WHY did you start playing the violin?

August 26, 2007 at 08:53 PM · I apologize if this has already been discussed, but I went through 2 or 3 pages of topics and didn't see .....

In lieu of the current poll as to age that everyone started, I thought it would be interested to hear people's reasons for starting. I know that I wanted started started wanting to play violin at the age of three when I saw Itzhak Perlman play for Oscar the Grouch on Sesame street. My mom told me it was too much responsibility for my age, but if I was still interested when I was five, she would let me begin (I found out later in life that immediately after telling me that, she got me onto the waiting list for the local Suzuki teacher). After asking almost every day for the next two years, she let me start lessons!

Replies (28)

August 26, 2007 at 02:51 AM · Haha, ignore that crazy typo "wanted started started wanting" .... it should read, "I know I started wanting to play ..."

August 27, 2007 at 03:56 AM · My father played the violin for my as a child and introduced me to music through a recording of Beethoven's Fifth symphony with an album cover of a symphony orchestra in full array. I remember seeing the string instruments most prominently (there were so many of them!) and thinking that they were all somehow playing this amazing music by a man who was no longer living but whose music was so special that people still wanted to play it long after he had passed on. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to be one of those people, and that's how I ended up starting on my musical journey with the violin.

August 27, 2007 at 04:20 AM · My cousin started violin and she would bring her violin up from Virginia when ever she visited. I would play it and she would play it and I loved it. Now she is a professional violinist, and Hopefully I will be soon!

August 27, 2007 at 07:03 AM · For a couple of reasons. I thought my parents would be more likely to go for a smaller instrument because they cost less. So it was either that or flute, and Samantha Jones was going to play the flute. There was no way I was going to sit next to Samantha Jones, so there you have it.

August 27, 2007 at 01:02 PM · We took a test in 4th grade to determine our various aptitudes for instruments based on high-low pitch discrmination and lo and behold--violin!

August 27, 2007 at 01:39 PM · At age 9, I walked up to my parents and told them that I loved the Beethoven Violin Concerto so much that I just had to learn to play the violin. So it was because of loving a piece of music.

August 27, 2007 at 05:49 PM · I'll be 31 in exactly one week, and it was only on May 30 of this year that I bought my first violin. I'd always wanted to learn to play, but several things in my life prevented me from taking it up sooner, the least of which was the somewhat great expense of even a decent student violin.

I've always loved the instrument, frankly. I don't care what kind of music it's used in--country, bluegrass, folk, classical, rock, blues, jazz--any time I hear a violin, I find myself mesmerized by it. I can almost completely shut out all the accompanying music and focus solely on that one instrument. The sounds it can make are as fascinating as the human voice. Who wouldn't love an instrument that can be as expressive as a human singer--possibly even moreso?

For me, it was a simple case of wanting to be able to CREATE music with the instrument, rather than just listen to music created with it. I've always been a very expressive person, but I've found over the years that we can't always express what we think or feel simply with words. We have to turn to other means of communication to truly articulate such abstract things as emotions. Photography, painting, drawing, singing, playing an instrument...all these things give me forms of expression that are as varied as the emotions that drive such expressions. The violin, itself, is one of the most dynamic tools I've ever encountered for communicating feeling.

I know that's probably a rather hot-air explanation for my taking up the instrument, but it's the truth, so I figure I'll just leave my explanation the way it is. ;)

P.S. ALL the instruments in the violin family can be described the way I think of the violin, itself. I love viola and cello as well, but for my needs/limitations, the violin makes the most sense for me, so I'll leave these other instruments to more capable folks. I can still find joy in listening to them, as long as I can at least play the one I have. ;)

August 28, 2007 at 03:18 AM · I began violin lessons at 6 years old, but I REALLY started to play some years later...

...when Life happened :-)

August 28, 2007 at 04:16 AM · Timothy,

Music comes from emotion. Complex music comes from complex emotion. Complex emotion comes only from experience. How perfectly right you are. :)

August 28, 2007 at 04:00 AM · I wanted to play because my cousin was going to. My Mom had played a bit in high school and periodically let me try on her full size... and at 7 years old, thought "Yeah, sounds fun."

(Ps. Hi! :) )

August 28, 2007 at 04:26 AM · Search for the thread: "Why Violin".

August 28, 2007 at 10:52 PM · I've started at 5, when I began school offering music courses. I chose the violin because my sister already was playing it. I remember the first time they have put the instrument in my hands. I just loved it and it followed me.

August 29, 2007 at 12:39 AM · I've loved the violin since third grade, but my mother refused to allow me to play it and insisted on flute for me and clarinet for my twin sister. I spent most of my life wishing I could play violin and listening to everything from classical to rock (if it had violin.) Three kids from the Strings Ensemble at work really started pushing me to try it, they got me when they asked why I was pushing for them to approach things in a non-traditional way when I refused to even try the violin at my age (mid-forties.) They had me and they knew it. I started this summer, love it, and am trying to work around an intensely hectic work schedule and life to keep going.

I also want to say how pleased I was to see other adult beginners in that survey =) The nice thing about being an adult beginner is no one is making me do anything but me, including a couple hours a day for practice. The crazier work gets the more calming I find practice, even if I sound very bad to myself. Starting, and continuing, as an adult is an act of self-nourishment I think.

