Let's face it, not every skill that we learn on the violin is something taught in a violin lesson. A lot of that skill can be transferred from other musical activities - such as playing the piano, singing, learning solfege, dancing, composing - or maybe something else.
Personally, I did not start the violin at the young age that people do these days - I was nearly nine years old. At that time, there was a dominant idea that anyone who wanted to play an instrument should take piano lessons first (not that I did!)
That said, I don't think I would have had the same kind of success with the violin if I hadn't done a great deal of singing as a child. Not that I was formally taught to sing, or that I was good at it, but I as a very young child I would "practice my songs" and try to make my voice match the music in my head. I also whistled (to my mother's great annoyance!) and tinkered around on the piano. I would even argue that my very short stint with ballet lessons helped my eventual violin-playing by putting music in my head alongside physical choreography.
After my violin years began, I still had other musical activities that helped with my violin-playing: more singing in choirs, learning piano in college, a bit of composing and solfege.
This week I want to explore how those musical activities other than violin (or viola or cello) playing helped along the fiddle playing.
Did you, or do you, have any activities that gave you skills that have helped your violin playing? What were they? How did they help? Which was most important? Please participate in the vote and then share your thoughts.
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