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Old 11-06-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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The 2 instruments music studios consistently say are appropriate for children 4+ are the violin and piano. We have both a violin and a piano in our home and we're about to start lessons....but on which?

Anyone have thoughts or experiences with one over another?

I have been told they lead to different paths.....the piano is a more visual instrument--you see the "c", you hit the "c" with your finger. Combinations of keys make cords, and this is all rather like mathematics.

Violin, on the other hand, is more sensory than visual and leads more to a path of other strings (be it cello or electric guitar).

We've pretty well decided which they will do, but just curious what others' thoughts are.
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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My daughter plays the violin and has for 4 years - she started at 7. She sat down at a piano last month and played the sheet music - no lessons.
I am curious as to which you chose....
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Sunny Naples Florida :)
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I played Viola ( same as violin just different strings) and I loved it. I played for 11 year eventually leading me to the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall... Either instruments are great and can both be played in an Orchestra.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I love the Bears View Post
My daughter plays the violin and has for 4 years - she started at 7. She sat down at a piano last month and played the sheet music - no lessons.
I am curious as to which you chose....

I am leaning toward violin for a few reasons...for one, they can go practice in their rooms whenever the mood strikes, without interruption. The piano is more in the middle of things, which I think could make it difficult to practice without siblings in the middle of things.

Another reason is that at the end of elementary school, they choose an instrument and violin is an option (whereas piano is not). This way, she's already playing the violin and can continue with what she knows.

Also she keeps mentioning playing guitar when she's older. She's too young for that now, but it seems a more natural path to go to violin to guitar, should she choose to do so, when older.

The thing holding me back is that my mother was a concert pianist so I have some loyalty to the piano! I played piano from 6-13, when I was allowed to quit (and did unfortunately). So I have some loyalty and some knowledge of piano, but none of violin.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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I played both violin and piano. Piano is always a good starter because it teaches you to read both bass and treble clef (while violin is only treble) and you also get used to hearing the various tones clearly on the piano, which helps with strings instruments later. For instance, the child learns from the piano what middle C sounds like, and then can later learn to hear the correct pitch better on the string instrument where they have to make sure they are placing their finger in the exact right position. I would also argue that they don't really lead to different paths..... I don't agree that piano is more mathmatical and violin is more sensory. My advice is to start with the piano always and then move to other instruments. (by the way, I also moved from piano to guitar without problem).
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Texas
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My husband plays viola and piano. (Viola is his primary instrument.) His advice is always to let the child select whatever instrument they are drawn to.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:35 PM
 
Location: New England
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Piano. Much easier on the ears while they're learning.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
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Violin....much easier to carry around

Altho I played piano from the time I was 7 until............
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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I agree to see which instrument they lean toward. My 8 year old plays violin (2 years now) and I think ANY musical instrument is a good thing. Having an appreciation and knowledge of music is as important as any other subject in elementary school. My advice is to be laid back about the whole thing. Make it more about appreciating the music and not the technicality of the instrument. If you get a little virtuoso, great. If not, you have opened them up to something they can enjoy the rest of their lives. Treat it like reading and it will breathe into them.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:13 AM
 
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I play the violin and did take piano for a while, which I regret quitting as well. It is a tough decision but I think I would start on the piano. Most string programs for young children are more wrote learning vs actually learning to read music at that age. A couple years of piano behind them and the transition is simple. Also, starting a child on the violin at age 4, because of the difficulty of learning to play it well, isn't going to give them much, if any, of a head start vs starting them at say age 10 by the time they hit high school or so.

Does your school system have an orchestra program? If not, finding teachers might be difficult as your child progresses and if you continue on with the violin and it isn't in the schools it is one more thing a child will need to do AFTER school for lessons, etc. Just something to consider since you aren't dealing with school/activities yet.
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