Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Teaching an 8-year old fiddle

Indy Lass 17 May 99 - 05:58 PM
katlaughing 17 May 99 - 07:42 PM
Indy Lass 18 May 99 - 12:07 AM
katlaughing 18 May 99 - 12:25 AM
Rex 18 May 99 - 02:31 PM
katlaughing 18 May 99 - 02:41 PM
katlaughing 18 May 99 - 02:43 PM
Vixen 18 May 99 - 03:45 PM
Bert 18 May 99 - 05:02 PM
katlaughing 18 May 99 - 07:02 PM
bet 18 May 99 - 09:59 PM
Indy Lass 18 May 99 - 10:21 PM
Paul Jay 18 May 99 - 11:39 PM
Rex 19 May 99 - 12:13 PM
19 May 99 - 01:18 PM
Peter T. 19 May 99 - 05:29 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Indy Lass
Date: 17 May 99 - 05:58 PM

I got a chuckle from the hearing loss due to fiddle thread. And it got me wondering if these fiddle players might have some advice to a mother sending her youngest son off to violin lessons this summer. He says he wants to do it, but... What might we expect from this experience?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 May 99 - 07:42 PM

As one who started at 8 yrs old and who started the hearing loss/improvement thread, I can first of all say, make him practise! I wanted to learn violin, I signed up on my own, then came home and told mom and dad. BUT, I didn;t want to practise as much as I should've. They required a commitment from me, through their commitment to me, in paying for the lessons and getting back and forth to them.

The other thing, is probably MORE important: share his/your music wiht him. My mom pplayed piano with me doing solo pieces; she did this for recitals and at home. When the family would gather to make music, we shared. This was probably the best thing anyone could've done to instill a love of and desire to learn music for me, at least.

As for the practising: I will be eternally grateful to my parents and old "Granny Gantham", as we terrible kids called my orchestra/private lesson teacher. She was strict and exacting and my parents made sure I practised. As a result I won a summer music camp scholarship in junior high and was concert mistress through junior high and later in high school. I got to play in regular concerts, but also in musicals and other presentations and I loved it. I had to fill out a little practise book for every 30 mnutes I spent at it. The discipline has served me well in many areas of life, while it was still fun.

I regret that I did not take my own advice and be more strict with my kids and their lessons, but none of them showed as much interest and didn't grow up with four siblings and two parents who were so much into music as I was. They still enjoy singing, though.

katlaughing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Indy Lass
Date: 18 May 99 - 12:07 AM

Hi Kat--thanks for the advice. I do enjoy music; listening and playing. I've played guitar and sung with friends in highschool and college. I've listened to a lot of celtic music in the past couple of years, so my son was exposed to that style of fiddling and suprised me one day when he said he wanted to play violin. I'd ask him every once in a while during the past year if he still wanted to and he'd say yes. I'm worried about him being overwhelmed with the learning to read music, using his hands in an intricate way (he still has "baby" hands) and not getting good sound from the instrument. Did those things discourage you as a child? I don't want him to give up before he's even started.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 May 99 - 12:25 AM

No, not at all. I had a very good teacher, who taught in a traditional, classical stle, plus I'd been around good fiddling with my dad and classical violin with my older sister for all of my young life.

It does sound pretty horrible at first, but you can get him started, yourself, by having him practise drawing the bow over each string, as smoothly as possible. Elbow position of his bowing arm is important to keep the bow over the area between the neck and the bridge. Elbow position of the left ar is equally important as that is what will allow him to get his hand wrapped around the neck to the g string (the one on the far left as you hold the fiddle under your neck; it goes from left (low) to right (highest) G, D,A E. Bowing is one of the most important aspects, but the most important is having a good ear, as there are no set places to put the fingers for proper notes. My teacher would not allow us to put tape under the strings, on the neck where each note was, which was a blessing because it forced us to train our ear to hear if the note was right. Personally, I would NOT let him train in the Suzuiki method. My son had it and trad. classical and I was not impressed with the Suzuki. It IS fun to have an orchestra or group to play with. It seems encouraging and can give one motivation for getting better.

I cannot stress how much family support and encouragement can help. It sounds like you will be good in that respect. Just be patient. It can be one of the hardest instruments to play because of the need for accurate placement for notes, thus a good ear. If he can carry a tune,which I suspect he can by your being his mom, it will be a lot better. It shouldn't take too many lessons for him to bea able to play a couple of simple tunes, thogugh and the satisfaction of that should hook him in and motivate him.

Good luck and please let me know if I can help with any other questions. Try not to be too anxious as he might pick up on that and get easily frustrated. It is important that he try to stick with for quite awhile because it does take patience and practise to get good.

I am sorry, I hope this doesn't sound too discouraging. I don't mean for it to. There are kids who pick it up, esp. trad. folk style with no problem at all, so there are those whom it seems to "come naturally". Maybe your son will be one of them!

