ALL ABOUT VIOLIN LESSONS: AN INTERVIEW WITH MISS JEANNA

Interested in signing your child up for violin lessons, but want to know more about what to expect?

For this month’s music blog, I sat down with APA’s violin instructor, Miss Jeanna, to get some helpful information for those parents and students who are interested in learning to play violin. 

Q:  Before we get into what to expect from violin lessons, what made YOU decide to learn the violin when you were a kid?

A: My mom wanted all of her 7 children to learn a musical instrument.  I was the 2nd youngest, and almost all of my siblings before me played violin , so I decided that I would try it too.  We all took violin lessons through our school, including playing in the school band and orchestra.  

Q: What has learning to play the violin done for you personally?  

A: It brings me so much joy!  It is a huge creative outlet.  And now I am lucky enough to say it is part of my work.  I met most of my friends through music; you really do find your people through music.  

Q: What would you say to those parents who are interested in having their child learn violin, but are not sure if they should try it?  

A: Learning violin takes time and patience, so that is why it is usually good to start around age 6, but even a bit older can make a big difference.  Smaller violins cannot create the same sound as bigger violins, so it is important to understand that it will not sound exactly the same.  Parents need to be as committed as their kids (especially for young children) to encourage them and make time for practice.  Progress can be slow with violin because it is one of the hardest instruments to learn, so practicing at home is a MUST.  

Q: What can parents expect their child to gain from learning to play the violin?

A: Learning to play the violin has SO many benefits!  Music is one of the FEW things that stimulates both sides of the brain at the same time, so learning to play violin is actually good for your brain!.  Not only is it beneficial for your mental health, but learning violin will teach your child discipline, problem solving, and resilience.  You have to receive constructive criticism to improve your performance, and you will learn to absorb critiques not as a personally failing but as an opportunity for more musical growth.  When you are playing the violin, you literally feel the music.  Once you understand how to hold your bow really well, it is a huge step in your growth – creating sound, dynamics, and articulations.  

Q: What can parents and students expect when taking violin lessons with you?

A: I really try to push the basics first.  I try to find what drives the student to play: maybe it’s a song they want to work toward playing, or maybe they are really wanting to learn to play faster.  Lessons are a mix of the essential basics like technique, theory, and the art of performing, PLUS focusing on what drives each individual student. I like to incorporate different kinds/styles of music, like video game songs, film scores, folk, pop, and classical. This combination allows the student to progress in their learning AND have fun doing it!

Q: Any final thoughts for interested parents and students?

A: Learning to play violin has a positive lifelong impact!  It is an amazing skill that offers so much, and is so rewarding!  

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