Who said playing violin was hard?

Who said playing violin was hard?

Who said playing violin was hard?

When people talk about playing the violin, they often remark, "Wow, that is such a difficult instrument to play!" or "Violin is very difficult." or "It takes a lot of talent to play." But is this really the case? In my experience, no.

In over 14 years experience of tutoring violin with both children and adults, I have consistently found that it does not take some special talent or gift, it actually can be very easy to play – just like any other instrument – and can be a lot of fun too!

If you can pick up a cup to make a cup of tea, you can potentially play the violin. Yes, you can!

It is all about fine motor movement, as in the actions we do every day. Yes, these movements become refined along the way as you play and practice your violin, but these fine motor skills are already well established in most people prior to any violin experience.

What we do need is connect with our body to allow the movements to flow. Connection is simply about being connected to you – feeling settled and at ease with yourself makes everything easy, natural and simple.

If you are tense and stressed out, playing the violin becomes difficult or hard work.

  • Your muscles become physically tense
  • It takes hard work and effort to move your body
  • The strain takes its toll both physically and emotionally

In this tense state people actually lose their natural ability to feel how to move and so lose confidence and become uncertain about themselves. Then it takes effort, like you have to mechanically learn how to move your body again, whereas when you are connected to yourself and feeling your body’s natural flow, you already know how to move, and your body adjusts accordingly to play the violin.

There are some simple practical ways to connect to yourself that anybody can do, and it makes all the difference in playing music. Yes, you may need to build some muscle strength and endurance as you develop your playing; this is akin to building general fitness. But it is your connection that gives you that special quality to feel how to play, and then you just naturally know how to move your body, leaving you feeling alive and vital.

I know what it is like to play in disconnection and stress – it personally left me feeling exhausted, strained and stressed.

So if the violin really is easy to play (trust me on this!), why does it have the reputation of being a really difficult instrument?

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  • By Brendan Mooney

  • Photography: Clayton Lloyd