Why did you start playing?

September 1, 2016 at 02:40 PM · Hello,

I saw a post about this in 2012. I thought it would be really interesting to ask the current users; "Why did you start playing the violin". I find this especially interesting with adult beginners.

For myself, I have always liked the violin, but never paid much attention to it or classical music. They were just things that were on a list of "I don't mind them". When I was 12, I stayed with grandfather for 6 months and I watched him build a violin. It was such an incredible experience and I wanted to play since then. However, the fire didn't light until I was 28. :( I finally started in January 2016 and I hope I never stop.

Replies (60)

September 1, 2016 at 03:13 PM · When I was 5, my mother discovered that one of the other children in our Asian social circle was starting Suzuki violin. Naturally she then decided that I should play the violin too. She asked me if I would like to play the violin. I told her no. I was told that I was going to be doing it anyway. :-)

September 1, 2016 at 03:41 PM · I started, probably because I overheard a suggestion from a friend. Then I got curious and started taking lessons. I love it.

September 1, 2016 at 07:58 PM · Hahaha. Lydia! Do you thank her now for pushing you?

A question to add to this, Why have you continued studying the violin?

September 1, 2016 at 08:40 PM · Somewhat. I'm glad that I got violin lessons as a child, and I'm glad that while my parents insisted that I practice, it wasn't really all that much -- about 30 minutes a day as I was younger, and about 45 minutes a day in my teen years. (My sister, on the other hand, feels that her time spent doing music was a waste and resents it mightily, so it's definitely not genericizable.) But I was very active musically -- school orchestra, youth symphony, pit orchestra, chamber music, and then gigging starting when I was about 13.

I quit when I went to college, and didn't pick it up again for almost a decade. I'd missed music as a kind of elemental cornerstone of my life, and as part of my "stop working 100+ hour weeks, get sleep, have a life" New Year's resolution, I decided to start playing again. Started taking lessons again, bought a new violin and bow, did community orchestra, chamber music, pit orchestra, and some gigs.

Three years later I moved cross-country and quit again out of frustration in trying to find good musical opportunities and a teacher. Almost another decade passed and then it was back to the New Year's resolution to start playing again after I'd had a series of awful nightmares about my violin being eaten by worms.

Repeat cycle: Started taking lessons again, bought new violin and bow, community orchestra, chamber music, pit orchestra. This time I'm hoping that it won't lead to another cycle of quitting and restarting.

I play because I love the social aspects of music-making (note: I'm actually very much an introvert) and the occasional transcendent experience that can occur. And because it's a challenge, and it's the hardest thing that I do. I take lessons because I want to get better. I perform because I want to become a better performer and the only way to do that is to keep doing it no matter how wrecked you get from nerves -- I've never actually loved performing, much preferring the run-up of preparation to get to the performance, but in the end playing the violin is realistically about performing, unless it's going to be purely a private pleasure.

To some degree I treat it as a skill to be mastered rather than a creative indulgence, but the artistic aspects are appealing in their own way.

September 1, 2016 at 08:47 PM · That's wonderful, Lydia. Lots of struggles back and forth there. Thank you very much for sharing your story with us.

September 1, 2016 at 09:27 PM · My experience was completely the opposite of Lydia's. I came home excited from the public school instrument petting zoo, wanting to play a string instrument. My parents were like, "what's an orchestra?" Okay, not literally, but almost. I was the trailblazer in my family. I actually chose the viola initially, since I have a somewhat deep voice and felt a connection to it. But the recruiters talked me out of playing viola, telling me that all the good parts go to the violins. This must be the only time in the history of public school orchestra programs that's *ever* happened.

September 1, 2016 at 11:35 PM · I think my experience was little bit similar to Lydia, except, I was pushed to play the Piano when I was 5. I had an evil teacher who would beat me and put sharpened pencil pointing up by the keys, to "fix my posture" and smacked my hands down everytime I hit the wrong key. I still have pencil lead in my right palm as a memento.

This was in Korea around 1996, it at least was acceptable for teacher to beat students.

I first got my hands on a violin when I was 9. Again, evil teacher. I HATED IT with passion because I would be hit hard with my bow if I wasn't playing in tune. I gave up after a year. I also was discourage a lot by every single member of the family. Apparently according to my journals, I wanted to live in a country house and get to play the violin by myself, with no one else around.

I really started playing the violin, as a choice when I had a second shoulder surgery 3 years ago, apparently, not longer, and I needed to force myself to stretch my left shoulder.