Thanks for asking,

katlaughing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Rex
Date: 18 May 99 - 02:31 PM

I play fiddle and other things. When friends come over to play or I'm just playing some tunes by myself my boys (Ben and Daniel) sometimes drag out their instruments and join in. They were both interested in fiddles so Ben is using my old 3/4 size and I scrounged up a 1/2 size for Daniel. I haven't had much musical training but I figured bowing was a good place to start and so let them focus on that. Playing slowly the full length of the bow, keeping the bow perpendicular to the strings and being able to select which string to play. Well Ben was 9 and was in 3rd grade this past Fall and that's when the elementary schools offer music. So he was asked if he wanted to play something in school. (I don't push it, if they want to play they will.) He wanted to play violin. (Somebody pinch me!) So once he made that commitment my wife and I saw to it that he stick to the lessons and practise. They started him plucking the strings to my surprise. It seems to work, now the class is bowing and I'm impressed with what they learned in a school year. So I'm saying, check with your elementary school. It's not fiddle but they're only learning how to play the thing. Style is down the road. They learn to read notes too which is a handy thing. Wish I could read them. To accompany them is a great help to as was suggested earlier. Often when Ben practises I'll drag out my fiddle and we'll play some if his tunes together. Then I choose some. Then it goes from there. Last night I joined in on the fiddle and then we moved over to melodions. Why melodions? I don't know, they were handy. It just allows him to play a familier tune on a different instrument. I mentioned elementary schools. My kids are in the Jefferson County School system. A good one in general. But following the Columbine school killing (same county system) and no tax increases in recent years they are trying to cut costs. So what do they always go after? I just found out they are considering dropping elementary school music. If you read one of my earlier posts, it was about showing kids what is beautiful about people instead of the ugliness. The timing is incredible. Well I'm finishing an irate parent's letter to the Jeffco School Board. Let me know if you want the address.

Sorry this was so long. Lots to say. About blood donations for Catspaw, I gave right after the Columbine killings so I can't do it now. But I will as soon as I am allowed there is always a great need for it. Now I'll hush up.

Rex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 May 99 - 02:41 PM

Rex, god points. A Colorado elementary school orchestra is what got me started. Yes, I would like to have the address, please. My grandma lived in Arvada. My sister, Bet, is a elementary music teacher on the Western slope.

Thanks,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 May 99 - 02:43 PM

Forgot to say, I'll ask bet to check in here. There are countless studies which prove the efficacy of music in helping children to learn better and even increasing brain size and function. Has JEFFCo ever heard of the Mozart Effect?

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Vixen
Date: 18 May 99 - 03:45 PM

Ahem--

Tough to teach an 8-year-old fiddle...fiddles are notoriously difficult to teach at any age. I think it's because, regardless of age, they have wooden heads. Tim has three, ranging in age from 12 to over 100, and he hasn't managed teach them anything. They've taught him quite a bit though...

;>

V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Bert
Date: 18 May 99 - 05:02 PM

Well done Vixen, I was thinking on similar lines but didn't dare say anything.

Bert.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 May 99 - 07:02 PM

Cute, very cute!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: bet
Date: 18 May 99 - 09:59 PM

Hi, I've taught several 8-10 year old to "play" the violin or at least get started on it. The success depends on several things but most of all on the attitude of the person taking lesson, the involvement of the parent (weather or not they know music) and the teacher who can some how say it was a good lesson when it was hard to find the tune but obvious that it was practiced. These are delicate little people who want to please and do good. There is nothing more presious looking than a student standing at the music stand in his/her t-ball shirt, hair all astrewand violin under the chin. It always makes me grin to hear the beautiful sound they create. They don't all turn out to be great but most give it a valuent effort. Probably the one thing you can do to help is see that he practices correctly (only if this can be done with out the objection of the student), commit to the practice time and encourage him when ever you can. Stress patients! The really beautiful sounds take time. bet


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Indy Lass
Date: 18 May 99 - 10:21 PM

It's great to get this first-hand knowledge about learning violin. I'm letting my son Tim read these messages from ya'll and he thinks it's pretty cool. They're encouraging to the both of us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Paul Jay
Date: 18 May 99 - 11:39 PM

I think the most important thing is to keep anyone young or old INTERESTED in whatever insturment they want (or think they want) to learn. I started on an acordian at about 8, but I really wanted to play harmonica so I didn't play that long. In Jr high I played flute and became first chair because I then got to play the piccolo in the marching band and it was the lightest insturment to carry. Then in college I picked up the Guitar which I still play and a bit later the fiddle. Throughout all this I kept at it only when I could play the music that interested ME. My wife on the other hand still doesen't play the piano because her teacher only wanted her to play classical and she wanted to learn blues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Rex
Date: 19 May 99 - 12:13 PM

Message to Kat, I'll email the school address. If anyone else wants it, holler. It seems irresponsible on my part to just broadcast it. You mentioned the Mozart effect. What really angers me is the school officials understand that. But they look for what they can pull off on the general public. "Well you know they can do without that long-hair stuff as long as they can balance their checkbook." (hmm, maybe we should start another thread) To actually contribute something to the above topic, another thing that helps keep the kids with it is to show the joy of playing the violin. It actually can be fun. A daughter of a friend of mine started playing violin when she was 4. Astounding. By the time she was 12 she stopped playing it. There was nothing fun about it. Just work. She is 16 now and hasn't picked it up. Another friend and I play together, she on viola and me on violin. Sometimes when kids are around they move in and ask us to play whatever they think of and we do. The Starwars Cantina song is a favourite. When my other friends daughter is around we kind of work on her. Now she is taking up guitar. For the fun of it. That's good, but I'll keep working to show her the fun of the violin.

Rex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From:
Date: 19 May 99 - 01:18 PM

The two above messages go hand in hand and are sooooo important. INTEREST AND FUN. Glad someone you brought thesed out in the open. bet


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching an 8-year old fiddle
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 May 99 - 05:29 PM

The stupid thing about the school system is that they are supposed to be teaching you things that will be useful or delightful all your life, including how to learn after school days are over. Otherwise, what is the point? They persist in thinking that life ends after you have left their hands. They cannot conceive of their prisoners as potential adults with a schoolless future. Can you ever get this through their thick heads? NO.
Yours, Peter T.
but keep trying Rex.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 April 10:22 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.