My daughter has been playing violin since 4 years old and at 7 passed her grade 5 exam with distinction (uk) . She loves playing her violin and is progressing really well.
She has been playing in a children’s orchestra which she loves but she seems to be struggling to keep looking at the music. She can sight read really well so I’m just wondering if this is a common thing with children, she is 8 now.
Is there anything I can do to help her when she is practicing to keep staying focus and looking at the music.
Could you explain what you mean by this?
Two things came to mind when reading your post.
I vote for Doctor Chicago's first option. At home one can stand fairly close up to the music; in the orchestra one shares a stand with a partner and is therefor farer a way from the music, i.e. for shortsighted people reading becomes more difficult. I'd have the child looked at by an eye doctor.*
Another problem is that students are taught they need to watch the conductor the whole time. Well how, if they're reading the music too? The answer is that you get used to sensing the conductor's gestures with your general peripheral vision while reading the notes on the page, and for those spots where it's critical to be watching (endings, fermatas, for instance) you just memorize those measures. Knowing how to "read ahead" and chug a measure or two into short-term memory is a VERY useful skill. It might be hard to learn as an adult, but kids can do it.
Albrecht -- regarding your final comment about progressive lenses:
My two centimes d'Euro:
After a lifetime playing in community orchestras I have come to believe that (except for the first stand) players should be seated thus: beset players on the outside of each stand and worse players on the inside of each stand. This provides a "touchstone" for the worse players and does not dampen the better players' desire to move forward.
David, unlike you I am very comfortable with progressive lenses for basically everything except reading at middle distance when only a small zone shows in focus.
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