I realized that the range of motion is most limited in the left shoulder, in position of holding a violin. It was a rehabilitation exercise-turned-joy. Playing violin now for me is the single most effective therapy and relaxation.

September 2, 2016 at 01:03 AM · Hey everyone! I am one of those late starters that OP mentions. My reason for playing began more as a bought of friendly sibling rivalry. My older brother impulse bought a violin several years ago and so started the "if I get one let's see who can learn more in x amount of time". I had always admired violin and classical music, that was just the push to get me to give it a try.

Even thought it had started off as a bit of a joke, it has become one of my favorite hobbies and a great stress reliever after work. My playing probably can't compare to that of most 8 year olds but here's to trying and what I have accomplished so far.


September 2, 2016 at 01:26 AM · I started in public school at 13. My sister's co- worker was the wife of the music teacher (horn player). He choose the violin for me when all the "cool" kids went to band. I found out I really liked the violin. In high school I gave it up. Over the years I took it up again, off and on. Now I'm old and decided to play again. The first thing I found out was that the old violin was 3/4 size. I got a German trade violin and now I'm starting again. In my home, I have trombones key board, clarinet and access to a sax. I choose the violin because I like it the most.

September 2, 2016 at 03:41 AM · Because my parents treated violin as a sort of set of competitive hurdles on the way to Ivy League college admission, they never wanted me to actually enjoy playing. They just wanted me to be good at it. (My mother recently asked me if my son will eventually play the violin. I said, probably yes. My mother asked worriedly, "What if he loves it?")

Consequently, I never heard any classical music other than listening to the Suzuki recordings, and occasionally the radio. Later on as I got into more advanced repertoire they would occasionally borrow an LP from the library for a week, so I could hear the thing I was working on, once. And we would faithfully go to the student recitals in my Suzuki program, and watch the yearly Chicago Symphony / Young Performers competition on TV. Once, we went to Ravinia and I got to hear Cho-Liang Lin play live, from my spot on the picnic-blanket on a lawn far away from the pavilion. That was it.

When I was a junior in high school, my parents got me a Walkman and some headphones (they did not like music playing audibly in the house, most of the time), and I started listening to some classical tapes from the Time Life series, introducing me to some familiar repertoire. My senior year, a friend of mine returned from Interlochen and excitedly shared three tapes -- Mahler 1, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and Metallica's Master of Puppets. I'm not much of a Metallica fan, but the Mahler and Stravinsky were revelatory and got me really excited about listening to music, and I started buying $2 classical tapes as often as I could.

By the time I went off to college I had built a pretty solid basic music collection. Then I started studying in the music listening-room in the college library, so I could listen to hours of music every night. A decade later, a friend that I met on Maestronet introduced me to a wealth of recordings by lesser-known great violinists, which was another revelation. That was also about the time that I started listening to chamber-music recordings.

So in many ways I am a latecomer to a love of classical music, even though I started playing the violin at 6.

September 2, 2016 at 06:20 AM · I scored an E.H. Roth for CHEAP, but it needed some strings and repairs.

Now I hope to make it a trumpet-substitute for a jazz combo setting.

September 2, 2016 at 10:07 AM · I had no musical training as a child, though i did teach myself basic guitar and played briefly in a beat group in the late 60s. I had always been fascinated by the look and sound of the violin, and its mystique, and I finally got the chance to learn at age 40, when a friend lent me their sister's violin (don't ask). I was hooked, started lessons, joined a learner orchestra, and had a lot of fun. Why do i play now? Because even at my amateur level it seems to put me in touch with something vital, and because i enjoy developing the skills, and because i find that playing Bach is deeply satisfying, even given the limitations of my skill. I hope this doesn't sound pretentious, but I find that the violin is a form of spiritual exercise, or, in contemporary parlance, it's therapeutic and brings a sense of integration

September 2, 2016 at 12:53 PM · When I was five years old my oldest sister's violin teacher started a Suzuki class-- this was the teacher's first class ever, and it has now become one of the most nationally known programs, but I digress. My mother asked me if I would like to play the violin, and in my mind that meant I would be like my older sister, whom I admired. So I very enthusiastically agreed. I am sure, however, that they would have signed me up no matter what my answer was.

