Why I Play the Violin

March 11, 2016 at 07:32 PM · What is your long range motive for being involved with the violin?

Are you in a school program hoping to soon join a community orchestra?

How about becoming a collegiate music major?

Would you want to play local gigs?

Mostly a hobby for your own enjoyment?

Contemplating a professional career?


(There are no wrong answers.)

Personally, my motive is to have a good time and maybe remedy my weaknesses along the way. I like to play in church sometimes because I think the challenge helps maintain an edge but having an audience is not a necessity.

I do not see any immediate goals in my violin future except for my eternal struggle to perfect and expand technique.

Replies (29)

March 11, 2016 at 07:40 PM · I want to learn all of the Paganini caprices and Paganini concertos no 1 and 2.. main motivation. 10/10 will pursue professional career though

March 11, 2016 at 08:07 PM · My plan is to gradually learn the violin but eventually play all of the repertoire that is worth playing. I also plan to rekindle the Biblical practice of living to age of several hundred years. That's the only way it will be possible.

March 11, 2016 at 09:16 PM · Do you have occasion to play along with other musicians/instruments?

March 12, 2016 at 12:26 AM · I plan on playing with my community orchestra for the foreseeable future. I am taking regular lessons and I am practicing reguarly. I want to get as good as I can resonably get with a reguarly maintained practice. I want something that I can keep learning for the rest of my life.


March 12, 2016 at 12:49 AM · Sounds good.

I had several friends in community orchestras and this was for them a valuable learning experience in addition to just being able to perform in public.

March 12, 2016 at 12:56 AM · Improv/gigging with groups or ensembles is one of my most motivating reasons to play. Right now that's in church, but I've also done weddings and paid gigs.

I really want to get back into an orchestra when i have evenings available again for the rehearsals.

I am not a soloist, and never plan to be. But, I still want to achieve and perform some of that repertoire because it is so wonderful, and because now I now I can actually achieve it well given the right practice. (as opposed to high school when my technique was horrible and everything sounded hard because it was). This isn't a huge current goal just because it's not the right stage of my life, for me, to practice at that level but it is definitely on my list of things I want our of my playing.

I also really want to make a recording to honor so many people who were influential in my life and my musical growth. Probably a sacred recording, as many of them were musicians or just older music-lovers from my church. Haven't made it happen yet, but I really need to soon!

March 12, 2016 at 01:11 AM · I play to maintain my "sanity." I am a stay at home dad and sometimes the only thing that keeps me from losing it is my music.

I started taking lessons last year and have been pushing myself further than I ever though possible. A year ago, I would have laughed hysterically if I was told that I'd be able to play Zigeunerweisen. I played it top to bottom yesterday.

Some people meditate. I drown out the fighting between my children with Bach and Sarasate.

March 12, 2016 at 01:32 AM · I second Chris' motion, without the musical outlet, I'd be working on(not continuing on, I swear) a world domination plan.

Also, I went from:

Piano, Violin, Alto Sax, Violin. I found violin to be the least restricting instrument that allows me to convey my thoughts and emotion the best.

March 12, 2016 at 03:31 AM · Kathryn. Your mention of "right stage" IMHO suggests to me that you are under control. Somewhat rare these days.

Chris. I agree that violin therapy deserves more recognition.

Steven. One special feature of the violin compared to other instruments is that the violin is infinitely configurable. Every detail can create "new" challenges.

March 12, 2016 at 03:39 AM · I'm not quite sure why I play. It's almost an odd compulsion. In times when I've not been playing -- I took two decade-long breaks -- it's always felt like something is missing. I used to dream about it when I wasn't playing.

Whatever I do, I want to do well, and I want to get better at it.

I'm now the concertmaster of my community orchestra, and I want to keep doing that -- as well as I can. I want to play more pit. I want to take advantage of more solo and chamber-music opportunities.

March 12, 2016 at 06:18 AM · I play the violin because it's fun I guess. I enjoy playing. I don't know exactly what I will do with my playing at this point.

March 12, 2016 at 09:01 AM · Is it Ok if I just copy&paste the OP's reason?

"Personally, my motive is to have a good time and maybe remedy my weaknesses along the way. I like to play in church sometimes because I think the challenge helps maintain an edge but having an audience is not a necessity.

