Newbie Hello

October 11, 2017, 1:15 AM · Hello, everyone. I just joined today, having had my first ever violin lesson earlier this evening (Tuesday, the 10th). I’m in my late 30s and have finally decided to learn to play violin after a lifetime love for the instrument. I’ve always just assumed it would be too difficult for me, so I just kept writing it off. The thing is, that’s stupid. If a small child can learn to play, I should be able to. Besides, it’s not like I have anything better to do with my time! lol

I am currently taking online lessons over Skype, but I’m not really crazy about that. I did fine on open strings, but got flustered when we started using the fingerboard. I felt like my teacher was rushing a bit when showing me where to place my fingers and I felt very awkward. Then again, maybe it was just me needing to catch up. Still, I feel like it would be more productive if my teacher were actually in the same room as me. I’m on a tight budget, though, and my arrangement is far more friendly to my wallet than in person lessons. I’m going to spend this week trying to get a firm grasp on the notes she is currently teaching me.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to say hi and share my first experience with all of you fine people.

Replies (17)

October 11, 2017, 1:52 AM · Welcome April,

Possibly your new teacher was rushing points in the lesson because she had so much enthusiasm for points to get across to you to get you on your way to playing Twinkle Twinkle?

I think you might benefit from watching YouTube videos, in particular the lessons which Todd Ehle has produced.

October 11, 2017, 2:23 AM · Welcome to Vcom April, you will get some great advice, and meet people at the top of their profession as well as absolute nutters. Have fun and enjoy playing the violin.

I would try and get some face-to-face lessons if possible, even if they are less often.

Cheers Carlo

October 11, 2017, 3:58 AM · Get a couple of face-to-face lessons at least to start. It's really hard to examine your setup (shoulder rest, chin rest, how you're holding the instrument) via Skype. And you want that stuff to be right. Bring your video camera to those lessons and tape them so that you can review later ... that's getting your money's worth!
October 11, 2017, 4:24 AM · If a small child can learn to play, I should be able to.

I know, right? I hear some 5 year old kid from Salzburg thought he was so good he could go on big concert tour. How hard could it be?

Welcome, April. I've been at it for...(counting)...5 months now. It gets better. Can your teacher get a good view of your playing through Skype? Sometimes mine walks around me to see how I'm bowing from different angles. It's better to get a good foundation now than to have to relearn things after you pick up some bad habits.

October 11, 2017, 5:35 AM · There are things a good teacher can see in person that are not visible via Skype. I suggest trying to find a teacher who is willing to "consult" for just a lesson or two to see that you have equipment that really fits YOU and that you are using your muscles properly.
October 11, 2017, 5:48 AM · Andrew's right. My teacher would walk the full 360 degrees around me, looking at my posture and playing from all angles.
October 11, 2017, 6:29 AM · Hi April! I'm an adult-beginner too. I have had 5 lessons so far. Hope you love and enjoy the learning process! Good luck :)
October 11, 2017, 3:52 PM · Welcome aboard! Everyone has given great advice here. I'm just a guy who's here to share my knowledge and voice on violin-related topics. I agree that you should get an in-person teacher, but please keep in mind that if personal issues prevent you, that's fine.
October 11, 2017, 3:59 PM · Hallo It's cool to know that there's lots of adult beginners here, I really feel like we need more players
October 11, 2017, 4:23 PM · One thing it seems teachers just don't tell a student out-right. They do not expect immediate perfection the moment they show you something. And, they will move onto something else long before you become proficient at any given thing. If they tell you, "oh that was good", they are only referring to that one time and it may not be the case the next, and that's ok, you're learning. It will be up to you to keep in mind the suggestions they give while you're not in a learning session and try the best you can to apply them. You will have to get use to the idea it will take a lot more than one try before you get it spot on. Don't despair, that's OK!

Welcome to violin - you can do it - you will love it! Really!

October 11, 2017, 4:56 PM · Thank you, everyone, for all your supportive responses! Yes, I’m really rethinking my online lessons and will probably settle for in person lessons less often. I think that will probably actually be better than what I’m already doing. I’m thinking it’s a matter of quality over quantity right now.
October 11, 2017, 5:02 PM · How about in-person lessons with online supplements?
October 11, 2017, 6:06 PM · Because of finances I take one class a week and practice on my own 30-45 min each day. It seems to be working really good for me. Look around, sometimes in-person classes can be cheaper than Skype. That's not to say there aren't qualified teachers online.

If your Skype lessons are affordable and the teacher is qualified, then why not take just 3 lessons in-person(to get a hands on feel... oh, the first lesson is usually free) then continue on with Skype.

Edited: October 11, 2017, 8:01 PM · Welcome! Learning to play the violin is a wonderful experience.

There many things a small child can learn effortlessly we adults can't do. Acquiring a second language without accent, for example. When it comes to the violin, the success rate of children is much much better than that of adult beginners. Children deserve our respect.

October 11, 2017, 8:51 PM · I agree that children deserve our respect. What I mean is that if a young child can learn to play an instrument, it is reasonable to believe that an adult should also be capable of it. I think individual circumstances determine how well such an endeavor turns out, not age.

@Ella: Yes, that’s what I will likely end up doing. I want an in person teacher to at least check in with to make sure I’m on the right track. In between lessons, I know I can find lots of quality resources online.

October 11, 2017, 10:13 PM · I do agree that children can easily learn things adults can't easily learn. I completely agree with David on this one. However, I do believe that adults should be given equal opportunities to learn as kids and that they can get quite good at something with dedication.
Edited: October 11, 2017, 11:15 PM · I have no doubt that certain things can be easier for children to learn than for adults, but I also think that learning as an adult has its own benefits. Some things are a matter of maturity. Learning as an adult is definitely different than learning as a child and I think both have pros and cons.

I don’t have the benefit of childhood learning when it comes to violin, so I will have to make up for that with patience and dedication to my practice. I’m not going to let the fact that I’m an adult beginner discourage me, because that would be pointless. I still firmly believe that if a 4 year old can figure it out - even if it’s easier for them - that there’s really no reason I can’t figure it out, too. My entire point is that I wasted so many years being too intimidated to try and from a logical standpoint, I shouldn’t be. Neither should anyone else.

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