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Four Good Habits to Acquire Once you Start Violin Lessons

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If you are reading this article, congratulations on deciding to start music lessons. No matter your age group, learning to play the violin benefits everyone in many aspects. Learning to play a musical instrument is also not exactly the same as starting a hobby such as knitting, gardening, or learning a new sport like fencing or golf. These will be covered in another article.

There are five important mindsets you should have, before starting violin lessons Singapore. Stradivari Strings, a veteran in the music school niche in Singapore, shares the following:

First Mindset: Ensure that starting violin lessons is what you want

How do you ensure this? There are a few pertinent questions you can ask yourself.

How long have you been thinking (or pining) to learn to play the violin? Did you wake up yesterday and on a whim, decided to learn the violin? Or have you been wanting to learn this skill as a kid — so if you are in your twenties you have been wanting to learn for more than ten years, if you are in your thirties, you did not have a chance to take action for twenty years, and so forth. The longer the time frame, the more assured you are that this is what you want.

Why do you want to learn the violin as compared to other musical instruments? For some, it is the beautiful tone quality of the violin which draws them to this musical instrument. For others, they may not be hundred percent sure that it is the violin they wish to learn. Perhaps they may also be happy learning the piano, saxophone, guitar or singing. For those who fall into the first category, we are fully certain that starting violin classes is the right path for you.

Who are you learning the skill for? If you are starting lessons for yourself, then yes. You have the correct mindset before you start learning to play the violin. However, if you are asked to learn this skill by someone else (be it your parents, wife, partner, and so forth), then starting violin classes may not be the right choice for you.

Second Mindset: Never give up

The road to become a violinist (or for that matter, a violinista) is not easy. Be prepared for any obstacles which may come your way. During your weekly violin class, your violin teacher may pace you faster or give you more material to work on. Do not be overwhelmed if that happens, because this is your teacher’s way of evaluating how much you can be stretched before you give up. As I explain to my violin students, I always give one hundred and twenty percent in terms of material per lesson. Most students can understand and retain seventy to eighty percent. After practicing at home over the week, some may come back with sixty to seventy percent retention rate. As a violin teacher, I take it from there and give the student another hundred and twenty percent of material in lesson two. This process repeats again and again through the learning cycle of a violin student.

Another obstacle which comes your way is internal. During your journey of violin learning, you will encounter self doubt at times. You may think that you made the wrong choice pursuing this skill as you do not have the musical talent. Well, let me tell you this. Talent is over rated! Hard work and mindful practice is more efficient in achieving what you want. Look at Singapore’s Joseph Schooling, who won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2016. Everyone saw the glory when he stepped on the podium to receive his gold medal, but not many see the effort and amount of time he devoted himself in training.

Third Mindset: Do not second guess yourself

Very often, adult learners who are super motivated to learn to play the violin, second guess themselves even before starting violin classes. Some start imagining things that may happen (I call these, imagining obstacles). For example, one may worry that one does not have the time to put in the required practice to be proficient in playing the violin. Or one may worry that learning this skill is so difficult that one will never be able to master it. All these mind games and self doubt does not help you.

If this happens, half the battle is lost even before you start. The correct mindset is to psyche yourself up to think that starting to learn to play the violin is the best decision you have made for yourself. And that it is so easy, you can be a maestro in five years! Never mind about the number of years mentioned here. The key point is, once you believe that you can do it, you will definitely achieve it. This mindset applies to anything you may wish to learn in life.

Fourth Mindset: Conquer any obstacles which may come your way

This follows the second mindset of never giving up. To help you even more in visioning this, imagine you have a magic sword which you can use to swing at any obstacles (imaginary or otherwise) which may hinder your progress in learning to play the violin. Next, vision that each time the sword hits out at that obstacle, the obstacle falls and disappears into thin air.

Yes, do not underestimate the power of visioning. It works!

Fifth Mindset: Make learning the violin a priority

This goes without the need to further explain much further. You need to make learning the violin your number one priority. Once you can do that, you will see your progress improving by leaps and bounds. Instead of taking eight to ten years to master the violin to advance level, you can achieve it in less than half the time. Trust me, this can be done!

I hope that you can achieve the above mindset before your start violin lessons. Your violin teacher will be amazed at the progress you make with these newly acquired mindset. Good luck with your journey!