pros and cons to either way. In the past I’ve told my students if I see them mistreating their foam-a-lin/box violin that I know that they are ready for a violin when I see them treating their foam-a-lin/box violin they way that they should treat a violin. Very thought provoking for me today…, thanks again!

Sarah Winn

Barb said: Feb 11, 2014
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Hi Sarah,

When I have my students start with a box cello it’s not that I don’t trust them with the real instrument (though I have had one of those…). The main reason I use them is to have them learn to sit with it and do some bowing rhythms without the distraction of the sound. After they get the twinkle rhythms, then we add the sound (tone) by graduating to the real instrument. The tendency then is that they are so enthralled with the sounds that they get distracted and the bow holds start to slip. Am I starting them too early? I don’t know. Still learning to teach the little ones.

Whether or not they use a box to start depends mostly on their age/maturity. For 3s and 4s, I think it’s a good idea. I’ve also used them with a 5 and a 6 year old—they didn’t need to use them as long.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Kumud I said: Apr 25, 2016
 1 posts

Where can I get this box violin. My daughter is 3.4 and her teacher made a box violin with a box and a ruler but my daughter hates it and want a real one with strings and bow to play with.
We were willing to buy 1/32 but her teacher asked us to wait for 8 weeks. Her theory is that once we give real violin then she would never want to play with box violin and may develop band habits which are hard to get rid of.
Thanks for your help

Paula Bird said: Apr 27, 2016
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-make-box-violin.html?m=1

http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-use-box-violin.html?m=1

Hope these articles help you decide what to do!

Sincerely,

Paula Bird
TeachSuzuki.com (Teach Suzuki podcast)

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Barb said: Apr 27, 2016
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

You might ask the teacher, Kumud, about buying a foam-a-lin .. I think Young Musicians sells them—if you want something nicer than a cardboard box. But you can also make the box more special by coloring it like a real violin, or plastering it with stickers, or using a wood-grain contact paper… ???

This is a chance for your daughter to practice delayed gratification! The kids all want the “real” thing to make music with right away. Some are quite disappointed that they can’t make “real violin” (or cello or whatever) sounds immediately, though! It is a grand thing when they finally get that real instrument!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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