We understand, sometimes the initial sounds on a string instrument can be pretty frightening! This cacophony has entered the living room, absorbed the entire family’s attention and sometimes can be your morning alarm. Yet, even with these new sounds, there are wonders happening inside the beginner musician’s brain for their cognitive development, so fret not, those sounds, all of them, are beneficial!
Here are some tips and tricks to help with easing yourself and your beginner player into your new musical journey and routine together - it will be a long and fruitful one.
Advantages of music education
Firstly, get excited! Learning a musical instrument is so beneficial for your child’s growth and development.
“Science has shown that music’s effect on the brain is particularly strong, with studies demonstrating an improvement in IQ among students who receive music lessons. Advantages in the classroom have been identified for students who study musical instruments, and the effects of ageing on cognition may even be mitigated through lifelong musical activity.”
Learn more about the wonderful benefits of music education here.
Items needed for home practice
When you or your child expresses an interest in playing music, you need to decide whether you are going to buy or rent a musical instrument. Read our guide to renting vs buying here.
A music stand, tutor book, rosin, and cleaning cloth are all essential. A music stand will assist the beginner maintain the correct posture, avoiding injury currently and into the future. Rosin will ensure that the bow hair is able to make a smooth sound across the strings, and a dry cleaning cloth can be used to wipe down the strings and body at the end of every play, extending the life of the strings!
Setting up for home playing
Bringing a new instrument into the family is very much a family experience. The new player is generally recommended to start with playing for 10 minutes a day, five days a week. This is so muscle memory begins to develop and they can become acquainted with their instrument on a regular basis.
Setting up a space in the living room is a good space to begin. This is beneficial because:
- The beginner isn’t alone in a room
- Having family and friends listen to their playing in the living room can prepare them mentally for future performances.
- It is a great way for you to see their development over days, weeks, months and years.
Have your beginner walk you through what they learnt today, starting with the parts of the instrument, and referring to the tutor book for guidance if needed. Then, ask them to play you what they learn today, again referring to the book, and any homework instructions from the teacher.
Read our Parent's Guide to Music Lessons, Rehearsals and Concerts here.
Week to week routine
Always follow the instructions of your teacher. Day to day and week to week, there will be progress, even if only playing for 10 minutes per day. If you're finding it hard to motivate your child to practise, check out our blog post with some tips. More frequent shorter sessions are far more beneficial than one long session on the weekend.
What if something breaks?
If a string snaps, the soundpost (rod) inside the instrument falls down, the bridge flips out, or a part of the instrument breaks, we recommend leaving the instrument alone and taking it to your local violin store or waiting until the next lesson so the teacher can assess the instrument for any structural concerns and advise what to do next.
Last but not least
Nurture your beginner. This can be as simple as a hug at the end of their practice, a ‘Well done!’ or an encouraging comment such as ‘It’s wonderful to see how you’re coming along!’ No matter the beginner’s age, learning a new instrument is a task that will take years to learn and perfect, and they will appreciate every little bit of support they receive.
Are you starting music lessons as an adult? Read what to expect here.
Have some questions for our team? Our team consists entirely of musicians who are dedicated to helping you and your family every step along the way. Contact us today.