I started playing the violin when I was 5 years old. Since that time, I’ve practiced, played in orchestras, performed solos, played with small groups, and done lots of teaching. I’ve taught lots of other children, and I’ve also taught my own. It’s something I never thought I would do, but has been a wonderful solution for our family.
As I’ve both taught and parented string students, I’ve noticed 3 major issues with starting a young child on the violin or cello. I’ve detailed the issues below, and am sharing a program I’ve put together to help solve them!
Standard beginner music lessons are often 30 minutes long. It’s only a rare teacher that’s willing to teach for a shorter time than that, because it just doesn’t make sense for timing and financials.
But almost no young children are ready to start out with 30 minute lessons! Especially for a child who is just getting started, most of that time is a waste. Plus, lessons that are too long can often push kids away from loving the instrument since they get frustrated and bored by the end.
Paying a Lot To Learn the Basics
My oldest two kids also play the violin, and my 3rd plays the cello. I’ve taught the older two from the start, which I used to think I wouldn’t do, but has worked really well for our family.
So starting cello lessons with my 3rd was the first time I experienced music lessons from the parent side. As a teacher, I’ve always had a sense for how it must be a bit frustrating for parents to pay for lessons with so much repetition in the early months. But I knew that it’s so important to master those fundamentals to build that muscle memory.
With my little cellist who was taking lessons from another teacher, I got a sense for it from the parent side. I knew he had to continue to to practice the basics before he could move on to playing music, but I still felt like I was paying tons of money for him to practice the fundamentals over and over at lessons.
An At-Home Practice Aid
My first teacher would come to my school and teach a few students, pulling them out of class and teaching in a tiny storage closet.I remember my first lesson vividly. I was nervous but excited. I knew I’d have to work hard but it sounded like it would be fun. My teacher told me I needed to practice every single day.
So I got home and diligently went to practice the next day. The problem was, I had no idea what to practice.
My parents had never played a string instrument before. Heck, they hadn’t played any instruments before, and having grown up in India, knew almost nothing about Western-style instrumental music. They had no clue how to help me and I was devastated.
Of course, it turned out fine and I was able to continue on learning, playing, and teaching for many years, but how much easier would it be if kids had easy visual reminders of lesson content right at home?
Strings For Kids: Teaching Fundamentals to Young Children Right From Home
I’ve loved helping to solve some of these problems by creating Strings For Kids. Strings For Kids is a set of beginner video lessons to teach the fundamentals of violin and cello to young children.
The fun and engaging 20 pre-recorded lessons start at only 5 minutes long, making them perfect little ones. This is perfect for kiddos aged 4-7, although slightly older students might succeed with it, as well.
Also, your child won’t feel pressure to move on to the next lesson too quickly just to “get your money’s worth” out of the lesson. Since it’s one flat fee, you won’t be constantly paying to review the same material to build familiarity and muscle memory; the videos are yours for life and you can watch them as many times as you like at no extra cost. This will save lots of money and help prepare your child to excel once they start lessons with a regular teacher.
Simple, Effective Practice
Finally, since you’ll have access to the videos anytime you like, you can ensure proper practice every time. You’ll never forget what to review or how to do something, because you can review the lesson for each practice if you’d like!
Strings For Kids Launch + Sale!
Strings For Kids is currently available for pre-order! All of the recordings will be available for download in January 2021. It’s launching with a special Black Friday pricing of $199 through December 25th, after which the price will go up. This price is less than the average cost of 2 months of lessons. That’s amazing deal since students will typically take 3-6 months to master the material.
In the meantime, you can decide on your instrument and get excited. It’s a perfect way to give the gift of music this holiday season!
Do you have any questions? I’d be happy to answer them!
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I would love more information. I have a 4th grader starting violin at school, but with Corona, I feel like she is behind from the school closures. She’s so excited to learn, but can’t tell me what she needs to practice or what she learned at strings. I am a musician, but my stringed instrument is the piano, so I don’t know how to help her! What do you cover in these lessons? Will it interfere or conflict with what she’s doing at school? I want to help her, not confuse her.
Thanks for asking! Has she already learned how to properly hold the violin and bow? Has she already learned how to pitch match and mimic basic rhythms? If she has not, this would be great for her. If she’s already starting to play music, this probably wouldn’t be the right fit. Feel free to email me with more questions at support at stringsforkids dot com!
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