In my family learning music was an expectation but becoming a professional was certainly not. My father's hope was that I would follow him into physics. Unfortunately for my parents, I fell in love with orchestral playing through my youth orchestra. Even though I did also get a bachelors degree in mathematics, largely to make my father happy though he certainly did not insist on it, I was pretty much single-mindedly set on my path ever since youth orchestra.

September 2, 2016 at 01:07 PM · 2.5 years ago my then 7 year old asked to learn how to play the violin. Having loved to play in elementary/middle school, it was something I had wanted to pick up again, but never got around to actually doing it. I sought a teacher that would teach both my daughter and myself. Although there is an adult community orchestra I could play in, I choose to play with my daughter in her youth orchestra.

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to play music with my kids (my other 2 are learning as well) and be an active part of their lives. Many parents are stuck watching from the sidelines.

September 2, 2016 at 02:04 PM · My father was an amateur violinist and I grew up to the sounds of his daily evening practice, the once-every-4-weeks that his string quartet played at our house and classical music of weekly NBC Symphony and Firestone Hour radio broadcasts. My paternal grandfather gave me a violin for my 4th birthday present and I would stand on my toybox at the window of our 1st floor bedroom on Haven Avenue in NYC and play my violin (showoff kid!) hoping for passersby. After 6 months of this my parents asked me if I would like to take lessons (I imagine it was for their self protection) and 7 or 8 years of lessons began with private teachers first and terminating with 2 years of the kid program at the Manhattan School of Music that included a weekly Saturday lesson followed by an hour of Theory Class. Just before I was 12 I'd had enough and got up the courage to QUIT.

Being violin-less lasted for just over one year during which time we had moved away from New York to a Maryland backwater and I started to play again. Entering high school and joining the orchestra there and seeing the state of violin playing it was obvious there was not a local teacher I could learn anything from so I just progressed on my own seeking advice from my father when I felt I needed it - he never volunteered help (wise man!). I was CM of my high school orchestra for 3 years - and later played violin in my college orchestra.

Just before my sophomore HS year my father brought home a cello and told me he needed me to substitute for the cellist in his string quartet (yes he got one going in Maryland as soon as we moved there) in 10 days. That "audition" was a success and my cello lessons began a month after he brought that cello home (although the original "plywood" cello had been quickly replaced with a decent 19th century German workshop instrument that came from someone's attic). I took to cello like a lion to meat. I joined the community orchestra as a cellist the evening following my first cello lesson. My cello lessons ended 28 months later after my pre-Christamas lesson in 1951 when my cello teacher showed up "drunk as a skunk" and never returned to town again. However, I never stopped playing violin or cello again, always had an orchestra (or 2) to play in, string quartets, piano trios - except during grad school, when I just continued to practice in spare time. I gave lessons as an after-work avocation from about 1964 to 2008.

I got a viola when I was 40 and played it rarely and then only to prep for one of the 7 performances I participated in over the next 40 years - until finally at age 80 I started to play viola regularly, which I do now in chamber orchestra.

I have been very fortunate over the past 40+ years to have had 3 very good pianists to play with (the first 2 have passed), mostly for piano trios (quartets a bit) as violinist for the first 20+ of those years and as cellist for the last 20 and being able to play with such people can really keep you going. just yesterday morning we played through the Haydn Gypsy Rondo trio, a Mozart, and Beethoven's Ghost and Archduke trios - Heaven on Earth.

I bless my forebears for this gift of music every day.

September 2, 2016 at 03:27 PM · I initially started playing at the age of 7, as I was desperately bored with the recorder, and it was the only other instrument taught in my school. I gave up after three years due to a disastrously bad teacher who forgot to enter me on time for grading exams two years in a row, even though I'd filled out the forms and provided the entry fee. I took up classical guitar as a teenager, and played regularly for more than ten years, but came up against a plateau, and slowly lost interested.

I spent some time experimenting with a range of different instruments, but nothing really clicked. THen, I went to the Cambridge folk festival, and realised that, in every performance, I was spending all of my time watching the fiddle players. I quickly bought a relatively cheap instrument kit (but not a super-cheap one - mine was playable) and started to practice. For our wedding, my wife and I decided to have a Ceilidh and located a band through a friend. The fiddle player in the band became my teacher, and also encouraged me to play a piece during the evening part of the wedding.

Since then, there have been ups and down - strange hearing problems causing distortions at particularly frequencies were resolved, writing a PhD took away some of my mental energy, and the recent birth of our little son has made practice difficult. However, I've just moved jobs, and found that the music department ten minutes walk from my office has practice rooms available for recreational use, so I'm hoping to make better progress.

