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Music question

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I want to start out saying I am not a music person although I love listening to music.  Dd really enjoys classical music and she enjoys messing around on a keyboard, and on her harmonica.  She has said she would like a violin, partly because it is one of the instruments played in classical music and probably partly because we have had discussions on violin or piano lessons.  So my question is if you had a choice would you start with piano or violin lessons in the next 1-2 years?  I know some prefer to start with violin and I am curious as to why.  Also how much would a small violin that wasn't just a toy cost?

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For a 3 yr old, I'd go with violin. Suzuki does have piano at 3, but the violin is much more physically adjustable to the child, and Suzuki is a great way for a young child to learn. Since tuning/matching pitch is in the child's control on a violin, it does a better job of developing the ear, too.


In the program I used to work for (University prep department), a 3 yr old would start out in a pre-twinkle group class with a cardboard box violin and learn basic music skills and how to hold the violin, stand, etc, and would then move to short lessons (usually only about 15 minutes) with supervised practice at home, and a weekly group class that is more a "sing, dance, play with music" experience. Once they've got some short song segments learned, they'd start doing a group class that would be at least partially on the violin. Piano would have a similar progression. Suzuki is about $600/semester here for private and group, whether it's on violin or piano.


I don't know if this is the size your DD would need or not, but this is the company the University prep program I used to work for recommends for young children-a rental violin is $15.99/month, and includes insurance and builds equity towards instrument purchase.







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I do prefer the violin over piano for one this small. The position is unnatural, so there are advantages to starting at a young age. The position becomes totally ingrained. I also think stringed instruments are uniquely suited to the Suzuki method. Since they typically play one note at a time, it's quite OK to begin by repeating a teacher's demonstration rather than reading music. This is less true on the piano - more notes at a time means a longer ramp up to reading music fluently, so I prefer to start kids a little older and teach a more traditional method. The piano also doesn't have the complexities of tone and tuning that the violin has.


I'd recommend renting a violin. You'll go through several different sizes over the years.

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