Why should I Learn Violin?
Why choose the violin over another instrument? "Because the violin is so versatile!" says Nathan Cole, the First Associate Concertmaster at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
"You can play alone, choosing from hundreds of years' worth of solo repertoire from composers as diverse as Bach, Paganini, Bartok and John Adams. You can play with one friend who has a piano, or with three in a string quartet. You can play in a string orchestra or a full orchestra. And there are many more community orchestras than professional ones, so that anybody who wants to play in a group has a chance. And who says that you have to play only classical violin? Cultures all over the world use the violin because of its versatility. That's why we have so many styles of fiddling in America and Europe, why the Roma people have a "gypsy" style all their own, and why the violin is so important in Indian music."
Cole began learning to play the violin when he was four years old. He loved his lessons, and it wasn't long before he began directing his own study of the instrument. Not every student will have Cole's lifelong passion, but there's no reason students young and old can't enjoy learning to play the violin. Besides the fun to be had from it, countless studies and testimonials sing the developmental praises of learning a musical instrument, with benefits (eighteen of which can be found here) as wide ranging as better memory and improved math skills.
Isn't five kind of young to start?
Not at all! Younger students whose hands and bodies aren't large enough to handle a full-size violin may begin on smaller, student versions of the instrument, but kids as young as five can certainly begin learning how to play. Musical instruments like the violin are exciting new things to explore. Kids need encouragement, but the violin can be a great way for a kid to learn patience and discipline while still seeing plenty of results to stay excited about learning.