August 29, 2007 at 03:08 AM · MY mother made me play the accordion, which I did for five long years, agonising beneath the Stomach Steinway. It pretty much ruined my self-esteem for decades.

The motivation for playing the violin is totally different. My wife has this cat, whom I loathe. She claws up the furniture, pees on the oriental rugs, gets hair all over my pillow, and would sleep on my face if I didn't take active steps. And the cat is even worse.

I play to annoy the cat.

August 29, 2007 at 03:33 AM · Bob,

Your post made me wake the whole house from laughing so hard. Don't do that. ;)

August 29, 2007 at 06:03 AM · I was in the third grade when it was required to learn how to play an instrument in school. I really wanted the violin. By the time the teacher got to the S's (Smith) all the violins were taken. Somehow she convinced me that the viola was "just the same" as the violin, so I took it home. I've been playing it ever since (30 years later).

August 29, 2007 at 09:55 AM · Although I may very well receive a serious flogging for saying this, I firstly wanted to play the cello, but I couldn't afford it so I started on the violin. Every so often though I do dream about the cello and someday IT WILL BE MINE.

*ducks so as not to struck down dead by the violin gods*

I do though love to play and now that I have somethings to play for, my friend recently bought me two parakeets for my birthday, it makes it even better. Although, if someone were to hear it would sound sort of funny hearing this violin playing with two screeching birds in accompaniment.

August 29, 2007 at 09:34 PM · Juanita,

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the cello. In fact, I dare say I like it about as much as the violin--which is a LOT. I, too, want to try to get one some day. But, given my already stretched-too-thin amount of time, I'm devoting all I have left in each day to practicing violin. Perhaps in about five or ten years, if I'm doing well enough on this thing, I'll take on the cello, too. So, don't duck for saying you want to play cello. I say go, girl. ;)

August 29, 2007 at 01:33 PM · When I was in 4th grade, some group came to our school and demonstrated all sorts of instruments. I fell in love with the violin. I had to beg, but my mother let me start playing the following year. I then decided to quit after 6th grade, but the orchestra teacher at the new school I went to for 7th grade came and hauled me back into orchestra class. ;) I quit again after high school, and of course, now I'm back once again.

Juanita, I love the cello, too. I played around with one recently in the violin shop I go to. I'd love to have one.

August 29, 2007 at 09:44 PM · Because at the age of 37 I finally realized I've lived too long without it in my life.

August 29, 2007 at 11:44 PM · From my daughter:

"I really really wanted to play the violin when I was 2 years old. My mom thought I was crazy because she said "Nobody starts at age 2." She finally found a Suzuki class and I began to take lessons from the teacher.

When I was still in my early months of playing, I noticed that everybody else stayed on stage longer than I did, and I was green with envy. My mom's solution was "if you want to stay on stage, then you have to learn more songs."

From there it snowballed into a 38 song frenzy.

from Jodi: careful what you wish for. : )

August 31, 2007 at 08:55 PM · My son started Suzuki in grade school. I took him for private lessons, watched and listened. When he was at school I picked up his half size fiddle and gave it a try. It seemed easy to play along with the records. When we brought him a 3/4 size I decided I wanted my own. I had no intention of taking lessons but did a favor for the music teacher in exchange for a few lessons. She was surprised and encouraged me to keep going. I found a kindly retired orchestra teacher who was willing to take on an adult. I guess I started to play because I fell in love with it. It's been rewarding mostly because of the people I've met and for the emotional outlet.


August 31, 2007 at 09:20 PM · Mary,

I really like your story. It's endearing, to say the least. :) I'm glad you enjoy it so much, that you took it up for the reasons you did, and that you've had such a great experience with it. It reminds me of something my instructor has repeatedly told me, though I already knew:

"You're a grown-up now. The only reason for you to do this at your age is because you want to. It should be a source of relaxation, contentment, and fulfillment. It should be a hobby. ALWAYS approach it like that, and you'll have no problem nailing a great vibrato, because you'll have no tension anywhere in your body. If you ever find that you just can't produce a great vibrato, it'll prob'ly be a sign that playing violin is no longer a hobby, and you need to take up a different one."


September 2, 2007 at 05:00 AM · When I was in K-4th grade, I actually hated going to the orchestra concerts.

I chose the violin because it's the smallest instrument I didn't have to blow in (a balloon was hard enough at that age!)

I signed up (with cello as my second choice) without telling my mother, figuring she'd have to say yes if I took care of that already.

She ended up saying no way, and I cried and threw a tantrum...and then my father caved...and the mission was accomplished.

Bear in mind that's the only time that had ever worked in my life! Hah.

September 2, 2007 at 06:43 AM · It was this picture:

September 2, 2007 at 06:43 AM · It was this picture:

September 2, 2007 at 07:08 AM · Sorry, I don't know why the link doesn't work and it won't let me go back to edit the previous messages either:-(

Here is the site will show you the picture I tried to link:


After I saw and listened to Sha, the daughter of a famous conductor in Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, playing on TV in 1972, I was mesmerized by the violin. Then a couple of people came to tell me that I even looked like her. I was like, really?! Then I must play the violin and one day I’ll be in orchestra just like her!

Looking back, it was extremely naïve of me to have believed I would ever get near where Sha would, but I’m glad my naivety led me to such a beautiful journey.

September 2, 2007 at 01:47 PM · make your business!!


my parents, even though not jewish

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