Should I take online lessons or quit?
Hi everyone, I started playing violin at 11 years old, and took lessons for about 7 years. I am 24 now, and am still playing at a grade 4 level. I quit taking lessons and playing when my close friend died. Her mom asked me to play at her funeral, but I couldn't even walk to stand on the stage. I felt so terrible afterward, because I knew my friend would have wanted me to play, I didn't pick up my violin for another 3 years.
I feel as if I can't improve now no matter what I do, and I struggle with shifting still. I could never grasp onto vibrato right. I am a very slow moving person, so playing through quick passages is impossible for me. I can't afford to take lessons as the closest person is 2 hours away. My friends and family all think I am amazing at violin, when in truth I want to smash my head into a wall when they say it haha.
I love playing, but I get frustrated after just a little time. Are lessons not worth it for me now that I've developed too many bad habits, or should I try to find an online teacher? I know I will regret selling my violins, but I feel this is the end.
Sometimes when I have to make big decisions, I try imagining myself in the future and see if I will regret it. In your case, do you want to see yourself still playing in the future? Try taking online lessons first and see how that goes :) Would never hurt to try. Either ways if it works then great but if not and it makes you decide to quit, at least you won't look back and think, "ah I should have tried online lessons!"
I'm an artist, a painter. When my brother died, I can just about swear it took every artistic notion I had in my body. I set my canvas down for a long time. It was hard to continue because I couldn't find anything to say once part of my life died with my brother. It was a struggle at first and for a while. Eventually I found my artistic notions again. I'm sorry you lost your friend. I'm sure that friend, as you mentioned, would be happy for you to continue on with your music. After all, music hits heaven pleasantly.
I returned to the violin after 25 years away from it. I regret that I did not continue with it during that time, but I cannot turn back the clock. My childhood lessons were of low quality. I discovered this by attending my daughter's first couple of years of lessons and seeing how much better she was being taught. I studied as a child for 12 years with the same teacher, but I did not reach anywhere near the level that one should in that amount of time. But, with my teacher now (who is also still my daughter's teacher), things are much better. I get lessons every three weeks or so during the school year, more frequently during the summer. Probably I will never become a really good violinist, but I am enjoying myself tremendously anyway. Unless you're going to be a pro, which you're not, you have to learn to deal with it on your own terms. And I have to say that it's partly the limitless challenge and the daily struggle of violin playing that is attractive to me. If you do not like that part of it, run away, because the struggles are as relentless as they are difficult. You will overcome some of them but not others. That's just how it is. One thing about a musical instrument like the violin (or the piano) is that it is capable of absorbing a great deal of human emotion including many of the negative emotions that sometimes need outlets. Practicing the violin for an hour is better in that regard than drinking a six-pack.
I only started last September and only was able to complete 2 months of playing before I had to go without an instrument until this September (long story). Every day in that year without a violin was torture. I would listen to my favorite pieces each day and stew over the fact that I didn't have my violin to play. There really is no substitute for a teacher, but if you have no other option, ProfessorV on youtube (Todd Ehle) and ViolinLab are great resources in the meantime.
Music is a great way to cope with emotion, especially the emotions that result from a loss of a loved one. I recommend continuing to take lessons now that enough time has passed.
I'm guessing that you have all sorts of habitual stresses in your playing, left hand pressing too hard, bow grip too tight and bow arm not articulating correctly, stress in your neck and shoulder from holding the violin too tight or awkwardly, etc. Those are the kinds of things that will stop progress and can be very difficult to self analyze. You need a good teacher who can evaluate and correct those things. You just have to find a way to make it happen. Don't give up!
Jalin, playing at a loved one's funeral is a very difficult thing for most of us. I thought about playing at my Mom's funeral a few months ago. I ran the idea by my wife and she gave me sound advice and reminded me how difficult the day will be even without the stress and anxiety of playing. I decided to not play and it was a struggle getting through the day. Overall it was a sound decision to not play.
You can check out Zlata Brouwer at violinlounge.com as well as her youtube channel at youtube.com/user/zmabrouwer. There's not a lot of structure, but there is a structured paid oqine curriculum at bowlikeapro.com. There's also proamstrings.com, though you'll have to spend some bucks. Fiddlerman.com might also be helpful. You can also practice in the mirror and get a better idea of your posture/position.
I feel with you! I played and my grandmothers funeral because my dad wished me to do so at the time. I decided to never do this again, because the stress was so hard to overcome. Then my grandfather in law died and his wife asked me to play at the funeral. I couldn't say no and played there. It was so sad again, but meant a lot to her. Also it helped me to understand what was going on.
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