I do not see any immediate goals in my violin future except for my eternal struggle to perfect and expand technique."

That's basically how it is for me, word by word. :)

March 12, 2016 at 09:16 AM · "I want something that I can keep learning for the rest of my life." (Jessy Ringquist)


March 12, 2016 at 09:54 AM · nowadays, I play to pay the rent and buy groceries and gas. I'm on disability with an anxiety/sleep disorder that I got from a disease called polymyalgia rhuematica about 3 1/2 years ago. That is in remission, but it left me with the disorder. Without my additional busking income spring summer and fall, it would be very tough to get by.

aside from that, I have no choice. I must play. started at 22, now 62. over the winter I can jam nearby with a few acoustic guitar players which is nice.

...keep on learning...I just ordered some fusion backing tracks on line to play to. They should be both challenging and fun.

March 12, 2016 at 12:12 PM · I play becouse that is the only thing that makes me feel alive. The feeling when you performe is amazing. It is the only way for me to express my emotions(I am very shy person when talking not about music)

That is why I play.

March 12, 2016 at 12:32 PM · Maybe violins should be sold with a caution label:

"Violin playing may be habit forming"

March 12, 2016 at 12:49 PM · To echo what Chris Dana said, there is a therapeutic aspect of music. It is one time of day when I can forget about everything else and use a completely different part of my brain for something creative and productive. I love that fact that violin is infinite. No matter how much you learn or how good you are, there is always more. And it's just plain fun.

March 12, 2016 at 02:17 PM ·

March 12, 2016 at 05:17 PM · I have to wonder if I would feel the same about other instruments?

I HAVE other instruments!

March 12, 2016 at 05:23 PM · Playing other instruments is a great thing because every instrument has it's charms. I play other instruments and enjoy myself thoroughly. I have to play one I don't like so much because of program demands, and the program is even compulsory for students in my grade. I also play another because of program demands too, but I like it. These programs only last for a short period of time so I can choose whether to continue or not.

March 12, 2016 at 07:49 PM · Wow Chris, you've only been playing the violin since last year you're playing the Zig? That's fantastic!

March 12, 2016 at 08:21 PM · Ella

I've noticed that many violin players come from a piano background and simply wanted to join a community orchestra. No big deal but I got the impression that the violins were requiring the most attention ( the pianos were playing second fiddle!) with no serious sense of loss (?)

March 12, 2016 at 08:30 PM · That's true. In fact, I started piano before violin and play it to this day and I enjoy it. My favourite thing to do is to accompany because it's fun.

March 12, 2016 at 08:45 PM · I think a lot of people start with Piano, because all of the keys are literally there in front of you.

It's the matter of reading music, and staying in rhythm, with co-ordination. Not that it doesn't take any skills, it sure does take a lot of practice and skills, but it is a VERY good introductory instrument.

Although, I got the bad taste of Piano because my parents pushed me to play since I was 6, and I had an evil teacher who didn't like my wrist posture and she placed sharp pencils pointing up by each key. One day, I played a wrong note, she smacked my hand with a meter stick. I still have the pencil lead in my hand.

I haven't touched guitars myself, but I've been told that it is also a good introductory instrument, I found it odd that a lot of people who play guitar don't know how to read music.

March 12, 2016 at 09:01 PM · I was in a situation where I could actually see the (sheet) music of a first violin and piano in a string quartet venue. Several times.

The violin music looked like flute to me but the piano music was mission impossible complexity.

I guess that one note at a time has its advantages! (I'm having enough trouble with that!)

March 12, 2016 at 09:47 PM · In the study of the piano sight-reading is given a very high priority from early stages.

March 13, 2016 at 01:53 AM · of course I am biased, but I think the Violin is a 'special' instrument. I just don't seem to hear musicians who play other instruments talk about their instruments with same passion as violin/fiddle players. They may talk about the music they play on their instruments, but they don't seem to talk about the mystique and wonder of the instrument itself, at least not the way violinist do.

I also can play guitar, but when I feel like getting a guitar player revved up, I say "Compared to a violin, the guitar is a fence post strung with barb wire. Is this a bit out of line?

March 13, 2016 at 02:17 AM · Maybe a little out of line (but not much! :)

The violin does have a mysterious appeal and that's that !

March 13, 2016 at 02:19 AM ·

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