Fundamentally, what draws me to the instrument is the expressive potential - in my mind, there is more of it than almost any other instrument. I hope one day to learn viola, and want to develop a looped violin performance featuring classical guitar and stomp box.

September 2, 2016 at 03:27 PM · [Deleted strange double post]

September 2, 2016 at 04:14 PM · I wanted piano lessons since first grade but it never happened for various logistical reasons. We had a piano and a lot of piano music in the house so I taught myself to read music and play the piano, had a lot of fun with that. I remember seeing a film about Mozart when I was around 6 or 7 years old and thinking "It is already too late for me." In 6th grade the instrumental teacher came around to my school and I started class violin, started private lessons the next year with a very good teacher, William Starr, later of Suzuki fame (Suzuki had not hit North American at that point). And I finally had my first piano lesson when I was a senior in high school, after I had been accepted to music school. This enabled me to knock off the two-year piano requirement in one year. I still love to play the piano when I get a chance, am a really bad pianist but it does not have all the emotional baggage that the violin has collected over the years.

September 2, 2016 at 04:14 PM · Sorry, double post!

September 2, 2016 at 05:50 PM · In my family, the rule was to pick two instruments when we turned 5. But I have a brother who is 18 months older, and I always wanted to do everything at the same time he did. When he started piano lessons with Dad, I wanted to, so I started that early. Ultimately I ended up with the piano and violin. Brother ended up with flute and cello (and eventually string bass). Oldest brother ended up with piano and trumpet.

When I started violin lessons at 5, my folks shopped around for a teacher "of distinction" and they found me one who normally did not accept students younger than 8 year old. He accepted me when my parents assured him that I could already read (English and music). Alas he was not a very good teacher, he forced me to play without a shoulder rest, and I basically could never even hold up my violin properly. Also maybe I'm just not very talented. I practiced 30 to 45 minutes a day but I never got close to Lydia's level as a teenager.

I left off violin when I went to college. I continued with piano, playing accompaniments to make some money, and playing in a jazz trio (with my brother, who had become a very good amateur jazz bassist). When my daughter started Suzuki lessons seven years ago, I quickly realized that the quality of instruction she was getting was so far beyond what I got, that I decided to try it again. Now we are at about the same level. My musical sense is far better developed, obviously, and I generate a fuller sound; she learns tricky passages more easily. I am working on Mozart 5, she is working on Bruch. It's awesome.

@Brian Morrow, interesting that you're aiming toward jazz. I have a jazz violin gig tomorrow! I play in a trio with a guitarist and a percussionist (both pros), and our book is all-Brazilian (choros, sambas, bossas, modinhos, etc.) Playing Latin tunes is a lot easier improv-wise. I'm just getting to the point now where I might be able to take a crack at bebop standards. I have a Fishman V200 pickup (easily installed and removed), a Proel MI6 mixer, which I use as a preamp, and a Fender Passport PA system for amplification.

September 2, 2016 at 05:55 PM · My mother had me start piano lessons when I was 6 due to pressures from her family. I wanted to take violin or flute, but grandmother paid for a piano and that was that. I wasn't allowed to practice when my father was home, so I made little progress and didn't enjoy the experience. However, the concept that music education is necessary to be well-rounded stuck with me.

When I had my own children, I worked to put money aside in the budget to have them take music lessons. They tried guitar and drums, and dinked around on the piano a bit, but were clearly not interested. When I explained my position to the boys, lamenting that I never got the opportunity to play the violin, my youngest (who was 7 at the time) had the best answer. "But mom, I thought grown-ups could do whatever they wanted!" And that's why I started violin lessons at age 43.

September 2, 2016 at 10:16 PM · I was bored.

September 2, 2016 at 10:25 PM · I was hearing classical music at home on radio and recordings before I started preschool and always liked the sound of it. Once old enough to operate the playback equipment, I would listen on my own for hours at a stretch.

When I was 7, my parents sensed I had musical ability and enrolled me in piano lessons for a trial period to see what might develop.

Then a professional orchestra played at my elementary school, and the violin muse got me. I could now see, as well as hear, professional string players bringing to life some of the very same music I'd been hearing at home.

I made the switch to violin, playing at first by ear -- no lessons, no teacher -- on a half-sized fiddle. More details here:


September 2, 2016 at 11:29 PM · Wanted to start at age 7, but wasn't possible.

