Instrument questions and a concern

said: Oct 16, 2006
 2 posts

Hello, my daughter is 5 and we’ve been observing Suzuki lessons at our local music school. My daughter loves the sound of the violin and viola and I’m very moved by her genuine feelings. Her best friend in the neighborhood plays viola and her brother plays violin. I have two questions/concerns:

  1. I’m concerned about the unnatural positions for the body a violin or viola require. I did a google search and found many hits on tendonitis and neck pain for players of those intruments. How concerned should I be?

  2. I grew up with Suzuki piano training but my parents had no involvement/interest (so I didn’t have a real Suzuki experience) and I never learned to read music well. I secretly wish she would choose the piano so I could learn Suzuki the proper way along with her. I’m going to take her to a piano group lesson in about a week. If she feels ambivalent (as opposed to not interested in) about piano, would it be wrong for me to steer her into piano?

Thanks in advance!
Shannon

Carl said: Oct 16, 2006
 11 posts

Our daughter has taken Suzuki violin going on 6 years and has not suffered any tendonitis-like conditions. While nothing in life is completely risk-free, proper posture and a good shoulder and chin rest are vital to not just good health but a good sound. You should discuss any such concerns with your daughter’s prospective teacher(s). Observe a few lessons to ensure the physical as well as musical aspects of playing will be nurtured. Our daughter’s academy is very good on posture (as is evident during student recitals).

I would avoid steering your daughter’s musical path for your own personal benefit, although piano experience generally benefits any young musician. But let the kid play for her own sake. Help her find and do well the thing that she wants to do. Also, adult classes are available (Suzuki as well as other methods). If you are personally interested in piano and music reading, why not go ahead and pursue it for yourself? :)

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 17, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Check out Susan Kempter’s book “Teaching the Violin with the Body in Mind”.

said: Oct 18, 2006
 2 posts

Thanks for the responses. I will check out the book you recommended, RaineJen. After much discussion, we have decided to go ahead with the viola.

Carl said: Oct 23, 2006
 11 posts

Best wishes, crannon. I’m excited for you! Have a wonderful musical journey as a family.

Emily said: Nov 30, 2013
 59 posts

If your daughter loves the sound of the violin and wants to play the violin, then I wouldn’t go with piano because that’s what you like as her parent. It’s probably not a good idea to live through your child. You may end up making your child hate music if you force her to play what you want her to play, instead of what she loves.

Emily Christensen
Music Teacher & Writer
www.musiceducationmadness.org

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