No matter how much Ms. Cynthia enjoys working with her advanced students she never loses enthusiasm for her newest students. They are mystery musicians with hidden abilities yet to be uncovered. She is looking for the young musician hidden inside every student. Most of her new beginners range from age 5-10. But some students are adding a 2nd instrument as they desire to participate in their school music programs or wish to take on a new experience as adults. Learn more.
5-year-olds are expressive learners. They have so much to tell you and can easily take up 30 minutes of nose to nose instructional time. They still need the support of parents for practice time at home making sure listening is done everyday and special practice instructions are followed. Therefore, parents are required to participate in lessons and take notes when needed. These learners are quickly moving through their PreTwinkle basics and will need to have an violin ready in 4-8 weeks. Parents will receive instruction on how to chose the right size instrument and are encouraged to observe more advanced students in the studio so they can keep up with the pace set by their beginner.
Age 6-8 beginners are taking their world on by storm. But they still have time to get a head start on picking up some basic violin skill before they enter their school music programs. Even though these students are reading at school and quickly learn to decode the music in their violin books they are encouraged to listen as much as possible to their CDs so they can memorize as much music as possible while it is still fairly easy. We do as much reading and basic theory skills away from the violin before reading music off the page with the violin in hand so that their focus is not divided by too many tasks at once. The more music these students memorize and internalize skills the more we can attend to good position and technic. Students who develop their listening and memory skills at this age have fewer obstacles between them and the music and have the easiest time reading music later.
Our school music classes are large and in a hurry to produce a performance at the expense of developing musicians. A child can get lost in the crowd with less than effective position habits and technique in their desire to keep up or become completely frustrated with the results Putting off private instruction until students start school instruction puts the child in conflict with two opposing goals: developing sustainable violin technic that will allow them to play more easily as a musician in the future or producing a concert at the end of the year with whatever it takes.
Age 9-12 beginners who choose to start at this age may have many competing interest in their lives. I have had students who are very focused do well. They may already play another instrument or feel motivated to participate in their school program. Having a parent take notes during lessons the first year and help them form daily listening habits can get them off to a good start. If they are willing to trust Ms. Cynthia with her recommendations about their position and technic and think of the school experience as an opportunity to do easy reading activities and socialize with fellow musicians these aspiring musicians can do amazingly well and progress ahead of their classmates.
It’s important to make sure they are on the right size instrument for success. The one-size-fits-all method of choosing violins used by most school programs may not meet the needs of your student. An instrument that is too large can overwhelm a child with narrow shoulders or short arms. These students deserve to have a teacher who has their needs in and musical interest in mind.
High School students ages 13-18. Students at this age are much more independent and self-motivated learners. They also have busy lives and interest and need to make enough time for practicing basic skills so they can quickly move on to the music they are most interested in participating in. These students need a teacher who is interested in the wide variety of music styles they may be interested in so she can tap into their motivations for studying the violin.
Adult and post high school students please see Adult beginners