So, when the oppprtunity presented itself as a highschool course at tbe age of 18, I jumped at the chance.

After 2 years of progress, I have now begun working on Melodie by Gluck.

Although it isn't as far along as I wanted or expected in terms of ability vs years playing, I have a feeling that I will have a drastic breakthrough when I finally begin the more virtuostic repertoire sometime down the line. :)

September 3, 2016 at 12:25 AM · Hello everyone, I thought I'd make this my first post here.

I began learning violin many years ago. At that point I mentioned to someone that I wanted to become a violin player. It was more a dream than a real desire that point, but that same person responded by dismissing what I said by saying that I'd never learn how to play it so I should quit dreaming. That was all I needed and went about proving him wrong. I took a few years of regular classical lessons, went on to study a little jazz to break out of the rigid classical tradition, which for me was not the road I wanted to remain on, played in a few bands and avant garde things and continue to play live in various settings. I've since bought a viola, which I have taken to playing exclusively.

September 3, 2016 at 02:21 AM · A.O., if that's the Kreisler/Gluck Melodie, you've actually made fantastic progress in 2 years.

September 3, 2016 at 04:49 AM · Hi everyone! The reason why I started playing violin was mainly due to my sister. My sister began playing violin when she was 6, and it was expected of me to at least play an instrument. She was a few years older than me, and I did perceive her as a role model to some extent, so I chose violin as my instrument. Looking back now, I actually would have preferred viola, but I also don't regret playing violin, so many doors have been opened because of it, and I never would have met my best friend because of it!

September 3, 2016 at 05:33 AM · I grew up in a non-musical family with no musical background. Through school I fell in love with classical music and desperately wanted to learn the violin, but wasn't allowed to. During my years at university I grasped the first opportunity I got and started to learn violin. I've been at it ever since.

September 3, 2016 at 10:17 AM · I wish I knew !

September 3, 2016 at 12:45 PM · @Lydia:Yes, it is the arrangement by Kreisler. :D

September 3, 2016 at 08:21 PM · A.O., that's really terrific, then! (You should post a video!)

September 3, 2016 at 08:48 PM · Need to actually practice it first (though I can more ir less play the actual notes). :)

Thanks Lydia!

September 3, 2016 at 11:37 PM · I began playing in March of this year due to pressure from friends. I'm 17 and never played an instrument before, but my friend is a 14 year old incredible violist that plays with the Chicago Youth Symphony. He inspired me to start playing and was really helpful in teaching me how to start. I didn't really have any true ambitions to start. I just wanted to be able to play for my own self interest. I was mostly self taught for 4 months, with a bit of guidance from my friends, but by that time I had finished the first suzuki book and decided to get a private teacher.

When I was self teaching I was mostly sitting in front of a tuner and looking to youtube for guidance, which worked for awhile, but let me tell you there is no doubt as to the benefits of a private teacher. So many little issues that build up to be deteimental that when you're playing get fixed so quickly in just a 30 minute lesson. If I didn't have her to teach me shifting... That would have been a disaster in the making.

At the start of the school year a month ago I joined my high school's orchestra. Playing with an orchestra for the first time as a senior has a very sharp learning curve to it that I'm still trying to figure out. Having never played in usison with others before is the biggest difficulty that I'm trying to overcome. I have always been one to try to memorize my music, so when I had to start sight reading numerous pieces in a short period of time I would get lost pretty quickly. Especially since I was trying to match my bow distribution and tempo to the other violins while watching the conductor. Even though I find that I can play the music just fine while I'm at home practicing, it doesn't always click when I'm with the ensemble. However, I'm getting there. I'm just happy to say that in rougly 6 months of a hell of a lot of practice, I'm tackling the 2nd violin part of tchaikovsky's serenade for strings. My teacher believes that by midway through the year I should have no problem moving into the 1st violin section of the orchestra either. So, that's my current goal, just need to practice my 3 octave scales until my fingers bleed!

September 4, 2016 at 06:17 AM · @Krista, is that the same son who told you one night that he never heard you play better? What an inspiration!

@Andy V, I've been following you for awhile because you seem to be in my neck of the woods. I was going to ask if you played with my neighbor, a very good pianist, but then I remembered that she doesn't seem to be interested in violists. (She mostly plays trios.)

