By Justin Le ’19
Perhaps one the most popular instruments in today’s music culture, the violin is known for its plethora of musical repertoire and devilishly difficult learning curve. However, learning the violin is not as difficult as it seems! There are only a few primary steps to learning how to play this celebrated instrument that can make the experience fun and enjoyable.
First and foremost, you will have to be picky when searching for your first violin. There are numerous beginner violins available on the market (such as sharmusic.com), which are both affordable and suited for novice study. However, the masters of violin highly suggest investing in a more worthy instrument, such as a Stradivarius or Guarneri violin. This will put you at a measly 4-5 million dollars in debt, but that’s okay! Playing the violin requires some sacrifice after all!
After you struggle to sell your kidney to an unknown somebody, you will have to find a reputable violin teacher that is willing to deal with the “beautiful music” you’ll produce. You can easily find these teachers online, and typically, lessons are quick and affordable. It is vital to find a fair and resourceful violin teacher. I, myself, prefer the conservative staunch Russian man that carries a small case of vodka to every lesson. You’ll find the fear of being scolded in a foreign language to be both engaging and helpful! However, you must keep up with this teacher for about 5-10 years… if you make it…
Of course, how I can neglect to mention the importance of practice. Though many violin teachers recommend practicing for 45 minutes a day, it is better to practice 20 hours a day. It begins with scales, series of notes that will help to develop your fingers. You should practice scales for about 10 hours, before engaging in any musical repertoire. However, what beginner pieces should someone like you play? Well, lucky for you, there are hundreds of beginner pieces that are suitable to learn. These pieces can be found on many different websites, including sharmusic.com and freesheetmusic.org. Some recommendations I suggest would include the 24 Caprices by Paganini, or the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. However, it will be difficult at first. The most difficult aspect of learning music is to practice slowly and consistently, but the hard work will surely pay off. It is only a matter of persistence.
Indeed, learning to play the instrument is a worthy pursuit. It will be tough and challenging, requiring hours and hours of dedication. This includes investing in a violin and a music teacher, which is expensive and stressful. However, through this sacrifice and toil, learning the violin can be a very enlightening experience. It will make you cry, it will make you wish you learned a different instrument, but it will also make you realize how beautiful music can be. In that case, learning the violin is not as bad as it seems!