Friday, May 14, 2010

Vinny and the Violin

I was only a little older than Vinny when I started playing the violin.  I had always loved music, and it was a logical next step to sign me up.  I mean, I loved music so much that it was one of the only thing that would soothe me when I got upset.  So it made perfect sense to start creating it on my own.

Vinny recently saw a picture of me at the age of 4, playing the violin.

Ever since then, he has been enthusiastic about learning to play the violin himself.  When we talk about musical instruments, he regularly mentions that he wants to play the violin.

I haven't actively discouraged him from it, but I admit that I am less than enthusiastic about him learning to play the violin at this age.  I think he still needs to be a child, and I don't want to subject him to the kind of discipline that is necessary to learn an instrument yet.

And when he is old enough for it, I am not enthusiastic about the violin as a first instrument.  I think he would be much better served to learn the piano first.  Piano is a useful skill.  There are a lot more opportunities for gigs.  Also, musically speaking, you learn to think about more than just a single melodic line, which is very useful when you play in ensembles or even when you're just trying to appreciate music.  I think a lot of music theory would have come easier to me if I'd had training on the piano.

I also worry about the impact that playing the violin has on a young body.  I know that twisting my left arm into the fingering position on the violin starting at such a young age and for so long contributed to my arm and elbow problems.  I would hate for my son to be disabled as a young adult like happened to me.  He's not left handed, though, so maybe he wouldn't have the same thing happen.

In any case, I won't be signing him up for any lessons any time soon.  He needs to just keep enjoying music for a year or two more.


Anne said...

all good reasons to wait on music lessons and to go with the piano! well reasoned.

Laura said...

I love that photo! You are soo cute! And yeah, why did you end up with the violin and not something else? Was that your interest or was it because Grandpa played the violin or what?

By the time I came along, you and Rachel were already playing violin and cello. I really had no choice but the viola. But that's okay -- I liked it well enough. And I was able to switch to singing when push came to shove! (there are some advantages to, ahem, not being very good! But boy I wished I could play like you!) :-)