Anyway, I've played various intsruments since 2nd grade but strings were never party of the music scene where I grew up. Then I fell in love with String Quartets starting when I was a grad student in Berkeley (Cal Performances!) Then 10 years ago I was left a little money and it was the right time to start the violin. I switched to the viola a year ago and have never looked back. Like Lydia, I am pretty much an introvert but playing chamber music is the best thing I've ever done, and I feel so fortunate to be able to do that.

September 4, 2016 at 03:44 PM · Way to go, Francesca!

No - here in the Bay area over the past 20 years I've only played with pianists in the North Bay, Larkspur, Petaluma and Sonoma and orchestras in Kentfield and San Rafael.


September 5, 2016 at 03:08 AM · Some very interesting stories! Mine is boring. I wanted to play an instrument because I love trying new things, and since string instruments weren't as popular, the school "rented" them to us for next to nothing versus having to pay for a band instrument.

September 5, 2016 at 04:43 PM · Baptist Hymn Book (with Grandpa on the organ), Stainer's Crucifixion, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, piano lessons, English Hymnal, Tudor anthems, Bach's Matthew passion (under Klemperer!!!): a love of good harmony and polyphony, a trained ear, and a nimble left hand. Then my nice treble voice broke, so:

Dad's 78rpm discs of Mozart's Concertante Symphony, with Albert Sammons & Lionel Tertis: loved the viola even more than the violin, and my parents approved, so lessons on a school viola.

September 5, 2016 at 10:52 PM · The original question was "Why did you start?," not what's the entire history of your musical life. Me, I went to Catholic school for the first eight years, where the only music program was singing in church. I never saw a violin apart from pictures in books, which didn't move me. Then one summer at age 15 my neighbors went to Europe for a two month vacation, and entrusted me to be the caretaker for their black Labrador retriever. I took that opportunity to go through the musical instruments they had cased in their family room, like a home instrument petting zoo, I guess. When I opened the violin case it just spoke to me profoundly from a world 400+ years past. It was the design that moved me. (That violin wasn't 400 years old, just to be clear about it.) When they returned I asked if I could borrow it, and that was my beginning.

September 6, 2016 at 05:39 AM · Mark, many of our posts here relate what lead up to starting the violin, including yours!

I just feel so grateful..

September 6, 2016 at 07:22 AM · Started to play in my early 40s (10 years ago) when my older daughter had to take up an instrument at school. She learnt the suzuki method (her teacher encouraged parents to play along). I had so much fun, I started lessons on my own. I haven't time for lessons these days but I play with a community orchestra. In the second violins but have had to lead that section a few times. Just finished Tchaikovsky 4!

September 6, 2016 at 08:51 AM · Though it wasn't in the original question, I must say that I've enjoyed the musical life stories. And whilst I'm here, I'll also mention that I've found Krista's blogs utterly inspiring, and has helped me to work out how to fit in practice around busy family life.

September 6, 2016 at 11:07 AM · Why did you start playing?

To get away from my mother, sister, and first wife... (wink)

September 6, 2016 at 01:02 PM · Francesca, yes, this was from the same child. He is a sweet boy (most of the time). ;-)

Stefan, I'm glad that my reflections seem to help someone. Sometimes it helps to know that others are in the same boat. I'd love to see more blogs.

September 7, 2016 at 01:25 AM · I started (and rarely still) play violin a few years ago because (GASP) at the time I had too many viola friends :)

But seriously, I started playing viola (and still do) nearly 40 years ago because my elementary school teacher somehow conned me into thinking that the viola was "just like" the violin.

I fell for it.

September 7, 2016 at 03:03 AM · @Mendy One viola friend is two too many ;)

September 24, 2016 at 03:31 PM · My father was gone most of my childhood during WWII because he was a captain on a Liberty Ship. Sometimes mom would get out her violin and play a few tunes that she liked...Tea for Two, Night and Day, Indian Love Song were a few. I loved the sound of the violin and could hardly wait to play it someday. Fortunately our small public school had a string program in 6th grade. The rest is history. I took it up and have played for almost 70 years. I am still playing in an orchestra and a quartet, plus teaching using the Suzuki approach. What a blessing in my life.

September 26, 2016 at 02:47 PM · I saw a violin shop in a big flea market and I was like "I should play the violin." My parents thought I would forget about until I asked to find a teacher.

September 26, 2016 at 02:48 PM · I saw a violin shop in a big flea market and I was like "I should play the violin." My parents thought I would forget about until I asked to find a teacher.

September 26, 2016 at 02:53 PM · I studied violin for 12 years when I was a kid.

