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Can A Very Small Child Learn To Play Violin?

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If your child is only 3 or 4 years old but seems to really enjoy music, you might be wondering if they can take any lessons on an instrument yet. But are lessons for children that young even effective? Should you wait until they're older? At least on some instruments, such as the violin, lessons for children as young as 3 and 4 can be effective! Here are three reasons why small children can take violin lessons and have success on the violin, even at such a young age. 

1. There are specific teaching methods designed for children.

If you have thought that reading notes would be too overwhelming or complex for a preschooler, you don't need to worry! Using certain methods, a child can learn an instrument without needing to read the notes at first. One popular method is called the Suzuki method, named after the Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki, who created it. Suzuki realized that children learn to speak their native language easily before ever learning to read, simply through listening and repetition. He applied that theory to learning an instrument, and his method of teaching lets the child obtain an ear for music and some mastery of the violin itself before ever learning to read music. Many children as young as 3 or 4 have found success with this method!

2. Violins come in smaller sizes for children.

Maybe you know that a child can learn the violin but assume the instrument to be much too big for a preschooler to handle. Did you know that violins actually come in child sizes? Besides the full-size violin that adults use, there are seven smaller sizes. The size that a 3- or 4-year-old would likely use is the 1/16 size, but it also depends on the child's arm length. So, if you choose to give your young child violin lessons, you don't need to worry about straining their arms or shoulders, as they will be able to use a violin their own size and go up in size as they grow.

3. Learning the violin will help brain development and coordination.

Maybe your worries about violin lessons for your young child have more to do with the fact that preschoolers need more unstructured playtime than formal lessons. While the majority of a preschooler's time should definitely be free play time, learning to play the violin will actually help your child's brain development and coordination. New skills will stimulate different areas of your child's brain. The violin is played by using your right hand for the bow and the left hand pressing down the strings, so it will improve your child's coordination as well. As long as you don't overdo the practicing and keep the environment fun and pressure-free, violin lessons will be beneficial to your preschooler's development. 

Even if your child is very young, they can still start to learn the violin! For more information, contact some music teachers offering violin lessons in your area.