But I started playing it when I was 40.

September 26, 2016 at 02:54 PM · @OP: Real question is: why didn't you stop playing?

September 26, 2016 at 05:08 PM · He kept playing most likely for the reason anyone would continue to do something that they aren't good at or interested in. You can not expect to be a professional the minute you pick an instrument up, nor be particularly devoted to it. I am assuming that the repertoire at that level wasn't very intriguing, and until one gets decent at the violin, the sounds that come out aren't exactly ones that encourage persistent playing. Assuming Corey was in this position, he could probably "see the light at the end of the tunnel" and decide to just keep playing until the repertoire was interesting enough to make violin playing very exciting.

September 27, 2016 at 12:09 AM · Before I could play the violin I played folk tunes on the mandolin. Then one day I was fiddling around with a friends violin and discovered I could play all the tunes I knew from mandolin playing, but only plucking, not bowing. I borrowed my friends violin and learnt how to bow it, then he wanted his fiddle back but I could not live without my own so I bought the cheapest I could afford. That was over 40 years ago. I was never interested in playing violin until I heard the folk fiddler Dave Swarbrick play, but today I have some of the Bach S & Ps as part of my daily practice routine.

September 27, 2016 at 04:20 PM · Hi everyone! I started playing in elementary school. I wanted to play but rarely if ever practiced. Apparently my orchestra teacher hated kids like me because he was such a dick that I eventually quit after two years. However I always intended to return to it. I finally did after surgery on my right elbow which was needed after getting it repeatedly wrenched. I am loving learning it over again and will be interested in seeing how good I can get. I don't have a goal other than being good enough that I can handle my orchestra music fairly easily and then to continue to progress.


September 27, 2016 at 04:56 PM · My Son gave up on the grammar school violin so that's how I wound up with an orphan. I was only curious.

There may have been mysterious forces at work when I much later learned that my Maternal Grandfather had been a violinist in Budapest.

September 28, 2016 at 06:27 PM · during the depression (1933) a man came to the door recruiting violin students. The lessons were50 cents, and if you studied for 2 years you kept the violin. How could I not sign up? I'm 90 years old and still practice every day--and I'm showing improvement.

September 28, 2016 at 07:17 PM · Why did you start playing?

To annoy the neighbours and my parents ...

October 7, 2016 at 01:03 PM · I started playing violin after hearing Julia Fischer. She blown me away to an extent that the next day I was already considering starting playing violin. Such talent! I recently stumbled upon a playlist of all her best interpretations, I recommend it, listening to all of those amazing tracks reminds me why she has been such a game changer in my musical life.


October 7, 2016 at 01:07 PM ·

October 7, 2016 at 09:46 PM · Seventh grade music class in a district where the Board of Ed decided to have music and arts every day - not once a week. The music teacher made it mandatory to attempt to play a scale on every instrument in an orchestra during the two years of Jr. High. Of course one instrument was the violin and I loved it. The viola cello and bass were interesting but I really loved the violin. Unfortunately, asking for lessons taught me that my father was a loan-shark. He offered to loan me the price of an instrument as well as lessons all at 5.25% interest. My income from a paper route, helping out at the local chicken and egg farm, mowing lawns and shoveling snow would not cover the payment. Not a problem my father said, I'll just add the unpaid balance to the principle. I figured out that it wasn't going to happen.

When I was almost 30 helping my mother-in-law I discovered her grandfather's violin in the attic, found a teacher, had the instrument repaired and started to play - that was about 40 years ago. Played in various community orchestras as well as church. Only played on weekends while working at Bell Labs (high travel job) and finally retired. And now, surprise-surprise, I have a student and volunteer as an assistant with the local youth orchestra. Still loving the instrument all these years later.

FWIW: By the time we got to high school Kennedy was elected and arts and music were all but dropped in favor of science and math. Racing to the moon was our goal and that put me on a very different path. We did, however, have the best high school band because the students found the instrument the really liked in Jr. High.

October 9, 2016 at 01:00 AM · I started to play because I was finally, in my eyes, gifted the ability to learn. Unfortunately for me I had injured my hands before hand so learning the basics was difficult. I always wanted to play when I was little and would always ask my parents for a violin and to start taking lesson. We didn't have money at the time so I didn't get the chance till they sent me to an art school that focused on the performing arts. I'll be honest I left that institution in bad terms as an employ, but as a student I had the best time learning the basics and still enjoy the time I spend noodling.

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